News and Analysis (1/25/14)

The late Saudi monarch’s gradualist reform program proceeded at a glacial pace …

… and his successor “is largely seen as a place-holder king. Two kings from now is when some chance for change may come in. The current crown prince … will be the last of Abdul Aziz’s sons to hold the title. The deputy crown prince is Mohammed bin Nayef, a grandson of Abdul Aziz”:

“The timing of Abdullah’s passing also reinforces what has been the Saudi policy of containment: trying to limit the fallout from Yemen’s turmoil, rather than addressing it directly. The kingdom is currently building a fence along the two countries’ 1,060 mile land border” …

… but as Iran’s foreign minister goes to Saudi to prepare “the ground for more cooperation in all areas in this very sensitive region based on good neighborliness and rationalism'” …

… Netanyahu boasts he will “go anywhere” to achieve the opposite:

“Few people remember that back in 2002, the war in Iraq was projected to cost around $50 billion. White House economist Lawrence Lindsey actually got canned after he was quoted saying that the war in Iraq would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion”:

How the mainstream media gives the false impression that Palestinians are more violent than Israelis:

Kyle never understood that the Iraqis “were operating in defense. For him, any “Iraqi trying to kill an American soldier … [is] a terrorist. U.S. soldiers were automatically considered to be the good guys notwithstanding the fact that they were clearly violating the principles … set forth at Nuremberg” …

… and the ADC reports that a “majority of the violent threats we have seen over the past few days are result of how Arab and Muslims are depicted in American Sniper”:

“The theological tensions are generated by the division of authority – not between Muslims and Christians or between their sacred texts and doctrinal creeds – but between the Duke Divinity School and the religious life staff of Duke Chapel” — Dr Bruce Lawrence, Duke teacher:

“Although small and scattered, Sunday’s violence is likely to impact negatively on Egypt’s image just two months ahead of an international donors’ conference it will host and in which President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government has high hopes for the ailing economy”:

“The reality is if you haven’t cultivated a friendship, if you haven’t fostered trust, then a letter out of the blue to a mosque… with whom government has refused to engage creates a climate where even the most benign of correspondence can become toxic”

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