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Showing posts from February 10, 2013

A rape a minute, a thousand corpses a year

Violence doesn't have a race, a class, a religion, or a nationality, but it does have a gender, writes Solnit.

Here in the United States, where there is a reported rape every 6.2 minutes, and one in five women will be raped in her lifetime, the rape and gruesome murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi on December 16, 2012, was treated as an exceptional incident. The story of the alleged rape of an unconscious teenager by members of the Steubenville High School football team was still unfolding, and gang rapes aren't that unusual here either.

Take your pick: some of the 20 men who gang-raped an 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas, were sentenced in November, while the instigator of the gang rape of a 16-year-old in Richmond, California, was sentenced in October, and four men who gang-raped a 15-year-old near New Orleans were sentenced in April, though the six men who gang-raped a 14-year-old in Chicago last fall are still at large.

Not that I actually went out looking for inci…

Why Assad will fight to the end

From Bashar al-Assad's perspective, he really has no option other than to fight to the death.

A striking fact about civil wars is that the outcome is often clear months or even years before the war ends. Jefferson Davis knew he would lose the American Civil War after the fall of Atlanta, yet continued to fight to the end. Muammar Gaddafi almost certainly knew that he would lose the war in Libya as soon as NATO assaults began, yet he continued to fight. The same is true of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

History has shown that determined leaders will continue to fight a civil war even if they know they will eventually lose. President Assad continues this tradition as he engages in his own costly march to defeat. Assad will not emerge victorious from this war. This was known as early as February 2011 when both the Director of US Intelligence and the CIA testified to the US Senate that Assad would not weather this challenge. If it is true that Assad will lose this war, why does h…

Tunisian president's party quits cabinet

Crisis sparked by assassination deepens after secular party withdraws ministers over unmet demands for cabinet changes.

The secular party of Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has withdrawn its three ministers from the country's government, saying that its demands for changes in the cabinet have not been met.

The decision on Sunday by Marzouki's Congress for the Republic Party deals a further blow to Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali's government, already weakened by last week's assassination of secular opposition leader Shokri Belaid.

"We have been saying for a week that if the foreign and justice ministers were not changed, we would withdraw from the government," Samir Ben Amor, a Congress for the Republic Party official, told Reuters news agency.

"This decision has nothing to do with the prime minister's decision to form a government of technocrats," he said, referring to Jebali's declared intention to name a non-partisan cabinet to run day-to-da…

US Officials Confess to Targeting Iran’s Civilian Population

By Franklin Lamb

February 10, 2013 - Tehran -- Azadeh, a graduate law student from Tehran University, on the sidelines of Iran’s Third Annual Hollywoodism (www.hollywoodism.orghttp) reminded her interlocutors, of the obvious damming admissions last week by two US politicians:

“It would be a defense lawyer’s worst nightmare wouldn’t it? I mean to have one's clients, in this case the Vice-President of the United States and the outgoing Secretary of state confess so publicly to serial international crimes against a civilian population?”

The confessions and the crimes, she correctly enumerated to her audience, were those admitted to by US Vice-President Joe Biden and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this past week.

Both of the US officials, in discussing US relations with the Islamic Republic, openly admitted that the US-led sanctions against Iran (and Syria) are politically motivated and constitute a "soft-war" against the nearly 80 million people of Iran (23 millio…

Is Iraq on its Way to a Civil War?

By Adil E. Shamoo
February 10, 2013  -  All indicators are pointing to a looming sectarian civil war on Iraq’s horizon. It is possible to avoid this civil war, but so far, the country’s leaders are not willing to compromise, and outside parties show little interest in stopping it. They should care more than they do: if not resolved, a bloody civil war in Iraq will fuel the rising conflict among Sunni-Shia across the Middle East — now in Lebanon and Syria — with the potential of spreading into other countries and inviting extremists to take advantage of the conflagration. Of course the United States’ nine-year occupation of Iraq unleashed this friction between Sunni and Shia, the underlying inferno that keeps Iraqis killing each other. According to Iraq Body Count, 4,505 Iraqis died from violence in 2012-409 in the month of Ramadan alone. Many will say this is civil war already, with numerous groups carrying out suicide attacks, bombings and outright assassinations on a daily basis. No o…

Syria: how jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra is taking over Syria's revolution

Aleppo has been plunged into despair. Riven with war, life in Syria's most populous city has become a dog-eat-dog existence: a battle for survival in a place where the strong devour the weak. A Syrian woman cries holding her injured son in a taxi as they arrive at a hospital in northern city of Aleppo.Photo: AFP/GETTY
February 09, 2013 "The Telegraph" -- Its luxuriant history is lost beneath uncollected litter on its pavements and streets. Feral children play beside buildings shattered by shelling and air strikes. There is no electricity, no heating; gunmen prowl the streets as night falls. Some are rebels searching for government loyalists; others are criminals looking to kidnap for ransom. Looting is rife. It is here, behind the front lines of the war against Bashar al-Assad that a new struggle is emerging. It is a clash of ideologies: a competition where rebel brigades vie to determine the shape of post-Assad Syria. And in recent weeks it is Jabhat al-Nusra, a radical jih…