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News and Analysis (6/11/10)

Friday, June 11th, 2010

“Faced with overwhelming force, without guidance or organization, the dissidents these days cannot agree on their goals, much less mount a significant challenge to the country’s leadership”…

… Meanwhile, the Obama Administration quietly prepares for the military containment of Iran as well as several Bush-era covert tactics to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons:

One of the few successful reconstruction projects, a new plan distributing more aid to villages would likely label them enemies of the Taliban and open the door to attacks:

An obvious but often ignored assessment of Gaza:

Without offering an explanation, Prime Minister Fayad’s office confirms the elections will again be postponed:

Demonstrating their ability to adapt and continually maximize their opportunities to disrupt Western efforts:

News and Analysis (6/10/10)

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Examining the implications of Iranian sanctions and the perceived decline of US influence abroad…

… Meanwhile, UN sanctions will likely transform Iran’s level of cooperation with the IAEA

A kiss is just a kiss? Not in Saudi, where it is treated like fornication:

Resigned Afghan National Security Director Amrullah Saleh reportedly thinks:

Formed in response to horrifying “images of massacred Muslims” in Bosnia, the IHH has had a difficult time shaking allegations of past links to “global jihad”:

In a poll of Israeli Jews after the flotilla raid, 61 percent said Israel should not adjust its tactics to curry favor with the international community… Eighty-five percent of the 500 polled said that Israel either did not use enough force or used the right amount of force”:

Can Obama finally pressure Israel into meaningful negotiations by speaking against the blockade and pledging an additional $70 million to Palestinians?

News and Analysis (6/9/10)

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

“[L]iving conditions in Gaza are so bad that by some readings of international law, the legality of the flotilla attack is a moot point….” A legal expert says, “The real need is a focus on the legality of the conditions of people in Gaza” …

… Meanwhile, critics point out that the list of newly approved items does not include cement, steel or other items desperately needed in the war devastated strip:

With a new round of sanctions likely to pass in just a few hours…

… Ahmadinejad speaks frankly declaring UN sanction will officially any negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program:

“The prospect of a robust military push in Kandahar Province, … widely expected to begin this month, has evolved into a strategy that puts civilian reconstruction efforts first and relegates military action to a supportive role”:

By a different name in a difference country, would Obama’s request to continue using the Bagram prison be another Guantanamo?

More than 5,000 arrests have been made and the Iranian government is implicated in cases of torture, beatings, rape and solitary confinement …

… in the meantime, in “dueling images,” a man (or men?) claiming to be Shaham Amiri makes and then retracts accusations of abduction and torture against the US government:

News and Analysis (6/8/10)

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

“At least 20 Somali Americans have joined the militia, including an Alabama native whose nom de guerre is Abu Mansoor al-Ameriki” who “has starred in propaganda videos to attract more foreign fighters”:

With Rafah crossing “used primarily for the passage of persons, not goods,” an analyst says,  “The administration has accepted the Israeli and Egyptian position”:

Rejecting the UN call for an international inquiry, an Israeli lead investigation would likely be met with skepticism and doubt of its validity:

Amnesty International challenges the legality of a strike with no attempt to detain alleged militants: “The fact that so many of the victims were actually women and children indicates that the attack was … grossly irresponsible….”:

With democracy stalled in Iraq, President Talabani calls for Parliament to meet on June 14:

Calling the deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil “an opportunity for the US administration and for its allies,” the Iranian president says, “this opportunity… We say that this opportunity will not be repeated”:

on this,” says Cook. “They’re going to try to work with the Israelis about how things can go into Gaza without undermining Israeli security.”

Biden, Mubarak on same page

Those measures might include easing the blockade on Egypt’s side, but Egypt’s move last week has not radically changed the situation for Gazans.

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News and Analysis (6/7/10)

Monday, June 7th, 2010

“The new information about the manner and intensity of the killings undermines Israel’s insistence that its soldiers opened fire only in self defence and in response to attacks by the activists”:

“Turkey’s leaders have dubbed their foreign policy ‘zero problems with neighbors,” but their increasingly vocal “affinity to Palestine” and in the face of recent events, “relations with Israel have deteriorated dramatically”:

Beaten while in Israeli custody for participating in the Freedom Flotilla, an Irish-American-turned-Palestinian calls his tormentors “cowards,” and refutes Israeli accusations of terrorist intent with quotes from Ghandi:

As Obama failed to build on his Cairo speech promise to take significant steps towards Israeli / Palestinian peace, 60% of Arabs now believe he is too weak to deliver a peace agreement:

An Israeli commentator sees parallels between a 1947 ship carrying Holocaust survivors and the flotilla attempting to break the Gaza blockade:

Allegations emerge indicating Afghani security forces bribed Taliban forces and staged combat to make their presence appear more valuable:

If Helen Thomas said this, you’d expect an apology: “people who do not have permits to stay in a place should go back where they came from;” but being an Israeli bigot means never having to say you’re sorry:

News and Analysis (6/4/10)

Friday, June 4th, 2010
Resembling Bush-era policy, Obama has quietly expanded the use of secret forces in the war against Al-Qaeda to 75 countries worldwide:

Israel’s level of media control, as in the case after the invasion of Gaza, may make it impossible to determine what actually happened without further leaked evidence …

… and that is exactly the point, as demonstrated by Israel’s flat rejection of the call of 32 nations to investigate potential violations of international law …

… Yet, peace activists refuse to be intimidated as the MV Rachel Corrie attempts to break the Gaza blockade, even as Israelis arrest the Michigan woman who chairs the flotilla:

“Gazans contradict Israeli claims that aid flotilla’s mission was redundant as there is no humanitarian crisis”:

There is a consensus that peace without negotiations is impossible, but the “Taliban has dismissed the jirga as a ‘phony reconciliation process'” and insist “that there can be no negotiations until all foreign troops leave Afghanistan”:

News and Analysis (6/3/2010)

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

After parliamentary election irregularities, including one candidate shot by police as he entered a polling place, the Muslim Brotherhood backs ElBaradei’s call for reforms that would allow him to run for president:

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior US official admits a policy shift on the Gaza blockage is in the initial phase …

… Meanwhile, the process maybe expedited with a US citizen confirmed among those killed:

An admission with major implications for the US/Israeli relationship…

… Further emphasizing the growing rift between US policy and Israeli action:

The U.N.’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings questions whether the right of self-defense extends to “countries where links to the [9/11] attacks are more remote [than Pakistan], such as Yemen or Somalia”:

With Christians generally receiving more support than other Iraqi ethnic groups in resettling abroad, many Iraqi Christians fear that could bring the end to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world:

News and Analysis (6/2/10)

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

As Israeli officials pledge “this ship will be stopped as was the case with the other Gaza flotilla ships earlier in the week …

… a now freed Kuwaiti lawmaker reports “Israelis roughed up and humiliated all of us – women, men and children… They were brutal and arrogant, but our message reached every corner of the world that the blockade on Gaza is unfair and should be lifted immediately” …

… but Israeli arrogance in the face of international criticism continues as one Israeli writer calls the siege “Israel’s Vietnam”…

… and Davutoglu compares the impact of the attack on Turkish public opinion to 9/11’s effect on America:

What challenges and opportunities will arise for the PA and Hamas in light of Israel’s latest attack?

“The death of al-Qaeda’s third-ranking leader in a drone strike was portrayed by U.S. officials Tuesday as a severe setback to the terrorist organization. But if history is any guide, the network will have no problem replacing him”:

Questions of legitimacy surround the Peace Jirga with attendees hand selected by government officials and no representation from the Afghani opposition:

News and Analysis (6/1/2010)

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

As Israel attempts to justify its violent attack on the open sea by waging a PR campaign in the face of international outrage…

… Egypt breaks a three-year long agreement to temporarily open the Gaza border…

… Meanwhile, US officials admit that the Obama Administration’s support for the Gaza blockade is waning and a serious push for a diplomatic solution maybe underway:

“The U.S. has repeatedly captured or killed Al Qaeda members described as the organization’s No. 3 leader since 2001,” but says this one “would be a major blow” and has no comment on the reported deaths of his family members:

An announcement likely to further encourage a fourth round of international sanctions against Iran, that “with further enrichment”:

“With the court’s approval of election results, the president now has 15 days to call the new parliament to convene”:

Not formally charged of any crime, two Christian charity groups deny media allegations of proselytizing in violation of the constitution of Afghanistan:

News and Analysis (5/31/10)

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Victims of the Israeli attack on a ship full of humanitarian aid say they were unarmed, and a video shows no resistance on a Turkish ship against Israeli troops firing immediately after boarding

… prompting protests around the world including Turks, Israeli Jews  (“No one in the world will believe the lies and excuses which the government and army spokesmen come up with”) and Arabs, and even Americans:

Although subsidizing farming has produced results, the strategy ignores the longer-term consequences of a society dependent on unsustainable government handouts:

“While the Bush era saw the US … squeezing the defiant few like Syria and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, today’s Middle East sees a power vacuum led by partial US retreat being filled by assertive regional and middle powers”:

Diyala is one of the few provinces where the US military still supports Iraqi forces, who are viewed with skepticism:

After four years of political isolation, the international community begins to accept Hamas’ role in leading Palestinians:

US is requesting Pakistan provide it with more detailed  information on Pakistanis who fly to other countries, an unpopular infringement on citizen’s rights: