KGOU

Islamic State

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole introduced legislation this week authorizing the use of military force against Islamic State militants.

Under the bill to fight the group known as ISIS, there wouldn't be any geographic restrictions on the U.S. military, or a prohibition on sending U.S. ground troops into the region.

During his video response to President Obama's State of the Union address this week, Cole said the president didn't lay out a strategy to defeat ISIS.

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler
U.S. Department of Defense

The U.S. Department of Defense says an Army soldier from Oklahoma is the first military casualty while fighting militants with the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

The DoD said in a news release Friday Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler was killed Thursday in Iraq. The 39-year-old native of Roland died from wounds sustained by enemy small-arms fire during a hostage rescue.

Gov. Mary Fallin called Wheeler a hero who stood up to evil in a social media post Friday afternoon.

ISIS propaganda shows explosives damaging the historic ancient Temple of Baalshamin in the ancient site of Palmyra.
Wnt / Wikimedia Commons

The Syrian government announced this week Islamic State militants destroyed 2,000-year-old tower tombs in the central city of Palmyra, claiming the Roman-era sites promote idolatry.

World Views: September 4, 2015

Sep 4, 2015

Joshua Landis talks about Islamic State militants destroying significant artifacts in the Middle East, and Rebecca Cruise explains the ongoing migrant crisis throughout Europe.

Then Suzette Grillot is joined by Braulio Fernández, a professor and literary critic at the University of the Andes in Colombia. While everyone he went to school with studied Spanish literature, Braulio Fernandez gravitated toward something else.

World Views: August 28, 2015

Aug 28, 2015

Joshua Landis provides an update on two stories he's following in the Middle East: the different reactions to the nuclear deal with Iran, and news that Syrian soldiers trained and equipped by the U.S. in Turkey were captured and killed as they crossed the border into Syria.

Then Suzette talks with Joe Masco, an anthropologist at the University of Chicago who studies the evolution of the national security state. His latest book traces surveillance and privacy issues from the start of the Cold War to what he now calls the “post-privacy era.”

President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Secretary of State John Kerry to thank him for his work with the negotiations on the nuclear agreement with Iran, July 13, 2015.
Pete Souza / The White House

After years of negotiation designed to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and keep the balance of power from shifting in the Middle East, Congress will vote on a nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic next month.

World Views: June 19, 2015

Jun 19, 2015

Guest host Brian Hardzinski talks with Joshua Landis about an important victory for Kurds in the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, and why Kurds have done so well when Arabs have not against Islamic State militants.

Then Suzette Grillot talks with David Deisley and Rob Perreault about resource extraction in Latin American countries.

MND-N (Multi National Division North) / U.S. Army

Kurdish fighters gained control of the Syrian town of Tal Abyad on the Turkish border on Tuesday, cutting off a key route between ISIS territory and the Turkish border

“This shuts the door on a big crossing. So it was an  important victory,” said Joshua Landis, the director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for the Middle East Studies.

World Views: March 13, 2015

Mar 13, 2015

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot talk about racism and bigotry in a global context in light of this week’s events involving the University of Oklahoma's chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. 

Then journalist and activist Hannah Storm from the International News Safety Institute explains about how much protection correspondents can reasonably expect as modern warfare evolves.

Shining A Light On The Dangers Journalists Face In The Field

Mar 11, 2015
Muhammad Jassim Abdulkarim Olayan al-Dhafiri, known as "Jihadi John" in an ISIS video with two Japanese hostages who were later killed by self-proclaimed Islamic State militants.
YouTube

On February 28, Ukranian journalist Sergei Nikolayev died shortly after being taken to a hospital for wounds sustained in an artillery attack in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. It’s just one recent example of the extreme danger journalists face every day around the globe.

World Views: March 6, 2015

Mar 6, 2015

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot discuss what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in Washington this week says about a possible shift in U.S./Middle East alliances. Many traditional U.S. allies are worried Washington might shift toward Iran and away from Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Later, Landis and Rebecca Cruise talk with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon Wood. He compares this decade’s uprisings in the Arab World to what he calls an “Atlantic Spring” that started in 1776.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 23, 2014, before the two sat down to discuss a possible cease-fire to stop Israel's fight with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
U.S. Department of State

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an address before Congress on Tuesday, urging President Obama not to craft a nuclear deal with Iran.

The domestic politics of the speech have been widely discussed, but the speech has raised issues of shifting U.S. alliances with Middle East countries.

World Views: February 6, 2015

Feb 6, 2015

Rebecca Cruise explains this week’s court ruling that no genocide was proven in the 1990s Serbia-Croatia conflict, and Joshua Landis describes the complex relationship between Jordan and the self-proclaimed Islamic State in light of the brutal murder of a Jordanian fighter pilot.

Then I’m joined by journalist Franz Bumeder. As a German radio correspondent in the 1990s, he reported on those wars in Kosovo, Bosnia, Croatia, and Macedonia.

Jordanian fighter pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, who was burned alive by militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Petra / Jordan News Agency

This week Jordan vowed revenge for the death of a Jordanian pilot held by the Islamic State extremist group. A video online purportedly showed the pilot being burned to death in a cage by his captors. 

World Views: December 6, 2014

Dec 5, 2014

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot discuss riots in Egypt after a court in Cairo dropped its case against deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak, and about how a focus on counterterrorism has overtaken all hopes for democracy in the Middle East.

Then a conversation with literary critic Warren Motte about his work collecting tens of thousands of moments where characters gaze into mirrors.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presides over a meeting of more than 60 anti-ISIL coalition parties held on December 3, 2014, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
U.S. Department of State

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Cairo throughout the week after a court ruled Saturday evening to dismiss charges against ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak over the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising in Egypt.

World Views: November 21, 2014

Nov 21, 2014

Joshua Landis compares what he calls the “Great Sorting Out” in the Middle East to historical conflicts in Eastern Europe that also stretched across ethnic and religious lines.

Then Joshua and Rebecca Cruise talk with Matthew Barber. He was one of the first bloggers to write about the capture of thousands of Yazidi  women and girls as the minority community of northern Iraq was wiped out this summer.

An Iraqi Yazidi girl with her family at the Newroz refugee camp in Syria, on August 15th.
Rachel Unkovic / DFID - UK Department for International Development

In the Iraqi province of Kurdistan, women of the Yazidi ethnic minority are disappearing. At the most recent count, between 6,000 and 7,000 women and girls have been kidnapped, and many of those have been enslaved.

When Matthew Barber visited northern Iraq earlier this year, his goals were to conduct research and learn Kurdish. When he arrived he was faced with an enslavement crisis unfolding all around him and he knew that being an American academic gave him resources he could use to help.

A refugee camp in Syria's northern city Aleppo, December 2013
IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation / Flickr

In recent years, millions have been killed or forced to flee their homes due to instability and violence across Iraq and Syria. Among these victims are many ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians and Yazidis.

Christianity and Islam from Aleppo,Syria
Alexanyan

Today Imad Enchassi is an Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Oklahoma City University and the founder and Imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City (ISGOC), but his childhood as a refugee compelled him to devote his life to helping other refugees and promoting understanding between people of different faiths.

Pages