November 30, 2007

Message #2

National Security Agency reports North Korean armed forces increasing alert levels; reservists being recalled; fuel being transported to front-line units.

November 13, 2007

Blast kills Philippine Muslim MP

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Blast kills Philippine Muslim MP

... "It looks like the congressman was the target of the attack," Mr Barias told reporters. ... Mr Akbar, 47, had twice served as governor of Basilan, an island in the south of the Philippines used by the Islamist group Abu Sayyaf as a base for launching kidnapping and bombing raids.

The United States has listed Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organisation and says it has links to al-Qaeda.

October 31, 2007

U.S. team heads to North Korea to help disable nuclear complex

U.S. team to help North Korea nuclear disabling - Yahoo! News

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Hill said on Wednesday that the team was due to reach North Korea on Thursday to push forward plans to disable a reactor and other parts of the Yongbyon complex, which can make plutonium for nuclear bombs.

October 20, 2007

WP Op/Ed on China's bleak democratic future

Marching in Place -

China's Communist leader plans another five years without political reform.

Saturday, October 20, 2007; Page A14

CHINESE PRESIDENT Hu Jintao used the word "democracy" more than 60 times in his speech to the Chinese Communist Party's 17th National Congress this week -- which sounds impressive until it is noted that his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, used the word even more often at the 16th congress in 2002. Since then, there has been no change in China's totalitarian political system, despite the hopes that Mr. Hu at first inspired, and if this week's meeting in Beijing was any indication, none is intended for years to come. Mr. Hu will serve as president and party leader for another five years.

October 15, 2007

China’s Leader Closes Door to Reform

China’s Leader Closes Door to Reform - New York Times

Is there anything more thrilling than multi-hour speeches at communist party conferences? Not sure, but the NYTimes decided it needed to punch this story up with its picture selection.

Irregardless, important non-action stuff going on.

October 14, 2007

Pakistan's Embattled Mosque Reopens With Fresh Momentum

Pakistan's Embattled Mosque Reopens With Fresh Momentum -

The government had hoped that raiding the Red Mosque would strike a powerful blow against radical religious groups in Pakistan.

Instead, the mosque has become a memorial, a rallying cry and a propaganda tool for those groups, giving them more recruits and fresh momentum to unleash vicious attacks. Al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have both dwelt on the Red Mosque in recordings that call for jihad against Musharraf. Their pleas have been answered in a surge of violence that has claimed more than 1,000 lives and has turned even more Pakistani territory into hostile terrain for the country's army.

October 4, 2007

Iraqis to Pay China $100 Million for Weapons for Police

Iraqis to Pay China $100 Million for Weapons for Police -

Iraq has ordered $100 million worth of light military equipment from China for its police force, contending that the United States was unable to provide the materiel and is too slow to deliver arms shipments, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said yesterday.

October 3, 2007

North Korea Nuclear Accord Reached (Terror Issue Also)

National Security Brief

September 28, 2007

Rangoon: ‘army mutiny’ reported

Newsdesk Special: Rangoon: army mutiny reported

Reports that Burmese soldiers are refusing to fire on protesters and may even be turning their weapons on other government troops in order to protect the protesters.

September 27, 2007

Burma crackdown leads to deaths

Nine Deaths Reported in Myanmar Crackdown - New York Times

I found this article on Burma really interesting.

Burma Wrap-up

Myanmar Forces Fire on Protesters - New York Times

Massive protests continue in Burma while soldiers fire into crowds. The situation is unstable as the US calls for an end to the crackdown and Bush promises tightened sanctions. But because the US has so few dealings in Burma and because Burma's largest trading partner, China, refuses to allow UN security council action, there are few levers the US can pull to influence the ruling junta.

Background on the latest protest movement in Burma can be found here, including answers to questions such as "What sparked the protests?" and "Why are monks involved?"

A more in-depth report entitledThe Economic Factors Behind the Myanmar Protests looks into the fuel subsidy cuts, pipeline politics, and the utter lack of planning by the ruling Burmese junta. Very much worth a look.

Also, remember to refer to the country as "Burma" and the city as "Rangoon" because the US government does not recognize the name change to Myanmar, in solidarity with Burmese human rights, democracy, and opposition groups who do not accept the legitimacy of the unelected military regime to change the official name of the country.