Archive for June, 2010

News and Analysis (6/16/10)

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

With “no evidence that [he] has any connection to Al Qaeda,” a Yemeni university student has been detained eight years at Guantanamo for being at the wrong place at the wrong time:

A Muslim writer suggests those “concerned for Muslim women,” should “concentrate on empowering them and giving them a voice rather than spending time making laws that threaten their freedom to choose”:

While defending Israel against international condemnation its deadly assault on a humanitarian aid ship, neoconservative hawks are now going on the offensive against the flotilla’s chief defender, Turkey:

Gaza-based al-Aqsa TV’s European broadcasts will be discontinued by French provider, due to concerns of spreading incitement in Europe …

… meanwhile, in France, the government resorts to prior restraint to shut down both a “‘Sausage and Booze” party and a halal counterparty in a heavily Muslim neighborhood:

There is no free market in Jerusalem real estate,  “80% of lands in Jewish neighbourhoods in Jerusalem cannot be purchased by Palestinians”:

Saffron provides an alternative to poppy compatible with Islamic law, and with the “potential to become a powerful tool for [Afghanistan’s] development:

Instituting a blacklist of specified prohibited items “would be the opposite of current Israeli policy, which allows only a few dozen approved items to enter Gaza”:

News and Analysis (6/15/10)

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Seemingly ready to dump common law and individual rights along with International Law and Shariah, Republican State Rep. Rex Duncan argues, “Court decisions ought to be based on federal law, or state law” alone:

A description of the state of life in the Gaza Strip by Alvaro Vargas Llosa, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Prosperity at the Independent Institute:

Barcelona insists its pending ban on wearing of burqa and niqab “[i]n no way does it target religious belief,” since the prohibition of any “item which hinders personnel  identification” in public areas includes ski masks:

US considers deporting once Israeli informant Mosab Hassan Yousef, author of bestseller “Son of Hamas”, to the West Bank:

A senior Saudi official declares, “There is no gray area here…. Once it has come out like this, from the most senior religious body in the kingdom, it’s hard for a lesser religious authority to justify violence” …

… yet, when it comes to violence against Iran, Riyadh and US defense officials confirm that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye on Israeli use of Saudi airspace for a preemptive strike:

UC Irvine claims that the Muslim Students Union’s goal was to “send the speaker a message,” but that “the disruptions were caused by individuals and were not organized by their group”:

News and Analysis (6/14/10)

Monday, June 14th, 2010

“While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable ….”:

“Too many people in America draw assumptions about Muslims after watching horrible things on the news, and the cultural messages we send also make the Muslim world draw inaccurate conclusions about the [U.S.]”:

The ICRC has called on the Israeli government to lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip, and has demanded that both the Israeli government and Hamas “allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage” of aid shipments to Gaza.

Having broken its February promise to replace the oppressive  emergency law with antiterrorism legislation, Egypt is now promising to implement most of the recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Council:

A decade ago, listening or composing music was illegal in Afghanistan. Students now at the new National Institute of Music in Afghanistan earn on average $30 a month as musicians, more than they would working on the streets:

In Yemen’s elite Counter Terrorism Unit, which includes 42 women,  “there’s no difference between females and males, [they] do everything the boys do,” says Lt. Fathia al-Hammdi, who has commanded male units:

The Arab world’s top diplomat, Amr Moussa, declared support Sunday for the people of Gaza; Moussa is the first senior Arab official to visit Gaza since the territory came under the control of Hamas:

News and Analysis (6/11/10)

Friday, June 11th, 2010

“Faced with overwhelming force, without guidance or organization, the dissidents these days cannot agree on their goals, much less mount a significant challenge to the country’s leadership”…

… Meanwhile, the Obama Administration quietly prepares for the military containment of Iran as well as several Bush-era covert tactics to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons:

One of the few successful reconstruction projects, a new plan distributing more aid to villages would likely label them enemies of the Taliban and open the door to attacks:

An obvious but often ignored assessment of Gaza:

Without offering an explanation, Prime Minister Fayad’s office confirms the elections will again be postponed:

Demonstrating their ability to adapt and continually maximize their opportunities to disrupt Western efforts:

News and Analysis (6/10/10)

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Examining the implications of Iranian sanctions and the perceived decline of US influence abroad…

… Meanwhile, UN sanctions will likely transform Iran’s level of cooperation with the IAEA

A kiss is just a kiss? Not in Saudi, where it is treated like fornication:

Resigned Afghan National Security Director Amrullah Saleh reportedly thinks:

Formed in response to horrifying “images of massacred Muslims” in Bosnia, the IHH has had a difficult time shaking allegations of past links to “global jihad”:

In a poll of Israeli Jews after the flotilla raid, 61 percent said Israel should not adjust its tactics to curry favor with the international community… Eighty-five percent of the 500 polled said that Israel either did not use enough force or used the right amount of force”:

Can Obama finally pressure Israel into meaningful negotiations by speaking against the blockade and pledging an additional $70 million to Palestinians?

