Friday, May 28, 2010

The War on Islam Is Over, But...

In a clear break from former president George Bush's two national security strategies issued in 2002 and 2006 which endorsed unilateral military action and spoke of the threat posed by "Islamic extremism," President Obama has unveiled a new national security strategy which calls for more global engagement and aims to downplay fears that the US is "at war" with Islam.

President Obama also expressed his desire to break away from the unilateral military approach of "either you are with us or against us" established in the wake of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

Read more on the Huffington Post

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Russians Are Coming

Israel expressed "deep disappointment" Thursday over a meeting the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev held this week in Syria with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, saying the organization must play a role in peace efforts.

Calling Hamas "a terror organization in every way," Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it expected Russia to stand by Israel in its struggle against Hamas.

"Hamas is a terror organization whose declared goal is the destruction of the state of Israel...Hamas is responsible for the murder of hundreds of innocent civilians, among them immigrants from the Soviet Union and also Russian citizens."

Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, make up a quartet of Middle East mediators. The U.S., EU and Israel consider Hamas a terrorist group. Russia insists that Hamas should not be isolated.

Read more on the Huffington Post

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mubarak's War on Islamists

On Wednesday, an Egyptian court convicted 26 men of spying for Hezbollah and plotting attacks on Egyptian soil on behalf of the Lebanese militant group.

The men, including Lebanese, Egyptians, Palestinians, and one Sudanese, received sentences ranging from six months to life in prison.

Hezbollah’s leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, has strongly criticized the Egyptian courts for jailing the men accused of working for his organization. He said the judgment by the Security Court in Cairo was "unjust and politicized."

Amnesty International on Thursday called for a retrial of 26 defendants, criticizing the use of an emergency court.

"These men should be retried by an ordinary court which gives them a chance of getting a fair trial," said the London-based rights watchdog.

Hezbollah’s differences with Egypt hit a pinnacle during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Egypt’s decision to keep the Rafah exits from Gaza sealed infuriated Nasrallah, who, on December 28, 2008, called for the Egyptian people to help the besieged Gazans and called on the Egyptian government to open the Rafah border crossing.

"Oh Egyptian official, unless you open the Rafah border crossing, unless you help your brethren in Gaza, you will be accomplices to the crime, accomplices to the killing, accomplices to the siege, and accomplices in generating the Palestinian catastrophe," he said in a televised speech.

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