Historians of war and society would like to believe that military conflicts have fixed beginnings and ends. Conventional depictions of the Lebanese civil war are no exception and typically confine that conflict within the notional temporal parameters of 1975–90. But the key aggravating features generally identified with the events of the Lebanese civil war—class resentments, echoes of the Arab-Israeli conflict on a regional scale, domestic geographical inequalities, sectarian rancor, and political infighting across the Lebanese scene—had been accumulating since 1948, and even earlier. [more inside]
In terms of sheer devastation, Syria today is worse off than Germany at the end of World War II. [more inside]
Professors' global model forecasts civil unrest against governments - With protests spreading in the Middle East (now Yemen - not on the list) I thought this article and blog on a forecast model predicting "which countries will likely experience an escalation in domestic political violence [within the next five years]" was rather interesting. [more inside]
Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war.
The battle the US wants to provoke Make no mistake: this is not the "civil war" that Washington has been predicting will break out between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. Rather, it is a war provoked by the US occupation authority and waged by its forces against the growing number of Shia who support Moqtada al-Sadr (by Naomi Klein in Baghdad).
With great fanfare President Bush declared yesterday that major combat operations are over in Iraq. Missed in that speech and probably little noticed by many is the fact that the most difficult part of the Iraq War has now started. Even Donald Rumsfeld has recently hinted that the UN may need to play a role now. Hopefully the administration will heed some of the many lessons from history like this one.
Norton's a racist. So now if you even mention the Confederacy in a less than evil light, you're a racist. I am really sick of people using the charge of racism to oppose those with other viewpoints. (More inside)