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Showing posts from July 16, 2007

Inside America's powerful Israel lobby

Inside America's powerful Israel lobby: "Mar. 16, 2007 | At the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee this week in Washington, a conservative Christian couple from eastern Tennessee told me that their son had decided to join the Israeli army. It was one of many surreal moments during the three-day gathering hosted by AIPAC, the lobbying group devoted to ensuring close U.S.-Israel ties that remains extraordinarily influential in Washington. 'We just love God, and we just love Israel,' the couple beamed, when I asked why they had come to the conference. "

Al Jazeera English - News - Ban Ki-Moon: Six Months On

Al Jazeera English - News - Ban Ki-Moon: Six Months On
Six months on from his inauguration as secretary-general of the United Nations, it is time however to ask whether all of those extra hours, those ever-burning lights on the 38th floor of UN headquarters on Manhattan's East River are achieving results.

Does this most travelled of all secretary-generals have a consistent agenda? Can he act independently of the world's only super-power, the United States, and his principal backer for the job?

To understand what makes Ban tick, it is important to observe him at close quarters as I have done over the past six months. And the best way to watch him in action is to travel with him and his entourage.

Occupation is main problem in Iraq

Occupation is main problem in Iraq: "HAWIJAH, Iraq: The main problem we have here is the occupation, the Iraqi soldier says before joining Americans troops on a mission to win hearts and minds in his hometown of Hawijah.

If the occupier leaves everything will be better. The soldier, who would not give his name, crouches with his comrades inside a US army base as Humvees growl to life and US troops from the 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment strap on Kevlar, light cigarettes, and get ready for another night out."

Worldandnation: Tool of war trumped

Worldandnation: Tool of war trumped: "U.S. soldiers in Iraq will soon see shipments of specially armored trucks designed to withstand the roadside bombs that have killed more service members there than any other single cause.
This should be good news, but the truck's troubled path has tempered optimism for it.
The Marine Corps' urgent request for the first big batch of these vehicles languished in red tape for almost two years. And in that time, Iraqi insurgents, who saw a handful of the vehicles used around Baghdad, upgraded their bombs to penetrate the truck's armor.
Instead of demonstrating America's war fighting prowess, the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle -- MRAP in military parlance -- illustrates how even a wealthy industrial power can struggle to wage war against a nimble and unconventional enemy."

Uzodinma Iweala - Stop Trying To 'Save' Africa -

Uzodinma Iweala - Stop Trying To 'Save' Africa - "By Uzodinma Iweala
Sunday, July 15, 2007; B07

Last fall, shortly after I returned from Nigeria, I was accosted by a perky blond college student whose blue eyes seemed to match the 'African' beads around her wrists.
'Save Darfur!' she shouted from behind a table covered with pamphlets urging students to TAKE ACTION NOW! STOP GENOCIDE IN DARFUR!
My aversion to college kids jumping onto fashionable social causes nearly caused me to walk on, but her next shout stopped me.
'Don't you want to help us save Africa?' she yelled."

Mistrust as Iraqi Troops Encounter New U.S. Allies - New York Times

Mistrust as Iraqi Troops Encounter New U.S. Allies - New York Times: "NASR WA SALAM, Iraq, July 10 — Abu Azzam says the 2,300 men in his movement include members of fierce Sunni groups like the 1920s Revolutionary Brigade and the Mujahedeen Army that have fought the American occupation. Now his men patrol alongside the Americans, who want to turn them into a security force that can bring peace to this stretch between Baghdad and Falluja. "

Ethiopia slaps life sentences on opposition figures - Yahoo! News

Ethiopia slaps life sentences on opposition figures - Yahoo! News: "KALITI, Ethiopia (AFP) - Ethiopia's high court on Tuesday handed down life sentences on more than 30 opposition leaders who had been facing the death penalty after being convicted of planning a coup. "
High court judge Adil Ahmed gave life terms to 34 of the 38 defendants, including Hailu Shawl and Bernahu Nega, two senior leaders of the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) party.

According to an AFP correspondent who witnessed the verdict in the town of Kaliti, some 25 kilometres (16 miles) from the capital Addis Ababa, four other defendants received 18-year sentences.

Prosecutors last week had requested the death penalty for the 38, drawing criticism from Washington and a barrage of condemnation from international rights groups.