News and Analysis (4/6/15)

Saddam’s revenge? Each time the U.S. knocks out a leader of the anti-American extremists in the region now encroached upon by ISIS, not only is he replaced by an even more extreme militant, but the Baathist influence in the emergent replacement group becomes stronger:

With Yemen on the brink of civil war and aid groups are calling for a ceasefire, the rebel Houthis pushing “back President Hadi’s loyalists in port city despite 11-day bombing campaign by Saudi-led coalition” …

… “Yemen’s Houthis are ready to sit down for peace talks as long as a Saudi-led air campaign is halted and the negotiations are overseen by ‘non-aggressive parties’” …

In 2003 Rouhani “convinced Khamenei to stop the clandestine military nuclear programme” and in 2006 wrote, “A nuclear weaponised Iran destabilises the region, prompts a regional arms race, and wastes the scarce resources in the region. An Iranian bomb will accord Iran no security dividends” …

… and now “the message from Friday prayer pulpits … indicated that Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supported Zarif and his team, even though many hardliners – and at times, apparently Mr. Khamenei himself – have been critical of the nuclear talks”:

Critics warn that the proposed resurrection of security laws repealed three years ago “could severely curtail civil liberties[,] … be misused against political opponents[, and that it] … will allow authorities to detain suspects indefinitely without trial and the decision cannot be challenged in court”:

“The United Nations says around 18,000 civilians, including a large number of children, are trapped in Yarmouk. The camp has been under government siege for nearly two years, leading to starvation and illnesses caused by lack of medical aid”:

“Across the Middle East, sectarianism has always been linked to the battle for power, resources and territory”:

“[T]he deliberate destruction and desecration in war of cultural property has a long history … [from] Greek and Roman times … [to] the willful ruin of … mosques and churches, … monasteries, archives, libraries, and museums” in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Taliban’s destruction of Buddhist statues“:

“Rights groups say … Israel is out of bounds with its large-scale use of” administrative detention, and “Palestinian prisoners’ advocate, Qadoura Fares, said the arrest is an Israeli punitive political act. He said Israel is holding 16 Palestinian lawmakers in jails, most of them … members of … Hamas”:

“One of the gunmen who slaughtered 148 people at a Kenyan university was identified Sunday as the law-school-educated son of a Kenyan government official, highlighting the inroads Islamic extremists have made in recruiting young people to carry out violent attacks in the country”:






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