Archive for September, 2007

News and Analysis (9/18/07)

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

New York Times editorial finds that although Bush’s likely pick for the next Attorney General is being billed as a “consensus” candidate, there are some important questions that need to be answered concerning his commitment to preserving liberties while fighting terrorism:

U.N. human rights high commissioner says European Muslims experience rise in discrimination, meanwhile European Muslim organizations denounce Al-Qaeda statement putting out a bounty on the Swedish cartoonist depicting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

Egypt tightens its authoritarian noose, banning an annual dinner of Egypt’s largest and peaceful opposition group, cracking down on the limited press freedoms that exist and pushing out a prominent local human rights organization:

Saudi women form group and collect signatures for petition lobbying King Abdullah to lift the ban on female drivers:

Somali Independent radio station critical of the government and religious radicals is under attack:

News and Analysis (9/17/07)

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Bush gives nod at retired federal judge Michael B. Mukasey for the Attorney General slot, with many liberals and conservatives saying that in spite of his strong conservatism he is likely to be a strong consensus candidate who adheres to the rule of law:

New York Times editorial condemns the suspension of habeus corpus in Guantanamo Bay and finds administration arguments supporting it specious at best:

Musharraf trades in his uniform for another term as President, however he still faces several legal and political hurdles from political opposition groups and an antagonistic Supreme Court:

Former Fed Reserve chairman details how concerns over maintaining global supply of oil were used to drum up support for Iraq war:

Latest empirical research shows that imposing a democracy, particularly in a country without a strong civil society is ineffective and counterproductive:

Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes notes Bin Laden’s favorability ratings tanking in Muslim countries because of his bloody tactics, but fails to mention ham-fisted American interventionism is no better liked:

While Ahmedinejad projects one distasteful and factually dismissive view of the holocaust abroad, at home Iranians are exposed to a more nuanced perspective:

Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari details her ordeal while being unlawfully detained in one of Iran’s most notorious prisons:

News and Analysis (9/15-16/07)

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

Political and security stability in Iraq unravel further as 30 members leave the parliamentary ruling government and Al-Qaeda goes on new terrorism offensive killing dozens in three coordinated suicide bombings, while the US is deadlocked in Congress:

CIA director says the agency stopped using “waterboarding” in interrogations, but no word other physically abusive techniques, nor any word on extraordinary renditions:

More political tumult likely to come Pakistan’s way as ruling party “assures” Musharraf of re-election while opposition MPs threaten to resign from national and local legislatures if he runs for the Presidency again:

Grumblings of terrorism and tax exemptions lead to opposition among some locals against construction of mosque in New York suburb:

News and Analysis (9/14/07)

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Using more tricks to undermine its opposition, the government says it will not deter exiled former PM Bhutto from returning, but also says that she will have to face old corruption charges when she gets back, meanwhile more security turmoil rocks Pakistan as at least 60 people have died in clashes with the Taliban:

“By conventional shorthand, it is a society at war with itself. Rebels battle the government; the government battles the rebels. Yet the reality is more complicated. Lately, the fighting often as not pits tribe against tribe, warlord against warlord.” – Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary General

While members of Congress accuses Bush of trying to spin reduction of troops to pre-surge levels as a response to growing antiwar sentiment, a NY Times editorial argues that the President’s failed surge has left America without a plan:

International lawyer argues to “give democracy a chance” because a democratic bi-national one-state solution is the only means of solving “the Palestinian problem” and “the Zionism problem”:

    News and Analysis (9/13/07)

    Thursday, September 13th, 2007

    Surge military and political strategies are thrown into further chaos as prominent anti-Qaeda tribal ally is killed and agreement among Iraq’s major political and ethnic groups of the oil law is falling apart:

    “For decades, Muslims were internally focused, and I think September 11th accelerated the natural process of becoming more externally focused… It’s not like the impulse to do good is some new idea in Islam; concern for the poor, the weak is throughout the Koran. It’s just that Muslims in this country hadn’t implemented it very well. Now a wave is starting to form.” – Ihsan Bagby, Professor of Islamic Studies at University of Kentucky

    NY Times editorial argues that the next Attorney General must be as independent and non-partisan as possible, but Bush’s current selection of candidates is not very reassuring:

    Christian Science Monitor editorial finds that in the effort to prevent radicalization among prisoners, the Bureau of Prisons has done too far in censoring religious material:

    Tunisian officials relax tight control over media enough to allow the country’s first 24-hour privately-owned religious radio station to broadcast:

    “Although 10 years have passed since their cars were last targeted, [Samira] Hussein said, she wasn’t surprised by the latest attack:”

    News and Analysis (9/12/07)

