TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: September 21st, 2012
- WH: Libya Envoy’s Killing Was a Terrorist Attack
- Libya-Style Intervention in Syria Unlikely
- Restrictions on Religion Are Tightening, Study Finds
- Troop Surge in Afghanistan Ends With Little Fanfare
- China and Japan Must Break Out of History’s Trap
Excerpts and more top stories
LIBYA: Libya Envoy’s Killing Was a Terrorist Attack, the White House Says - NYT
The White House, after Republican criticism, said it was “self-evident” that last week’s assault on the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, was a “terrorist attack.”
LIBYA: U.S. plans new inquiry on Libya attack – WP
Secretary of State Clinton gives briefing to Congress on Benghazi incident that killed four Americans.
LIBYA: After Libya Attack, a Fleeting Sense of Survival – NYT
The assault on American diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, which the White House is now calling a terrorist attack, began as a moblike attack but became a sophisticated ambush.
LIBYA: Miscues Seen Before Deadly Libya Assault – WSJ
Security lapses preceded the assault on a U.S. mission in Libya, raising questions about whether the scope of the attack could have been contained.
SYRIA: Despite Syria’s Bloodbath, Libya-Style Intervention Remains Unlikely – TIME
Besides growing reservations about the dynamic on the ground in Syria, last week’s killings at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi have raised new questions about Libya as a model for intervention
SYRIA: Syrian Planes Said to Strike Gas Station – NYT
At least 30 people, and as many as 100, were killed in Syria on Thursday in the northern Raqqa Province, when government warplanes bombed a gasoline station crowded with people, according to activist groups.
SYRIA: Why the Syrian Rebels May Be Guilty of War Crimes – TIME
A new Human Rights Watch report details abuses by the Free Syrian Army
ISLAM: Restrictions on Religion Are Tightening, Study Finds - NYT
Government restrictions on religion around the world were highest in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the period before the Arab Spring uprisings, a Pew study found.
ISLAM: Middle East Protests: A Salafist Trap - RCW
Fawaz Gerges: There’s increasing evidence that the attacks against American diplomatic missions in the Arab world have more to do with internecine battles than anger against a sacrilegious film clip.
ISLAM: Muslim Rage and the Obama Retreat - WSJ, OPINION
Fouad Ajami: We can’t declare a unilateral end to our troubles, or avert our gaze from the disorder that afflicts the societies of the Greater Middle East.
ISLAM: US airs ad against film on Pakistan TV - FT
Embassies brace for new round of protests
ISLAM: Police Open Fire on Protesters in Pakistan - WSJ
Three people were killed and dozens injured in protests across Pakistan against an anti-Islam film.
AFGHANISTAN: Troop Surge in Afghanistan Ends With Little Fanfare - NYT
The American military said it had completed the withdrawal of the 33,000 surge troops it had sent to Afghanistan by the fall of 2010, but the event went nearly unremarked there.
AFGHANISTAN: Taliban Targeted by Local Uprisings – WSJ
In an uprising compared with Iraq’s Sunni Awakening, residents of dozens of villages in Andar, a district of Afghanistan’s volatile Ghazni province, have taken up arms against the Taliban and its harsh edicts.
CHINA/JAPAN: China and Japan Must Break Out of History’s Trap – BLOOMBERG
This week, demonstrators incensed by Japan’s purchase of the disputed rocky outcrops known as the Senkaku Islands filled Chinese cities for the biggest anti- Japanese protests since 2005.
CHINA/JAPAN: Japan Looks Into Complaints on China Trade – WSJ
The Japanese government is looking into complaints of customs delays for goods going to China following a recent rise in tensions between the two nations over a territorial dispute.
JAPAN: Japan’s Next Leader Faces One of World’s Toughest Jobs - BLOOMBERG
Yoshihiko Noda will doubtless win his party’s leadership race this week. There’s little certainty, though, that Japan’s prime minister is up to putting his country, the world’s No. 3 economy, on stronger footing.
CHINA: We mustn’t fall for The Great Illusion again - TELEGRAPH, VIA RCW, OPINION
With China sabre-rattling over the disputed Senkaku islands, the lessons of history are going unheeded as free trade comes under threat around the world.
* MORE CHINA/JAPAN STORIES BELOW
IRAN: Iran’s Top Atomic Official Says Nation Issued False Nuclear Data to Fool Spies – NYT
Fereydoon Abbasi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, did not reveal the nature of the information or say when it was presented or to whom.
IRAN: A War Game Over Iran – RCP
David Ignatius: Perhaps it was the “fog of simulation.” But the scariest aspect of a U.S.-Iran war game staged this week was the way each side miscalculated the other’s responses — and moved toward war even as the players thought they were choosing restrained options.
PAKISTAN: U.N. Presses Pakistan Over the Fate of Hundreds of Missing People - NYT
A delegation met with Pakistani government officials and relatives of hundreds of people who have disappeared into the illegal custody of the country’s powerful intelligence and law enforcement agencies over the last decade.
PALESTINE: Year After Effort at U.N., New Aim for Palestinians – NYT
Palestinians are returning to the General Assembly next week seeking largely symbolic “nonmember state” status, lamenting a “lost year” of no peace talks, expanding Israeli settlements and deteriorating economic conditions.
SPAIN: Spain’s Leader Fails to Reach Deal With Catalonia – NYT
The impasse exacerbates the challenge of a separatist push by Catalonia, the nation’s most economically powerful region.
ISRAEL: Israel Kills 3 Attackers on Border With Egypt - NYT
The Israeli military killed three men who breached the Egypt-Israel border and attacked the Israeli soldiers guarding it, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces said.
BRAZIL: U.S.-Brazil Frictions on Looming Tariffs - REUTERS
U.S. trade officials have signaled to Brazil that plans to raise import tariffs on 100 foreign products will significantly hit U.S. exports. But Brazil said Thursday the moves are legitimate under global trade rules and are necessary because the latest U.S. monetary stimulus threatened a “flood of imported goods at artificially low prices.”
MYANMAR: US courts military contacts with Myanmar - FT
Discreet talks have been held between the US and Myanmar about prospects for re-establishing training programmes and exchanges with Myanmar’s military
S.KOREA-N.KOREA/VIRAL VIDEO: Viral Video Gets Propaganda Treatment - NYT
SU HYUN LEE: A South Korean phenomenon behind a dance video called “Gangnam Style” got an even clearer sign of success when North Korea parodied the video.
MORE CHINA/JAPAN STORIES:
CHINA/EU: Europe, China Leaders Vow Closer Ties – WSJ
European and Chinese leaders pledged deeper economic ties and largely glossed over their trade differences in what is expected to be Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s final Brussels visit as premier.
CHINA: Could Asia really go to war over these? – ECONOMIST
The bickering over islands is a serious threat to the region’s peace and prosperity.
CHINA/JAPAN: Sleepy Islands and a Smoldering Dispute - NYT
A clash over contested territory has set off worries about the effect on business ties between China and Japan.
JAPAN: Japan’s Beleaguered Premier Wins Party Leadership Vote – NYT
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda fended off a challenge to his leadership of Japan’s governing party on Friday, but his victory may be short-lived.
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