Greater Middle East

Islam and terror: two Muslim views

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) runs a July 13 piece from the Florida Times-Union, "Muslim Leaders Condemning Terror to Deaf?" in which columnist Mark Woods speaks to CAIR's new chairman Parvez Ahmed and finds that such Muslim condemnations are in fact widespread—but never seem to be sufficient:

Terror in Turkey

Jeez, will people please stop blowing other people up already? This is really getting old.

Minibus Explosion in Turkey Leaves 5 Dead
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - A bomb tore apart a minibus in a popular Aegean beach resort town Saturday, killing at least five people, including two foreigners, the second explosion in a week aimed at Turkey's vital tourism industry.

Syria's Kurds: pawns or actors?

This analysis from Lebanon's Daily Star, July 12, online at Kurdish Media, makes clear the dilemma of the Syrian Kurds. The fact that they are disenfranchised by the Damascus regime makes them a convenient football for White House hawks. And their demands for basic political rights are all too likely to be used as a lever for "neoliberal" reform: privatization, austerity and the rest. Or, if tensions finally explode in Syria's corner of Kurdistan, for actual "regime change" in Damascus. Apparently the issue was grappled with at Syria's recent Baath Party congress.

Syria target of "regime change" offensive

Just as Bush is trumpeting claims that Syria is planning to re-intervene in Lebanon, comes a disturbing June 8 story from the New York Sun, claiming that the familiar "regime change" formula is about to be applied to Damascus:

At the State Department, the Bureau of Near East Affairs and the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor have asked Congress for explicit legal authority to fund liberal opposition parties inside Syria through regional initiatives that have hitherto focused on reforming American allies such as Jordan and Egypt, two administration officials told The New York Sun.

Bush accuses Syria on Lebanon

President Bush says today he has receieved reports of covert Syrian interference in Lebanon, and the White House charged that it had information that Damascus had drawn up an assassination hit list targeting Lebanese political leaders. "Obviously we're going to follow up on these troubling reports, and we expect the Syrian government to follow up on these troubling reports," Bush told reporters. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said afterward that Washington had received information about a "Syrian hit list targeting key Lebanese public figures of various political and religious persuasions, for assassination."

Egypt next for "regime change"?

In recent weeks, we've been following Washington's current regime change offensive, in which the White House is seeking to encourage--and, presumably, co-opt--opposition activists in countries which really are unhappily authoritarian, but (more to the point) insufficiently compliant with US interests. Now there are signs that even Egypt, a top global recipient of US aid, could be next.

PKK insurgency flares in Turkey

During the Turkish National Day celebration in the eastern city of Siirt this week, helicopter gunships circled over the stadium and sharpshooters stood watch on rooftops--signs of the rising tension in southeast Turkey as Kurdish separatists rekindle an insurgency after a five-year lull.

"Jewish lobby" denies Armenian genocide

Here's a textbook case in how the reigning anti-Semitic propaganda system works, with the paradoxical complicity of certain powerful (and deluded) Jews. This propaganda system is all the more effective for being nearly universally unrecognized.

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