Archive for November, 2009

News and Analysis (11/30/09)

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Israel and Palestine agree to a prisoner swap of Shalit for 450 Palestinians to be named by Hamas and another 530 [anti-Hamas?–Ed.] to be selected by Israel as “a gesture to the Palestinian people”:

Israel: 980 Palestinians Slated for Release (Ma’an)

“Iran’s nuclear policy has always been about walking the tightrope at the edge of a cliff … But our leaders will never take actions that would jeopardize Iran’s national security”: Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin, Iranian journalist:

Among the most difficult to answer, how much will the Afghanistan War continue to cost …

… Unlike presidents of the past, Obama will not be receiving an blank check and a free pass on Afghanistan:

Obama outlines five groups that ambiguity in Pakistan’s relationship with any of them could no longer be ignored, al-Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Tehrik-e-Taliban:

The U.S. thinks curbing poppy production would reduce the Taliban’s influence in Afghanistan, but the farmers are concerned “about lack of water, and elders talked bitterly about the U.S. detaining their sons and tribesmen”:

“All Arab countries are craving change — and many of us believed Obama was a tool for change… Now we are losing that hope.”

News and Analysis (11/28-29/09)

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Has Obama failed to deliver on his promised to break from the interrogation and detainee abuse of the Bush Administration?

Logic like Swiss cheese– “Forced marriages and other things like cemeteries separating the pure and impure – we don’t have that in Switzerland, and we do not want to introduce it… Therefore, there’s no room for minarets in Switzerland”:

Zardari’s move has little practical effect on the hierarchy of nuclear control:

Constitutionally speaking, Aziz Dweik, a leading Hamas member and advocate for nonviolence, would succeed Abbas:

As Britain outlines the expectations of Karzai in Afghanistan …

… Soldiers detail the shortfalls of Afghani education, economy and environment contributing the difficulty of the war:

News and Analysis (11/27/09)

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Eid Mubarak (Blessed Feast of Sacrifice)!

The resolution had the backing of China and Russia but it is unclear if they will support the expansion of sanctions:

Clear signs of Islamophobia in Europe:

As poor Afghanis lobby Karzai for basic supplies,

Western forces unexpectedly lose a critical region to the influence of the Taliban …

… while in the midst of the debate over whether to support the Obama “surge”:

News and Analysis (11/26/09)

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

US endorsement of the plan that essentially allows Israel to continue all planned construction for the next ten months falls short of Obama’s original demand for a full freeze and unfairly shifts political pressure  shift to the Palestinians:

On the brink of political chaos, Iraqi politicians once again come to an agreement to restore the seats in Sunni Ninevah …

… but democracy in Iraq will have little meaning without a free and open media:

So-called “Islamic bonds” are no more immune from the risks of excessive spending than Western debt instruments in the face of global economic downturn:

“The invaders’ . . . moribund efforts… are tantamount to erecting a mound of sand in front of the turbulent river of the jihadist movement” -Mullah Mohammed Omar

News and Analysis (11/25/09)

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Blackwater operatives “plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, ‘snatch and grabs’ of high-value targets[,] … assist in gathering intelligence and help direct a secret US military drone bombing campaign …  parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes”:

It seems Obama’s new strategy will not differ much from the strategy laid out in March 2009 …

… while lawmakers mull the fiscally responsible but politically unpopular move of paying as you go rather than debt spend, that wuld make the true cost of the war more visible:

Fears the expiring deal would bring political chaos rather than democracy reform lead the debate:

“The group of 200 chanted slogans such as ‘No to the plot of Persian expansion’ and ‘Yemen will remain free and independent’ and called for the expulsion of Iran’s ambassador” …

Jews as well as Sunnis are targets of the rebels:

Analogous to Iraq’s political problems, soccer provides an a medium for understanding Iraq:

News and Analysis (11/24/09)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Signs of Karzai’s commitment to curbing corruption or just the tip of the iceberg in Afghani politics?

Mixed signals in the media on whether the prisoner exchange is progressing or stalled:

Speaking to the quality of democracy in Iraq, politicians are unable to compromise on the terms of the upcoming election:

Realization of the potential for a regional conflict with global implications seems to be in President Obama’s hands…

… while Iran and Saudi Arabia continue to use Yemen as a proxy for their hostile intentions towards each other:

Obama continues to mull his options, with a decision expected after the Thanksgiving holiday:

Afghanistan investigating 5 current and former cabinet members

News and Analysis (11/23/09)

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Saudi attempts to spread Wahhabism across Yemen have backfired, marking the first time Saudi forces have engaged in a conflict without allies:

War games are meant to deter an Israeli attack, but France and Russia lose patience over the delayed formal response to negotiations …

… Meanwhile, critics believe the death penalty is being used to intimidate the political opposition and quell pockets of ethnic unrest:

The ineffective rocket strikes can only serve as further excuse for Israeli violence against Gaza:

The deal brokered to bring Bhutto back into Pakistan has allowed about 4,000 politicians to avoid “cases of corruption, money laundering, misuse of authority and criminal charges”:

As the Afghanistan army is expected to increase three fold …

… Pakistanis fear an US troop surge will only send more militants into Pakistan:

News and Analysis (11/21-22/09)

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

As illegal settlers get water free while the owners of the aquifer must pay …

… a rocket that caused no damage or casualties is Israel’s excuse to injure seven:

In the increasingly regional conflict, analysts fear the displaced will serve as recruiting grounds for Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations:

How far will the Ahmadinejad’s government go to suppress his political opposition?

“Deeply disillusioned with politics,” Pakistan’s youth’s biggest concern is inflation and more than 90 percent give priority to better quality education:

The decision settles the need for PA elections in January and leaves Abbas in the presidency:

Political agendas, threats of security, accidents, fire and terrorists all work to change the experience of Hajj:

News and Analysis (11/20/09)

Friday, November 20th, 2009

The new approach targets Karzai’s cabinet members and provincial governors in an effort to more effective reach out to the people of Afghanistan…

… but the US presence protects Afghanistan “from the need to take responsibility for the fight against the Taliban”:

“The fact is that there is an expiry date on a lot of operations and the perception is that the public and donors’ interest in Iraq has expired at a particularly critical time… But people should not think that the refugee situation has finished”:

Critical to US strategy to defeat the Taliban, Pakistanis increasingly look at their own politicians with growing skepticism:

Failing to achieve a compromise over Iran’s nuclear program:

As long as the peace process remained stalled, Israel will continue to have authority over water use, essentially “controlling  the economy and development”:

“Mashhadani has long been a controversial figure, described by some in Fadhil as a protector, others as a brutal extortionist who buried victims alive”:

News and Analysis (11/19/09)

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

It seems some Americans are unclear on the difference between revenge and justice served in an open court:

The University will challenge Saudi social norms by permitting women to dress as they choose, allowing men and women working, studying and socializing together, and creating a movie theater:

Legal issues and an unwillingness of Congress to allow innocent detainees on US soil make it impossible for Obama to fulfill his promise:

Israel continues to test the limits of its most important ally…

… as Palestinian authorities look to prohibit products originating from Israeli settlements

“There is no time, mood or will among politicians to reach a deal …” yet “if the election is delayed and we enter a constitutional void, it will open the door to attempts to overthrow the regime and to stage coups” – lawmaker Safia Sahhal: