Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

ID Laws – Israel Teaches Arizona A Lesson

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Thousands of Palestinians living in the West Bank may soon be evicted or face criminal charges by Israeli authorities, the Israeli daily Haaretz has said.

An amendment to an Israeli military order on “preventing infiltration” could soon stipulate that residents of the West Bank without ID cards may now need one issued by the occupying authorities.

Anyone without such a document could either be expelled or jailed.

Haaretz said the new order would likely be used first against Palestinians in the West Bank with Gaza ID cards and the foreign spouses of Palestinians living in the territory.

Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland explains.


Written by Aaron Nee

May 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Why does the white man have so much cargo?

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Jared Diamond began his quest to discover the roots of inequality when an acquaintance, native to Papua New Guinea, asked why the white men had so much more “cargo” than the people of Papua New Guinea.  The theories that arose out of his study were published in the book “Guns, Germs and Steel”.

National Geographic did a documentary series based on Jared Diamonds book, which explores Diamond’s conclusions on why some civilizations have historically enjoyed tremendous prosperity and development while others languished.  The three part series is an intriguing study of Diamonds exploration – well worth watching.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Interview With An Insurgent

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The Institute For War & Peace Reporting has posted an essay by a former member of al-Qaeda.  The one time insurgent briefly describes his motives for fighting the occupying American forces, his disaffection with al-Qaeda and why he now is not so sure he wants the American troops to leave.

A reported insider account naturally must be taken with a grain of salt, since it is easy to fabricate and difficult to verify.  That said, I am not aware of any indications that the account is fraudulent, nor are any of the claims extraordinary.  If genuine, it is an interesting peek inside a world the American public is well insulated from.

Thanks to Current Intelligence for alerting me to the essay.

Forget Wii’s Call of Duty, Wikileaks Offers A More Realistic Representation of War

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You may have heard of the classified video leaked earlier this week by Wikileaks that shows a US air crew in Baghdad on July 12th  2007 repeatedly opening fire on a group of men including Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22,  his driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, and on a van that stopped to rescue a then wounded Saeed Chmagh.

You may have heard, but if you haven’t seen the video yourself, I would encourage you to watch.

And why would I do such a thing?  US policy calls for major censorship of images of warfare, and the result is a population that lives far removed from the realities of  pain and death.

If you read more about the story altogether, you will encounter what appear to be blatant false claims made by the US military, and more painful information including the surviving wounded children in the van. Really, though, if you choose to not read more, choose to skip over the background info given in the first 2 minutes of the video, and just watch the actual footage taken from the Apache helicopter and listen to the words of those behind the guns, you will be doing yourself a great service.

Familiarize yourself with war and death. Sure, you could play Call of Duty, I suppose, but watching actual men run for their lives, crawling to safety, only to be shot again and again, hearing the words of those doing the shooting and imagining what the experience must have been like for them, will hopefully leave you with a more accurate picture of war than any video game.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Tuesday has attacked wikileaks for releasing the video, stating, “”That is the problem with these videos,” Gates said. “You are looking at the war through a soda straw and you have no context or perspective.”

I would agree. It is a serious problem. Perhaps we do lack the correct context or perspective for the wars our country is currently involved in around the globe.

More on Robert Gates Response:,0,4550653.story

More on Wikileaks release:

More on Video Game Comparison:

More on US Military response and history of censorship:,8599,1978017,00.html

More on the Lack of Context:

Written by annnee

April 13, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Israeli Naval Blockade Prevents Aid

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The Lybian ship “Al Marwa” left Libya last Monday for the Gazaport, carrying 3,000 tons of food, medicine and other aid. Jamal El Khodary, Palestinian Legislator and head of the Popular committee Against the Siege, stated this past Sunday that the ship would reach the Gaza port on Monday, and added that this ship is one of several Arab ships that will challenge the Israeli siege and deliver humanitarian supplies to the residents of the Gaza Strip.

Reports came in  Monday that the presence of an Israeli naval blockade caused the ship to turn back and it has since docked in an Egyptian port.

The Lybian Health Minister, Dr. Mohammad Rashed, said that the government and the people of Libya are determined to act in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and that their hospitals are available for  Palestinian patients.

International Middle East Media Center Article

Reuters Update

Written by annnee

December 4, 2008 at 1:57 am

Posted in Middle East

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