Links
January 09, 2014 ... How Iraq got so far off course ... Globe and Mail Editorial
January 05, 2014 ... Private tennis courts in a public park? ... John Miller, Marnie Olchowecki
January 01, 2014 ... Saudis Pledge $3 Billion to Support Lebanon's Army ... Wall Street Journal
November 12, 2013 ... Israel backs off a fast settlement plan ... Canadian Press
The reason is that Israel is worried about international reaction.
November 07, 2013 ... Saudi nuclear weapons 'on order' from Pakistan ... The BBC
Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will, a variety of sources have told BBC Newsnight
July 26, 2013 ... Egyptian Junta Charges Morsi With Conspiracy And Murder ... Scott Neuman
Generalisimo El-Sissi's portrait pervaded the crowds of tens of thousands in Cairo's central Tahrir Square: the smiling general in sunglasses on posters proclaiming 'the love of the people,' a combination photo of the general and a lion on lanyards hanging from people's necks, a picture of his face Photoshopped into a 1-pound note of currency. ... Morsi's Islamist backers, in turn, were packing their own rallies in Cairo and elsewhere Friday in what they called the day 'to bring down the coup,'
July 16, 2013 ... New Egypt cabinet sworn in without a single Islamist ... Reuters
Egypt's army-backed leaders swore in a new interim cabinet on Tuesday after a night of street violence, with not a single minister representing either of the main Islamist groups that have won five straight elections since 2011.
July 12, 2013 ... Israel's Internal Battle Over Ultra-Orthodox Soldiers ... National Public Radio
This exemption to the otherwise universal draft for Israeli Jews has been in existence for as long as Israel has been a country  part of an early bargain struck between religious and Zionist leaders.
July 09, 2013 ... Egyptian military's return after failed Islamist rule not a bad legacy for the Arab Spring ... Conrad Black
Had the recently departed Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, had the slightest aptitude for producing economic growth, he might have sustained a level of popularity adequate to allow his unilateral tweaking of the Constitution (giving himself greater powers, and tainting the functioning of the state with a greater overlay of imposed Islamist orthodoxy).
July 09, 2013 ... A Coup Or Not In Egypt? $1.5 Billion In U.S. Aid At Stake ... National Public Radio
... if the U.S. government calls it a military coup, U.S. law requires that assistance to the country be halted ... Egypt has been a leading recipient of U.S. aid ever since it signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. Most of the money goes to the military, which has been receiving $1.3 billion annually since 1987. Egypt views that money as "untouchable compensation" for making peace with Israel. According to cables released by WikiLeaks, the money also gives the U.S. military priority access to the Suez Canal and Egyptian airspace ...  economic (nonmilitary) aid, meanwhile, has fallen from $815 million in 1998 to $250 million today.
July 05, 2013 ... Live Updates --- Egypts 'day of rejection' ... The Guardian
July 03, 2013 ... Obama leery of intervention in Mideast ... Lara Jakes
Despite nearly nine years of war that aimed to stabilize Iraq - during which nearly 4,500 U.S. troops were killed and about $800 billion in taxpayer money was spent - near-daily bombings and other attacks continue. And the White House rarely, if ever, discusses Iraq except to pat itself on the back for leaving.
July 03, 2013 ... Obama orders US to review aid to Egypt ... Josh Lederman
In a carefully worded statement, Obama said he was "deeply concerned" by the military's move to topple Morsi's government and suspend Egypt's constitution. He said he was ordering the U.S. government to assess what the military's actions meant for U.S. foreign aid to Egypt  $1.5 billion a year in military and economic assistance.
July 01, 2013 ... An ultraorthodox rabbi who wants to put ultraorthodox extremists in their place ... Michael Posner
It's not sustainable  to have such a large community essentially supported by those who work. If you ask what are the greatest threats to Israel, this is the greatest internal threat. Twenty years from now, the ultraorthodox will be a huge percentage of the population. At a certain point, they'll be a majority. And you can't have a situation where, as an ideology, that community neither works nor serves in the military.
