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Archive for April, 2014

Are we Ever going to Have a World, where the Weak are Safe and the Strong are Just?

April 30, 2014 Leave a comment

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Walter Russell Mead paints a disturbing portrait of the United States’ geopolitical predicament. As he sees it, an increasingly formidable coalition of illiberal powers — China, Iran, and Russia — is determined to undo the post–Cold War settlement and the U.S.-led global order that stands behind it. Across Eurasia, he argues, these aggrieved states are bent on building spheres of influence to threaten the foundations of U.S. leadership and the global order. So the United States must rethink its optimism, including its post–Cold War belief that rising non-Western states can be persuaded to join the West and play by its rules. For Mead, the time has come to confront the threats from these increasingly dangerous geopolitical foes. Read more…

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China to Overtake U.S. as World’s Largest Economy This Year

April 30, 2014 Leave a comment

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The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.

The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.

The figures, compiled by the International Comparison Program hosted by the World Bank, are the most authoritative estimates of what money can buy in different countries and are used by most public and private sector organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund. This is the first time they have been updated since 2005. Read more…

A New Middle East Map Won’t End Sectarian Warfare

April 30, 2014 Leave a comment

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If you didn’t know any better, you might think that democracy was flowering all over the Middle East. Syria has a presidential election scheduled in June; today, Lebanon’s Parliament will have a second round of voting to choose a new president, while Iraqis are heading to the polls to choose a parliament that will in turn be responsible for selecting a prime minister.

But in reality, all three countries are in danger of coming apart at the seams. Syria is in the midst of a protracted and vicious civil war that has, in turn, added to Lebanon’s own instability. Iraq, now free of American influence, has gone from being an authoritarian state under Saddam Hussein’s nominally secular control to an authoritarian state under the auspices of Nouri al-Maliki, who will almost certainly be given a third term as premier, having cemented his control by pursuing openly sectarian policies favoring Shiites and targeting Sunni Muslims. Read more…

Boko Haram Terror Group Kidnapped 200 Schoolgirls & Forced them to Marry Extremists

April 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civil society group reported Wednesday.

Parents say the girls are being sold into marriage to Boko Haram militants for 2,000 naira ($12), Halite Aliyu of the Borno-Yobe People’s Forum told The Associated Press. She said the parents’ information is coming from villagers in the Sambisa Forest, on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, where Boko Haram is known to have hideouts. Read more…

Exclusive: Kerry Warns Israel Could Become ‘An Apartheid State’

April 29, 2014 Leave a comment

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The secretary of state said that if Israel doesn’t make peace soon, it could become ‘an apartheid state,’ like the old South Africa. Jewish leaders are fuming over the comparison.

If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state,” Secretary of State John Kerry told a room of influential world leaders in a closed-door meeting Friday.

Senior American officials have rarely, if ever, used the term “apartheid” in reference to Israel, and President Obama has previously rejected the idea that the word should apply to the Jewish state. Kerry’s use of the loaded term is already rankling Jewish leaders in America—and it could attract unwanted attention in Israel, as well. Read more…

Obama’s Receding Foreign-Policy Dreams

April 28, 2014 Leave a comment

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President Barack Obama envisioned building a foreign-policy legacy in his second term: a nuclear deal with sanction-strapped Iran, an end to U.S. involvement in conflicts overseas, and a successful pivot to Asia, including a trans-Pacific trade pact.

Fifteen months after his second inaugural, those goals look more problematic, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have created new crises. Dashed foreign-policy dreams aren’t unique to this second-term president: Read more…

How Ridiculous the United Nations has Become

April 28, 2014 Leave a comment

 

Gender equality for women in Iran

Giving Iranian Mullahs the UN-CSW Seat, is like Asking Al-Qaeda to be the Head of Counter-Terrorism Center. Given that the oppressive IRI government has repeatedly refused to ratify the key international instrument of law on women’s rights, how can one even conceive that they deserved their seat on the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (UN-CSW)? Does anyone ever ask a terrorist to procure security? If UN (intentionally) fails to recognize the real oppressive, misogynistic regime of the IRI how the citizens of earth can ever put their trust into this organization? [DID]

Nope, it’s not from a parody website. This is real news: “Iran wins seat on UN body that presses for women’s rights.” That’s an actual headline from the Washington Times.

The Islamic Republic of Iran was elected to several United Nations human rights committees last week, including receiving a four-year term on the Commission on the Status of Women.

“It is a black day for human rights,” said UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer.

No kidding. Read more…

WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND

April 28, 2014 Leave a comment

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 Christmas Day last year, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appeared on Iraqi television to wish his country’s Christian minority—which has been fleeing by the thousand since the American invasion, in 2003—a happy holiday. Maliki, who is sixty-three, wore a dark-blue suit and a purple tie, and stood almost perfectly still at a lectern flanked by Iraqi flags. His long face conveyed, as it almost always does, a look of utter joylessness. Having spent much of his life hunted by assassins, Maliki gives the impression of a man who learned long ago to ruthlessly suppress his feelings. “He never smiles, he never says thank you, and I’ve never seen him say, ‘I’m sorry,’ ” a longtime associate of Maliki’s told me. For Maliki, the holiday greetings were a pretext. What he really wanted to talk about was protests unfolding in Anbar Province, west of Baghdad. “Thank God, the truth has been revealed,” he said. Read more…

Iranian Underground Lifestyle – A 10 photo Report

April 27, 2014 Leave a comment

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10 Reasons for Mankind to Leave Religion Behind

April 27, 2014 Leave a comment

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It’s been reported recently that atheism is on the rise worldwide, while religiosity is declining. The relationship between the religious and non-religious has always been a tricky one; while many from each group eventually find themselves forced to admit that there is much to learn from the other, atheists still generally have a tough time accepting the role that religion plays in society—and are of the opinion that humanity would be better off leaving it behind, for a number of reasons. Here are ten of them. Read more…

Israel Can’t Accept the Emerging Obama-Mullahs Accord

April 26, 2014 Leave a comment

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With such a flimsy agreement, I wonder what will be left of Western commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And Israel will have to draw its own conclusions.

Ostensibly, official US policy on Iran’s nuclear program is clear: The US will not allow Iran to produce a nuclear bomb. Moreover, US President Barack Obama has said that, for this purpose, “all options are on the table” – implying a military option as well. In addition, according to many reports in American newspapers, Obama has ordered the development of diversified US military capabilities with which to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, far beyond what existed in the previous administration – providing further evidence of the president’s seriousness. Read more…

The Mullahs’ larger Nuclear Strategy

April 26, 2014 Leave a comment

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As a reader of Khomeinist global strategies since the early 1980s, and as I have argued over decades in books and articles, Tehran’s regime possesses a much larger nuclear strategy than the simple acquisition of mass destruction weapons. Over the last few years, the United States and its Western allies have been led to focus on the visible part of the Iranian buildup, missing the much greater construct undertaken over several generations of rulers of the same Iranian regime. Since the so-called “Iran nuclear deal” was inked last fall, Washington acts as if it has somewhat halted (or at least slowed) the strategic program of Tehran and thus has been rewarding the Ayatollahs, but the reality flies in the face of this assumption and agreement. Read more…