Crispian Cuss at Al Jazeera English on why no one in the media saw the new Islamic Caliphate coming. The Syrian-Iraqi terror group known as ISIS has changed its name to Islamic State and declared the region to be a new caliphate. But Cuss, a former British Army officer wonders why the mainstream media seems to not have been prepared for it. "A sense of fatigue, following years of violence, has surrounded much of the reporting that comes from Iraq and Syria. Similarly, the dangers inherent in reporting within such an organisation has meant that few commentators have ever really been close to the Islamic State and its operations." They aren't the only ones who missed the boat, however. "Intelligence services and think tanks have been relentless in warning that this day might come. Yet it was a message without an audience. Western governments confounded by the regional complexities, and representing electorates tired of overseas military ventures, had no wish to face its implications."
The Wall Street Journal on why BNP's $9 billion fine wasn't enough. The French bank took the rare step of pleading guilty and paying a large penalty for violating U.S. sanctions, but was it really enough, given the crimes they helped to perpetrate? "The bank was lucky not to lose its U.S. banking license," says the paper's editors, for running "between $9 billion and $190 billion worth of dollar-clearing transactions for nations engaged in genocide, human trafficking and terror funding." Moreover, they knew they were breaking the law and kept doing it anyway. "Justice chose to fine BNP on roughly $9 billion of illegal transactions, but if New York regulators are correct that BNP did closer to $190 billion, the French bank is paying a fraction of the relative penalty leveled on other sanctions-breaking banks. And it got a steal compared to the $13 billion that J.P. Morgan paid on more dubious charges."