Playing at Peace

[ by Charles Cameron — in which Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Phillip Smyth get into role ]

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The United States Institute of Peace is holding what it terms a PeaceGame today and tomorrow:

The current PeaceGame series is tackling one of the timeliest and most challenging of issues confronted by the U.S. government and stakeholders worldwide: the global rise of radical groups and violent extremism. Building on a successful first session in December exploring the political and economic roots of extremism and violence, our June event will focus on the human element: why do today’s extremist movements attract recruits worldwide, and how can the international community more effectively both counter this appeal and manage the reintegration of radicalized individuals.

That’s an interesting topic all right — but when it comes to role-playing “stakeholders worldwide” there are going to be some interesting participants..

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Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, for instance, is playing the Islamic State:

Hello, #PeaceGame. pic.twitter.com/pAlxvxT2NK

— Gartenstein-Ross (@DaveedGR) June 2, 2015

Formally naming IS “Daesh” in the game seems to me to be a curious choice, since it’s unlikely to be the term by which IS members self-identify in “real life”. Note that the US isn’t named “Crusaders” although there are some stake-holders who might think of the US that way.

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Daveed gets into role as IS, and Pillip Smyth, playing Shia, responds likewise:

.@DaveedGR You're goin' down, ya nasibi. @USIP @ForeignPolicy #Peacegame pic.twitter.com/wQtkAS3eAT

— Phillip Smyth (@PhillipSmyth) June 2, 2015

And thus I learn a new insult — “nasibi” apparently being the derogatory term Shiites use to describe thier opponents — roughly comparable to Sunnis labeling Shiites “rafida”.

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You can watch the event live here:

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Nada Bakos characterized an early response within the game thus:

Amb Jeffrey responding as U.S. In #PeaceGame is perfectly summarizing TPs of analysis paralysis

— Nada Bakos (@nadabakos) June 2, 2015

Do we ever get farther than analysis paralysis? That’s an open question..

1 comment on this post.
  1. Charles Cameron:


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