Optimistic young Ukrainians look to Europe. I wish them luck
Marina Lewycka: Protesters in Kiev who want to be free of a stifling past and Russian power may find western politicians are not so different
Interesting angle on the ongoing new revolution brewing in Ukraine over foreign policy with Russia, the EU. It’s really a catch-22 for these demonstrators, protesting against relations with Russia but then, as the writer states, the EU isn’t so great.
10:50 pm • 2 December 2013 • 21 notes
Boys death highlights anger some Yemenis feel over U.S. drone strikes
If an apparent U.S. drone strike this month in the village of Mahashama had killed only its intended targets - an al Qaida chief and some of his men - locals might have grumbled about a violation of Yemens national sovereignty and gone on with their lives.
But the strike also killed a 10-year-old named Abdulaziz, the younger brother of the targeted militant, Saleh Hassan Huraydan, according to local tribal leaders and Yemenis with close ties to the al Qaida branch here. And that set off a firestorm of complaints that underscores how American airstrikes can so outrage a community that even though al Qaida loses some foot soldiers, it gains dozens of sympathizers
4:51 pm • 17 November 2013
6 myths about drone warfare you probably believe
My name is Brandon Bryant, and I spent six years fighting America’s wars via robot.
12:54 pm • 14 November 2013
“The longer the conflict this goes on, the more sectarian it becomes, the more extremists are able to take hold. That is why we are making this renewed effort to get a Geneva peace process going.”
— British foreign secretary William Hague says
5:36 pm • 31 October 2013
21 nations line up behind United Nations effort to restrain U.S. NSA
An effort in the United Nations by Brazil and Germany to hold back government surveillance is quickly picking up steam, as the uproar over American eavesdropping grows.
The German and Brazilian delegations to the U.N. have opened talks with diplomats from 19 more countries to draft a General Resolution promoting the right of privacy on the Internet. Close American allies like France and Mexico — as well as rivals like Cuba and Venezuela — are all part of the effort.
The push marks the first major international effort to curb the National Security Agency’svast surveillance network. Its momentum is building. And it comes as concerns are growing within the U.S. intelligence community that the NSA may be, in effect, freelancing foreign policy by eavesdropping on leaders like Germany’s Angela Merkel.
The draft, a copy of which was obtained byThe Cable, calls on states “to respect and ensure the respect for the rights” to privacy, as enshrined in the 1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It also calls on states “to take measures to put an end to violations of these rights” and to “review their procedures, practices and legislation regarding the extraterritorial surveillance of private communications and interception of personal data of citizens in foreign jurisdictions with a view towards upholding the right to privacy.”
The draft does not refer to a flurry of American spying revelations that have caused a political uproar around the world. But it was clear that the revelations provided the political momentum to trigger the move to the U.N.
his is huge. It just so clearly shows the growing anti-Americanism in governments abroad after the continuing National Security Agency surveillance and spying programs. The latest? The U.S. NSA obtained over 60 million phone calls in Spain.
5:37 pm • 29 October 2013 • 701 notes
“Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient or disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum. In private conversations with aides, Mr. Obama described Syria as one of those hellish problems every president faces, where the risks are endless and all the options are bad.”
— U.S. President Obama’s experience with Syria
11:12 am • 29 October 2013 • 1 note
“This is a bit of a sensitive subject, but the administration has been honest that they have no smoking gun that the attack was ordered by Assad. The evidence of his involvement is circumstantial. We’re two years into a civil war that he’s winning. The Russians and Iranians have told him not to use chemical weapons. Hezbollah has told him not to use chemical weapons because their fighters are at risk. So he’s winning, there’s scant and circumstantial evidence that he ordered the attack. Why are we gaming out his incentives when we don’t know he ordered it?”
— United States Congressman Alan Grayson says
3:55 pm • 7 September 2013
The how in the U.S. attack on Syria
A military expert explains how an United States strike may actually happen in Syria. What kind of military force would it be? What kind of machinery would be used? What kind of timing would it take? It’s explained here by Anthony Cordesman who works Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The Washington Post goes through various targets the United States military may attack in Syria. They cite the goal being Syria’s Defense Ministry locations across the country. They also name their number one, according to intelligence officials, being the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) in Jamraya, near Damascus.
2:57 pm • 5 September 2013