News and Analysis (10/30/07)

Washington Post editorial agrees that some Senators are right to push attorney general nominee Mike Mukasey to clarify his stance on waterboarding and other forms of torture, but also argues that the Bush administration and Congress share the blame because the former “condoned torture” and the latter “did too little to stop it”:

US watchdog group in Iraq says that dam in Mosul is on the verge of collapse with potentially catastrophic costs to life and property, due to mismanagement and corruption involved in $27 million contract meant to repair the “fundamentally flawed” structure:

In spite of the perils and restrictions presented by Israeli occupation and Palestinian infighting, the latest census of the Palestinian population in West Bank and Gaza is expected to draw ever closer to Israel’s Jewish population, but some experts say it is highly unlikely for Palestinians to leverage their demographic “threat” against Israel in negotiations…

…meanwhile Israel suspends it collective punishment of Gazan Palestinians by at least temporarily suspending cuts to the Strip’s electricity supplies:

“The US engages Iran only when it desperately needs to; otherwise, it resorts to coercion. Washington’s unilateral sanctions last week have the immediate implication of clogging up opportunities for any meaningful US-Iran security dialogue.”—Kaveh Afrasiabi, Bentley College international relations professor and Iran expert

Suicide assassination attempts against prominent Pakistani officials continue as an attacker kills himself a mile away from President Musharraf’s compound and within feet of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee chairman’s residence:

Alejandro

Alejandro Beutel is program assistant for the Minaret of Freedom Institute with expertise in religious freedom, democratization and security issues.

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