June 20, 2013 ... Afghanistan's Unavoidable Partition ... Brahma Chellaney
Afghanistan was created in the 19th century, the age of empires "as a buffer between Czarist Russia and British India ... A weak, partitioned Afghanistan may not be a desirable outcome; but a 'soft' partition now would be far better than a 'hard' partition later, after years of chaos and bloodletting  and infinitely better than the medieval Talibans return to power and a fresh reign of terror. Indeed, partition may be the only way to prevent Afghanistan from sliding into large-scale civil war and to thwart transnational terrorists from reestablishing a base of operations in the rubble."
June 18, 2013 ... 70% of Americans Agree U.S. Should Stay Out Of Syrian Conflict ... Eyder Peralta
Just 15 percent say they are following news about charges that Syria has used chemical weapons against anti-government groups very closely, far fewer than are following other stories such as the government's collection of communication information (35 percent) and news about the national economy (30 percent). In fact, 33% say they are following news about Syria not at all closely.
June 17, 2013 ... Iran's Rowhani urges 'path of moderation' ... Associated Press
promised greater openness over the country's nuclear program, but sided with the hard-line Islamic establishment that refuses to consider halting uranium enrichment.
May 02, 2013 ... Israel's right-left split on Palestinian rights ... Elizabeth Herzog
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has made little progress in reigniting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The more time he spends in the region, the more he realizes how far apart the two sides are. Meantime, the Israeli right is taking advantage of its political strength and trying to reshape public discourse on fundamental issues such as human rights & of Palestinians.
April 03, 2013 ... Rise of the Drones . ... PBS/Nova
March 26, 2013 ... A serious solution to Israel/Palestine --- two states within one!!! ... Anne Marie Slaughter
Imagine a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine in which Palestinians would have the right of return; Israelis could settle wherever they could purchase land in the West Bank; and Jerusalem need not be divided.
March 22, 2013 ... Obama's Jerusalem Speech ... Charlie Rose
February 22, 2013 ... Israel opens occupied Golan to oil exploration ... Greg McArthur
February 01, 2013 ... Socioeconomic time bomb ticking in troubled Egypt ... Patrick Martin
January 19, 2013 ... The Israeli "Settlers" ... The New Yorker
December 04, 2012 ... Ottaw should denounce Israeli plan to build in settlement ... Globe and Mail Editorial
November 30, 2012 ... Netanyahu might not like it, but going to the UN was the right thing for Abbas to do ... Jonathan Kay
November 22, 2012 ... Egypt's President, Mohammed Morsi, grants himself new far-reaching powers ... Associated Press
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January 01, 2014 ... Saudis Pledge $3 Billion to Support Lebanon's Army ... Wall Street Journal
November 12, 2013 ... Russia negotiates its biggest arms deal with Egypt since the Cold War after Barack Obama cuts defence aid ... National Post
Egyptian officials are seeking financing from an unidentified Persian Gulf country to buy as much as US$4 billion of Russian arms, Palestinian newspaper Dunia al-Watan reported Nov. 6, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have pledged at least US$12 billion to Egypts new government.
November 07, 2013 ... Saudi nuclear weapons 'on order' from Pakistan ... The BBC
Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will, a variety of sources have told BBC Newsnight
July 26, 2013 ... Islamist vs. Islamist ... Daniel Pipes
Should the fissiparous tendency hold, the Islamist movement is doomed, like fascism and communism, to be no more than a civilizational threat inflicting immense damage but never prevailing.
July 19, 2013 ... Dubai jails victim for reporting rape ... Brian Murphy
Previous cases in the UAE have raised similar questions, with alleged sexual assault victims facing charges for sex-related offenses. Other legal codes also have been criticized for being at odds with the Western-style openness promoted by Dubai.
July 16, 2013 ... EU takes tougher stance on Israeli settlements ... The Guardian
The move follows a decision by EU foreign ministers last December that "all agreements between the state of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967". All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
July 09, 2013 ... Henry VIII: Secularism's true godfather ... Robert Fulford
But if you read Mantel, you may well believe, as I do, that in this story of Henry VIII you can watch the waning of government by religion and the first glimmerings of a secular state. Changes in the Muslim world, above all the Arab uprisings of 2011, have made this a titanic issue. In geopolitics, few questions are more important.
