Anne Speckhard (Georgetown) and Ardian Shajkovci and Ahmet S. Yayla (ICSVE): What to Expect Following a Military Defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq? ISIS is already preparing for its eventual destruction. Tim Lister on Islamic State 2.0: As the caliphate crumbles, ISIS evolves. Goodbye, Islamic State — hello, anarchy. The anarchists vs. the Islamic State: Seth Harp is on the front lines of Syria with the young American radicals fighting ISIS. The Dirtbag Left’s man in Syria: What PissPigGranddad — Twitter hero to radicals everywhere — saw in the war he’s about to come home from. It has taken more than two years and cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars to drive ISIS out of Anbar province in Iraq; its cities now resemble bombed-out wastelands, and a smoldering anger at the central government lies beneath the surface.

From the Congressional Research Service, a report on “A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Issues and Current Proposals”. Trump says he’ll destroy ISIS — his budget would make that a lot harder. Generals may launch new ISIS raids without Trump’s OK. What Trump’s Syria strike means for his war on ISIS: Will the US end up in two wars instead of one? The fight against the Islamic State just got harder: Andrew Exum on the Trump administration’s new front in the Syrian war.

Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen on how anti-Muslim policies help ISIS with its goal. Jacob Olidort on why the words we use about terrorism matter. Charlie Winter: What I learned from reading the Islamic State’s propaganda instruction manual. This is why the Islamic State shocks the world with its graphically violent imagery.


How the U.S. protects the environment, from Nixon to Trump: A curious person’s guide to the laws that keep the air clean and the water pure. Trump wants to roll back progress against climate change — he’s going to fail. Undoing the Clean Power Plan will be a legal nightmare: Donald Trump can’t erase Barack Obama’s signature climate achievement with the stroke of a pen. Trump’s environmental assault met with immediate legal challenges. Trump critics on climate policy hope executives can sway him. The corporations defying Trump on climate change are not your heroes. The most damaging part of Trump’s climate change order is the message it sends: “Climate change doesn’t matter”.

We knew Trump wanted to gut the EPA — a leaked plan shows how it would be done. What happens if the EPA is stripped of its power to fight climate change? For all the malevolence of Donald Trump’s executive order to undermine years of efforts to reduce carbon pollution, it’s arguably minor compared to the climate horror that would be unleashed if Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency were to be overturned. Fox News destroyed EPA chief Scott Pruitt over climate change. Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office have been a disaster — Scott Pruitt’s have been even worse. America is surging ahead of the climate goals Trump’s EPA pick is suing to kill. Brad Plumer on what the optimists get wrong about Trump’s climate policies.

Eric Pooley on how climate change denial is the original fake news. Climate converts: The conservatives who are switching sides on warming. The left and right agree: Climate change doesn’t care who you voted for: To be against environmental regulation in 2017 is to be anti-environment. Tom Steyer moves beyond climate: The billionaire progressive has poured millions into politics over the last few years; now, Steyer wants to expand his group’s focus beyond climate change and — like many Democratic organizations and donors — lead the fight against Trump. Tom Cohen (SUNY-Albany): Make Anthropos Great Again: Notes on the Trumpocene.


In Donald Trump’s worldview, America comes first, and everybody else pays. Christian Caryl on how Donald Trump’s foreign policy is already undercutting human rights around the world. Trump’s climate change shift is really about killing the international order. Joschka Fischer on realism about Trumpism. How we defend the America-led international order during this period of occupation or this interregnum when the American presidency is under the control of men who openly seek to destroy it. Is this the end of America’s role as a defender of freedom? The offender of the free world: Truculent Trump has abdicated responsibility — Europe must step into the void. Yanis Varoufakis on Europe’s illiberal establishment.


Sanchita Singh (MRIU) and Kaushlendra Mani Tripathi (Delhi): Selfie: A New Obsession. In Syria, Russia falls victim to its own success: Moscow’s rogue client has destroyed the country’s ability to present itself as an indispensable arbiter in the conflict. Why did Syria still have chemical weapons? To some, aggressive Justice Dept stance looks like step back. “Not even subtle: as the WH plans to help opioid users in rural America, Sessions starts a crackdown on inner cities”. Why is Hungary trying to close George Soros’s prestigious university? In praise of cash: Cash might be grungy, unfashionable and corruptible, but it is still a great public good, important for rich and poor alike. “Devil’s Advocate Boy” statue erected on Wall Street next to “Fearless Girl”.

