News and Analysis (1/15/14)

“Parties that control the violence won’t be present at the meeting, and even if they were, conditions for peace aren’t present, given that both rebel factions and the Assad government and its supporters feel they’re locked in an existential struggle”:

The junta hopes a big turnout will lend it legitimacy, but facts such as the fact that opposition to the constitution has been silenced and the details of the text itself make the referendum a disgraceful farce …

… while it boasts “Gaza is next,” believing it can succeed where Israel has failed:

“Former urban planner Yalcin says favoritism “has become the rule” for projects in the old city. He says he was fired after confronting Demir, the district mayor, over corruption in public works”:

That Muslim terrorists featured “in seasons two, four, and six of the television show 24; the Showtime series Sleeper Cell; and a variety of movies, including Syriana, The Kingdom, Rules of Engagement, The Siege, True Lies, and Zero Dark Thirty” won’t stop some politicians from inviting us into their nightmare fantasy world:

“If after 10 years and a war that has cost the US at least $1 trillion the government can’t remember to pay its police (with money entirely provided by the US and other donors) – how many more years and how much money must be spent before it learns how?”

“Al-Qaida loyalists are pursuing a relentless campaign of attacks, mostly aimed at security forces, Shia civilians and Sunnis seen as loyal to the Shia-led government”:

“Quixotic” probably, given the Likud plans to annex the west side of the Jordan Valley, but “Messianic” is over the top:

“The petition came into fruition when middle school students Sumayyah McTaggart, Iman Hazer and Fatimah Dandashi were told by educators to petition the government about an issue they are passionate about, reported Washington, D.C.-based newspaper The Muslim Link“:

“[T]he accused are seen as relatively minor players in the Hariri assassination plot, members of the suspected hit squad rather than the masterminds who ordered his Hariri’s assassination. The tribunal has failed to uncover their identities, even after nine years investigating”:






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