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Showing posts from July 24, 2008

ei: What Obama missed in the Middle East

ei: What Obama missed in the Middle East: "When I and other Palestinian-Americans first knew Barack Obama in Chicago in the 1990s, he grasped the oppression faced by Palestinians under Israeli occupation. He understood that an honest broker cannot simultaneously be the main cheerleader, financier and arms supplier for one side in a conflict. He often attended Palestinian-American community events and heard about the Palestinian experience from perspectives stifled in mainstream discussion.

In recent months, Obama has sought to allay persistent concerns from pro-Israel groups by recasting himself as a stalwart backer of Israel and tacking ever closer to positions espoused by the powerful, hard-line pro-Israel lobby AIPAC. He distanced himself from mainstream advisers because pro-Israel groups objected to their calls for even-handedness.

Like his Republican rival, Senator John McCain, Obama gave staunch backing to Israel's 2006 bombing of Lebanon, which killed over 1,200 people, …

Obama is saying the wrong things about Afghanistan | Salon

Obama is saying the wrong things about Afghanistan | Salon: "July 23, 2008 | Barack Obama's Afghanistan and Iraq policies are mirror images of each other. Obama wants to send 10,000 extra U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but wants to withdraw all American soldiers and Marines from Iraq on a short timetable. In contrast to the kid gloves with which he treated the Iraqi government, Obama repeated his threat to hit at al-Qaida in neighboring Pakistan unilaterally, drawing howls of outrage from Islamabad.

But Obama's pledge to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan will not be easy to fulfill. While coalition troop deaths have declined significantly in Iraq, NATO casualties in Afghanistan are way up. By shifting emphasis from Iraq to Afghanistan, would a President Obama be jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

During the Baghdad stop of his ongoing overseas tour, the convergence between the worldview of the presumptive Democratic nominee and that of his Iraqi hosts provided some emb…

Wonk Room » Escalation Architect Fred Kagan Doubles Down On His Claim That Sectarian Cleansing In Baghdad Is A ‘Myth’

Wonk Room » Escalation Architect Fred Kagan Doubles Down On His Claim That Sectarian Cleansing In Baghdad Is A ‘Myth’
In a presentation yesterday at the American Enterprise Institute, escalation architect Frederick Kagan repeated his claim that sectarian cleansing has not affected the drop in violence in Iraq. Kagan called it a “myth”:

The bad news from this perspective is that the sectarian areas of Iraq is still mixed. The good news is that the sectarian areas of Iraq are still mixed. And there is a myth out there that the violence has fallen because all of the cleansing is done. That is absolutely not the case.
Kagan’s claim is contested by major news organizations and the U.S. military’s own data. In December 2007, the Washington Post published the maps below, comparing the sectarian make-up of Baghdad’s neighborhoods in April 2006 and November 2007, and revealing the transformation of the city resulting from sectarian cleansing: