Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Mossad Reality Show

The assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the Hamas military commander had all the elements needed to shoot it to the top of editorial priority lists around the world. There was mystery, political rivalry, stolen identities and most importantly, footage – 27 minutes of it, all filmed by numerous surveillance cameras around Dubai.

Soon after investigations began, Dubai Police declared it was "99 per cent certain" that agents of Israel's secret intelligence agency - Mossad - had committed the murder. But reporters looking to Israel for concrete information got none – the official policy on sensitive security issues is one of deliberate ambiguity.

Jamal Dajani joins the conversation on Al Jazeera’s Listening Post to examine the trail of clues left by al-Mabhouh's assassins and the changing narratives of media across the world.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Winning the Afghanistan War in Pakistan

Not too long after some 15,000 U.S., British, and Afghan national forces launched the largest attack on Taliban forces since President Obama signed orders to send 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, news broke of the arrest of the second most senior Afghan Taliban commander since 2001, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

According to officials, he was seized in a secret raid in Pakistan several days ago by U.S. and Pakistani intelligence forces. His capture reflects a markedly changed attitude by Pakistani intelligence toward an insurgent force that the country had allowed to operate with relative impunity for the past eight years.

Stunned by the success of this operation, however, a Taliban spokesman denied reports of Mullah Baradar's capture, saying he was still in Afghanistan, actively organizing the group's military and political activities.

"Mullah Baradar has not been arrested, he is in Afghanistan, I don’t know who spread the rumor, but it’s absolutely false,” Qari Mohammed Yousef, a spokesman for the Taliban, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani media's response to the arrest of Mullah Baradar has been surprisingly muted.

Read More

Friday, February 12, 2010

Iran Opposition Unplugged

Last June, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed a "landslide" victory election triggering months of upheaval. Tehran and other cities have seen the largest street protests and rioting since the 1979 Iranian Revolution by supporters of reform candidates alleging voter fraud. For the past several weeks, Iranian opposition groups and various media outlets have been predicting a repeat of this past summer's events during the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

The anniversary is the most important day in Iran's political calendar.

Instead, the opposition turnout was dwarfed by huge crowds at the state-run celebrations in the center of Tehran waving Iranian flags and carrying placards declaring the "US and Britain the brothers of the devil", and "Down with Israel."

A triumphant Ahmadinejad declared that Iran was now a "nuclear state" and would soon triple its output of 20% enriched uranium.

"By God's grace, it was reported that the first consignment of 20 per cent-enriched uranium was produced and put at the disposal of the scientists," he addressed the cheering crowd who had gathered in Tehran Azadi square to mark the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
Read more on the Huffington Post.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Israel: Occupation or Apartheid?

The dreaded "A-Word" has once again made its way into Israeli media, not by a leftist "self-hating Jew", but by a prominent Israeli politician, the Minister of Defense, who is a decorated soldier and a former prime minister as well. "A" is for Apartheid.

An awful word that evokes awful memories, presumably left behind in the annals of history in places such as Soweto and Cape Town. A word that has invited rage, insults, and attacks against a former US president who received a Nobel Peace Prize.

This past Tuesday, however, Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that if Israel does not achieve a peace deal with the Palestinians, it will have to become a binational state or be an undemocratic apartheid one if it remains as it is. Read More