News and Analysis (9/29/14)

Notwithstanding claims that the air strikes have helped Iraqi ground forces to halt IS militia advances, civilian deaths from American led attacks on economic targets like grain silos and oil refineries can’t be winning any hearts or minds …

… and “the west does not intend mass murderers to benefit from its wars any more than it intends civilians to die in its airstrikes. If when the accountants of violence make their reckoning, the dictators are as triumphant as the civilians are dead, that is no concern of ours” …:

… and, beyond the moral issues, there is the strategic consideration about policies violate the first rule of war by uniting rather than dividing or enemies:

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Washington Post columnist this month that U.S. intelligence had underestimated Islamic State and overestimated Iraq’s army”:

The U.S. has demanded that Tehran limit enrichment to about 15% of current rates, while “Iran insists the output should remain at the [current] level … and be allowed to expand more than ten-fold over the next decade” as permitted under the nonproliferation agreement which Iran has signed and regional rival Israel did not:

“[H]owever well the arguments of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins might work at illustrating the evils of religion in a broader sense, they do little in the face of a perfectly moderate family that just happens to be Muslim. It’s like hating Fifa (as you should) and then screaming at kids kicking a ball around in their garden”:

“Police databases found that Nolen had ‘Jesus Christ’ tattooed across his chest and ‘As-salaamu Ataikum,’ tattooed on his stomach, which could be a misspelling of “As-salaamu Alaikum,” a standard Muslim greeting that means ‘Peace be upon you'”:

“In response to the IS message released last weekend urging followers to kill Westerners, including the ‘dirty French’ – a message that appears to have been directly linked to the beheading of Hervé Gourdel – a group of prominent Muslims pushed back in a provocative letter … yesterday entitled: ‘We are also dirty French’:

The anti-Muslim violence has receded, bug in its aftermath, “Muslim business owners said they had lost anywhere from 40 to 80 percent of their income, which at $300 to $1,000 a month can be the difference between just getting by and poverty”:

“The first democratic handover of power in Afghanistan’s history has been far from smooth: the deal for a unity government was cobbled together after months of deadlock…. Illustrating the problems facing the new president, a blast on a road near Kabul airport just before Ghani was sworn in caused some casualties”:

 

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