November 3, 2014

An edited transcript of the October 2, CPD-BBC Forum: "Does Soft Power Really Matter?" held at the University of Southern California

At a United Nations conference organized by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) on Friday in Geneva, a wide range of participants agreed that global challenges against peace should not lead to apathy, while reiterating their commitment against all kinds of extremism. 

An edited transcript of the CPD-BBC Forum held at USC, asking the hard questions about soft power.

An edited transcript of the CPD-BBC Forum held at USC, asking the hard questions about soft power.

Islamic State’s 52-second trailer“Flames of War” opens with a black-clad extremist blasting a U.S.-made tank into smoke and shrapnel, a Hollywood-style message to the U.S. and its allies about what they can expect for intervening in the Middle East again. The nation that has produced Microsoft, Apple and Google now finds itself playing catch-up on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter with an extremist group rooted in 7th Century Arabia.

This week in PD, the world witnessed the propaganda of violent extremist groups, including the Islamic State. 

August 21, 2014

Anyone with a brain or a heart cannot help but be deeply disturbed by the unending and seemingly accelerating torrent of grim -- sometimes horrifying -- stories emanating from the Middle East. This week's gruesome, heartbreaking news of the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley is shocking evidence to this effect. 

The Islamic State’s “A Message to America,” showing American journalist James Foley’s final moments, is vile and horrifying. Significantly, unlike the early propaganda of Al Qaeda, this video is also professionally cut and edited. It is the sort of thing engineered to achieve rapid, viral spread on the open internet. It also represents the main weapon the Islamic State is increasingly employing to great effect against the West.