Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trial of Dutch Politician Who Sounded Alarm About Radical Islam Nears End

Geert Wilders does not say what he does about Islam to be “funny,” but to warn Western civilization of the gravest danger it faces, the controversial Dutch politician’s lawyer told a court in Amsterdam on Monday. Read

Muslim Brotherhood-Linked Presidential Candidate Favors Shari’a, End to Israeli Peace

An Egyptian cleric closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood has declared his candidacy in this year’s presidential elections, three months after the organization first said it would not put up a candidate for president. Read

Friday, May 27, 2011

UN Engagement Advocates Hit Back at Congressional Critics With New Poll

A new poll suggests that most Americans believe the United Nations is “still needed today” and want the U.S. to pay its dues to the world body “in full and on time” – but the Republican-Democrat split on the issue remains marked. Read

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Despite US Engagement, UN Rights Council Membership Isn’t Improving Significantly

The latest election of countries onto the U.N. Human Rights Council has prompted questions about the number of free democracies on the body – again a minority this year – and whether the situation is improving. Read

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Democracy, Vietnam-Style: The Party Wants You to Vote For …

When students at a university in Vietnam went to the polls this week in the country’s legislative elections, they did so armed with “guidance” from the school’s management on which candidates the Communist Party expected them to vote for. Read

Chicago Terror Trial Raises More Questions About Pakistan’s Intelligence Agency

In a trial that could hardly come at a worse time for the Pakistani government, a court in Chicago is hearing testimony that may implicate the country’s military intelligence agency in a major terrorist attack. Read

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Obama on Wrong Side of Honduras Dispute, GOP Lawmaker Warns

An agreement signed in Colombia this week allowing the ousted former Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, to return home and resume political activity without fear of prosecution marks “a great day” for the Honduran people, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Read

Monday, May 23, 2011

‘Free’ Countries Once Again a Minority on U.N. Human Rights Council

This year’s election for the U.N. Human Rights Council has, once again, produced a body that has fewer “free” countries – 21 of a total of 47 – and has more than one-third of the seats held by members of the Islamic bloc. Read

Hamas to Obama: We Won't Recognize Israel

“The U.S. administration will fail, just as all others have in the past, in forcing Hamas to recognize [Israel],” a Hamas spokesman declared Sunday after President Obama once again pressed the terrorist group to relinquish violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist. Read

Friday, May 20, 2011

Saudi Activist Deplores Obama’s Silence on ‘Tyrannical’ Regime

In his major policy speech Thursday on the protests sweeping the Middle East, President Obama did not refer once to Saudi Arabia, arguably the Arab world’s least democratic state. Read

Obama’s Position on Israel’s Future Borders Contradicts Assurances by President Bush

The boundaries President Obama endorsed Thursday as Israel’s future borders would leave the country, at its narrowest point, nine miles wide between “Palestine” and the Mediterranean Sea. Read

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Russia, Angry About Libya, Won’t Support Resolution on Syria

Russia will not back a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria, President Dmitry Medvedev stated Wednesday, a stance that underscores Moscow’s continuing disapproval of the Western military operation in another traditional Russian ally in the region, Libya. Read

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fresh Calls for U.S. to Blacklist Pakistan As Religious Freedom Violator

As the Obama administration moves towards designating, for the first time, “countries of particular concern” for religious freedom violations, it faces fresh calls to include Pakistan on the blacklist, amid growing awareness about the deadly consequences of its blasphemy laws. Read

Tougher Steps Against Syria Expected in ‘Coming Hours and Days’

In the clearest signal yet that the Obama administration’s attempt to engage Bashar Assad has not worked, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday singled out the Syrian president personally in deploring the continuing crackdown on anti-government protests. Read

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

U.S. Urged to Press Pakistan to Stop Expanding Its Nuclear Arsenal

On the same day that Sen. John Kerry offered Pakistan a personal “guarantee” that the United States had no designs on the country’s nuclear weapons, two nonproliferation experts urged the Obama administration to insist that Islamabad stop work on a new plutonium production reactor. The analysts also said Congress should link American aid to Pakistani compliance. Read

Pakistan Turns to ‘Time-Tested Friend’ China

At a time of great stress for Pakistan-U.S. relations, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is visiting China, a strategic ally that has rallied behind Islamabad in the aftermath of the Osama bin Laden killing. Read

Monday, May 16, 2011

Clashes Near Golan Heights Divert Attention from Syria’s Violent Crackdown

Israel accused Syria of allowing pro-Palestinian protesters to breach the disputed Israel-Syrian border on Sunday to divert attention from the regime’s domestic troubles. If true, the ploy appeared to have worked. Read