Easiest way to understand President Trump is to listen to civilian Trump. I swear if Trump randomly, like, tripped on a squirrel or something we’d find an old tweet of his saying only fat losers trip on squirrels. It’s like Trump insulted an old gypsy woman who cursed him to live out his tweets. Trump’s law: for every presidential action, there is an equal and opposite reaction found in a tweet dated 1 to 4 years ago.


Frans Van Lunteren (VU Amsterdam): Clocks to Computers: A Machine-Based “Big Picture” of the History of Modern Science. What was our universe like before the Big Bang? The first chapter from Can the Laws of Physics Be Unified? by Paul Langacker. Wrestling with the mysteries of physics is good for your soul: David Marchese interviews Carlo Rovelli, author of Reality is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity. Sara Lippincott reviews The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself by Sean Carroll (and more). “The reality beneath is much grander and more mysterious than we ever imagined”: Sean Illing interviews Lawrence Krauss, author of The Greatest Story Ever Told — So Far: Why Are We Here?

Why humans prefer to be the center of the universe: Science contemplates the incomprehensible. How life (and death) spring from disorder: Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules — but as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics. Material issue: Jackson Lears on reclaiming a living cosmos from the dead-end tradition of Western scientism. Moti Mizrahi (FIT): What’s So Bad About Scientism? Peter Watson on the most important idea about the universe: It’s “convergence” — the fact that seemingly disparate areas of science are fundamentally linked. George Scialabba reviews Convergence: The Idea at the Heart of Science by Peter Watson.


Empathy is dead in American politics: If you show empathy for everybody in your audience, does each person only hear that you care about someone else? Trumpist governance in practice so far is turning out to be just Republican governance with (much) worse management, but does the appalling character of the man on top matter? What Trumpism has brought is a new sense of empowerment to the ugliest aspects of American politics. A lot of Trump voters only heard one thing: Build the wall. Top Democrats are wrong: Trump supporters were more motivated by racism than economic issues. Sarah Kliff ran a focus group with Trump voters — half said they support single-payer. Alexandra Petri on every story she has read about Trump supporters in the past week.

Trump’s base support begins to erode. Why is Trump flailing? Because Americans hate his agenda, and it’s based on lies.


Trump’s view of Syria: How it evolved, in 19 tweets. There are two possible explanations for Trump’s airstrikes in Syria — neither of them good. Seven lessons from Trump’s Syria strike: The attack raises a series of questions about the president’s approach to America’s political processes and institutions. Does Trump need congressional approval to strike Syria? The debate, explained. The generals have won their war with Trump: The missile attack on Syria shows how the president has caved to the Pentagon — with deadly consequences for U.S. foreign policy. Anne Barnard on the grim logic behind Syria’s chemical weapons attack. Why firing Tomahawk missiles at Syria was a nearly useless response.

President Not-Obama: Is this the week Donald Trump found a foreign policy? A president who simultaneously reveres military force while despising the “globalist” ideologies that have both justified and restrained its use so often in U.S. history: Ed Kilgore on Trump’s Jacksonian attack on Syria. Trump’s foreign policy is dangerously impulsive: Trump needs a foreign policy, not just reactions to what he sees on cable news. The Trump administration seems to have no coherent understanding of its Syria policy. Trump’s vision on Syria’s foreign policy is still completely incoherent. Andrew Sullivan on the Trump Doctrine: Unpredictability and incoherence. Peter Baker on the emerging Trump Doctrine: Don’t follow doctrine.

Does Trump know what to do after striking Syria? Trump’s confusing strike on Syria: If President Trump broadens his aims against Assad, he will enter the very morass that Candidate Trump warned against. Trump might be going to war — but he has no plans for establishing peace. The U.S. attack on Syria threatens to drag the world into conflict, analysts warn. What could go wrong for the U.S. in Syria? War with Russia.

Trump had his first big foreign policy challenge — so what did we learn? Sorry, missile strikes don’t make Trump a serious man. Nothing engorges the cable news id quite like a war waged by the United States, even when the war is only a one-off retaliatory Tomahawk strike. The media loved Trump’s show of military might — are we really doing this again? Dan Rather hits journalists who called Trump “presidential” after Syria missile strike. Note to pundits: please stop training our president to kill. Trump badly wants pundits’ approval, TV loves his Syria strike — so what comes next?

Trump’s most die-hard media defenders turn on him after strikes on Syria. Alt-Right turns on “neo-con puppet” Trump after bombing Syria. It makes sense for the alt-Right to start abandoning Trump.

From n+1, Patrick Blanchfield on what we do best: War has become a given in American political life — in the process it has become depoliticized; and the response required at this late, desperate stage is neither anti-Assad nor anti-ISIS nor even anti-imperialist — it is antiwar.

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