News and Analysis (6/9/10)

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

“[L]iving conditions in Gaza are so bad that by some readings of international law, the legality of the flotilla attack is a moot point….” A legal expert says, “The real need is a focus on the legality of the conditions of people in Gaza” …

… Meanwhile, critics point out that the list of newly approved items does not include cement, steel or other items desperately needed in the war devastated strip:

With a new round of sanctions likely to pass in just a few hours…

… Ahmadinejad speaks frankly declaring UN sanction will officially any negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program:

“The prospect of a robust military push in Kandahar Province, … widely expected to begin this month, has evolved into a strategy that puts civilian reconstruction efforts first and relegates military action to a supportive role”:

By a different name in a difference country, would Obama’s request to continue using the Bagram prison be another Guantanamo?

More than 5,000 arrests have been made and the Iranian government is implicated in cases of torture, beatings, rape and solitary confinement …

… in the meantime, in “dueling images,” a man (or men?) claiming to be Shaham Amiri makes and then retracts accusations of abduction and torture against the US government:

News and Analysis (6/8/10)

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

“At least 20 Somali Americans have joined the militia, including an Alabama native whose nom de guerre is Abu Mansoor al-Ameriki” who “has starred in propaganda videos to attract more foreign fighters”:

With Rafah crossing “used primarily for the passage of persons, not goods,” an analyst says,  “The administration has accepted the Israeli and Egyptian position”:

Rejecting the UN call for an international inquiry, an Israeli lead investigation would likely be met with skepticism and doubt of its validity:

Amnesty International challenges the legality of a strike with no attempt to detain alleged militants: “The fact that so many of the victims were actually women and children indicates that the attack was … grossly irresponsible….”:

With democracy stalled in Iraq, President Talabani calls for Parliament to meet on June 14:

Calling the deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil “an opportunity for the US administration and for its allies,” the Iranian president says, “this opportunity… We say that this opportunity will not be repeated”:

on this,” says Cook. “They’re going to try to work with the Israelis about how things can go into Gaza without undermining Israeli security.”

Biden, Mubarak on same page

Those measures might include easing the blockade on Egypt’s side, but Egypt’s move last week has not radically changed the situation for Gazans.

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News and Analysis (6/7/10)

Monday, June 7th, 2010

“The new information about the manner and intensity of the killings undermines Israel’s insistence that its soldiers opened fire only in self defence and in response to attacks by the activists”:

“Turkey’s leaders have dubbed their foreign policy ‘zero problems with neighbors,” but their increasingly vocal “affinity to Palestine” and in the face of recent events, “relations with Israel have deteriorated dramatically”:

Beaten while in Israeli custody for participating in the Freedom Flotilla, an Irish-American-turned-Palestinian calls his tormentors “cowards,” and refutes Israeli accusations of terrorist intent with quotes from Ghandi:

As Obama failed to build on his Cairo speech promise to take significant steps towards Israeli / Palestinian peace, 60% of Arabs now believe he is too weak to deliver a peace agreement:

An Israeli commentator sees parallels between a 1947 ship carrying Holocaust survivors and the flotilla attempting to break the Gaza blockade:

Allegations emerge indicating Afghani security forces bribed Taliban forces and staged combat to make their presence appear more valuable:

If Helen Thomas said this, you’d expect an apology: “people who do not have permits to stay in a place should go back where they came from;” but being an Israeli bigot means never having to say you’re sorry:

News and Analysis (6/4/10)

Friday, June 4th, 2010
Resembling Bush-era policy, Obama has quietly expanded the use of secret forces in the war against Al-Qaeda to 75 countries worldwide:

Israel’s level of media control, as in the case after the invasion of Gaza, may make it impossible to determine what actually happened without further leaked evidence …

… and that is exactly the point, as demonstrated by Israel’s flat rejection of the call of 32 nations to investigate potential violations of international law …

… Yet, peace activists refuse to be intimidated as the MV Rachel Corrie attempts to break the Gaza blockade, even as Israelis arrest the Michigan woman who chairs the flotilla:

“Gazans contradict Israeli claims that aid flotilla’s mission was redundant as there is no humanitarian crisis”:

There is a consensus that peace without negotiations is impossible, but the “Taliban has dismissed the jirga as a ‘phony reconciliation process'” and insist “that there can be no negotiations until all foreign troops leave Afghanistan”:

News and Analysis (6/3/2010)

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

After parliamentary election irregularities, including one candidate shot by police as he entered a polling place, the Muslim Brotherhood backs ElBaradei’s call for reforms that would allow him to run for president:

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior US official admits a policy shift on the Gaza blockage is in the initial phase …

… Meanwhile, the process maybe expedited with a US citizen confirmed among those killed:

An admission with major implications for the US/Israeli relationship…

… Further emphasizing the growing rift between US policy and Israeli action:

The U.N.’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings questions whether the right of self-defense extends to “countries where links to the [9/11] attacks are more remote [than Pakistan], such as Yemen or Somalia”:

With Christians generally receiving more support than other Iraqi ethnic groups in resettling abroad, many Iraqi Christians fear that could bring the end to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world: