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Showing posts from December 29, 2013

The Legacy of 2013

SAN SALVADOR, Bahamas , Dec 27 2013 (Columnist Service) - At this time of hope for what the new year may bring, it would be useful to look at the legacy we carry with us from the year we leave behind. It was a year full of events – wars, rising social inequality, unchecked finance, the decline of political institutions, and the erosion of global governance.

Perhaps this is nothing new, since these trends have been with us for a long time. But some events have a deeper, longer-lasting impact. And here we will present them briefly, as a list to remember and to watch. They are not offered in order of magnitude, which is always a subjective decision.

1. Collapse of the Arab Spring. The situations in Egypt and Syria have discouraged other Arab countries from following in their footsteps. The internal struggles in the large and variegated world of Islam will take a long time to settle. The real challenge is how modernism can be used as an element making Islam viable.

The coup in Egypt has giv…

OP-ED: Declaring Muslim Brotherhood “Terrorists” Has Far-Reaching Implications

WASHINGTON, Dec 27 2013 (IPS) - For the first time in its 85-year history, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Wednesday was declared a terrorist organisation. The provisional government’s decision, presumably with the military junta’s approval, came after two deadly bombings in Mansura and Cairo.

The government offered no proof of the MB’s involvement in the bombings; in fact, a radical group by the name of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (Defenders of the Holy Mosque) claimed responsibility for the attacks. The MB denounced all violent acts, especially against security officers.
The MB is not just a political organisation, as these hardliners maintain. It’s the most visible and credible face of civic Islam in the country.

The government’s action against the MB will have far-reaching implications, both short-term and long-term, for Egypt and ultimately for the U.S. Declaring the MB a terrorist organisation is a short-term victory for the hard-liners within the junta and the provisional civilian gover…

Keynote Address From Glenn Greenwald At 30C3 Hacker Conference

US Prepares Strikes Against "Islamists" in Iraq

By Bill Van Auken

December 27, 2013  - Two years after President Barack Obama declared that his administration had ended the catastrophic US war in Iraq “responsibly… leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant” government, the US has rushed emergency shipments of Hellfire missiles to Baghdad and appears to be preparing for a possible renewal of direct military intervention in the form of drone missile attacks.

These measures are a response to an appeal from the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the New York Times reported Thursday, and come in the face of a rise in violence to a level not seen since the US military “surge” of 2008, with over 8,000 Iraqis having lost their lives over the last year.

A shipment of 75 Hellfire missiles arrived in Iraq last week, according to the Times report. The Pentagon is also set to deliver dozens of reconnaissance drones to the Baghdad regime in the coming year, along with F-16 fighters and Apache helicopter gunships. US inte…