Iran Feeds Conflicting Bin Laden Conspiracy Theories

Osama bin Laden was in U.S. military hands for a long time before he was killed, and the recently announced death was designed to win support for President Obama’s re-election bid. Read

Friday, May 13, 2011

‘Oppressed’ Iran Hosts International Peace Conference

Iran this weekend hosts an international conference on combating terrorism and promoting peace, but organizers left no doubt that their vision of “peace” is not quite universal. Read

Administration Embraces New Report on Arctic Melting, Sea-Level Rise

The Obama administration Thursday welcomed a new report warning of the highest Arctic summer temperatures in two millennia, resulting in melting icecaps and a projected acceleration in sea-level rise. The findings are not necessarily in line with those from other studies. Read

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Obama Appears to Be Hardening His Stance Toward Syrian Regime

Just days after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drew criticism for suggesting that Syrian President Bashar Assad can reform, there are signs that the Obama administration may be preparing a shift in policy towards Damascus. Read

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Arab States Drop Support for Syrian Seat on U.N. Human Rights Council

Under pressure over Syria’s bid to join the United Nations’ premier human rights body -- even as its security forces kill unarmed protestors -- Arab governments are proposing that Kuwait run instead for the seat in elections to be held next week. Read

Sen. Kerry Plans Trip to Pakistan to Get Relations ‘On the Right Track’

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, co-sponsor of a massive aid package to Pakistan, will travel to Islamabad in the coming days in a bid to get ties back “on the right track” after the Osama bin Laden killing. Read

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Is China More Transparent Than Obama Administration? Reporter Asks

Journalists covering the first day of a U.S.-China summit in Washington on Monday were given access to Chinese officials on several occasions, but for an American perspective, they had to rely on a conference call briefing by two administration officials speaking on background. Read

Obama Administration Undecided on Palestinian Aid, but Unhappy With Israel for Withholding Funds

The Obama administration views as “premature” an Israeli government decision to withhold tax revenues from the Palestinian Authority after the Fatah faction’s unity deal with the Hamas terrorist group. Read

Monday, May 09, 2011

Violence Targeting Egyptian Christians Prompts Mixed Signals from Muslim Brotherhood

The uncertain future faced by Egypt’s Christian minority was highlighted at the weekend both by a violent attack by Islamic radicals that killed 12 people and by the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s best organized political force. Read

Arab League Ignores Syrian Turmoil

Two months after the Arab League won praise for its unprecedented call for international intervention in Libya, the bloc of 22 Arab states is reverting to its customary role of closing ranks, this time around the Assad regime in Syria. Read

Friday, May 06, 2011

Don’t Do it Again, Pakistan Army Warns US

Breaking his silence on Sunday’s U.S. Navy SEAL operation against Osama bin Laden, Pakistan army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani has warned the United States not to contemplate a similar mission in the future. Read

As Pakistan's President Fills Sensitive Cabinet Post, Christians See Concession to Islamic Radicals

While the world’s attention was riveted on the death of Osama bin Laden, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday appointed a Muslim to the cabinet post last held by a Christian who was assassinated for his opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Read

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Some Foreign Pundits, International Organizations Question Propriety of Killing Bin Laden

The death of Osama bin Laden once again has drawn attention to the issue of “extrajudicial” actions such as targeted killings, but some of those now welcoming bin Laden’s demise -- or at least responding cautiously -- have not always reacted that way in similar past instances. Read

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Will Obama Administration Fund a Palestinian Gov’t That Includes Hamas?

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday will formally sign a reconciliation pact with leaders of the Hamas terrorist group, but the Obama administration is waiting to see what the resulting unity government looks like before announcing its stance towards it. Read

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Bin Laden’s Death Prompts Fresh Calls for Afghanistan Pullout

he death of Osama bin Laden has triggered fresh debate over whether the U.S. should accelerate its planned troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. In Washington, there is strong disagreement on the issue. Read

You Got Bin Laden, Now Get Out of the Region, Islamists Tell U.S.

Now that it has achieved its goal of killing Osama bin Laden, the United States should withdraw its armed forces from Afghanistan and the broader region. That’s the message being sent by Islamists from Pakistan, Egypt, and the Iranian government. Read

Monday, May 02, 2011

Response to Syrian Carnage Includes a Watered-Down U.N. Resolution and Sanctions Bypassing Assad

The Obama administration’s two main “tools” employed so far in responding to the deadly crackdown in Syria have been sanctions targeting three senior officials – but not President Bashar Assad – and a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution that had to be weakened in order to pass. Read

Found ‘Deep Inside Pakistan,’ The World’s Most-Wanted Terrorist Is Dead

Almost a decade after terrorists under his command carried out the deadliest terror attack in history, U.S. forces have killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in an operation in Pakistan. Read