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Ed Webb

Qatar Opens Its Doors to All, to the Dismay of Some - The New York Times - 0 views

  • the atmosphere of intrigue and opulence for which the capital of Qatar, a dust-blown backwater until a few decades ago, has become famous as the great freewheeling hub of the Middle East
  • what infuriates the Saudis, Emiratis, Egyptians and Bahrainis most of all is that Doha has also provided shelter to Islamist dissidents from their own countries — and given them a voice on the Qatar-owned television station, Al Jazeera.
  • The blockading nations — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — insist that Qatar is using an open-door policy to destabilize its neighbors. They say that Doha, rather than the benign meeting ground described by Qataris, is a city where terrorism is bankrolled, not battled against.
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  • In Doha, wealthy Qataris and Western expatriates mingle with Syrian exiles, Sudanese commanders and Libyan Islamists, many of them funded by the Qatari state. The Qataris sometimes play peacemaker: Their diplomats brokered a peace deal in Lebanon in 2008 and negotiated the release of numerous hostages, including Peter Theo Curtis, an American journalist being held in Syria, in 2014.But critics say that, often as not, rather than acting as a neutral peacemaker, Qatar takes sides in conflicts — helping oust Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya in 2011, or turning a blind eye to wealthy citizens who funnel cash to extremist Islamist groups in Syria.
  • that welcome-all attitude is precisely what has recently angered Qatar’s much larger neighbors and plunged the Middle East into one of its most dramatic diplomatic showdowns
  • “The Emiratis and the Saudis seem to have miscalculated their position,” said Mehran Kamrava, the author of “Qatar: Small State, Big Politics” and a professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. “They thought that if they went all-out with a blockade, the Qataris would balk. But they haven’t.”
  • American officials privately say they would prefer Hamas was based in Doha rather than in a hostile capital like Tehran
  • Qatar is leveraging the wide range of ties its foreign policy has fostered. Food supplies and a few dozen soldiers from Turkey arrived in Doha after the embargo started on June 5.
Ed Webb

British Library rejects Taliban trove fearing terror laws - Yahoo News - 2 views

  • "This is a symptom of a creeping orthodoxy of UK legislation that is trying to enforce so-called British values," said Fitzgerald, adding that the atmosphere has worsened since new guidelines were issued for universities calling on lecturers to look out for "potential radicals"."We're already seeing the effects. Some lecturers don't want to do modules on terrorism anymore because they don't want to come under suspicion."
Jim Franklin

Al Jazeera English - Americas - Bible codes in Afghan army guns - 0 views

  • American guns inscribed with Bible codes are being used by US forces and Afghans to fight the Taliban.
  • David Chater, Al Jazeera's correspondent in the Afghan capital Kabul, said: "It is a rallying cry for the Taliban. It gives them a propaganda tool.
  • "They've always tried to paint the US efforts in Afghanistan as a Christian campaign."
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  • Acknowledging the mistake, Breazile said: "We would have not bought these sights had we known they had these inscriptions on them."
  • Markings included "JN8:12", a reference to John 8:12: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, 'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life," according to the King James version of the Bible.
  • The Trijicon Reflex sight is stamped with 2COR4:6, a reference to part of the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ," the King James version reads.
Sarah Romano

Taliban vow to fight US troop surge in Afghanistan - 0 views

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    Obama says that his priority is to not allow the Taliban to over the government.
Ed Webb

Taliban Re-emerge in Afghanistan's Once-Quiet North - NYTimes.com - 0 views

  • over the last two years the Taliban have steadily staged a resurgence in Kunduz, where they now threaten a vital NATO supply line and employ more sophisticated tactics. In November, residents listened to air raids by NATO forces for five consecutive nights, the first heavy fighting since the Taliban were overthrown eight years ago.
Michael Fisher

Tuning Out the Taliban - Video Library - The New York Times - 0 views

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    A Pakastani contends that the Taliban does not have a huge impact on Pakistan, rather the U.S. is guilty of having the biggest effect to its current situation. A response to this would make a great blog post, as it explores many underlying issues (politics, pop-culture, identity, etc...).
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    A Pakastani contends that the Taliban does not have a huge impact on Pakistan, rather the U.S. is guilty of having the biggest effect to its current situation. A response to this would make a great blog post, as it explores many underlying issues (politics, pop-culture, identity, etc...).
Ian Mandell

Taliban Claim "tactical retreat" in Pakistan - 0 views

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    Taliban on the run?
nate grefe

BBC NEWS | South Asia | US to pay Taliban to switch sides - 0 views

  • Washington has authorised $1.3bn (£691m) for the fund.
  • Such payments have already been widely used by US commanders in Iraq, but it is the first time the system is being formally adopted in Afghanistan
  • The deaths make October the deadliest month for American forces in the eight-year war in Afghanistan
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  • Commander's Emergency Response Programme
  • Backers of the Cerp scheme say it enabled some 90,000 formerly hostile Iraqis to form local militias and protect their towns from militants
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