Archive for February, 2010

News and Analysis (2/28/10)

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

After clashes in Hebron and four Palestinians shot by Israeli soldiers near Bethlehem:

“Tens of millions of Iranians are calling for a halt to censorship, restrictions, repression, adventurism and ambivalence in foreign diplomacy, ruinous economic polices and the expansion of corruption and lies… Our people very well understand the difference between merciful religiousness and power grabbers in the clothes of religion”:

Security forces remain on high alert for what is widely believed to be the most crucial vote since the 2003 US-led invasion:

Signs the political unrest in Yemen will not be quieted anytime soon:

Father says his son “is only a scholar of Islam and I believe that this has nothing to do with terrorism,” and if his pronouncements violate American law he should be legally prosecuted, not killed by a drone:

Afghani officials expect to have complete control of the Bagram Prison by January 2011:

News and Analysis (2/26/10)

Friday, February 26th, 2010

In what has become the most dangerous country  in the world for journalists, the government has recently implemented legislation described as “an alarming return to authoritarianism”:

80% of imports arrive through the tunnels creating a powerful mafia in Gaza leading some dreamers to hope that closure will force Israel to ease up on the ban that necessitated them in the first place:

The reinstatement is particularly confusing given the Iraqi governments attempts to ban hundreds of former Baathist politicians:

Despite or because of U.S. efforts there is a “sense that Iran is gaining influence” across the Middle East…

… And the US faces a difficult battle in enacting tougher sanctions on Iran:

Despite sweeping arrests that captured 7 of the top 15 Taliban leaders, ” still intact are a roster of experienced leaders who can take their arrested comrades’ place as well as several subcommittees that each oversee sections of the country”:

Afghanis with no ethnic or ideological ties to the Taliban can be bought out, but how long will they wait to be paid?

News and Analysis (2/25/10)

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

With four coups since 1960, the arrests indicate that civilian rule has deepened enough to challenge the military for ultimate authority in Turkey:

Records “show that Afghan passengers took more than $180 million to Dubai during a two-month period starting in July. If that rate held for the entire year, the amount of cash that left Afghanistan in 2009 would have far exceeded the country’s annual tax and other domestic revenue of about $875 million”:

Expectations of votes largely divided by sect raises the question of which Shi’a group will emerge as leader of the majority:

“Khan says she was initially told she could wear a hijab, or headscarf, but a visiting district manager said scarves were not allowed during work hours”:

As the list of suspects continues to grow, Israel remains silent:

As his father sits in an Israeli prison for political activity:

Syria hopes to play a crucial role in mediating peace negotiations between Iran and the West:

The state has never executed anyone under the law, but angry mobs have killed “many”:

News and Analysis (2/24/10)

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

A law that makes it illegal for American groups to give lawful advice to terrorist groups on how to pursue peaceful means to ending conflict” is not just unconstitutional; it’s stupid:

As Obama pushes for increased European commitment, does withdrawal of the first NATO ally from Afghanistan signal a move in the other direction?

“‘Despite a world abuzz with religious fervor,’ the task force says, ‘the U.S. government has been slow to respond effectively to situations where religion plays a global role'”:

Karzai unilaterally rewrote an election law that will allow him to select all five members of the Election Complaint Commission created to oversee voting irregularities:

Can it lead to a comprehensive peace plan that will end the conflict?

An Afghani shopkeeper wants to ask “McChrystal if he had lost his family in such an incident… And if someone called to apologize, what would his reaction be? An apology doesn’t bring anyone back to life”:

Despite undermining Indian, Pakistani, and US interests, the Obama Administration has set low expectations for improved relations:

News and Analysis (2/23/10)

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Examining the legality of the CIA’s decision to destroy videotapes of harsh interrogation methods, which included wall-slamming and waterboarding:

Unimpressed by promises of government services not provided by the Taliban, locals counter the Taliban didn’t bother them, while “Your government drops bombs on us;” two years to prove things will be better:

As stone throwing Palestinian protesters are met with tear gas and stun grenades…

… Robert Serry, the UN envoy for Middle East peace, asserts, “These sites are in occupied Palestinian territory and are of historical and religious significance not only to Judaism but also to Islam, and to Christianity as well”:

Despite sectarian contentions ahead of Iraq’s elections, analysts believe  US influence is waning and Iraqis would strongly oppose a delayed withdraw:

“Show me one verse of the Qur’an that is against tolerance, human rights and democracy. Then I too shall be for secularism” — a young Pakistani girl:

Updates Jan. 30 – Feb. 21

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

News and Analysis (2/22/10)

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Marja is much less important than Kandahar, but McChrystal needs a win soon to shore up domestic support for the war and “to show Afghans that U.S. forces and the Afghan government can protect them from the Taliban” …

… But actions contradict promises, leaving at least 33 civilians dead and 12 injured …

Barking orders in Hebrew, Israeli troops throw “concussion grenades and tear gas at the elderly, women, children, the priest doing the prayer, other town people and internationals”:

Corruption at the top gives “capitalism” a bad name in Afghanistan:

The new law will enable female lawyers “to represent women in marriage, divorce, custody and other family cases”:

Fareed Zakaria argues for containment, not invasion:

Will Iraqis be able to maintain stability through the elections and as US troops withdraw in August in a former focal point for sectarian violence?

News and Analysis (2/20-21/10)

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Like Christians who turned to home schooling, Muslims are attracted by the higher educational standards, the integration of religious education, and the avoiding the drawbacks of government and Islamic schools:

A repeat of the lethal aftermath of the boycott if the first post-Saddam election would be a disaster for legitimacy of the new government:

Arrested and detained for 17 months without charge, Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed is finally freed:

The question is does giving a sermon in English violate Islamic law or abandon immigrant culture or does giving a sermon in a language the young people do not speak a sure way to obscure their religion and culture?

Can the Nobel Prize winner’s popularity create the spark need to end Mubarak’s 28 year hold over Egyptian politics:

According to sources with knowledge of Mossad, Netanyahu authorized the assassination of al-Mabhouh:

As water becomes more scarce around the region, issues of water waste and sustainability come into play:

News and Analysis (2/19/10)

Friday, February 19th, 2010

“Details are emerging that Pakistan feared losing influence within peace overtures between the United States and the Afghan Taliban:”

New details emerge illustrating the scope of Iran’s nuclear quest:

Pork-free Quick burger outlets are now the target authoritarian secularism:

Israel remains silent as Dubai’s police chief says the investigation points to Mossad’s involvement with a “99%”  certainty:

Will the Marine’s strict policy against abusing detainees improve the standing of International troops in Afghanistan?

“On the Path” examines a Muslim’s journey has he begins practicing a more restrictive version of Islam and its effect on his life and culture:

News and Analysis (2/18/10)

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Nahro Massoud, a Hamas security official, was detained and interrogated over his involvement in the murder of al-Mabhouh

“This is inexplicable. Pakistan has destroyed its own credentials as a mediator between Taliban and Americans….’ — Rustam Shah Mohmand, former Pakistani ambassador to Kabul:

“[T]he Americans and the British … are throwing soil in the eyes of their own people. But not in our eyes. We can see the reality.” — Kandahar politician Bismillah Afghanmal:

The controversial bill would restrict alimony and “would give men the right to take additional wives without having to tell the current wives” in some cases:

Using a pop culture phenomenon to draw parallels between the Israeli / Palestinian conflict:

A decision clearly influenced by the popularity of Chaudhry: