Thursday, October 29, 2009

Taliban: If You Can't Beat Them, Buy Them

The story the New York Times published this week on Hamid Karzai's drug-dealing brother Ahmed Wali and his ties to the CIA is very revealing, considering it comes just few days before Afghanistan's run-off election; however, it is not the real news. It has been rumored for years that Wali has been involved in opium trafficking and has been receiving payments from the CIA. The big story is the United States' government plan to buy out the Taliban -- officially, so to speak.

Read more on the Huffington Post

Friday, October 23, 2009

Afghanistan: Fraud, Opium, and Taliban

If someone is caught cheating in the Olympics or another sporting event, the athlete is immediately disqualified, and it is seen as a disgrace. In the case of the recent election in Afghanistan however, cheating has been rewarded and even praised by no less than the President of the United States himself.

President Obama said that he contacted Hamid Karzai shortly after the Afghan president said he would abide by the results of a presidential election held in August.

"I wanted to congratulate him on accepting the certification of the recent election," Mr. Obama said.

Read more on the Huffington Post

Friday, October 16, 2009

Israel-Turkey: No TV Drama

It's amazing what a little controversy can do to the ratings of a mediocre television show: it drives them up through the roof. And that's exactly what happened to what used to be a "barely-watched" Turkish drama series called Ayrilik: a love story that develops between the lead characters during Israel's "Operation Cast Lead" on the Gaza Strip.

The show, which airs on Turkey's state-owned TRT television, depicts Israeli soldiers murdering innocent Palestinian civilians. One particular segment showed images of Israeli soldiers shooting a smiling young girl in the chest, steamrolling a tank through a crowded street and lining up a firing squad to shoot at a group of Palestinians.

Read more on the Huffington Post

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Vichy Government of Palestine

It is not the first time Palestinians have called for the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas. When Hamas swept to victory in the Palestinian Parliamentary Elections in January 2006, angry mobs from the defeated Fatah party staged rallies in the Gaza Strip, calling for his resignation. Many gathered outside the parliament in Gaza City, setting fire to government cars and firing shots into the air.

Today, the anger is subtler, but more poignant. Palestinians from all walks of life are stunned and disappointed by Abbas, who withdrew Palestinian support for a vote in the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva to have the Goldstone report sent to the U.N. General Assembly for possible action, the first of many steps towards possibly establishing war crimes tribunals to investigate Israel's alleged war crimes in Gaza.

Read more on the Huffington Post

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Israel vs. Iran: The Writing Is on the Wall

Iran has agreed to allow international nuclear inspectors to view its recently revealed uranium enrichment plant near the city of Qom, and President Obama has called talks between U.S. diplomats and their Iranian counterparts about the country's nuclear program a "constructive beginning."

However, recent events and heated rhetoric concerning Iran's nuclear program are reminiscent of the final days that lead to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 when then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the United Nations Security Council on February 5th of that year with what he called "solid" evidence that showed Iraq had still not complied with resolutions calling for it to disarm and was maintaining a secret WMD program. It seems that history is repeating itself.

Read more on the Huffington Post