News and Analysis (2/15/11)

After barely avoiding tainting the Egyptian revolt by taking a too bold stand on an internal political dispute, the Washington falters again by feeding Iranian paranoia over foreign origins of domestic unrest:

“The military orders that a committee studying constitutional changes come up with amendments in 10 days, indicating that fundamental changes to the government aren’t anticipated. The Muslim Brotherhood says it will take advantage of the right to form political parties” …

… “but the Muslim Brotherhood said ending emergency law and freeing political prisoners would build a “bridge of confidence”:”

Continued pretense that “Palestinian Ghandis” (such as Sami Awad, Ali Abu Awwad, and Ayed Morrar) don’t exist may be longer be sustainable:

“I can get two benefits — rational and emotional,” said one customer, “There’s also a unique ritual before the treatment…tears were falling from my eyes when I went there for the first time”:

The “maximum allowed under Indonesian law for this type of offence, was not enough for the crowd,” which chanted “Kill him” as they attacked “the building and police, threatening the judges and prosecutor, the accused and his counsel”:

Abu Bakar Ba’asyir says, “I am accused of leading the militant group in Aceh, while I am not connected to them in any way,” and suggests that the U.S. was involved in fabricating charges of terrorism against him:

“The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story, then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war”:

With new developments in Bahrain and Yemen:

… In Tunisia, “People seem to have misunderstood what liberty is really about…. They just seem to want to do whatever they please and if you try to say anything to them they just say: ‘I’ll set myself on fire'”:

As “Hariri rallies supporters against Hezbollah-backed government,” the Hariri tribunal has been “plagued with fraud [and a] bunker mentality”:

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