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Showing posts from December 29, 2009

The Year Iraq Was Lost for Good by Kelley B. Vlahos -- Antiwar.com

The Year Iraq Was Lost for Good by Kelley B. Vlahos -- Antiwar.com: "As their fellow Americans indulge in the New Year’s holiday, perhaps pausing a moment from talk about Tiger, football, and dead celebrities long enough to speculate about our prospects in Afghanistan, the last Marine combat unit stationed in Iraq is preparing to come home.

It doesn’t need to be said there will be no ticker-tape parades or long, hot-winded excursions by Tom Brokaw about today’s 'Greatest Generation.' Instead, these Marines will reenter our consciousness much like a husband, home from the office, walking into a cold house with no one about and maybe a scribbled note on the refrigerator door.

It’s been a long while since anyone has even debated whether 'victory' was applicable to the U.S.-led invasion and subsequent seven-year occupation of Iraq. But 2009 was the year that the war’s sad fate in the history books was assured, no doubt leaving hundreds of thousands of American serviceme…

NATO Forces Kill 10 Afghan Civilians, Mostly Children -- News from Antiwar.com

NATO Forces Kill 10 Afghan Civilians, Mostly Children -- News from Antiwar.com: "NATO forces engaged in a raid in the remote Kunar Province of Afghanistan killed at least 10 civilians, eight of them schoolchildren, according to numerous Afghan officials including President Hamid Karzai.
NATO officially denied having any information about any operations going on in Kunar, but western officials privately conceded that US special forces have been operating in the Taliban-heavy area. A spokesman for the NATO forces promised to “look into” the reports. Provincial police could provide only sparse details about the killings, and said that a full investigation would take several days, owing to the difficulty in even traveling to the area of the incident. US officials have yet to comment at all.Though the Taliban has established a growing presence in the province, Kunar has been comparatively ignored by international forces since this summer, when provincial officials accused a US soldier …

Al Jazeera English - GAZA: ONE YEAR ON - Gazan children bear 'scars of war'

Al Jazeera English - GAZA: ONE YEAR ON - Gazan children bear 'scars of war': "Samar Zaquot sits in front of a portrait of her eldest brother, Mohammed, that almost reaches from the floor to the ceiling of her parents' front room in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.

Mohammed was 20 when he was killed by an Israeli rocket while having a picnic with friends, just before Israel's Gaza offensive began on December 27 last year.
Sixteen-year-old Samar smiles as she remembers where she was on the first day of Israel's three-week military offensive that would leave 1,400 Palestinians dead, including 352 children."It was the first day of our leaving exams at school. We were just going into our classrooms and preparing to sit the test when we heard the bombs falling. None of us expected it. "My friends started crying and screaming. They were all terrified but I wasn't. I told them, 'don't be scared, if we die it is our judgement'. Ever since Mohammed …

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - Karachi mourns bomb attack victims

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - Karachi mourns bomb attack victims: "Pakistani officials have appealed for calm in Karachi following a suicide attack on a Shia Muslim procession that left at least 40 people dead and scores injured.

Shops, offices and schools were closed in the southern city on Tuesday after religious leaders and political parties called for a day of mourning.

Public transport was also shut down for the day.

'I appeal to the people of Karachi to stay peaceful. This is the economic hub of Pakistan,' Rehman Malik, the interior minister, told reporters after attending the funeral of a paramilitary soldier who authorities said tackled the suicide bomber.

'Anybody trying to destablise Karachi is actually destablising Pakistan.'

Riots followed the bombing, which struck as Shia worshippers marked Ashoura, the holiest event on the Shia Muslim calendar."

Informed Comment: Top Ten Middle East Crises, 2009

Informed Comment: Top Ten Middle East Crises, 2009
10. Dubai, a financial hub of the Gulf, collapsed economically, and worries were raised that Dubai World could default on billions in loans. Only the likelihood that oil-rich sister emirate, Abu Dhabi, would likely bail Dubai out at least to some extent kept there from being a panic.

9. That Iraq is still far from stable was demonstrated by two major .......................