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Archives: December 2008

Top Ten Myths about Iraq, 2008

1. Iraqis are safer because of Bush’s War. In fact, conditions of insecurity have helped created both an internal and external refugee problem: ‘ At least 4.2 million Iraqis were displaced. These…

Sistani’s Fatwa on Gaza

Here is my translation of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani’s fatwa or legal ruling issued on Sunday concerning the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Arabic text courtesy of Sawt al-Iraq. Sistani is the spiritual…

28 Killed in Kadhimiya Bombing

A brazen car-bombing in the Kadhimiya district of Baghdad killed 28 and wounded 55 on Saturday. Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that an Iraqi security official expressed surprise and dismay that Kadhimiya could…

Little Town of Bethlehem is Littler Now

Even Santa Claus is protesting the walling off of Bethlehem. Some 15 percent of the 10 million Palestinians is Christian, and they are after all the original Christians. Bethlehem has a special…

Drug Smuggling and Narco-Terrorism in Iraq

Iraq’s parliament accepted the resignation of speaker Mahmoud Mashhadani on Tuesday, and then promptly voted on a bill that provides a legal framework for 4000 British troops and a few other small…

Ghoul’s Glossary: Shoewhack

Shoewhack (v.) To assault someone with footwear in such a way as to humiliate that individual, especially at a moment of supposed triumph or obvious hypocrisy. A shoewhacking generally involves an element…

Officials Charged with Spying* Released

The employees of the Interior and Defense ministries who were arrested earlier this week were released on Friday at the insistence of Interior Minister Jawad al-Bulani, who just returned from abroad. He…

Bakshi: Polarization Breeds Terrorism

Gitanjali Bakshi writes in a guest op-ed for IC: “The Mumbai attacks and a potential resurrection of the ‘War on Terror’ threaten to polarize the India-Pakistan, Israel-Palestine nexus. If not dealt with…

OSC: Sadrists Applaud al-Zaidi’s Shoe-Throwing

The USG Open Source Center translates reports on Dubai al-Sharqiyah Television in Arabic on 15 December regarding the throwing of shoes at George W. Bush during a news conference on Sunday: ‘Iraqi…

Two BBC Stories 5 Years Apart: Leaders and Shoes

A journalist, Muntazir al-Zaidi of Baghdadiya Television, aimed two shoes at W. during a news conference in Baghdad during which Bush attempted to justify his invasion of Iraq. Baghdadiya, based in Cairo,…

Odierno: Thousands of US Troops will Remain in Cities

Gen. Ray Odierno said Saturday in Baghdad that non-combat US troops would remain inside Iraqi cities after June 30, 2009, in a training and mentoring capacity. The security agreement concluded between Washington…

Rumsfeld, Bush, Implicated in Torture by US Senate

It is official. According to a bipartisan Senate report, then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and President George W. Bush bear responsibility for the torture and abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib,…

Cole in Salon: The Challenge of Pakistan for Obama

My column is out at Salon.com: “Does Obama understand his biggest foreign-policy challenge? The president-elect wants to work with the Pakistani government to “stamp out” terror. It’s not nearly that simple.” excerpt:…

Iran: Internet Dating Service Busted

The Iranian government has just closed down the popular Hamsarchat.net internet dating service, accusing it of “promoting prostitution.” The site advertised itself as a way to find a spouse. Actually, the Iranian…

Arrest of Lashkar Masterminds Confirmed

Pakistan confirmed the arrest in Pakistani Kashmir of Zaki ur Rahman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, leaders of the Lashkar-i Tayiba accused by the Indian government of having masterminded the attack on Mumbai.…

Humans did not Breed with Neanderthals

Homo sapiens sapiens did not have children with Neanderthals according to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology who have been analyzing Neanderthal DNA. There has long been speculation on…

Ghoul’s Glossary

Blagojevich (v.) To sell public office for a profit. (n.). Corruption of a particularly blatant and stupid sort. synonym Venality. President John Adams warned of blagojeviching in his inaugural address: “The existence…

Taliban Hit NATO Warehouses, Destroy 150 Trucks

Taliban Hit NATO Warehouses, Destroy 150 Trucks

Unidentified militants attacked a NATO forward storage center at the ring road (beltway) of the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Sunday morning. They destroyed some 150 trucks loaded with materiel and…

Taliban Hit NATO Warehouses, Destroy 150 Trucks

Taliban Hit NATO Warehouses, Destroy 150 Trucks

Unidentified militants attacked a NATO forward storage center at the ring road (beltway) of the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Sunday morning. They destroyed some 150 trucks loaded with materiel and…

Arguing with Bush One last Time

Informed Comment has had a few running features, including top ten lists, the Ghoul’s Glossary, and ‘Arguing with Bush.’ With any luck this column will be the last in that dreary series.…

Arguing with Bush One last Time

Informed Comment has had a few running features, including top ten lists, the Ghoul’s Glossary, and ‘Arguing with Bush.’ With any luck this column will be the last in that dreary series.…

Mystifying the Map of Piri Reis

Mystifying the Map of Piri Reis

This site attempts to mystify the 1513 Piri Reis map of the world, including the New World, produced in Istanbul. It is alleged that it shows the coast of Antarctica as well…

Mystifying the Map of Piri Reis

Mystifying the Map of Piri Reis

This site attempts to mystify the 1513 Piri Reis map of the world, including the New World, produced in Istanbul. It is alleged that it shows the coast of Antarctica as well…

Spanish Arab and Jewish Genetic Heritage

Geneticists are now estimating that the Spanish Inquisition led to large amounts of intermarriage between nominally converted Muslims and Jews with Catholics in Spain after 1492. From that date, the Spanish state…

Spanish Arab and Jewish Genetic Heritage

Geneticists are now estimating that the Spanish Inquisition led to large amounts of intermarriage between nominally converted Muslims and Jews with Catholics in Spain after 1492. From that date, the Spanish state…

The Stupidity of Attacking Iran

The stupidity of attacking Iran (again) And don’t forget about the Joint Experts’ Statement on Iran, which we are pressing on Congress and the Obama administration. You can get it to your…

The Stupidity of Attacking Iran

The stupidity of attacking Iran (again) And don’t forget about the Joint Experts’ Statement on Iran, which we are pressing on Congress and the Obama administration. You can get it to your…

The Armada was Redundant

This article argues that the UK is just one big happy family. The British isles were populated by Iberians 8,000 or 9,000 years ago, and everyone throughout the isles– Irish, Welsh, Scottish…

The Armada was Redundant

This article argues that the UK is just one big happy family. The British isles were populated by Iberians 8,000 or 9,000 years ago, and everyone throughout the isles– Irish, Welsh, Scottish…

Indian Muslims Refuse to Bury Militants

The Muslim community in Mumbai says it doesn’t want the gunmen who attacked Mumbai to be buried in the Muslim cemetery, on the grounds that they are not Muslims. A spokesman for…

Indian Muslims Refuse to Bury Militants

The Muslim community in Mumbai says it doesn’t want the gunmen who attacked Mumbai to be buried in the Muslim cemetery, on the grounds that they are not Muslims. A spokesman for…