Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obama Administration Submits Arizona Immigration Law to U.N. Review, Reviving Questions About U.S. Engagement With Human Rights Council

The Obama administration’s reference to Arizona’s immigration law in a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council has caused a stir, but its decision to engage with the body in the first place has drawn criticism for a lot longer. Read

One American Died Every 15 Hours, on Average, in Operation Iraqi Freedom

One U.S. soldier, Marine, airman or sailor died every 15 hours, on average, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, which officially ends on Tuesday -- almost seven-and-a-half years after U.S.-led forces invaded to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime. Read

Monday, August 30, 2010

Iranian Newspaper, Lashing Out at Critics of Stoning Sentence, Calls France’s First Lady A Prostitute

Iran risked unleashing a new diplomatic row with a Western government at the weekend when a newspaper closely linked to the regime called France’s first lady a “prostitute.” Carla Bruni-Sarkozy had earlier criticized the sentencing of an Iranian woman accused of adultery to death by stoning. Read

U.N. Data Refutes Claim That Muslim Nations Have Pledged Nearly $1 Billion for Pakistan Crisis

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) says Muslim countries, organizations and individuals have pledged nearly $1 billion in response to the Pakistan flood emergency, and Pakistan’s prime minister says Saudi Arabia has overtaken the U.S. in responding to the crisis. But figures made available by the United Nations call both claims into question. Read

Friday, August 27, 2010

'Ground Zero Mosque' Cleric Says Parts of His Book Were Woven into Obama’s Cairo Speech

The cleric who wants to build a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero claims that ideas from his book were incorporated into President Obama’s landmark Cairo address to the Muslim world last year by one of the drafters of the speech. Read

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jimmy Carter’s Trip to North Korea Raises Concerns About ‘Freelance Diplomacy’

Former President Jimmy Carter, whose trip to North Korea has sparked speculation that he may indulge in unofficial diplomacy on the nuclear issue, has believed for years that sanctions are counterproductive and that the U.S. should engage the Stalinist regime in direct, high-level talks. Read

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Islamist Leader in Pakistan Says Accepting Flood Relief From U.S. and India Is Like ‘Poison’

Accepting emergency aid from the United States or India amounts to taking “poison,” the head of one of Pakistan’s leading Islamist political parties said Tuesday. The remarks were evidently intended to apply new pressure on a government already walking a tightrope between dealing with the flood crisis and antagonizing radical elements. Read

‘Burn the Quran Day’ Plan Prompts Warnings of Anger, Unrest

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has joined the growing condemnation of plans by a Florida church to burn copies of the Quran on the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Read

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Obama Administration Tells U.N. It’s Committed to Closing Gitmo, ‘Fixing’ Immigration

In the first ever self-assessment of America’s human rights record, the Obama administration has informed the United Nations that it remains committed to closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and to “fixing our broken immigration system.” Read

‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Imam Viewed Sanctions Against Iraq As an Act of Terrorism

The Muslim cleric at the center of the controversy over the mosque near Ground Zero was quoted as saying four years ago that economic sanctions impacting civilians amounted to an act of terrorism. Read

Monday, August 23, 2010

U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq After the Last Combat Troops Withdraw

An American soldier was killed in Iraq on Sunday, three days after the last combat brigade left the country ahead of the month-end deadline for the formal end of combat operations. Read

Memories of Past Failures Hang Over New Push for Mideast Talks

A decade has passed since the failure of a U.S. bid to broker a Mideast peace deal ushered in a long and deadly Palestinian uprising. And with a new effort set to begin next week, the main sticking points remain unchanged. Read

Friday, August 20, 2010

Palestinian Authority Chairman Honors Another Dead Terrorist

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave a military funeral this week to the man believed to be the last surviving planner of the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Read

Hillary Clinton Downplays Concerns About Militants Exploiting Pakistan Emergency

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday played down concerns that militants could take advantage of the floods in Pakistan to extend their influence, although that is exactly what some analysts say happened after the last big natural disaster in the region. Read

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Islamic Bloc Blames ‘Global Warming’ for Pakistan Flooding

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has blamed the flooding in Pakistan on “global warming,” even though scientists are generally wary of linking any single or series of weather events on climate change. Read

Pakistan Disaster Apparently Not High on CAIR’s Agenda

A senior U.N. official calls it “probably the biggest emergency on the planet today,” and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he has never seen such devastation, but the floods in Pakistan evidently are not a high priority for the most visible Islamic organization in the United States. Read

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Islamic Bloc Calls Emergency Meeting After Slow Response to Pakistan Crisis by Islamic States

Amid criticism about the slow response from many Islamic countries to the Pakistan flood relief appeal, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Wednesday planned to hold an “emergency” meeting to review the situation. Read

Ground Zero Mosque Group Says It Has No Plan to Move Site or Meet With N.Y. Governor

The organization planning to build a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero denied reports Tuesday about a scheduled meeting to discuss the matter with New York Gov. David Paterson. The group reaffirmed that it has no intention of moving the controversial project. Read

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Iran Won't Stop Enriching Uranium Once Russian-Built Reactor Is Online

Iran’s plan to fire up its first nuclear power reactor will not affect its ongoing uranium enrichment activities, despite Western governments’ arguments that the power plant’s operating arrangements will render enrichment unnecessary. Read

