News and Analysis (5/16/15)

As the establishment circles the wagons to denounce Sy Hersh’s allegations of White House deception, the veteran journalist, visibly irritated by the controversy, hangs tough, and at least one major revelation, that an former ISI officer leaked the information of bin Ladin’s whereabouts to the US, is confirmed:

“Those sentenced to death with Morsi on Saturday include the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie, as well as one of the Arab world’s best known Islamic scholars, the Qatar-based Youssef al-Qaradawi” …

… as well as one woman, the “former international media coordinator for ousted president” …

… causing Turkey’s PM to accuse Egypt of “returning to the ‘old Egypt’ by rolling back democracy” and to criticize “western nations that he accused of not speaking out against Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who ousted Morsi, or against death sentences being handed down”:

U.S. forces killed the so-called Islamic State’s oil minister and took his wife captive:

“To point out that humor has thrived in Islamic lands for centuries would be painfully obvious for those who have studied the basics of world history.” Rather than mock revered religious figures or oppressed peoples, today’s Muslim cartoonists aim their pens at the malicious, corrupt, and violent:

After the “mayor of the southern town of Venelles, tweeted an appeal to ban Islam … [and] was quoted by Le Monde as proposing a plan for Muslims to practice their religion ‘in their country of origin’, … [the UMP, his political] party said it plans to exclude him”:

“[I]f anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of an entire people” — Qur’an 5:32:

By whatever name you wish to give it, is it a terrorist group, a functioning state, a group of millinialist religious fanatics “that expects an apocalyptic showdown from which it will emerge victorious”, or all three?

To those who say Islam needs a reformation, Reza Aslan replies, “What do you think is going on? People think that reformation is about holding hands and singing Kumbaya. Reformation is about a cataclysmic debate about who has the authority to define a faith. Is it the individuals or is it the institution?”:

“The highest-ranking officer in the [U.S.] Armed Forces from 2007 to 2011 is essentially saying that … long-standing allies in the Middle East are trying to lock it into permanent confrontation with Iran…. Why shouldn’t the U.S. have more options … to achieve its interests and reduce the threats it faces? … 

… yet “it seems like arms sales are the Obama administration’s tool of choice these days for dealing with everything from counterterrorism to a lagging economy. And the consequences, unsurprisingly, are bloody”:

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