Starting this week, every Friday I’ll be putting together a compilation of various items that are worth reading and remembering whether or not I have said anything about them during that week. Suggestions for sources and writers to be considered in the future are welcome in the comments.

The ongoing destruction of Christian communities in the Near East. Michael Brendan Dougherty writes on the ongoing persecution of Christians in the Near East and Western indifference to it.

What is the difference between preemptive and preventive war? Tom Nichols explains the difference, and explains why an attack on Iran would be an example of preventive war:

In sum, an attack on Iran would be a preventive attack. Whether Iran should be subjected to a preventive war is a separate question, but at least let’s keep our terms straight — and let’s no longer cloak our actions in confused or muddied language. If we mean to attack Iran preventively, let’s just say so, and defend the reasons for it, rather than pretend we mean something else.

Reading Robert Gates as a realist. Sean Kay reviews Gates’ memoir Duty.

Britain prepares to commemorate the start of WWI. Der Spiegel reports on the preparations and the politics of commemorating the war.

Republicans may have an advantage in the 2016 presidential election. John Sides observed that Republicans would be favored to win the 2016 presidential election if the same conditions existed in the election year as do right now:

Based on those assumptions, the model predicts that the Republican Party has a 64 percent chance of winning the presidency [bold mine-DL]. That is far from 100 percent, of course. At the same time, it doesn’t suggest much cause for GOP pessimism in January 2014 — maybe even some Democratic pessimism, in fact.

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