Judging from the more than one million people who gathered in Paris - and others in smaller rallies in Europe and in Washington, D.C. -- the murder of 17 journalists, police and shoppers in a Jewish market by three terrorists claiming to be avenging insults to Islam has brought together ordinary people from many religions and ethnic groups in an emphatic rejection of violence and intolerance.
Economics Have Stalled Putin, But He Often Answers Reversals with Military Threats
In the Ukraine crisis, soft economic power last month trumped hard military power for the first time. The threatened meltdown of the Russian economy could push Russian President Vladimir Putin to dial down his undeclared war on Ukraine in return for some easing of Western financial sanctions. Still, that is not assured.
Today's shocking attack in Paris underlines the threat that terrorist fanatics pose to civilized society everywhere.
But on the battlefronts of Iraq, IS has lost its edge. Iraqi Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. airpower, have now retaken virtually all the territory they lost to the group over the summer, according to Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of the department of foreign relations for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
While there are many differences between a resource-poor island of 11 million people 90 miles off the coast of Florida and a large, oil-rich nation of 80 million that is thousands of miles from U.S. shores, regimes in both countries have based their ideological legitimacy in large part on opposing the United States.