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War on Terror

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    The US, Israel, and the War on Iran: Don’t Let Them Fool Us Again! Rami El-Amine February 10, 2012

    The end of 2011 saw the beginnings of a shift to a more overt and aggressive policy by the US and its allies towards Iran. This shift was not the result of any new threat being posed by Iran but by the need for the US to maintain a sizeable military presence in the oil rich region after withdrawing from Iraq. The Arab revolutions are also a major factor in this shift, particularly for the US’s Gulf Arab allies and Israel. Saber rattling around Iran heightens sectarian tensions in the region and, therefore, weakens the revolutionary wave which threatens the Gulf Arab monarchies. Israel, on the other hand, is leading the push for an attack because it deflects attention away from its continued denial of land and rights to Palestinians at a time when it is coming under increased international criticism.

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    Dangerous Uncertainty in Pakistan Junaid S. Ahmad January 28, 2012

    With relations between Pakistan’s civilian government and military incredibly tense, speculation is ripe in the local and international media that the threat of a military takeover looms large. The military is allegedly buoyed by the support of the Supreme Court and the country’s business and political elite. It seems that the days of Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led coalition government are numbered.

    The tensions reached their tipping point on January 11th when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani alleged that the Pakistan Army and its intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), were unlawfully interfering in a controversial court case involving the government. This essentially amounted to accusing the heads of the army of defying the constitution and the democratically elected government. The military was quick to retort that there would be “very serious ramifications” and “grievous consequences” if the government continued its confrontational posturing.

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    Yemen Wrestles with Revolution Safa Ahmad October 2, 2011

    Editor’s Note: What follows is an account of the unfolding Yemeni revolution by Safa Ahmed, a Middle East based journalist who travelled to Yemen in June and July of 2011. At the time, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh barely survived an assassination attempt and fled to Saudi Arabia for treatment. On September 23, Saleh managed to return to the capitol San’a. The United States and the Saudi governments immediately criticized his return, yet, clearly, he would not have been able to return without their consent. Within only a few days of his return, more than 100 Yemenis, mostly democracy protestors, were dead.

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    “America, your 9/11...is our 24/7”*, Ten Years of Fighting State Violence Arab Resource and Organizing Center September 9, 2011

    Imagine one day, you oversleep your alarm clock by a few hours. You wake up, and the world is a different place. You leave your house and your neighbors look at you with suspicion. You walk down the street and racial slurs are shouted in your direction. Your sister is harassed at her workplace. Your brother, a lawful resident, is forced to give his fingerprints to immigration. Your cousins are made refugees in their homeland (again). Confused, you turn on the news and see two planes have hit the World Trade Center. Your world has changed forever.  

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    Bin Laden Assassination Emboldens Empire Junaid Ahmad May 23, 2011

    Even though weeks have passed since the US raid which killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, details surrounding his death remain murky. The most curious question remains how was he able to “hide” in Abbottabad, a militarized garrison town, eluding Pakistani and US intelligence for so long.

    Apparently, the raid entailed US forces entering bin Laden’s compound, half a mile from the Pakistan Military Academy, and shooting him in the head and chest. The fact that the US altered its initial claim that bin Laden was killed in a fierce firefight to admitting that the Al Qaeda leader was unarmed tends to challenge the jingoistic superman narrative used to describe the assassination.

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    Childhood lost and found: Ten years gone Francesca Fiorentini September 11, 2011

    It always seemed like an absurd exercise to recount where one was on 9/11. Some way to personalize the moment or get closer to the action. Maybe it’s just a way to make something that has been so filtered and retold, so shadowy yet simultaneously sensationalized, feel real. Sadly, the task of remembering is difficult without images of some patriotic red, white, and blue CNN graphic coming to mind. We have been told how to feel about the event (and those that followed) for so long, we rarely get a moment to do so. I choose to remember the day, and the horrors that have happened since, with this brief recollection of the moment that I became an adult.

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    Healing the trauma of post-9/11 racism one story (and melody) at a time Sonny Singh September 11, 2011

    photo by Renaud Philippephoto by Renaud PhilippeOnce the term terrorist attack was all over the headlines on September  11, 2001, something inside my 21-year-old, fresh-out-of-college self was dreadfully certain of what was coming next. Before I even had a chance to begin processing and mourning the horrific loss of thousands of lives in New York City, I was getting calls from even the most apolitical of my extended family members, urging me to be careful and “keep a low profile,” to not leave my house unless I absolutely had to.

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    Giving Thanks Vasudha Desikan September 11, 2011

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    The War on Pakistanis Qalandar Bux Memon April 1, 2010

    When empires move in on a country, they do not aim to salvage people from oppressive power structures of the native country, but to further their own interests. Pakistan, like other recently decolonized countries, suffers from a long history of colonial rule and oppressive power struggles. We can trace such structures to the Mughals and see their solidity under the British. The British managed to create in Pakistan a ruling elite linked to empire in desire and interest, as they did in other Third World countries.

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    Imperialisms in South Asia Sahar Shafqat April 1, 2010

    In November 2009, the Pakistani Army began a major assault in South Waziristan, believed to be the stronghold of the largest of the Pakistani Taliban factions. In a stroke of genius, the Army dumped thousands of leaflets one day ahead of its assault as part of a public relations effort. The leaflets bore a letter directly from the head of the Pakistani Army, General Kayani, to the Mehsud tribe which lives in South Waziristan. The letter said: “The [military] operation is not meant to target the valiant and patriotic Mehsud tribes but [is] aimed at ridding them of the elements who have destroyed peace in the region.” In order to clear up any confusion as to whom the letter was from, the Army helpfully included a picture of General Kayani on the leaflets.

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