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November 25, 2007

Some shady doins a transpirin': Sharif's Return to Pakistan

Nawaz Sharif: Saudi Arabia's Plan B for Pakistan? - American Footprints

Western scribes are perhaps overly enamored of the “Musharraf has his back against the wall and is being forced to make democratic concessions� narrative, which grows organically out of misrepresentation of Benazir Bhutto and the United States as the leader and sponsor, respectively, of an anti-Musharraf democratic vanguard.

And everything in the English language press in Pakistan and the Middle East indicates that the Anglo-American take on Pakistan’s politics is just plain wrong.

November 11, 2007

Spanish King to Chavez: "Why don't you shut up?"

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Shut up, Spain's king tells Chavez

The Spanish King says what the US gov is thinking, "Why don't you shut up?" Comedy gold.

November 1, 2007

3 Guilty 7 Acquitted in Madrid Bombings

7 Are Acquitted in Madrid Bombings - New York Times

Does this buttress the administration's arguments to keep terrorism suspects in an alternate "legal" universe?

The counterterrorism experts said the verdicts reflected the challenges faced by police forces and judges as they seek to imprison those accused of international terrorism: the preponderance of circumstantial evidence rather than concrete proof; problems with evidence translated from Arabic and with evidence collected by other countries; unreliable witnesses; and the absence of confessions — none of the 28 defendants confessed.

“It is a point of pride to be able to try people in a courtroom, with full constitutional guarantees,� Fernando Reinares, an expert in international terrorism at the Royal Elcano Institute, said. “But in Spain there is space for debate about whether we need to adapt our judicial legislation and culture to confront international Islamist terrorism.�

October 31, 2007

U.S. spy planes watching Iraqi-Turkish border

Sources: U.S. spy planes watching Iraqi-Turkish border - CNN.com

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell confirmed Wednesday that U.S. military and intelligence communities are sharing information with Turkey to help them fight members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, who have made cross-border attacks.

October 29, 2007

IAEA findings on Iran dismissed

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | IAEA findings on Iran dismissed

France and the US have dismissed a finding by the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog Mohammed ElBaradei that there is no evidence of Iran building a bomb.

French Defence Minister Herve Morin challenged Iran to allow UN inspectors unlimited access to sites. A White House spokeswoman said Iran was "enriching and reprocessing uranium, and the reason that one does that is to lead towards a nuclear weapon".

Mr ElBaradei said on Sunday that Tehran was years away from developing a bomb. Iran denies it is seeking to build nuclear weapons and says it wants only civilian nuclear energy.

Its refusal to stop enriching uranium - a process which can lead to a nuclear bomb - has led the UN Security Council to impose two sets of sanctions, which the US has followed up with unilateral penalties of its own.

October 28, 2007

Frustrated are the Peacemakers

Sudan | Pity the people of Darfur, pity the peacemakers too | Economist.com

"As peace talks begin in Libya, expect arm-twisting, boycotts and confusion but little progress towards peace."

October 26, 2007

Putin compares US shield to Cuban Missile Crisis

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Putin compares US shield to Cuba

Pootie-Poot must have watched the movie with us in class yesterday, as he totally compares US efforts to put a missile "shield" in Europe to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

October 24, 2007

Can the President Overrule the People?


French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that he will submit the EU "Reform" Treaty agreed upon in Lisbon last week to the French parliament for ratification. In so doing, is he proposing to ratify a treaty that is essentially identical to the "Constitutional" Treaty that French voters rejected in a referendum in 2005? French constitutional law scholar Anne-Marie Le Pourhiet says yes -- and outlines the drastic consequences of such an action. [From World Politics Review | Can the President Overrule the People?: France and the EU Reform Treaty]

October 20, 2007

Somalia 'investigates' WFP head

BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Somalia 'investigates' WFP head

Somali PM Ali Mohamed Ghedi has said the head of the World Food Programme in the country, who was arrested by troops on Thursday, is under investigation.

...

It is no secret that Mr Ghedi has fallen out badly with Somalia's President, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed.

Mr Abdullahi says the prime minister's term of office has expired, but Mr Ghedi is unwilling to go and he is expected to fly home to Somalia on Saturday to face a vote of confidence in parliament.

October 16, 2007

Sure, take his/her records...we won't tell.

Verizon Says It Turned Over Data Without Court Orders - washingtonpost.com Verizon also disclosed that the FBI, using administrative subpoenas, sought information identifying not just a person making a call, but all the people that customer called, as well as the people those people called. Verizon does not keep data on this "two-generation community of interest" for customers, but the request highlights the broad reach of the government's quest for data.

From January 2005 to September 2007, Verizon provided data to federal authorities on an emergency basis 720 times, it said in the letter. The records included Internet protocol addresses as well as phone data. In that period, Verizon turned over information a total of 94,000 times to federal authorities armed with a subpoena or court order, the letter said. The information was used for a range of criminal investigations, including kidnapping and child-predator cases and counter-terrorism investigations.

Verizon and AT&T said it was not their role to second-guess the legitimacy of emergency government requests.

Jet fixes abroad seen as a threat

USATODAY.com

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are warning that the Transportation Security Administration is leaving airplanes vulnerable to sabotage by terrorists who may have access to the planes in repair shops overseas.

TSA chief Kip Hawley faces questions today on the agency's failure to write security regulations for repair shops as Congress ordered nearly four years ago. Hawley will testify before House and Senate panels looking broadly at aviation security.

Column: Sun sets early on the American Century

TheStar.com | comment | Sun sets early on the American Century

The disastrous outcome of the invasion and occupation of Iraq has caused a crisis in the power elite of the United States deeper than that resulting from defeat in Vietnam 30 years ago. Ironically, it is the very coalition of ultranationalists and neo-conservatives that coalesced in the 1970s, seeking to reverse the Vietnam syndrome, restore U.S. power and revive "the will to victory" that has caused the present crisis.

October 9, 2007

Turkish forces plan to make incursions into Northern Iraq?

YouTube - WH Press Briefing, October 9 2007

Dana Perino: "I think it's a hypothetical right now, we are focused on cooperating with the Turks and the Iraqis to make sure the PKK can be stopped."

Via Talking Points Memo

October 7, 2007

"Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner] ..."

The Daily Dish

Like we read in the containment document early on: America need only live up to its highest ideals and most dearly held values in order to succeed in this global struggle.

George does have it right. George Washington that is, who fought an existential, guerilla war against an unbeatable enemy, won over hearts and minds, and established a new nation... and he did it all without torturing a single redcoat (as far as we know).

September 26, 2007

Germany 'drops CIA extradition'

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Germany 'drops CIA extradition'

Germany will no longer seek to try CIA operatives for kidnapping a German citizen and flying him to Afghanistan for interrogation for five months before realizing they got the wrong man. Presumably this means that US intelligence agencies will be able to continue their aggressive anti-terrorism activities in Europe, including extraordinary rendition, without worrying about interference from the local governments. Or so the Germans would have us believe...

September 24, 2007

Pakistan slows effort against al-Qaida

Pakistan slows pursuit of al-Qaida | IndyStar.com

Cause of concern? Definetely could change course on some of our policies in the region.