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Archives: December 2009

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,…

Conflict Grows Between Pakistan’s Taliban and Shi’ites

Conflict Grows Between Pakistan's Taliban and Shi'ites – TIME Omar Waraich argues that Monday’s horrific bombing in Karachi of a Shiite mourning procession signals a deepening Taliban/Shiite struggle in Pakistan. Pakistani analysts…

Wave of Arrests in Iran

The last of the demonstrators Monday morning were dispersed with tear gas in Iran’s cities, and there were no major rallies yesterday. The authorities continued to make arrests among aides to the…

Muharram Violence in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan

The background for the big news in Iraq, Iran and Pakistan on Saturday and Sunday is the Shiite mourning season. Saturday was the 9th of the month of Muharram and Sunday is…

Yemen, UAE links in Detroit Terrorism Attack

Christian Purefoy is reporting on CNN that Abdul Mutallib ran into a radical Muslim network while studying in London. He was last registered in class at University College London in June 2008.…

Airline suspect is Nigeria banker’s son

Airline suspect is Nigeria banker's son | Reuters Western wire services are picking up reports from the Nigerian press that Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallib is the son of Umaru Mutallib, a prominent…

Montazeri and Iranian Democracy

Montazeri and Iranian Democracy

The Real News Network on Grand Ayatollsh Montazeri snd Iranian democracy. Dr. Nader Hashemi is interviewed. End/ (Not Continued)

Iran Unrest Continues; Reformist Clerics Attacked

Unrest continued in Iran on Tuesday and Wednesday as dissidents combined mourning ceremonies for Grand Ayatollah Hosain Ali Montazeri with anti-regime demonstrations. In the important city of Isfahan, security forces attacked a…

Thousands mass for Montazeri’s Funeral in Iran

Thousands mass for Montazeri’s Funeral in Iran

Enduring America reports that the funeral procession for Grand Ayatollah Husain Ali Montazeri began at 9:30 am in Iran. The initial regime announcement of the senior cleric’s death omitted his titles. Once…

Shafir: The End of US Relevance

Gershon Shafir writes in a guest column for Informed Comment: The Obama Administration, like every other American administration, has failed to convince Israel to freeze the expansion of its settlements on the…

Montazeri Dead

The Associated Press: ML APNewsAlert AP is reporting that Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri of Iran is dead, according to his grandson. Montazeri, 87, had been a close associate of Imam Ruhollah…

iPhone App for Informed Comment

Just to let all the Informed Comment readers who use iPhones know that there is now a dedicated app for it. Search ‘Juan Cole’s blog’ in iPhone apps and it comes right…

Comedian Nazareth on Finding a Wife in Gaza

Comedian Nazareth on Finding a Wife in Gaza

In honor of the approaching season, some evangelical Christian Arab comedy from the Gaza Strip– just as a reminder that not everyone being half-starved by the Israeli blockade there is Hamas. End/…

Babylon’s last alcohol seller arrested

AFP: Babylon's last alcohol seller arrested: family Paul Wolfowitz said that Iraqi Shiites would be better friends for the US than the Saudis because they are ‘secular,’ and Paul Bremer boasted in…

Arrest warrant for Livni issued in London

Arrest warrant for Livni issued in London

FT.com / UK – Arrest warrant for Livni issued in London This incident is admittedly only a minor brouhaha, since former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni was forced to cancel her trip…

China wins struggle for Pipelinestan

A common explanation for the US presence in Afghanistan is Washington’s interest in Central Asian fuel sources– natural gas in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and petroleum in Kazakhstan. The idea of Zalmay Khalilzad…

Tripathi: Blair’s Iraq Confession

Deepak Tripathi, former BBC journalist and author of the book Overcoming the Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan (Potomac, January 2010) writes in guest op-ed for IC: Since the launch of the…

Gilani Threatens Orakzai Campaign

Gilani Threatens Orakzai Campaign

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has announced the end of the Pakistani military campaign in South Waziristan, although he seems to reserve the possibility that it might nevertheless continue. The reason…

Pakistani Reactions to Obama’s Nobel

The USG OSC translates or paraphrases Pakistani Urdu editorials on President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize: Pakistan Urdu Press Roundup on Obama Receiving Nobel Peace PrizeThe roundup of excerpts from articles and an…

AfPak Dilemmas

AfPak Dilemmas

Not only have Blackwater mercenaries (now Xe) helped the CIA kidnap people (“rendition”), but it is now coming out that they’ve been helping launch covert assassination drones in Pakistan. The revelations, which…

Obama, Peace and War

If it is true that the Nobel committee awarded President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for not being George W. Bush, they must have been dismayed to discover that Bush’s war…

The Progressive on Best Books of 2009

The Progressive on Best Books of 2009

Favorite Books of 2009 | The Progressive The Progressive lists their writers’ favorite books this year. I’m proud that Engaging the Muslim World made the list Note that both Engaging and Napoleon’s…

127 Dead, 500 Wounded in 5 Baghdad Bombings

127 Dead, 500 Wounded in 5 Baghdad Bombings

Five large bombs were detonated throughout Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 127 persons and wounding 500, and damaging important government buildings. Three of the five were suicide bombs. Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that…

Bombings kill 46 people in 2 Pakistan cities

Bombings kill 46 people in 2 Pakistan cities | Top AP Stories | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle The market that was struck in Lahore, in Iqbal Town, is known as upscale– where…

Silverman: Iraqi Electoral Law Passes but Dangers Loom

Adam L. Silverman writes in a guest op-ed for Informed Comment: Politics and Politicking: Iraqi Elections, the Failure of Reconciliation, and the Consolidation of Power Adam L. Silverman, PhD[1] The politics surrounding…

OSC: Pakistani Editorials on Obama AfPak Policy

The USG Open Source Center rounds up Pakistani Urdu editorials concerning President Barack Obama’s new Afghanistan policy. Pakistan: Urdu Press Roundup on Barack Obama’s New Afghan PolicyThe following is a roundup of…

Afghanistan, Neighbors React to the Obama Plan

Afghanistan, Neighbors React to the Obama Plan

Radio Azadi reports in Dari Persian that the government of President Hamid Karzai has greeted the Obama plan for that country “warmly”. Kabul interprets the plan as a pledge to build up…

Cole in Salon: Obama’s Surge and the Iraq Fallacy

See my just-published Salon.com article, “Obama’s surge: has the president been misled by the Iraq analogy?” Excerpt: ‘ President Barack Obama’s just-announced plan for Afghanistan seems modeled less on Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam…