International Relations

Jordan’s Bold Educational Experiment. Amid continuing Middle Eastern political and social unrest, a quiet revolution is taking place in Jordan that could help reshape the future of that nation and provide a model for the world. It is a revolution not of guns or violence, but of character and mind—and it was started by King Abdullah himself.(Short op-ed by Meg Korpi and Rusty Wright)

Can Western-style education transform the Middle East?  King’s Academy, Jordan’s new prep school, emphasizes critical thinking over rote learning, teaching students not what to think but how to think.  Could it become a model to train a new generation of Middle Eastern leaders to shake hands with each other and the West?  (Short op-ed)

Jordan’s Moderate Arab Spring.  As we sat in a Parliamentary conference room talking with Jordan’s Senate president and his colleagues, we could see why Jordan’s Arab Spring has been more subdued than most.  (Short op-ed by Rusty Wright and Meg Korpi)

Jordan’s experiment in social acceptance, renouncing terrorism.  Westerners who criticize Muslims for “never condemning Islamic extremism” would do well to consider Jordan’s denunciation of religious violence and its experiment in social acceptance. (Short op-ed)

Iranian Holocaust Denial and Peace Seeking.  Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a “lie.”  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced his claim at the UN, presenting evidence.  Humans have a curious ability to reinterpret the world to fit their biases or personal aims.  Shouldn’t truth be a foundation for seeking peace?   (Short op-ed)

Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust Library Card?  Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said the Holocaust is a “lie” based on a “mythical claim.”  He should visit Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.   Can we get him a library card?  (Short op-ed)

Jerusalem’s Delicate Balancing Act.  It’s easy to see why this city – bustling with spiritual, social and political contrasts – is the focus of so much world attention.  King David’s ancient admonition to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” has significant modern implications. (Short op-ed)

Tiananmen Leader’s Divine Cause.  Chinese student Chai Ling helped lead the massive 1989 demonstrations in Tiananmen Square that drew the world’s praise and her government’s wrath.  Twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, today this Harvard MBA is a successful businesswoman who still risks persecution to bring reform to China.  Her current activities might surprise you.  (Short op-ed)

The Psychology of Prisoner Abuse.  Prisoner abuse scandals generate shock, shame, outrage and disgust.  Why do people abuse others in such degrading ways?  What goes on inside the minds of abusers?  Fascinating psychological experiments reveal clues to the roots of such behavior. The implications may disturb you. (Short op-ed article.)

The Psychology of Prisoner Abuse.  Prisoner abuse scandals generate shock, shame, outrage and disgust.  Why do people abuse others in such degrading ways?  What goes on inside the minds of abusers?  Fascinating psychological experiments reveal clues to the roots of such behavior. The implications may disturb you. (Probe radio series transcript.)

Six Months in Paris that Changed the World:  Decisions have consequences.  Our own lives and world history confirm that.  The 1919 post-World War 1 Paris Peace Conference made decisions that echo in today’s headlines.  Fascinating stories about Iraq, Israel, Palestine and China prompt us to consider the impact of our own daily choices.  (Probe radio series transcript.)  Spanish

Iraq Conflict Has Western Roots.  Today’s conflict in Iraq has significant roots in decisions made more than eighty years ago.  The story holds important lessons for today’s decision makers.  (Short op-ed)

South African Confession Sparks Chilling MemoryA former South African justice official confesses to having ordering bombs planted in theaters premiering a controversial anti-apartheid film. The writer had tickets to see the film’s opening in Pretoria.  (Short op-ed)

South African Apartheid Leader’s Apology for Racial Sins.   A startling example of contrition by Adriaan Vlok, former Law and Order Minister under South Africa’s apartheid regime.  Could it help inspire forgiveness and reconciliation in government, workplaces, neighborhoods and families?  (Short op-ed)

Castro’s Staying Power.  Nearly 50 years after the Revolution, Fidel Castro has relinquished Cuba’s presidency.  His survival has been legendary.   As the ailing, aging leader nears life’s finish line, might his thoughts return to spiritual leanings of earlier years?  (Short op-ed)

Global Warming’s Glacial Blunder.  “World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown,” declared the disturbing headline in The Sunday Times of London.  What caused a major UN climate change panel to backtrack and admit a serious mistake in its prediction?  What insights does this episode offer about determining the truth?  (Short op-ed)

Global Warming and Hurricane Sandy.  Did global warming—human-induced climate change—cause or exacerbate Hurricane Sandy?  If you answer “no or “not sure,” are you a “science denier”?  (Short op-ed)

WW II movie drama: Christian students hiding Jews from Nazis.  As the world commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Return to the Hiding Place dramatically portrays a forgotten story of dedicated Dutch students’ vital role in rescuing hundreds of Jews from Nazi persecution.  Driven by faith, love and conviction, they endured great hardship and risked their lives to protect the oppressed from Hitler’s terror.  (Short op-ed)

Faith of our Fathers movie: Vietnam War healing.  What was/is the Vietnam War for you?  Guided by wartime letters from their dads – combat companions who died in Vietnam – two men embark on an odd-couple odyssey to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, DC, to discover the fathers they never knew.  (Short op-ed)