Dreams Into Lightning is ending hiatus this week. Here's a roundup of current world events to get us rolling.
TMW: Taliban style comes to Gaza. 'I guess, Taliban style regime is not far away from now in the Gaza strip. Recently some anonymous group who personify itself the Just Swords of Islam has come out with a warning to the native women folk, which asserts that they are not suppose to go against the norms and traditions of Islam and so are not to be dressed in an ‘immodest’ manner. The ‘immodest’ manner targets to not wearing of the ‘burqa’. They reveled that last week they threw acid on a girl’s face who was not in the ‘hizab’. ...'
Weekly Standard on the President's war strategy. 'But the “clear, hold and build” approach is not an “option.” It's the president’s stated war strategy, and the defense secretary never implemented it. Secretary Rice outlined the strategy in Senate testimony in October 2005, and around the same time the White House chief of staff had to remind the secretary about the president's “clear, hold and build” counterinsurgency strategy. ... So the commander in chief announces a new war strategy and his defense secretary stonewalls it. If Rumsfeld didn’t agree with the “clear, hold and build” strategy, fine. He should have stepped aside and handed over the keys to the Pentagon to someone who supported the new strategy. ...'
CTB on Hezbollah's Lebanon coup. Walid Phares enumerates the following developments in day two: Hezbollah's deployment; Sunni resistance begins; Shi'a moderates appear; Hezbollah's next moves; media tilting noted; Lebanese face Hezbollah alone. In the "media bias" category, Phares notes (to nobody's surprise) that 'the choice of words in the reports issued by Reuters, AP and UPI indicates that they are increasingly portraying the HizbAllah’s campaign as “an opposition movement against a Government refusing to accept its demands.”'
Amarji: Tragicomedy of errors. 'Solving the Arab-Israeli Conflict is not a cure-all for the region’s myriad problems and will not denote the end of conflicts therein. The situations in the Sudan, Somalia and Algeria did not emerge as a result of the AIC, nor did the sectarian problems in Lebanon and Syria, nor the specific conditions that prevailed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the aftermath of the end of the Cold War. The claim by many in the region that the US went into Iraq and Afghanistan to execute an Israeli agenda is a reflection of the usual conspiratorial mentality so prevalent in the region and that reduces the complex dynamics of the American decision-making process to a single often over-inflated cause. This is not meant to argue, however, that the AIC should be ignored. ...'
Persian Journal: Hezbollah to destroy Lebanon again ... and again ... 'Shi'ite Hezbollah terrorists, backed by Syria and mullahs of Iran, wants to topple what it calls a U.S. government in Lebanon. The anti-Syrian politicians who dominate the cabinet say the opposition is attempting a coup. Although the dispute is political, many Lebanese fear the situation could spark sectarian violence. Tension between Sunnis and Shi'ites is high, in addition to bad feeling between Christians who support leaders allied to the rival camps. ...' More here.
SKF: No excuse for silence. Following up on an earlier post, Shiro-Khorshid Forever maintains that no Iranian activist need remain silent because of the regime's threats: 'What makes me really angry is the fact that this person and many others hide behind this fear and use it as an excuse for their silence. There are many ways to help without making ones identity known to the IRI. Writing letters to the Canadian Government [or your national government - aa], contacting different human right agencies and voicing ones concern, covering ones head and face while attending demonstrations and writing under an alias name are just a few ways of helping the students in Iran without getting in contact or being found out by the IRI.'
Abu Kais at MJT on Lebanon coup. 'In reality, there is little difference between what Hizbullah is trying to do and what Syrian intelligence did when they had direct control of all Lebanese institutions. The Syrian regime kept the Sunnis of Lebanon in check by occasionally obstructing Rafik Hariri’s projects and sponsoring Sunni fundamentalists to weaken the Sunni Mufti. Hariri was killed precisely because he was going to openly join the anti-Syrian opposition in the country, bringing with him many in his community. Defeating him through elections did not work in 2000 because he ended up sweeping the vote. Killing him was the only option for Bashar, who wanted to “break the country over the heads of those who opposed his orders.”'
Belmont Club on Iraq's Sunnis. 'This situation is perfectly clear once it is realized that the Sunnis are beaten, and not as the MSM would have it, advancing from triumph to triumph. They are confusing the grim ferocity of despair with exalatation of triumph. They are not the same. What must be done now is give the Sunni population a modicum of the security and prosects that they have thrown away. Only by guaranteeing them the secure retreat guarded by a Sunni force is their any hope of teasing them back into a political process they have ceded on a platter to the Shias. ...'
Remarks. Please go read the full posts/articles if you have the time. I'll be back posting my own thoughts soon. Right now I'll just say that the vacation has given me a chance to rest up and come back to world events with a fresh outlook. And I think there are lots of reasons to be hopeful - and even more reasons to stay involved!