Archive for September, 2009

News and Analysis (9/30/09)

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Although the announced Qom facility puts Iran no closer to producing a hypothetical nuclear weapon …

… The Obama administration has placed the burden of proof on Iran to demonstrate their ambition is to create nuclear energy rather than secret nuclear weapons:

Improved intelligence may serve to help Obama secure his primary objective to destroy Al-Qaeda without the need for a troop surge in Afghanistan:

Not all experts are quick to dismiss the comparison between Iran and Iraq circa 2002; Gary Sick believes that “Iran might intend to stop short of building a weapon while creating ‘breakout capability'”

Hamas will provide video evidence that Shalit is still alive in exchange for the release of 20 Palestinian women:

General Ray Odierno expects the military withdrawal to be complete  by September 2010:

News and Analysis (9/29/09)

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

“Do federal judges have the power to order detainees released into the United States?”

In refuting critics, Goldstone says that “a lack of accountability for war crimes committed in the Middle East had reached ‘crisis point’, undermining any hope for peace in the region“:

Retaining former Bush staffer Stuart Levey, Obama focuses strategy around a global effort to suffocate the Iranian economy…

… Meanwhile, “Many now consider the nuclear program a core propaganda element of Ahmadinejad’s administration, trumpeted as an inviolable national interest to divert attention from the political and economic failures of the Iranian government”…

… However, Iranian officials justify their position claiming the revealed facility complies with regulations, will not enrich uranium more than 5% and the missile tests illustrate the military is able to target any place that threatens Iran:

Pakistanis and Americans differ over the threat posed by Quetta Shura:

Meshaal believes the Egyptian proposal is a “good basis” for reconciliation negotiations:

News and Analysis (9/28/09)

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Storming a Jerusalem Mosque and leaving many worshipers wounded, Israel committed a clear”violation of the mosque’s sanctity” …

… meanwhile, B’Tselem charges that the Ofra Settlement violates even Israeli, let alone Intenrnational, law:

Most “examples of democratically-elected Islamists governing at the local and national level (Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Algeria, Jordan, Turkey) … were at least as successful as comparable secular parties;” the supposed counter-example of  Hamas doesn’t govern an actual state:

Highlighting one of the many challenges Obama faces as he attempts to close Guantanamo as promised:

As Western forces consider a wide range of severe economic sanctions…

… Iran continues to flex its military muscle:

Are Americans now vulnerable to Egyptian reprisals?

News and Analysis (9/26-27/09)

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

As the US scorns Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program is for electrical and medical purposes and is in compliance with IAEA reporting requirements …

… Talabani challenges the effectiveness of sanctions and dismisses indications Iraq will allow its territory, including airspace, to be used in a military strike on Iran:

As estimates of Taliban income from narco-profits are revised downward dramatically, the CIA now fingers foreign donations as a larger source of revenue …

… while Political pressure rises as more experts charge Taliban support from within Pakistan:

Can the emerging labor movement prevent Mubarak’s son Gamal rise to take over his father’s stranglehold over Egypt politics?

News and Analysis (9/25/09)

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Netanyahu characterizes the struggle against Iran as “civilisation against barbarism” while arguing in self-contradiction that a future Palestinian state may be “equal” but must be “effectively demilitarized”:

Highlighting Iran’s determination to produce a nuclear weapon:

“Gaza residents have no direct access to the [Israeli] military officials who decide their fates, and up until now they had a chance to have an advocate bring their case before the military and get some sense of due process”:

Further emphasizing shortcomings of US interventionist policy:

“Christians have a national day of prayer, [Hassen Abdellah] pointed out, so why can’t Muslims pray as well?”

News and Analysis (9/24/09)

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Israeli political pressure has all but destroyed any change that Goldstone’s report will make a significant impact among the international community:

A compromise that may serve both Iranian and US interests:

Curbing Afghani political corruption maybe the single most important element in the strategy to defeat the Taliban:

“What was once described as the Garden of Eden, the cradle of civilization, has been changed to desert and to a cradle of disease, poverty and suffering,”

A candidate preferred by the west, could Prime Minister Fayyad provide a spark to the Palestinian cause:

In an effort to modernize their education system and diversify an economy largely dependent on oil reserves:

News and Analysis (9/23/09)

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Among the leading alternative strategies, Obama considers accelerating troop training in Afghanistan while using predator attacks and special forces to focus in on Al Qaeda along the Pakistani border:

“Does the United States have any obligation to men like Ghafoori, whom the U.S. military once funded and fought with against a common enemy?”

Potentially damaging his credibility and political leverage in reconciliation talks with Hamas, Abbas broke his vow not to meet with Israel until a settlement freeze was in place…

… Meanwhile, Obama bluntly calls for the beginning of “permanent status negotiations”, a sign his administration has grown weary of the wavering peace process:

A military strike will undoubtedly unify and embolden Iranians behind Ahmadinejad:

Conflict and chaos continue to engulf the Swat valley despite the government’s claim to success against the Taliban:

News and Analysis (9/22/09)

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

As US forces take a more “realistic” albeit risky approach in combating Taliban forces in more populated areas…

… Policy makers balk on the idea of a troop increase:

“McChrystal went on to single out Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency as well as the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as contributing to the external forces working to undermine U.S. interests and destabilize the government in Kabul”:

The Prophet (pbuh) never hesitated to marry a widow:

As Israeli intransigence on a settlement freeze continues …

… theft to the Palestinian land makes for the “best home values in Israel”:

News and Analysis (9/21/09)

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Our interventionism may be arming our enemies:

“Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.” – General McChrystal:

Jeopardizing his claim to victory, a third of the votes for Karzai are under review for fraud:

Palestinians remain pessimistic of Hamas/ Fatah reconciliation with only 12% believing it to be possible and Haniyeh rejecting the legitimacy of any agreement sacrificing the rights of refugees or abandonig Jerusalem:

If the drones jeopardize American-Pakistani relations, will Pakistanis think better of us if we throw money at them?

The defendants are denying any wrongdoing, claiming the media has misreported the facts:

News and Analysis (9/19-20/09)

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

The “intelligence surge” will rival that of Vietnam and Iraq at the peak of their respective conflicts, in hopes that what idn’t work there will a solution to the rising insurgency in Afghanistan:

Khamenei takes a more nuanced position on the elections protests, but is unequivocal in rejecting US nuclear accusations …

… while “Israel will not co-operate” at all as its chief delegate David Danielli denounces concern ofver its nuclear program as ” reinforcing political hostilities and lines of division in the Middle East region”:

Negotiations must hit a dead end without representation from Hamas:

Government forces are making little military progress as the second ceasefire, which was suppose to coincide with Eid-al-fitr, breaks down:

Amid expanding mistrust between Pakistani citizens and the US government:

Cultural confusion: Egypt’s oppression is obvious, but is it meant to promote secularism or religion?