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HR 3077 - unprecedented federally mandated intrusion into the content and conduct of university-based area studies programmes.

HR 3077 - "unprecedented federally mandated intrusion into the content and conduct of university-based area studies programmes."

"There is a great deal at stake for American higher education and academic freedom. If HR 3077 becomes law - the Senate will review the bill next - it will create a board that monitors how closely universities reflect government policy. Since the legislation assumes that any flaw lies 'with the experts, not the policy', the government could be given the power to introduce politically sympathetic voices into the academic mainstream and to reshape the boundaries of academic inquiry. Institutional resistance would presumably be punished by the withdrawal of funds, which would be extremely damaging to Middle East centres especially."

you didn't have reason to call your congressperson tomorrow? you do now. frightening.

via the excellent openbrackets.com
posted by specialk420 on Apr 16, 2004 - 67 comments

Rebellion brewing in Saudi city

Rebellion brewing in Saudi city The tiny city of Sakaka in the remote al-Jouf province that borders Iraq may seem an unlikely setting for the beginning of a revolution against the ruling al-Saud family. But one does not have to spend too long here to realise that this is what is happening.
posted by Postroad on Jan 28, 2004 - 44 comments

The Bush Dynasty

The Bush family's history in the Middle East. "Between now and the November election, it's crucial that Americans come to understand how four generations of the current president's family have embroiled the United States in the Middle East through CIA connections, arms shipments, rogue banks, inherited war policies and personal financial links." So writes former Republican analyst Kevin Phillips, author of the new book American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush.
posted by homunculus on Jan 12, 2004 - 24 comments

US Sponsored Regime Change in the Middle East: Episode One

On the night of April 27th, 1805, US Marine Lt. Presley O'Bannon led a ragtag army of Greek, Arab and Berber mercenaries in a desperate charge into the teeth of the fortifications of Derna, Tripoli (now Libya). The defenders inexplicably turned and ran, leaving behind loaded cannons which, turned around, secured victory for the US in its first land battle in the old world.

In recognition of his bravery, Lt. O'Bannon was given a sword by Hamet Karamanli. William Eaton (no, the other William Eaton ) had led O'Bannon, six other US Marines, and the five hundred odd mercenaries across six hundred miles of North African desert in order to replace the usurping Pasha of Tripoli, Yusef, with the rightful heir, his pro-American older brother Hamet.

Shortly after the battle, Yusef reached a peace with Col. Tobias Lear, the American Consul to Tripoli, and hostilities between the US and Tripoli ceased. Eaton, O'Bannon, and Hamet Karamanli, along with the Marines and most of the Greeks, departed aboard American warships, leaving the Muslim mercenaries behind in Derna. Unpaid.
posted by hob on Jan 7, 2004 - 11 comments

Iran considers moving capital away from Tehran

Iran considers moving capital away from Tehran. Tehran lies on a major seismological fault and experts have long warned that a strong earthquake in the city would be devastating. A professor of geophysics at Tehran university, has warned that if a quake of similar magnitude hit Tehran it would kill more than 700,000 people. Government buildings would be destroyed.
posted by hoder on Jan 5, 2004 - 14 comments

breaking the ice

Breaking the ice. "If we can help Palestinians and Israelis understand that even the greatest obstacles can be surmounted through cooperation and understanding, then perhaps we'll be able to positively influence the atmosphere for reconciliation in our part of the world. We want people to see that even enemies can find a way to do great things if they decide to take on the challenge together."
posted by johnnyboy on Oct 23, 2003 - 5 comments

Is Syria next?

Is Syria next? Or understanding the Syria Accountability Act. Interesting criticisms by Rep. David E. Price, who voted for it but with certain reservations here.
posted by skallas on Oct 20, 2003 - 17 comments

Druze Clues

The Druze community reside in Israel, Lebanon and Syria who've been rather overlooked as the middle-east situation complexifies. Discover (scroll halfway down) an ancient culture and it's faith that have had to adapt to an increasingly unstable climate.

They share some similarities to the Iraqi Yezidi of this thread.
posted by moonbird on Oct 17, 2003 - 5 comments

Hatred via weblog.

Hatred via weblog. The Jewish Internet Association, a tax-exempt, non-profit California corporation, considers the Internet a battleground, where "every channel must be utilized to resist and convert others to our defense and support." A whois showed they have the same mailing address as palestinefacts.org. However, examining their weblog reveals an agenda that is every bit as hateful as Hamas.

From a recent entry: "The Palestinian Arabs go through a pretense of having a government" .... "This must end. In the past the only way such murderous, bastard regimes have ended was through massive destruction of their people and lands." .... "The same process will be required to end the fraudulant "peace process" and come to the point where there can be a new start."

The JIA site links to a guide for shutting down offensive websites. Do you think the same techniques would work against them too?
posted by insomnia_lj on Oct 16, 2003 - 43 comments

Osama, wild and free, is pleased...

Terrorist playground: How America created a terrorist haven in Iraq Jessica Stern, a lecturer at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and author of "Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill" argues, in a New York Times op ed piece, that U.S. negligence has allowed Iraq to metastasize into a terrorist training camp to which Islamic militants from all over the Middle East are now flocking for a chance to attack American troops, and in which the Iraq/Al-Qaeda links alleged by the Bush Administration are becoming a reality. Listen to Jessica Stern on "On Point" tonight (a WBUR production and will be archived if you miss it).
posted by troutfishing on Aug 22, 2003 - 24 comments

Cherry picking shopping

$20,000 bonus to official who agreed on nuke claim A former Energy Department intelligence chief who agreed with the White House claim that Iraq had reconstituted its defunct nuclear-arms program was awarded a total of $20,500 in bonuses during the build-up to the war, WorldNetDaily has learned...His officers argued at a pre-briefing at Energy headquarters that there was no hard evidence to support the alarming Iraq nuclear charge, and asked to join State Department's dissenting opinion, Energy officials say. Rider ordered them to "shut up and sit down," according to sources familiar with the meeting.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Aug 13, 2003 - 22 comments

Middle Eastern and N. African Geography Quiz

How well do you know your Middle Eastern and North African geography? In my case, the answer would probably be 'decent, but not great'.
posted by GriffX on Jul 30, 2003 - 39 comments

Pentagon Plans Futures Market for Events in Mideast

Pentagon Plans Futures Market for Events in Mideast Good and useful idea or repugnant and stupid?
posted by Postroad on Jul 28, 2003 - 42 comments

Say hi to Hi!

The U.S. government launches Hi, a new Arabic-language lifestyle magazine targeted at 18-35 year olds in Middle Eastern countries. Story ideas for the first issue.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jul 18, 2003 - 13 comments

The Wall of Separation

Israel calls it a Separation Fence. Others refer to it as the Apartheid Wall. Whatever one calls it, and however one justifies it, there is no doubt that this barrier swoops many kilometers into the West Bank, claiming valuable water sources and arable land for Israeli settlers, destroying Palestinian homes and communities in the process.
posted by Ty Webb on Jun 24, 2003 - 18 comments

Warning Order

Special forces 'prepare for Iran attack' British and American intelligence and special forces have been put on alert for a conflict with Iran within the next 12 months, as fears grow that Tehran is building a nuclear weapons programme.
posted by kablam on Jun 17, 2003 - 74 comments

Iranian Protests

An Iranian student's account of the recent protests in Tehran and the retaliation by pro-government vigilantes with an attack on a dormitory: "They got shields from the police and entered the dormitory. There were about 600-700 of them — armed with swords, sticks, daggers, iron chains, and tear-gas guns — to 700 of us students, mostly in pajamas. We had run out of stones to resist any longer…". For more first hand accounts see Buzzmachine's list of Iranian bloggers.
posted by Quinn on Jun 17, 2003 - 46 comments

peace in the middle east?

With today's news of peace between Israel and Palestine my opinion of Bush just shot up several notches, but will the compromises stick and finally acheive peace? In the past, Clinton brokered a similar peace deal, Bush I tried it in 1991, Reagan tried, and even Carter did his best. Even with all the previous work, we're still where we are today, which is less than satisfactory for everyone involved. Will today's announcement finally bring peace to the region or is that too much of a pipe dream?
posted by mathowie on Jun 4, 2003 - 43 comments

Mr. Bush goes to Palestine

Mr. Bush goes to Palestine Everyone in the White House must be incredibly giddy. The most incredible political and cultural schism in the world may finally be patched up in the event of a successful round of talks done Texan style--face to face and man to man. George W. Bush will be leaving shortly for a trip to the Middle East to take a crack at solving a little disagreement among the neighbors.

In a way, he is as much the son of Jimmy Carter as he is of Ronnie Reagan. Just a simple man, with more than a few complicated plans, a big, broad smile, and a ten-gallon hat. But will his down-to-earth working man's values be able to put an end to a simmering and increasingly, explosive animosity? Assuming everything works out for the United States and the world in general, is it actually possible that this man could go down as one of the most influential presidents of all time? Or will he ultimately fail like the others that failed before him?
posted by Hammerikaner on May 28, 2003 - 53 comments

wmd free mid-east

Weapons of mass destruction free mid-east
sound like a good idea - perhaps could lead to other countries in hot zones giving up their WMDs as well? I wonder if other countries in the region would consider giving up their stockpiles?
posted by specialk420 on Apr 16, 2003 - 27 comments

Invasion Explained

Iraq in a Nutshell
by O'Reilly Books (not really)

A WARMONGER EXPLAINS WAR TO A PEACENIK

A light hearted look at the oft repeated justifications for war in Iraq and their counter arguments.
posted by nofundy on Apr 7, 2003 - 85 comments

Thumbs Up, USA!

Thumbs Up? Anal insult or USA A-Number 1? Via the Riddler. Defense Language Institute:
This gesture, expressing connotations of “I am winning,” historically is offensive to many Arabs. After the Gulf conflict, however, Middle Easterners of the Arabian Peninsula adopted this hand movement, along with the OK sign, as a symbol of cooperation toward freedom.
That's what you think, GI Joe.
posted by hairyeyeball on Apr 5, 2003 - 14 comments

Leaked U.S. to U.N. Members Memo

Friday Doublethink Fun. "An extraordinary communication from the United States to UN representatives around the world has been leaked to Greenpeace. In it, the U.S. warns that the simple act of support for a General Assembly meeting to discuss the war will be considered 'unhelpful and directed against the U.S.'"

But really now, do we actually expect the U.S. (which claims it fights to "democratize" the Middle East) to welcome discourse and listen to what the majority of the world may think?
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Apr 4, 2003 - 24 comments

Exclusive Middle East sources have tracked down top Iraqi leadership’s bolt-hole:

Exclusive Middle East sources have tracked down top Iraqi leadership’s bolt-hole: Now begin to badmouth me. Debka has a going rate that is some 2/3s on target and that makes this piece (headlines) worth considering. Too, they noted some time ago that WMD shipped to Syria. Recall in Gulf war I that they shipped planes to Iran for safe keeping and never got them back. Thus far, we have not found WMD and Iraq has not used any. Ergo....
posted by Postroad on Apr 3, 2003 - 32 comments

Mideast chaos is part of the plan

"Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan." This is a fascinating and disturbing article by Josh Marshall for next month's Washington Monthly, released early due to recent events. Of course, whether or not the war will destabalize the Mideast is open to debate.
posted by homunculus on Mar 27, 2003 - 68 comments

Reactions from the Arab world

Reactions from the Arab world Meanwhile Israel gets more financial aid from the US further angering Muslims and contributing to Zionist/US conspiracy theories. Sadly, Bush seems to have found how to pay for this war by not supporting the troops.
posted by skallas on Mar 21, 2003 - 34 comments

Bush to remake Middle East

WSJ says war in Iraq really first step in grand scheme to remake the Middle East. Rumsfeld and Fleischer can still be seen on TV news implying "we just want them to disarm". More on What Makes W. Tick from The Atlantic.
posted by dand on Mar 21, 2003 - 37 comments

Water War Iraq

Is the looming war with Iraq the first Water War? Should the signs really be saying No Blood for Water? From -Water Wars: a lecture by (Adel Darwish) "Oil has always been thought of as the traditional cause of conflict in the Middle East past and present. Since the first Gulf oil well gushed in Bahrain in 1932, countries have squabbled over borders in the hope that ownership of a patch of desert or a sand bank might give them access to new riches. No longer. Now, most borders have been set, oil fields mapped and reserves accurately estimated - unlike the water resources, which are still often unknown. WATER is taking over from oil as the likeliest cause of conflict in the Middle East."
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 17, 2003 - 25 comments

Blowback: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire plus War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era

Chalmers Johnson is an provocative proponent of the American Empire theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire

I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era of The Whole Wide World

The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?

It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
posted by y2karl on Mar 13, 2003 - 15 comments

Newsfilter, I just couldn't help it.

The first President Bush has told his son that hopes of peace in the Middle East would be ruined if a war with Iraq were not backed by international unity. via fox news Times Online.
posted by elwoodwiles on Mar 10, 2003 - 41 comments

Thomas Friedman Lecture

The lecture Thomas Friedman gave at SAIS a few days ago. A longer form, very interesting and informative explanation of what he's learned post-Sept. 11th about the Middle East. Windows Media video and Real video and audio all available.
posted by turbodog on Mar 10, 2003 - 10 comments

The first of many wars?

The Pentagon's New Map is probably the frankest asssessment yet of why neo-cons want to go marching into Iraq - and, maybe, keep on marching. An instructor at the U.S. Naval Military College tells us why "military engagement with Saddam Hussein’s regime in Baghdad is not only necessary and inevitable, but good."
posted by kgasmart on Mar 6, 2003 - 79 comments

A cry for help from Kurdistan

From the faculty at Salahaddin University in Kurdistan: "We as academic staff for the region's biggest Universities attended by different nations including Kurds, Turkman, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Arabs condemn this terrible threat towards our achievements and legitimate rights and express our complete refusal to any Turkish military intervention into the region's territory and affairs."
posted by Artifice_Eternity on Mar 3, 2003 - 3 comments

unfinished business even as we're all fired up about starting trouble in other places

"The United States Congress has stepped in to find nearly $300m in humanitarian and reconstruction funds for Afghanistan after the Bush administration failed to request any money in this latest budget."

So much for rebuilding Afghanistan.
posted by artifex on Feb 13, 2003 - 52 comments

Palestine as metaphor.

Palestine as metaphor. Is "linkage" of the Palestine/Israel situation to a wider peace in the Middle East valid? Some say yes, some say no. But it seems clear that most (except the Palestinians and Israelis themselves) view the situation more as a metaphor for wider Arab/Western relations rather than as a conflict between two peoples. I approach this post with fear and trembling.
posted by mrmanley on Feb 10, 2003 - 18 comments

Terry Jones Monty Python Observer

Terry Jones of Monty Python fame attempts to apply the Bush administration policy to his own neighborhood.
posted by thedailygrowl on Feb 5, 2003 - 54 comments

Welcome your new (numerically challenged) liberal media overlords!

Media covers massive D.C. (and world) Anti-War protests, discounts numbers - Backflash: NPR and the NYT later issued apologies for their drastic undercounting of the Oct. 26 D.C. Anti-War protest - later admitted to be between 100,000 and 200,000 in size "...It was not as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted. They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say there are fewer than 10,000"(NPR's Nancy Marshall) Last saturday's D.C. AntiWar protest received far more media coverage but a similar discounting of the numbers. IndyMedia (above link) provided numbers more in line with D.C. Police statements. Many media outlets ran the same AP news feed. [NYT, NPR , CNN, ABC, AP] and claimed..."Thousands" or "tens of thousands" of protesters. But in the words of those who witnessed it (as I did - 2.5 times size of Oct. 26 protest, from what I saw): 'D.C. police chief Charles Ramsey said, "It's one of the biggest ones we've had, certainly in recent times." U.S. Capitol Police chief Terrance Gainer said, "I know everyone is skittish about saying a number, but this was big. An impressive number." A C-SPAN cameraman I spoke to spent the entire protest on the roof of a cargo truck just to the side of the stage. He told me that he had covered dozens of protests in his time, and that the crowd on Saturday was the biggest he had ever seen.' (story) and organizers claimed 500,000 marched in DC meanwhile, a new poll shows support for a war on Iraq is slipping in the US and also dropping at the UN
posted by troutfishing on Jan 20, 2003 - 105 comments

Iranian blogger's meeting

15 months after the first waves, Blogging seems to prove so popular among young Iranian boys and girls that now the number of Persian (or Farsi) weblogs has jumped to more than 9,000. Almost half of them are using Blogger.com's free service and other half are using a similar but more Persian-friendly online application, created by Iranian programmers, called Persianblog.com. Tomorrow, they are gathering in a big conference hall in Tehran to meet other colleagues and bloggers and to share what they've experienced during their lovely days of a rare thing in Iranian history: absolute freedom of expression
posted by hoder on Dec 26, 2002 - 12 comments

100 Questions and Answers About Arab Americans.

100 Questions and Answers About Arab Americans. While researching the Middle East conflict, I happened upon this journalist's guide from the Detroit Free Press containing background on Arab-American culture, language, and religion. Many of the questions are simplistic (some might even say moronic) and the answers obvious, but I found I learned a thing or two.
posted by VelvetHellvis on Nov 12, 2002 - 21 comments

Have you grown weary of the tiny, grayscale maps of Iraq and the Middle East accompanying most newspaper stories on the region? TomPaine.com went in search of better geographic tools, and found them at the University of Texas' Online Library, with links to dozens of maps—political, topographical, historical—of a region many Americans have never scrutinized geographically. More inside... [via TomPaine.com]
posted by silusGROK on Oct 22, 2002 - 7 comments

The carnage continues

The carnage continues
Israel killed 14 Palestinians and wounded some 80 others when a missile was fired into a crowd of civilians in Gaza City. And please, spare us your lectures.
posted by mapalm on Oct 7, 2002 - 31 comments

The Push For War (by Anatol Lieven).

The Push For War (by Anatol Lieven). "The most surprising thing about the Bush Administration's plan to invade Iraq is not that it is destructive of international order; or wicked, when we consider the role the US (and Britain) have played, and continue to play, in the Middle East; or opposed by the great majority of the international community; or seemingly contrary to some of the basic needs of the war against terrorism. It is all of these things, but they are of no great concern to the hardline nationalists in the Administration....The most surprising thing about the push for war is that it is so profoundly reckless....What we see now is the tragedy of a great country, with noble impulses, successful institutions, magnificent historical achievements and immense energies, which has become a menace to itself and to mankind."

Excecutive summary: Lord Acton foretold all fruit of "military superiority".
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Oct 4, 2002 - 44 comments

An Open Letter to Congress

An Open Letter to Congress from the editors of The Nation. All the makings of a final plea.
posted by mooseindian on Sep 26, 2002 - 91 comments

Hamas is losing. Good news from the Mideast

Hamas is losing. Good news from the Mideast To all those who insist terror wars can't be won, some evidence you are pessimists.
posted by ParisParamus on Sep 9, 2002 - 47 comments

Could We Become What We Abhor

Could We Become What We Abhor and compromise the very ideals that we hold dear. Here, Jimmy Carter traces some of the fundamental changes that are taking place in the historical policies of the United States with regard to human rights, our role in the community of nations and the Middle East peace process -- largely without definitive debates.
posted by karlcleveland on Sep 5, 2002 - 48 comments

Chinese checkmate ?

Chinese checkmate ? "Those who love to quote Sun Tzu might consider his nationality', says James Webb, as he offers still more cogent reasons why a 30 year "MacArthurian regency in Baghdad" is probably not in America's national interest. Why are the military men the ones who have to keep pointing out the unwisdom of an invasion of Iraq? Quoth Secretary Webb: "The issue before us is not simply whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to physically occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years."
posted by rdone on Sep 4, 2002 - 18 comments

Official confirms that Syria allowing Qaida to operate in Lebanon

Official confirms that Syria allowing Qaida to operate in Lebanon Ok Israeli intelligence so I assume some will dismiss this as propaganda, though clearly US knows of this and works along with Israeli intelligence. And Syria occupies Lebanon with thousands of troops and thus runs the country. Meanwhile, we will (or will not) busy ourselves with Iraq.
posted by Postroad on Sep 2, 2002 - 17 comments

A wargame carried out by the US military was rigged

A wargame carried out by the US military was rigged to ensure the success of the American side against unspecified Middle East opponents, according to the retired General commanding the Middle East forces. Most amusingly, he managed to sink most of the American navy, and the game had to be stopped so the ships could be "refloated". I have to wonder, does this wargame indicate that America could be biting off more than it can chew, if it decides to invade Iraq by itself, or was this $200million down the drain?
posted by salmacis on Aug 21, 2002 - 45 comments

Abu Nidal is Dead. The Bin Laden of the 70s and 80s. Having read his biography years ago he makes Kyzer Soze childsplay...possible suicide.. yeah, suicide Israeli style. The War On Terror heats up one more terrorist scum dead.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 19, 2002 - 12 comments

The Axis of Medieval.

The Axis of Medieval. Claims of support for women and women's rights in the current regime are nothing more than hot air according to Mr. Kristof. He says their record and the facts tell a different story. The details are shocking. Kowtowing to religious fundamentalists in the US causes devastating results abroad. Would programs like these qualify for using some of the wealthiest persons dollars instead of a tax cut?
posted by nofundy on Aug 16, 2002 - 46 comments

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