July 09, 2013 ... Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states shower $8 billion on Egyptian military junta ... Reuters
Gulf states showered Cairo with $8 billion in aid on Tuesday, showing their support for the Egyptian army's move to push the Muslim Brotherhood from power, a day after troops killed dozens of the movement's supporters
July 09, 2013 ... Egyptian military junta appoints 76-year old bureaucrat prime minister --- ElBaradei vice-president ... Associated Press
At the same time, the country is deeply polarized, raising the threat of violence, particularly after more than 50 Morsi [Moslem Brotherhood] supporters were killed by security forces in clashes early Monday. The Brotherhood and Islamist allies say they are under siege by a crackdown from the military that has jailed five of their top leaders and shut down their media outlets
July 05, 2013 ... Egypt erupts in post-coup violence ... National Public Radio
By nighttime in Cairo, the military had deployed armored vehicles as clashes in the city escalated. The AP  citing Egypt's Health Ministry  reported that at least 10 people have died in violence across the country.
July 03, 2013 ... Was the overthrow of Egypt's government a coup? If so, aid may be cut. ... Associated Press
"U.S. aid is cut off when a democratically elected government is deposed by military coup or decree,"U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, a key decision-maker on U.S. foreign aid, said Wednesday. He said his foreign assistance committee "will review future aid to the Egyptian government as we wait for a clearer picture."
July 03, 2013 ... Egypt's generals overthrow President Mohammed Morsi ... Associated Press
A security official says the head of the Muslim Brotherhood political party and the Brotherhood's deputy chief have been arrested.
June 20, 2013 ... U.S. Army To Scrap $7 Billion In Equipment In Afghanistan ... National Public Radio
Military planners for the U.S. Army have decided not to ship back more than $7 billion of equipment --- about 20 percent of what the Army brought into Afghanistan --- because the shipping costs are too high and the need for the used equipment too low. Instead, the Army is destroying the equipment in-country: shredding it, crushing it and selling it on the Afghan scrap market.
June 19, 2013 ... In Turkey protest turns non-violent with stand-in-silence campaign ... National Public Radio
... police removed their tent city and re-opened Istanbul's Taksim Square to traffic, while maintaining a strong presence in the area. This might have seemed like the end of it for many protesters, until a lone man decided to take a stand, literally, against the government. For more than six hours Monday night, Erdem Gunduz stood motionless in Taksim Square, passively ignoring any prodding or harassment from police and people passing by ...
June 17, 2013 ... Turkey --- Ataturk's 95 year old separation of religion and the state is under seige ... Robert Fulford
[The protesters] think that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the defiant and peevish prime minister, wants to reverse Turkish history. Apparently hes attempting, in his sly way, to undo Kemalism, named after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who led Turkey into modernity. Kemalism separated religion from politics. That constitutional change wasnt challenged until recent times.
May 14, 2013 ... Federal agents arrest Saudi man accused of lying about pressure cooker at Detroit airport ... Jeff Karoub
A Saudi man was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after federal agents said he lied about why he was travelling with a pressure cooker, according to a court documents filed Monday.
April 09, 2013 ... Rashid Khalidi on the Israel lobby ... Philip Weiss
While Khalidi acknowledged that the U.S. has for 20 years acted as Israel's lawyer in the Israel/Palestine conflict, thereby foreclosing the two-state solution, he argued that that conflict represents the very narrow arena in which the lobby can throw its weight around. On Palestine, American presidents are responsive to a domestic lobby "because theres no counterweight." On general strategic matters, the lobby has little influence.
March 28, 2013 ... Friends of Israel  including Harper  need to watch this movie ... Gerald Caplan
March 22, 2013 ... Obama eases demands on Israeli settlements, insists to all sides, Mideast 'peace is possible' ... Associated Press
March 18, 2013 ... Settlers emerge as big winners in Israeli coalition ... Patrick Martin
October 05, 2012 ... 'The Iranian economy would collapse pretty quickly,' under total embargo scenario hinted at by U.S. lawmakers ... Canadian Press
January 23, 2013 ... Netanyahu wins narrow majority in Israeli election, centrists gain ground ... Josef Feedeman
December 04, 2012 ... Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert attacks settlement strategy ... Charlie Rose
December 04, 2012 ... A mess of Israel's own making ... Ian Buruma
November 23, 2012 ... If the ceasefire holds --- a new reality in Israel and the region ... Shira Herzog
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