News and Analysis (8/9/13)

“Tunisia’s new leaders missed opportunities to make badly needed economic reforms” instead “offering unsustainable quick-fix[es] …[and] impossible promises of” rural development, fueling resentment” while Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood “that had long operated in secret, it was predisposed to … a lack of transparency”:

Once again a paper tiger, the U.S. continues to avoid calling the military coup a military coup, its diplomatic intervention fails, and Egypt teeters on the edge:

“The claim of US ‘officials’ that Ayman al-Zawahiri conducted a 12-country conference call … flies in the face of every assumption and informed opinion about Al Qaeda’s operational security that there is.” Besides, “everyone knows that 20-person conference calls never accomplish anything”:

The government plays hardball in defense of NSA spying. “I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people, or walk away from nearly 10 years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit” — Lavabit LLC owner Ladar Levison:

Unlike the case of the other embassy closings, the State Department says this time the threat was “specific” but they won’t say what it specifically was:

Benghazi is one of the most unstable parts of post-revolutionary Libya. Last month, some 1,200 prisoners escaped from a jail in the city…. Libyan journalists have been the target of attacks and kidnappings by militia in recent months, according to campaign group Reporters Without Borders”:

“Earlier this week, the Israeli Cabinet expanded its list of West Bank settlements eligible for government subsidies. The Cabinet approved a range of housing subsidies and loans for more than 600 Israeli communities deemed ‘national priority areas'” …

… and the reality of Israeli apartheid becomes harder to ignore:

The man who campaigned to turn the Danish cartoon episode into an international incident finally agrees with us that the “Jyllands-Posten newspaper had right to print them”. Now, how long until he also agrees that the right to act like an obnoxious idiot is one best not exercised. (We refer to both him and Jyllands-Posten):

The drone “assassination campaign in Yemen” is “leading to intensified attacks on the government from Yemenis seeking revenge for its assistance to the US program, essentially creating the very instability on which Al Qaeda thrives”:

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