    Wednesday, September 12th, 2007
    As intelligence chiefs prepare to engage themselves in a protracted legal battle to prevent full disclosure of Guantanamo detainees information, news agencies have already received some transcripts of detainees’ records, further detailing a grim picture of religious and medical abuses:

    National reconciliation takes a step backwards as a collage of opposition groups meet in Eritrea to discuss ways of overthrowing the current transitional government:

    Bush administration allied groups use ads with innuendos falsely connecting Iraq and 9/11 to continue to justify more failed costly interventionism in Iraq:

    While flouting the judiciary, banning other potential presidential candidates and simultaneously holding the position of army chief and President, Musharraf almost ready to set date for national polls:

    Bangladesh’s caretaker government begins discussions with political parties on electoral reforms, it incrementally eases some restrictions on political activity after recent political violence and charges of “widespread restrictions on basic freedoms and rampant human rights abuses” from international human rights organizations:

    An analysis of Morocco’s latest low-voter turnout find its root causes in a legacy of mistrust from the country history of authoritarianism, security concerns, complicated electoral system and the PJD’s political inexperience:

    News and Analysis (9/11/07)

    Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

    Muslim evangelist Amr Khaled touches the lives of many youth around the world by speaking to them on their terms with a soft, direct and understandable message:

    “Naturally, in any religious government, if there is more pressure, it does not make people more religious,” – Mohammad Ali Abtahi former Vice President during the Khatami administration

    In the wake of Musharraf’s deportation of Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan thrown into further chaos from mounting legal pressures and a consensus of denunciations in the media:

    While Petraus offers stay-the-course rhetoric in his testimony, some Arab analysts have looked at his report and statements and see the situation as beyond repair:

    News and Analysis (9/10/07)

    Monday, September 10th, 2007

    Shortly after arriving back in Pakistan, former PM Nawaz Sharif is arrested and re-exiled to Saudi Arabia, however this latest incident is typical a long tradition of military interference in civilian politics:

    Latest poll shows that religious, racial and gender biases still play a key factor in Americans’ voting behaviors:

    Morocco’s Justice and Development Party’s lackluster performance is viewed by some observers as tied to the country’s authoritarian political structure, and has other worried it might further discourage other Islamists from participating in the political system:

    “They can prevent the demonstrations, but not the right of journalists to cover them. We are under self-censorship because we don’t know what is allowed, what isn’t. There is no clear policy. All the journalists are worried, scared.” – Sakher Abu El Oun, reporter for Agence France Presse and head of Gaza branch of Palestinian Journalists Syndicate

    Devout President Gul and Arch-Secularist General Buyukanit meet in what some analysts describe as a reluctant recognition of Gul’s staying power:

    News and Analysis (9/9/07)

    Sunday, September 9th, 2007

    Nothing has changed about Mr. Bush’s intentions. Waving off the independent reports, he plans to stay the course and make his successor fix his Iraq fiasco. Military progress without political progress is meaningless, and Mr. Bush no more has a plan for unifying Iraq now than when he started the war.” – New York Times editorial board

    As exiled former PM Nawaz Sharif plans to return to Pakistan, Musharraf cracks down on the opposition, arresting at least 2,500, meanwhile lawyers protest against the president, saying he should resign from both his presidential post and as head of the army:

    Secular nationalists win in latest Moroccan election, but the moderate Islamist PJD comes in a close second:

    Reacting to Hamas’ heavy-handedness, Gazans engage in one day protest, shutting down shops, school and non-emergency medical services, meanwhile Fatah is slowly beginning to reorganize itself in Gaza:

    “…the United States is best served when we hold ourselves to the highest standards of fairness and inclusiveness. Selectively abandoning civil liberties and due process to wage the war on terrorism only plays into bin Laden’s hands. Al-Qaeda succeeds at changing America simply by threatening it.” – Dina Temple-Raston, National Public Radio Correspondent

    News and Analysis (9/7/07)

    Friday, September 7th, 2007

    The Battle of Big Brother: As a US district court judge rules National Security Letters unconstitutional in their current usage in counterterrorism investigations, lawmakers are planning to fight back against use of classified and military spy satellites for domestic spying:

    Hamas continues its heavy-handedness against unruly Fatah demonstrators, using stun grenades and firing into the air to disburse Fatah members from open-air Friday prayers and continues roughing-up journalists:

    Dissatisfaction with political system and lack of constitutional reform has many Moroccans voting for moderate-Islamist Justice and Development Party:

    Problems in Pakistan worsen as army morale plummets while fighting the Taliban, vigilantes murder two women for alleged prostitution and the government orders the arrest of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif’s brother:

    In Somalia, some hope for peace emerges as relatively moderate elements in the Islamic Courts Union and members of the Transitional government hold low-key talks in Djibouti: