By Fareed Zakaria
“Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, in announcing a new policy to provide employees with a college education, declared: ‘In the last few years, we have seen the fracturing of the American dream,’” argues Howard Gold in USA Today.
“In fact, three-quarters of Americans polled by the Brookings Institution in 2008 said the dream was harder to attain.
They're right to worry. An analysis by USA Today shows that living the American dream would cost the average family of four about $130,000 a year. Only 16 million U.S. households – around 1 in 8 – earned that much in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”
“ISIS fastened on to the Sunni power networks of Saddam’s army and Ba’ath party, supposedly dismantled by the U.S.-led occupation, and the tribes, hostile to jihadi totalitarianism but now more aggrieved by the Maliki government,” writes David Gardner in the Financial Times. “While sectarianism is not religion, it does have the power to resurrect the zombie ideologies of Osama bin Laden and the Ba’ath – and even get them to work together.”
“The Shia, after centuries on Islam’s sidelines, finally have something to protect. It is not just about preventing a repeat of 1801, when Wahhabi marauders from the first Saudi kingdom sacked Kerbala and other Shia shrine cities. It is about 2003 and the rise of the Shia after the invasion of Iraq, which helped Tehran forge an axis of power from Baghdad to Beirut.”
“Erbil is a haven. Business is thriving and the various religious and ethnic groups coexist peacefully,” writes Fergal Keane in the New Republic. “If you wanted a happier dream of Iraq, this is the place to visit. Walk the markets and listen to the soulful voice of Chopi Fetah drift across stalls from the loudspeaker in the spice shop, drink sweet tea in the shadow of the ancient citadel and wait for the latest news from the front. So tranquil and tolerant is Erbil that Sunni fighters are coming here for rest.”