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  • willow 9:38 am on April 8, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , US   

    Some good news! There still is such a thing…

    Obama and Medvedev sign a new nuclear pact calling on both nations to draw down their nuclear arsenal by up to 1/3; additionally, Obama calls to remove mentions of Islam and jihad from national security strategy document.

     
    • thabet 8:14 am on April 11, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Yes, this is good news.

      I also believe Obama actually deserves credit for basically adopting silence or quietism on Israel — this has allowed Israel to continue to show the world it is not interested in peace without the US aggressively weighing in and defending its ally.

      (Some may say he has a duty to speak up very loudly — I agree, but that is not going to happen.)

      • aziz 6:15 pm on April 11, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        good point. Netanyahu’s govt has done more to undermine Israel’s own interests in just one year on Obama’s watch than it did in the entire decade of enabling by Bush.

    • thabet 7:25 am on April 12, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      FWIW, Craig Murray (a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan), and someone to the left, says START is a positive step (with caveats!).

  • aziz 8:30 am on February 11, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , US   

    It’s time for the US-Islamic World conference in Doha. Sec. Clinton will be attending; I was actually invited by a friend at Brookings but unfortunately can’t make it. Is anyone here going?

     
  • aziz 10:22 am on January 12, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , US   

    Imams issue fatwa against attacks on the US and Canada: I praise the intention but question the strategy.

    Credit to Abu Noor (and to Naeem) for almost single-handedly changing my opinion on this issue.

     
    • AA 4:38 pm on January 12, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      My take is that a fatwa with concrete and credible action plan on how it intends to educate the Muslims who are out there hijacking the religion for all the wrong reasons, would be much better than this general statement.

  • johnpi 7:57 am on December 12, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , US   

    Egypt demolishing Muslim Brotherhood hospital.

    Egypt has begun the demolition of a new hospital built by the opposition Muslim Brotherhood for the poor in the capital over what it called the building’s ‘unsafe’ edifice.

    The decisions to tear down the 250-bed Islamic Medical Association’s Central Charity Hospital built with a burgeoning budget in Cairo comes over the seven-story building’s height, officials told Reuters.

    “These demolitions are being carried out on buildings higher than the expected range, raising safety concerns,” local government spokesperson Khalid Mustafa said on Thursday.

    However, Egypt’s main opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, has accused authorities of playing politics and trying to undermine the party’s status in public.

    There is a pattern developing among governments that are in opposition to Islamic groups, especially Israel, Egypt and the US. The Islamists gain popularity and power by establishing charities and social services to meet unmet needs among underserved communities. So the governments have begun attacking and attempting to dismantle the social services of the Islamist groups.

     
  • plimfix 3:58 am on April 25, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , American Anthropological Association, , , US   

    Radio 4 broadcast featuring Mark Whitaker, who reports from Washington DC on the policy of the United States army to embed anthropologists and other social scientists with combat brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ethnography with a 9mm, or teaching soldiers how to respond in a culturally appropriate manner, thus reducing the need for lethal force?

     
  • johnpi 5:48 am on April 22, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , US   

    Huffington Post pundit Jason Linkins is being lambasted by Huffpo commenters for stifling legitimate criticism of Israel after he characterized a “tea bag party” protest sign criticizing US support for Israel as “anti-Semitic.”

    The image pictures a bucket of money being poured into a blue funnel with a Star of David on it (the Israeli flag has a Star of David in the center), which in turn drips blood into a bottle where a person holding a Palestinian flag is seen drowning in blood. The text reads “Uncle Sam reminds you: Keep paying taxes. The ongoing extermination of Palestinian children can’t be done without your help.”

     
    • Matt 7:21 am on April 22, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      For starters, is it even criticism of Israel? Or of America? Or does it suggest some relationship between them? There’s a lot going on in that poster, and it seems pretty reductive to simply call it ‘criticism of Israel.’ And from there, there’s no prima facie reason to suppose it’s legitimate criticism, let alone legitimate criticism of Israel. The poster makes an argument, and just because you agree with (some part of) the conclusion you still need to examine the argument.

      Given the blatant conspircism of Ron Paul and many of his supporters, not to mention his racism and support from white supremacists, and mostly importantly the history of conspiracism and antisemitism in the tax protest movement(!), I think it makes sense to focus on those elements of the poster – and they are there.

    • Akhmad 7:55 am on April 22, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Generally even if there isn’t an “element” of anti semitism in a legit criticism of Israel, the media and academia rushes to add those elements in there.

    • Matt 8:31 am on April 22, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I actually disagree with that, Akhmad. But more importantly, just because there’s an element of legitimate criticism doesn’t mean that accusations of antisemitism are wrong. There may be more than one issue at stake in the same poster.

  • johnpi 11:29 pm on February 25, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , US   

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has relayed messages to Israel in the past week expressing anger at obstacles Israel is placing to the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. A leading political source in Jerusalem noted that senior Clinton aides have made it clear that the matter will be central to Clinton’s planned visit to Israel next Tuesday.

    Ahead of Clinton’s visit, special U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell is expected to issue a sharply worded protest on the same matter when he arrives here Thursday.

     
    • S. Minanel 7:30 pm on March 5, 2009 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What if the reconstruction of Gaza included building the exact duplicates of the original homes that the Palestinians fled from, thereby assuaging their nostalgia?

  • johnpi 7:17 pm on February 24, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , US   

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will announce at the Gaza donor’s conference next week that the US will give $900 million to help rebuild the Gaza Strip.

    Juan Cole says:

    It is obvious why Clinton is making this gesture. The United States’s name is mud in much of the Muslim world because Washington supported to the hilt Ehud Olmert’s brutal assault on the people and civilian infrastructure of the Gaza Strip. Gaza was already a blockaded and abused slum before the war, where 15% of the children were undernourished. Bush urged Olmert on, and Obama has been silent. …

    So people are asking where the US government is going to get a billion dollars to give to the Gazans. That’s easy. The US should take it out of the over $3 billion a year it gives to Israel.

    Here, here.

    Let’s not get a warm fuzzy feeling about this until Clinton actually delivers the money.

     
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