Tuesday, June 30, 2009

G8 Summit Will Test International Resolve on Iran

Next week’s Group of Eight summit in Italy looms as a test of international resolve to confront Tehran over its contested presidential election, its crackdown on opposition protesters, and the unresolved dispute over its nuclear activities. Read

Monday, June 29, 2009

Chavez Rallies Allies, Hints at US Hand in Ousting of Honduran President

The Obama administration joined other governments on Sunday condemning the forced removal from power of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, an incident that Venezuela’s U.S.-baiting leader was quick to link to Washington. Read

Friday, June 26, 2009

Muted UN Response to Iran Crackdown

Two weeks after Iran’s bitterly disputed election, despite days of protests, state violence and a rising death toll, the United Nations Security Council remains silent and the world body’s Human Rights Council has not called a meeting. Read

Islamic Bloc Chief Urges Appointment of New US Envoy, But Is This It?

Without fanfare, the State Department this week selected a "special representative to Muslim communities," but it was not immediately clear if the woman appointed to the post will be Washington's next envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Read

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two Years Later, Sustained Dramatic Decline in Casualties in Iraq Demonstrates Surge Strategy Worked

Two years after the U.S. military’s deployment of additional troops in Iraq went into full effect in June 2007, a dramatic and sustained fall in the number of combat fatalities among American servicemen can clearly be tracked back to the implementation of the “surge” strategy. Read

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Obama ‘Appalled’ About Iran, Will Not Discuss Consequences

After taking flak for days from some conservative quarters for his approach to the turmoil in Iran, President Obama on Tuesday declared himself “appalled and outraged” by Tehran’s response to the post-election protests, but repeatedly declined to say whether there would be any consequences, or shifts in U.S. policy, as a result. Read

More Street Protests Called in Iran in Defiance of Regime Warnings

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, in continued defiance against the government, has reportedly called on supporters to demonstrate yet again on Wednesday, despite warnings by senior officials that those who have been arrested in post-election protests will be taught a lesson. Read

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Islamic Attire Symbolizes ‘Servitude and Humiliation,’ Says French President

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has launched a stinging attack against the burqa, just weeks after he fended off implied criticism by President Obama on the subject of France’s attitude towards traditional women’s attire in Islam. Read

Monday, June 22, 2009

Iranian Leaders Try to Divert Attention by Pointing at West, Israel, ‘Terrorists’

Amid a weekend of deadly violence in Tehran, Iran’s leaders launched a concerted drive to deflect blame for the unprecedented post-election turmoil away from the state and towards its customary enemies – the West and Israel. Read

Clerical Rumblings Reported in Iran as Opposition Figures Continue to Demand New Elections

As Iranian opposition figures continue to demand fresh elections following the worst civil unrest in decades, reports of simmering discontent among senior religious clerics suggest that some of the pillars of the theocratic state may be facing an unprecedented challenge. Read

Friday, June 19, 2009

Suspect North Korean Ship Has Been Detained Several Times for Maritime Violations

The North Korean cargo ship reportedly being tracked by the U.S. military on suspicion of carrying illicit cargo has been detained by Asian port authorities at least three times for serious maritime problems since it was bought by a North Korean company in 2003. Read

Monday, June 15, 2009

Netanyahu Lays Out Conditions for Palestinian State, Offers Obama History Pointers

In a policy speech viewed as a response to President Obama's recent address to the "Muslim world," Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday conditionally endorsed limited Palestinian statehood, but also gently challenged Obama on some key historical facts. Read

Muted Response from Obama Administration to Iran’s Post-Election Ferment

The Obama administration has taken a cautious, “wait and see” approach to the turmoil surrounding Iran’s presidential election, amid continuing protests, a media clampdown, and claims by the opposition that a “coup” has taken place. Read

Friday, June 12, 2009

Palestinian Boy Accused of ‘Collaborating’ With Israel Killed by His Own Family

Members of a Palestinian family tortured and then hanged a 15-year-old boy accused of “collaborating” with the Israeli authorities, according to Palestinian Authority police who arrested his father, an uncle and a cousin. Read

Obama Appeals Closure of U.S. Airbase in Central Asia, Drawing Mixed Signals From Kyrgyzstan

The United States’ sole remaining military airbase in Central Asia, slated for closure in ten weeks’ time, may yet win a reprieve as President Obama looks to extend its use in support of stepped-up operations in Afghanistan. Read

Thursday, June 11, 2009

State Department Won’t Say Yes or No on Crucial Assurances to Israel

The Obama administration so far has refused to say whether it is bound by key written assurances President Bush made to Israel five years ago, relating to Jewish settlements in areas demanded by the Palestinians for a future state. Read

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Obama Eyes ‘Pacific Solution’ for Guantanamo’s Uighur Detainees

The 20,000 citizens of Palau, a postage stamp-sized archipelago east of the Philippines, will soon add to their number a group of Uighur Muslims being held by the U.S. military in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Read

Iran Presidential Election Campaign Enters Home Stretch

Iranians hold their last day of campaigning Wednesday ahead of elections that pit Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against three challengers who hope to bring his controversial presidency to an end. Read

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

North Korea May Seek to Use Jailed Americans as Leverage

The Obama administration stressed Monday that North Korea’s jailing of two American journalists should not be linked to the broader dispute over its nuclear and missile activities, but Pyongyang’s pattern of behavior over many years suggests this is exactly what it intends to do. Read

Monday, June 08, 2009

Hezbollah, Allies Defeated in Lebanon Poll But Outlook Still Troubling

Lebanon’s pro-Western coalition has declared victory over Hezbollah and its allies in Sunday’s parliamentary election but the result looks set to leave Lebanon essentially where it was before, with the powerful Shi’ite terrorist group posing a threat to political stability and refusing to disarm. Read

Friday, June 05, 2009

Ahmadinejad Wants U.S. to Apologize for Its Long-Ago Role in Iran Coup

President Obama’s admission Thursday of a U.S. role in the toppling of an Iranian government more than half a century ago fell short of the apology that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been demanding for that episode and other “crimes” against Iran. Read

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Administration Calls OAS Overture to Cuba A Diplomatic Victory, But Critics Call It A Sham

Latin American leftists hailed the Organization of American States’ decision on Wednesday to scrap a 47-year-old resolution expelling Cuba, and the Obama administration also sought to portray the move as a victory. Read

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

China Girds for Anniversary of Beijing Killings

Tens of thousands of people are expected to take part in a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong Thursday as many there and around the world remember the 20th anniversary of China’s deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. Read

Western Hemisphere Meeting Deeply Divided Over Cuba

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left an Organization of American States (OAS) meeting in Honduras late Tuesday with no agreement reached among members deeply divided over the issue of readmitting Cuba. Read

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Obama Urged to Tackle Religious Persecution in Cairo Speech

Ahead of President Obama’s trip to the Middle East and his address to “the Islamic world,” advocates for religious freedom are urging him to speak out for embattled Christians and others persecuted for their faith – especially in the two Arab countries the president is scheduled to visit. Read