Archive for March, 2010

News and Analysis (3/31/10)

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

As Palestinian Christians and Muslims defy the Israeli travel ban, Israelis arrest people, a horse, and a donkey…

.. and MK Abbas Zaki, refuses “to recognise the legitimacy of the military court in trying a senior Palestinian official for participating in a peaceful march” marking Palm Sunday …

… while MK Jamal Zahalka calls Israel’s expropriation of “80 percent of the land of Arab citizens … ‘the biggest land robbery of the 20th century'”:

Some officials point to evidence, “largely circumstantial” that the Afghani “president’s brother is engaged in many activities that buoy the insurgency and undermine the Afghan state”:

Past sanctions have been ineffective, and the West should not provide Ahmadinejad with as a scape-goat for his failed policies:

Scholars reinterpret a 14th century fatwa by Ibn Taymiyya claiming that militant violence and the medieval Muslim division of the world into a “house of Islam” and “house of unbelief” no longer applies:

Hindus tearing down Muslim’s green banners to replace them with saffron ones ends in at least one dead and many others injured:

News and Analysis (3/30/10)

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

The head of an independent election monitoring group blames political parties that should have “known the requirements and refrained from nominating ineligible candidates” as well as lawmakers:

The attempts to silence the Corrie family and its supporters demonstrates, in Congressman Baird’s words, “‘Any questioning of Israel is met with hostility, no matter who asks the questions”‘:

In addition to closing of the West Bank and al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel denies men under the age of 50 entrance into the Old City — an especially harsh burden on the Palestinian Christians this Easter week:

“The U.S. government is probably paying contractors millions of dollars for unnecessary work in Iraq because the military is not giving companies clear enough guidance about reducing their employees”:

Iraqi refugees relocating in America continue to suffer because of stiff competition for employment and limited options moving forward:

After eight years of stagnation:

News and Analysis (3/29/10)

Monday, March 29th, 2010

In a surprise visit of a few hours “under cover of darkness,” Obama specified goals for Karzai including merit-based “appointment of key government officials, battling corruption [and] taking the fight to the narco-traffickers”:

A Brookings Institute study reveals that an Israeli strike on Iran would quickly incite violence across the Middle East while providing little promise of setting back Iran’s nuclear program:

Failing to reach a consensus on an initiative, Arab leaders condemn Israeli policy and state “the ball is in their court”:

“The Council of Arab Orthodox Organizations urged the heads of churches in Jerusalem ‘to stand up to the discriminatory policies of Israel with the freedom of worship'”:

Normally at odds, “champions of an Islamic state and zealous secular nationalists” are united by “a shared fury at Washington and the hope that Beijing can put America in its place”:

A move that would “force tens of thousands of people to leave their homes” may encourage many to join the insurgency and fight the Pakistani government:

News and Analysis (3/28/10)

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Al-Maliki declares he will use every constitutionally legal means to challenge the Iraqi vote that left his State of Law party two seats behind Allawi’s Iraqiya list party:

As evidence mounts that Iran’s boast to build additional enrichment plants was not idle :

As “[t]eams of U.S. auditors will be sent to Pakistan to scrutinize whether the money is being spent on its intended targets”:

Revealingly, few of the child fighters committed to the reform school ever “attended the Islamic schools, or madrassas, often blamed for fueling radicalism in Pakistan”:

“The tribunal will hold trials of those suspected of committing crimes against humanity and genocide…. Only the Bangladeshis who formed auxiliary forces to aid the Pakistani army and committed crimes against humanity will be put on trial”:

Under the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, “Arab countries would normalize relations with Israel in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and a fair settlement for Palestinian refugees”:

News and Analysis (3/26/10)

Friday, March 26th, 2010

“Allawi, once known as ‘Saddam lite’ among Western officials, is reported to have personally shot several insurgents, a rumor he did nothing to discourage at the time”:

Coming on top of the baseline budget of $708 billion, the request causes Congress to question exactly how long we will remain in Afghanistan:

Would the PA have tried to stop Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from marrying his Jewish bride?

The sanctions policy was tailored to the needs of China and Russia …

… but Iran reaffirms its commitment to developing nuclear power and experts dismiss the notion that sanctions are an effective strategy to prevent the program’s development:

Will any progress be achieved as Netanyahu faces tough political pressure from both sides?

Arab nations’ pledge of $500 million for Palestinian development in Jerusalem is a “modest amount” compared to the $17.4bn spent by Israeli interests:

“The role of these women in all this war … is of silent sufferers…. To have a say in that context of the tribal system is extremely challenging” -Moneeza Hashmi, a prominent media figure and woman’s right activist:

News and Analysis (3/25/10)

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Signaling satisfaction with Pakistan as its partner in the war, US agrees to a $7.5 billion development package as well as nearly $1 billion in unresolved reimbursement for counterinsurgency operations:

Unsatisfied with their small margin of victory, members of al-Maliki’s Shiite coalition threaten to cut oil supplies to Baghdad and accuse US officials of rigging the vote:

With only 25 Muslims in Quebec believed to actually wear face-coverings, some challenge the legislation as “a knee-jerk reaction to the opposition and vote-grabbing”:

While continuing to reaffirm the US commitment to Israel, Clinton’s objections to the “status quo” and continuing settlement construction seem empty without substantial policy change behind them …

“I am very proud that I am able to restore not only Pharaonic, but also Islamic and Coptic and Jewish [sites], because all of these are a part of the Egyptian heritage,” — Zahi Hawass, the Supreme Council of Antiquities:

Cooperating with the United States, Sawah and Slahi have earned a few luxuries at Guantanamo but are stuck in the Administration’s inability to fulfill its promise to close the prison:

In a war started by lies, General Odierno has the thankless job of carrying “out Mr. Obama’s order to “’responsibly withdraw from Iraq,'”focus:

News and Analysis (3/24/10)

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Rami Khouri, editor at large of Beirut’s Daily Star says “real pain beyond the Arab-Israeli arena” Israel inflicts on the U.S. makes it necessary to  suggest that Washington’s “ironclad commitment to Israel’s basic security … does not include unconditional support for Israel’s colonization policies”…

…Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Miliband presented the case to Parliament and cited “compelling reasons” to believe Israel was responsible for foreign passports to carryout the assassination in Dubai:

Army Spec. Zachari Klawonn was ordered not to fast and pray, his Koran was torn up, other soldiers jeered and threw water bottles at him and his platoon sergeant warned him to hide his faith to avoid beatings from fellow troops:

Titled the “National Rescue Agreement”, the plan centers on the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan; but will the Taliban go along, and can Hekmatyar be trusted?

Concerned about child marriage, but oblivious to the problem of unwed mothers, the General People’s Congress is having difficulty rallying support to raise the legal marriage age to 18:

US and Pakistan continue to act cautiously as they move forward as allies:

News and Analysis (3/23/10)

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Ahmadinejad proposes $40 billion in cuts to food and gas government subsidies, but will he just spend it elsewhere, and for what?…

… Meanwhile President Obama reaffirms his commitment to negotiations between Iran and the US while distancing the Iranian people from Iranian leadership:

More than 350 journalists  and employees are protesting against the move of the Qatar-based NGO funding the portal to bar them from doing their work:

The Enough Project’s John Prendergast says, “Pouring money into this environment is a recipe for ongoing instability,…” but some diplomats say the JEM rebels will “no longer receive arms and logistical support from the Chadian government to carry out attacks against Sudan”:

Indicating fundamental changes in Turkey, the proposal would make it harder to ban political parties while making it easier to try military officials in civilian courts:

“A huge part of the antiwar movement has been focused on the Bush administration and its policies in Iraq and Afghanistan… Bush is gone. Millions of people thought his exit would mean an end to these wars”:

Reconciliation talks are necessary, and no one expects the Taliban to negotiate without receiving some share of political power in the deal:

News and Analysis (3/22/10)

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

“It’s a very dangerous statement made by a prime minister… If the country is going to unravel, this is the period when it would happen” – Joost Hiltermann, an Iraq expert at the International Crisis Group:

Following the deaths of four Palestinian teenagers shot by IDF forces using live ammunition, Netanyahu announces he will continue to approve construction in East Jerusalem …

… Meanwhile, “U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel to end its blockade on Gaza” as Israeli forces target one of the few lifelines available to its suffocating victims:

Several other relatives of the head of the Assembly of Experts were “held briefly for joining rallies in June, when the unrest first erupted” last June:

Hezb-e-Islami, founded by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, lead a five-member delegation in Kabul to meet with government officials and to meet with Taliban leaders somewhere in Afghanistan:

News and Analysis (3/20-21/10)

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Aaron Miller says, “Obama came out harder, louder and faster than any of his predecessors on this issue” of illegal settlements, but “tough talking points” are not enough to push both sides “to a breakthrough” …

… Meanwhile, two new polls indicating only 41%-46% of Isrealis support a freeze on the illegal settlements in East Jerusalem:

Denied free trade and productive enterprise by the occupation and the siege,  Gaza’s economic survival depends Hamas, Fatah, international sympathy e.g., from Iran and the UN) and the underground smuggling tunnels …

… Meanwhile, IDF forces deny reports staying they used live ammunition to suppress Palestinian protesters:

By “extending” rather  than “denying” the visa application of the youngest recipient  of the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, the U.S. avoids having to explain its actions:

McCrystal other senior officials strongly fear using Bagram air base as the new Guantanamo “could make the job of stabilizing the country even tougher”:

Exploring Iran’s long history of turning its international allies into political enemies: