TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: September 20th, 2012
- Zakaria: Moment for Moderates in Muslim World
- Trade and Syria Top Agenda at EU-China Talks
- Iran preparing internal version of Internet
- U.S. Names al Qaeda in Libya Attack
- Romney’s Glaring Omission on Middle East Peace
Excerpts and more top stories
ISLAM: A Moment for Moderates in the Muslim World – TIME
FAREED ZAKARIA: Watching the protests and associated violence spreading across the Muslim world in recent days, I couldn’t help thinking, Where are you now, Wael Ghonim?
ISLAM: The United States and the Muslim World - NYT, EDITORIAL
The anti-Islam video that set off attacks against American embassies and violent protests in the Mislim world was a convenient fuse for rage.
ISLAM: French Magazine Runs Cartoons That Mock Muhammad - NYT
France planned to close its embassies in 20 countries on Friday after illustrations in a satirical magazine set off new outrage by Muslims.
ISLAM: Cartoons Prompt French Closures - WSJ
France said it would close its embassies as well as French schools in 20 countries on Friday, amid fears of backlash after a magazine published a series of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
ISLAM: A Drawing Has Never Killed Anyone - DER SPEIGEL
Editor in cheif of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo insists that their publication of Muhammad caricatures was no provocation, but a signal that free speech is alive and well in the country.
ISLAM: The Sources of Salafi Conduct - FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Harsh Politics in the New Middle East. If the Arab Spring uprisings were an earthquake in Middle Eastern politics, last week was a major aftershock.
CHINA/EU: Trade and Syria Top Agenda at European Union-China Talks – NYT
China is the European Union’s second-largest trading partner and a major source of wealth and jobs, making the slowing Chinese economy and the crisis in the euro zone major concerns of both parties.
CHINA: China Report Suggests Harsh Bo Penalty – WSJ
China for the first time suggested that fallen Communist Party official Bo Xilai rebuked his police chief in late January for telling him that his wife was suspected of murdering the British businessman Neil Heywood.
CHINA: Testimony Implicates a Chinese Official in the Cover-Up of a Briton’s Murder – NYT
In an official account Wang Lijun, a former police chief, essentially accused the disgraced politician Bo Xilai of trying to cover up the murder of a British businessman by his wife.
IRAN: Iran preparing internal version of Internet - WP
Last month, Iran’s communications and information technology minister unveiled a plan to take key government agencies and military outfits offline and onto the new network.
LIBYA: U.S. Names al Qaeda in Libya Attack - WSJ
A top counterterrism official confirmed that U.S. intelligence officials are investigating indications that al Qaeda’s North African affiliate is connected with militants involved in the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya.
LIBYA: Libya’s central government exercises little authority outside capital - WP
Some militias claim to have been absorbed into the ranks of Libya’s Interior Ministry and military, but ground-level security is often uncoordinated and decentralized.
PEACE PROCESS: Romney’s Most Glaring Omission on Middle East Peace - BLOOMBERG, OPINION
Here’s some good news for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney: His barbed observations about the Palestinians and the Middle East peace process, delivered during a speech in May at a new-infamous fundraiser, are 47 percent correct. Maybe 37 percent.
ISRAEL: Israeli Leader’s Tone With U.S. Gets Mixed Reviews - WSJ
A new Israeli survey shows a split in public opinion over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of his dispute with the U.S. over setting conditions for an attack on Iran.
ISOLATIONISM: Dangerous Isolationism - THE EUROPEAN, COLUMN
One of the main dangerous consequences of unrest in the Middle East would be the retreat of the US into isolationism. The region is volatile – and we don’t know who would seize influence after Washington’s exit.
DEFENSE: Counter-insurgency lessons from Vietnam - BBC, OPINION
The rise in so-called insider attacks by rogue Afghan security forces has highlighted the perils of joint operations in counter-insurgency. But former US soldier David Donovan, who fought in Vietnam, says lessons learnt long ago have been forgotten.
AFGHANISTAN: So Much for the Good War - FP, OPINION
It’s time to admit that Obama’s Afghanistan strategy is a total failure.
SYRIA: Government Helicopter Crashes Near Damascus - NYT
Syrian authorities said on Thursday that the military helicopter went down close to a suburb where insurgents and government forces have battled for dominance.
SYRIA: Syrian Rebels Seize Border Crossing - WSJ
Rebels seized control of a border crossing on the frontier with Turkey, pulling down the Syrian flag and briefly
allowing people to crawl under a barbed wire barrier between the countries.
SYRIA/IRAQ: U.S. Senator Warns Iraq Over Flights Into Syria - NYT
Senator John Kerry said on Wednesday that aid to Iraq might be made contingent on cutting off flights shuttling military supplies from Iran to the repressive regime in Syria.
JORDAN: Jordan Limits Protests, and Internet, as Tensions Simmer - NYT
Promises of political change are no longer doing much to quell discontent.
LEBANON: A Void for Sunnis in Lebanon - NYT
The prolonged absence of Saad Hariri, the leader of the nation’s Sunni community now in self-imposed exile, has brought dismay among followers, but it has also created an opening for new voices.
TUNISIA/SOMALIA: U.S. Ships Armored Vehicles to Tunisia, Somalia - WSJ
The U.S. is airlifting armored vehicles and other equipment to its missions in Tunisia and Somalia, part of efforts to boost security after attacks on diplomatic compounds in North Africa and the Middle East.
AFRICA: Ex-Commander in Afghanistan Eyed for Africa – NYT
In the wake of the Arab Spring, the Africa Command is seen as one of the most challenging theaters of operation.
RWANDA: An Autocrat, but Still an Improvement? - NYT
How should the U.S. relate to regimes that, although authoritarian, have moved toward prosperity, like Paul Kagame’s in Rwanda?
RUSSIA: Putin Does His Own ‘Reset’ - WSJ
The Russians expel a U.S. agency, proving Mitt Romney had a point.
RUSSIA: Russia Slams USAID for ‘Political’ Aid Agenda - WSJ
Russia accused the U.S. of trying to influence elections inside the country under the guise of aid to pro-democracy groups, confirming it is kicking the U.S. Agency for International Development out of the country.
EUROPE: Some Religious Leaders See a Threat as Europe Grows More Secular – NYT
The dispute over ritual circumcision in Germany reflects the secularization of European life that, in the eyes of some religious leaders, has mutated into a form of intolerance.
PAKISTAN: Inspectors Certified Pakistani Factory as Safe Before Disaster - NYT
The fire in Karachi that killed hundreds has cast doubt on the system many Western companies rely on to certify low-cost suppliers.
VENEZUELA: Drug Lord Is Captured in Venezuela – WSJ
One of the most powerful Colombian drug-lords of recent times was captured, potentially dealing a major blow to the cocaine trafficking links of Colombia’s largest guerrilla insurgency.
ITALY/RENDITION: High Court in Italy Backs Convictions for Rendition – NYT
If extradited, 22 C.I.A. employees and an Air Force colonel could face prison in the 2003 abduction of the Islamic militant known as Abu Omar.
MYANMAR: Advocate of Democracy in Myanmar Meets Obama – NYT
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi called for sanctions against Myanmar to be eased, saying they had served their purpose.
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