Monday, August 16, 2010

U.S. Military’s Relief Effort in Pakistan Prompts Suspicions About Its Intentions

The U.S. military is pressing ahead in its efforts to support Pakistan’s army in bringing relief to millions of people affected by the worst flooding in the country’s history, undeterred by suspicions about its intentions. Read

Ground Zero Mosque Controversy, As Viewed From the Muslim World

Commentators in the Islamic world see “Islamophobia” behind growing opposition in the United States to the planned building of a mosque near the New York City site where al-Qaeda terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in 2001. Read

Friday, August 13, 2010

Obama Administration Plans to Review U.S. Military Aid to Lebanon

The Obama administration plans to review U.S. security assistance to the Lebanese army, the State Department said Thursday following growing criticism from lawmakers in both parties. Read

Turkey, Ignoring U.S. Sanctions on Iran, Will Continue Sending Iran Gasoline

Turkey’s government has no plans to stop Turkish companies from selling gasoline to Iran, despite the recent imposition by the United States of sanctions targeting foreign firms supplying petroleum products to Iran. Read

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Amid Setbacks, White House Says End of Iraqi Combat Mission Remains on Target

The White House reiterated Wednesday that the plan to end the U.S. combat mission in Iraq in three weeks’ time is “on target.” The confirmation came despite recent setbacks in the country, including ongoing violence, a five-month delay in forming a new government, and reports this week of al-Qaeda trying to bribe disaffected Sunni militia to change sides. Read

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pakistan’s ‘Destructive Dynamic’ Is Reflected in Rising Suicide Attacks

Figures recently released by Pakistani authorities and a regional security monitoring group show a dramatic climb in suicide attacks in the country over the past three years. The trend apparently stems from the mid-2007 storming of an Islamist-held mosque in Islamabad by security forces. Read

Iran Offers to Help Lebanese Army After U.S. Suspends Military Aid Amid Concerns About Hezbollah’s Role

Iran’s ambassador in Beirut met with the head of Lebanon’s national army on Tuesday and offered Tehran’s help, a day after a senior U.S. lawmaker placed a temporary hold on U.S. assistance to the Lebanese force. Read

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Act Now on Terror Threat to Key Oil Routes, Say Experts

An attempt by terrorists to blow up a supertanker in one of the world’s most strategic waterways, though unsuccessful, is prompting fresh calls for decision-makers to take steps now both to lessen the chances of such an attack and to minimize the economic disruption if one occurs. Read

Monday, August 09, 2010

We Can Look for Other Weapons Suppliers, Says Lebanon’s President

Amid calls for the U.S. to reconsider its arming of the Lebanese national army in the wake of a deadly cross-border shooting last week, Lebanon’s president has announced a campaign to seek alternative suppliers if necessary. Read

Iran Unveils New Submarines and Makes More Persian Gulf Warnings

Iran announced the addition of four new submarines to its fleet Sunday, saying the Iranian-manufactured vessels to be deployed in the Persian Gulf have sonar-evading technology and can launch torpedoes and missiles simultaneously. Read

Friday, August 06, 2010

Border Clash Puts Spotlight on US-Backed Lebanese Army’s Stance on Hezbollah

This week’s deadly clash along the Israel-Lebanon border has drawn attention to the issue of United States military assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), and how that aid is used. Read

Thursday, August 05, 2010

U.N. Backs Israel’s Position on Border Clash, But Israel’s Arab-Islamic Critics Are Not Backing Down

Arab and Muslim governments that accused Israel of aggression against Lebanon this week did not withdraw their accusations Wednesday, despite confirmation from U.N. peacekeepers that Lebanese troops opened fire on Israeli soldiers who were on the Israeli side of the international border. Read

China Holds More Military Exercises Amid Tensions With U.S.

Chinese armed forces on Thursday continued a second set of back-to-back exercises, underscoring expanding capabilities and ambitions that have prompted unease among top U.S. military officers. That unease has been exacerbated by Beijing’s freezing of military-to-military ties. Read

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Tensions Simmer in Lebanon Over Assassination Probe And Suspicions of a Deal

Tuesday’s deadly clash along the Israel-Lebanon border has added to tensions stoked by the investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Some fear the results of the investigation could plunge both the country and region into new turmoil. Read

Israel Objects to U.S. Supplying Weapons to Lebanon’s National Army

Israel plans to urge the U.S. and other countries arming the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to stop doing so, following a deadly border skirmish Tuesday. Read

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Obama Announces End to U.S. Combat, But Not U.S. Sacrifice, in Iraq, Where Political Instability and Violence Persist

With Ramadan approaching, it looks unlikely that Iraqis will have a government in place by the time the U.S. combat mission formally ends on August 31, prompting concerns about the potential for a flare-up of deadly violence. Read

Monday, August 02, 2010

Israel Blames Hamas for All Attacks From Gaza, Urges Mahmoud Abbas to Enter Direct Talks

An unexplained explosion at the Gaza Strip home of a senior Hamas commander on Monday added to tensions that have been building since Gaza-based terrorists on Friday fired a rocket at the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Read

Iran Warns Americans That Military Action Against It Will ‘Disrupt Global Peace’

A top Iranian military official warned Sunday that his country’s forces would respond decisively in the Persian Gulf, a crucial energy waterway, in the event of a U.S. strike over its nuclear program. Read