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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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All the signs are that the United States military and its NATO allies have not only outlived their welcome in Afghanistan but also passed the point at which their presence is anything other than toxic. While the exact details of the incident are still unclear, it’s known that early Sunday morning, an American solider in Kandahar province’s Panjwai district apparently murdered up to sixteen Afghan civilians in cold blood. Nine of the victims were reportedly children. This is merely the latest in a string of episodes in which American soldiers—in spite of the positive intentions of an overwhelming majority of the troops there—have shown scorn, disrespect, and, increasingly and tragically, hatred for the people of the country hosting them.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Violence * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Foreign Relations Politics in General War in Afghanistan * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. Asia Bahrain
A fightback by repressive governments is putting at risk a historic struggle for freedom and justice in the Arab world, Amnesty International says.
Publishing its annual report, the rights group highlights the fight for control over communications technology.
It criticises Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen for targeting peaceful protesters to stay in power.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Libya Asia Bahrain China Yemen Middle East Iran Syria
Islam is bound to play a larger role in government in the Arab world than elsewhere. Most Muslims do not believe in the separation of religion and state, as America and France do, and have not lost their enthusiasm for religion, as many “Christian Democrats” in Europe have. Muslim democracies such as Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia all have big Islamic parties.
But Islamic does not mean Islamist. Al-Qaeda in the past few years has lost ground in Arab hearts and minds. The jihadists are a small minority, widely hated by their milder co-religionists, not least for giving Islam a bad name across the world. Ideological battles between moderates and extremists within Islam are just as fierce as the animosity pitting Muslim, Christian and Jewish fundamentalists against each other. Younger Arabs, largely responsible for the upheavals, are better connected and attuned to the rest of the modern world than their conservative predecessors were.
Moreover, some Muslim countries are on the road to democracy, or already there.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Libya Tunisia Asia Bahrain Middle East Egypt Jordan Saudi Arabia Syria * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam
The tiny Island of Bahrain could become a battleground for regional influence between two historical rivals—with Saudi Arabia backing Bahrain's Sunni monarchy, and Iran supporting the Shiite opposition.
A coalition of about 2,000 soldiers deployed by Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf states, part of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, rolled into Bahrain's capital Monday to help restore order and save a government challenged by an opposition seeking an end to the monarchy. It was the first time Gulf countries deployed troops to an Arab nation to settle an internal dispute.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Foreign Relations * International News & Commentary Asia Bahrain Middle East Iran Saudi Arabia
Future historians will long puzzle over how the self-immolation of a Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, in protest over the confiscation of his fruit stand, managed to trigger popular uprisings across the Arab/Muslim world. We know the big causes — tyranny, rising food prices, youth unemployment and social media. But since being in Egypt, I’ve been putting together my own back-of-the-envelope guess list of what I’d call the “not-so-obvious forces” that fed this mass revolt. Here it is....
THE BEIJING OLYMPICS China and Egypt were both great civilizations subjected to imperialism and were both dirt poor back in the 1950s, with China even poorer than Egypt, Edward Goldberg, who teaches business strategy, wrote in The Globalist. But, today, China has built the world’s second-largest economy, and Egypt is still living on foreign aid. What do you think young Egyptians thought when they watched the dazzling opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics? China’s Olympics were another wake-up call — “in a way that America or the West could never be” — telling young Egyptians that something was very wrong with their country, argued Goldberg....
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Science & Technology Sports * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Libya Tunisia Asia Bahrain China Middle East Egypt Israel Saudi Arabia
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