Former President Bill Clinton called the terrorist group ISIS the "most interesting non-governmental organization today" in remarks at Georgetown University:
"Arguably the most interesting non-governmental organization today, which proves the importance of inclusion by its short-comings but is formidable, is ISIS," said Clinton.
"ISIS is a terrorist organization, an NGO, trying to become a state. That is, they don't recognize any of the boundaries of the Middle Eastern countries as legitimate. They were all established, drawn largely by Westerners after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. And so when they go capture a place, they set up their own judicial system, they set up their own rule making, they set up whatever their social services are going to be. And the only thing is, you can't disagree with them, or they'll kill you."
In late August, the world’s most high-profile development project celebrated another milestone. The Millennium Villages Projectopened its newest site, in northern Ghana, with newly minted Ghanaian president John Mahama and the UK’s international development secretary on hand.
Another country has calculated that Christmas time is a good time to launch a crackdown on human rights. Following China’s harsh sentencing of two writers on subversion charges, Egyptian security forces today rolled up to several prominent democracy and human rights NGOs in Cairo and shut them down, confiscated materials, and detained employees onsite for questioning.
Where governments and statesmen can afford to be cynical about trade relations and security agreements with rogue regimes, human rights groups are supposed to operate at a higher level – the ultimate goal being for those regimes to alter their behavior. When NGOs traffic in realpolitik, it has a more scandalizing impact. Nothing better showcases this phenomenon than Human Rights Watch’s kid-gloved and self-interested approach to Libya in the past several years.