Yemen: Saudi actions are destabilizing for the global UN-based order
Mar28

Yemen: Saudi actions are destabilizing for the global UN-based order

The Saudi intervention in Yemen as the lead military power in a Gulf coalition opens a Pandora’s Box that could be the first fatal step in unravelling the United Nations security system set up after World War II. The UN system prohibits military intervention in any foreign country without Security Council authorization and the UN’s founding principle, considered sacrosanct by many, is non-interference in the internal affairs of...

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(Updates) Saudi Arabia Launches Airstrikes Against Rebels in Yemen
Mar25

(Updates) Saudi Arabia Launches Airstrikes Against Rebels in Yemen

Update (Tikrit) The New York Times is reporting that three major Shiite militia groups who were participating in the fight for Tikrit have “pulled out” of the fight “immediately depriving the Iraqi government of thousands of their fighters on the ground even as American warplanes readied for an expected second day of airstrikes against the Islamic State there.” Apparently the pull-out is in protest of U.S. airstrikes against ISIL...

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Obama Mideast efforts hard hit as Yemen ally flees
Mar25

Obama Mideast efforts hard hit as Yemen ally flees

President Barack Obama’s main ally in Yemen, the country that hosts al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), fled in a boat today to avoid capture by forces controlled by the strongman Washington helped to dislodge in 2012. President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is also backed by the Saudi and Gulf regimes, was holed up in Yemen’s strategic southern port city of Aden, his hometown. He fled after Yemeni military units loyal to former...

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Teheran, Washington, ISIL and the nuclear deal
Mar21

Teheran, Washington, ISIL and the nuclear deal

Despite remaining gaps, the momentum for a nuclear deal with Iran is becoming irresistible and next week could see start of a new page in Middle East politics. The reasons for momentum in favor of a deal go far beyond the arm wrestling among negotiators on nuclear issues. Above all, they concern steadily rising Sunni Islamic terrorism across the Middle East and along a large crescent stretching from China to North Africa’s Atlantic...

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Islamic State may have committed genocide and war crimes – UN monitor
Mar19

Islamic State may have committed genocide and war crimes – UN monitor

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has committed atrocities that could amount to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, a United Nations monitor reported today. An investigation team of the UN Human Rights Office found that ISIL has committed killings, torture, rape and sexual slavery, forced religious conversions and the conscription of children — which are usually seen as crimes against humanity and war...

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One More Thing Finland Gets Right: Speeding Tickets
Mar17

One More Thing Finland Gets Right: Speeding Tickets

Across the country and the globe, drivers are perpetually fighting what they believe to be a broken system when it comes to speeding fines, whilst governments and public service departments reassure citizens that their procedures are correct and accurate. Nevertheless, there is a growing fear that the average individual is fair game for a complex and opaque revenue raising scheme that isn’t actually designed to protect motorists...

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Women’s Rights and Roles
Mar17

Women’s Rights and Roles

2015 is the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action regarding the status of women. Though 189 governments signed the document, much remains to be done in democratic and non-democratic states to improve women’s lives. Democracy in any nation is a mirage unless all citizens have equal rights and equality of opportunity. This includes both genders as well as LGBT, racial, ethnic, and religious groups. However,...

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Christians, Muslims and the Destruction of Ancient Sites (Le Monde, France)
Mar15

Christians, Muslims and the Destruction of Ancient Sites (Le Monde, France)

Like the fundamentalists of Islamic State, Christians, too, had a period in which ancient sites were destroyed as a form of idolatry. However, according to Gérard Leclerc, a journalist and philosopher with France Catholique, a cultural chasm separates the two: unlike the radicals of Islamic State, ‘Christianity was from the start a scholarly religion that could not have existed in the context of barbarity.’ In an interview...

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Cartoon: Republican Senators write to Iran
Mar14

Cartoon: Republican Senators write to Iran

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit...

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Mike Peters Guest Cartoon: The 47 Republican Senators and the Cuban Missile Crisis
Mar13

Mike Peters Guest Cartoon: The 47 Republican Senators and the Cuban Missile Crisis

The 47 Republican Senators and the Cuban Missile Crisis by Mike Peters OF RELATED INTEREST: –Fallout Seen Worldwide From Republicans’ Letter to Iran –The true liability of GOP senators’ letter to Iran (Denver Post editorial) –Germany Warns GOP Letter Affects Iran Talks –Jon Stewart Mocks Republican Senators’ Open Letter To Iran Mike Peters is recognized as one of our nation’s most prominent...

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The Dalai Lama And A Gaggle Of Chinese Communist Officials Walk Into A Bar . . .
Mar12

The Dalai Lama And A Gaggle Of Chinese Communist Officials Walk Into A Bar . . .

Do you remember that uproarious Monty Python sketch where the Dalai Lama, played by John Cleese, sits cross-legged in saffron robes in a mountaintop cave and declares that he won’t have an afterlife, throwing into an uproar the exhausted Chinese Communist Party functionaries who have hiked to the cave? The officials, played by the other Pythons dressed identically in Mao jackets and clutching little red books, demand that the...

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The 47 Republican Senators and the Letter to Iran: Knuckleheads, dum-dums, or traitors?
Mar11

The 47 Republican Senators and the Letter to Iran: Knuckleheads, dum-dums, or traitors?

Knuckleheads, dum-dums, or traitors? And anyway, do we know treason when we see it? Call me old-fashioned, but when the advise-and-consent role of the Senate was exchanged for a casual, treacherous intrusion into the rights and duties of the executive branch, the senators involved deserved a chilly overnight in the stocks for their action. Mike Coblenz guides us through the Constitutional issues the framers discussed with respect to...

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Open Letters: First Iran, Now the World (Updates)
Mar11

Open Letters: First Iran, Now the World (Updates)

Update III (No satire) Testifying today before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Secretary of State John Kerry did not mince words when commenting on the infamous “letter of 47.” He called it an “irresponsible” gambit that breaks with more than two centuries of U.S. foreign policy history, according to a report at the Huffington Post. More from the Post: “My reaction to the letter was utter disbelief,”...

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Don’t blame just religion for extremist violence—UN expert
Mar10

Don’t blame just religion for extremist violence—UN expert

Religion is just a mask some extremists use to justify violence that has many other causes, according to a United Nations human rights expert. Violence committed in the name of religion does not simply ‘erupt’, but stems from interrelated drivers that provide the fertile ground for hatred, said Heiner Bielefeldt, rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council on preventing violence committed in the name of religion. It typically originates...

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Following Finland in Education
Mar10

Following Finland in Education

As Americans, we have a rigid sense of patriotism and believe that our way is the right way. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. We are not a perfect nation and our policies are in desperate need of fixing. One of the most important issues we deal with is education and, as we’ve seen from previous studies, our performance in math, literature and science have suffered. For some, it’s a hard reality to accept, but...

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ISIS Launches ‘Kilafahbook’: The Facebook for Terrorists (Bild, Germany)
Mar09

ISIS Launches ‘Kilafahbook’: The Facebook for Terrorists (Bild, Germany)

Apparently tired of Western restrictions on their blood curdling Tweets and Facebook posts, Germany’s Bild reports that the throat-cutting geeks of ISIS launched their own social network three days ago. Looking suspiciously like Facebook, the ISIS jihadis have dubbed it ‘Kilafahbook’. They have shared their cruel deeds on the Web in order to attract the world’s attention to themselves. Now the jihadists seek to push...

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(Updated) In the Meantime, in Iraq and Syria…
Mar08

(Updated) In the Meantime, in Iraq and Syria…

Update: There is no better place to obtain factual, reliable, non-partisan news and analysis of military operations going on in the world than the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). The mission of ISW is to “promote an informed understanding of war and military affairs through comprehensive, independent, and accessible open-source research and analysis” For those interested in such in-depth news and analysis of the present battle...

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(Updated) Canadian Casualties in Operation Inherent Resolve
Mar08

(Updated) Canadian Casualties in Operation Inherent Resolve

Update: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter spoke by telephone with Canadian Minister of Defense Jason Kenney and extended his deepest condolences to Minister Kenney and to the family of Sergeant Andrew Joseph Doiron and also wished a speedy recovery to those who were injured. The Department of Defense: This was Secretary Carter’s first conversation with Minister Kenney, who became minister of defense on February 9, 2015. Secretary...

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Tens of Thousands Rally Against Netanyahu in Israel: Ex Mossad Chief Says Our Leadership Scares Me More Than Our Enemies
Mar08

Tens of Thousands Rally Against Netanyahu in Israel: Ex Mossad Chief Says Our Leadership Scares Me More Than Our Enemies

Under a banner proclaming “Israel Wants Change,” tens of thousands of Israelis attended a massive demonstration calling for the ouster during the March 7th elections of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The rally underlined the fact that not all Israelis approved of the way their Prime Minister secured speech time in front of the U.S. Congress and seemingly injected him to the United States 24/7 partisan war. And, in a...

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Mystery Again Surrounds Bundestag’s NSA Committee of Inquiry (Die Welt, Germany)
Mar07

Mystery Again Surrounds Bundestag’s NSA Committee of Inquiry (Die Welt, Germany)

Chairman of the Bundestag’s NSA Committee of Inquiry Patrick Sensburg has led Berlin’s almost two-year long probe into the scandal exposed by Edward Snowden surrounding NSA mass surveillance. Last year Sensburg reportedly ordered music to be played at committee meetings ‘just in case’ and at least two moles were discovered passing information from the Committee to U.S. spies. Now, according to Germany’s...

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