News and Analysis (12/22/11)

“These blasts occurred because of conflicts among politicians…. We call upon all politicians to resolve their problems and leave people to live in security” — a Baghdad resident …

“Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has given every indication in recent days that he’s trying to freeze out his Sunni Arab political opponents from the political process. With sectarian tensions ratcheted up by what Sunni Arabs’ are convinced is a politically motivated terrorist prosecution of Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who has fled to semi-autonomous Kurdistan for his safety”:

Are the Syrians serious this time?

Despite its admission, the U.S. still hasn’t apologized, insisting that Pakistan shares in the blame for the error:

Whether you agree with it or not, you cannot dismiss the FJP’s detailed 160-page platform as vague sloganeering of the “Islam is the answer” variety:

“For Hamas, a sense of validation has replaced a siege mentality after years of international boycott and blockade by Israel and by Egypt under former president Hosni Mubarak” and “this has translated into a declared intention of following the model of the Islamist parties abroad, which have shown readiness to share power with secular and liberal parties in governing coalitions”:

The “FJP’s critics are indeed numerous, and yet, they are outnumbered by the Brotherhood’s followers, a fact from which the party derives sufficient power to declare its views without fear of significant rebuke” …

… meanwhile the military-appointed prime minister cryptically “told a news conference that the ruling military … ‘want to leave today, not tomorrow’” without explanation:

The bill, yet to be passed by the French Senate, threatens any who publicly side with Turkey’s explanation of the deaths of huindreds of thousands of Armenianas after the Russian invasion of Anatolia with a “year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros (£29,000; $58,000),”

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