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Showing posts from January, 2012

Boko Haram: African Taliban of Nigeria

Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram - which has caused havoc in Africa's most populous country through a wave of bombings - is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state. Keep reading >>>>
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In Nigeria, a Deadly Group’s Rage Has Local Roots
KANO, Nigeria — In an imam’s quiet office, two young men in long hooded robes, their faces hidden by checked scarves, calmly described their deadly war against the Nigerian state. The office door was open. Children from the Koranic school adjoining the mosque streamed past, laughing and jostling. Worshipers from the evening prayer service, which the young men had just left, poured into the parking lot. If the police had been alerted in any way, the two young men would have been instantly arrested, or worse. But neither appeared nervous about possible betrayal. “It is not the people of Nigeria, it is only the army and the police who are against us,” said one of th…

A mind-boggling mix: Chinese hackers, Russian gangsters, Al Qaeda operatives and much more..

TO describe Reamde as fun would be akin to describing murder as “a little bit of mischief”. This, Neal Stephenson’s 13th novel, is literary haute couture; it’s smart, it’s edgy, it’s mind-bendingly layered, and it has a complexity that will make you weep. Whether said weeping will be from joy or frustration is debatable, but rest assured — there will be tears.

There is one really fundamental difference between Reamde and Stephenson’s earlier works. Canonical as they are, Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon and The Diamond Age are all very much ‘niche’ publications: their appeal is primarily to sci-fi aficionados. The Baroque Cycle on the other hand, steps far out of sci-fi into the realms of speculative fiction/alternate history, but is still dense and sometimes painful to read. Reamde, however, is immensely accessible, even to those of us who may still be Luddites. That said, devout Stephenson fans — those people who are constantly thrilled by his erudition and scope — will probably also love…

When is a terrorist not a terrorist?

War with Iran or not?  By Alan Hart
The longer and complete form of the first question in the headline is – When is a terrorist not a terrorist in the eyes of the Obama administration (not to mention all of its predecessors) and the governments of the Western world?
Answer: When he or she is an Israeli Mossad agent or asset. In the case of the assassination of Iranian scientists, the Mossad’s assets are almost certainly members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) also known as The Peoples’ Mujahedin of Iran, which is committed to overthrowing the regime of the ruling mullahs. Many of its activists are based in Iraqi Kurdistan where Mossad has a substantial presence. It does the training there, selects the targets in Iran and provides the bombs and other weapons, and MKO members do the actual killing.
It’s reasonable to presume that Mossad is more comfortable operating out of Iraqi Kurdistan with Iranian MKO assets than it was when its own agents were posing as CIA officers to…

الديمقراطية؟ خمسة دروس يمكن لمصر أن تتعلم من باكستان ; Democracy? Five Lessons Egypt Can learn from Pakistan

Pakistan is a perfect example of what not to do with a military junta. When Hosni Mubarak resigned from the Egyptian presidency in February, many commentators asked whether Pakistan--an unstable Muslim country outside the Arab Middle East--would go the way of Egypt, experiencing what was then thought to be revolutionary change.They should have asked whether Egypt would suffer the fate of Pakistan: a parliamentary democracy with a freely elected government but dominated by a military with a host of extraconstitutional powers.Today, the question remains as valid as it was last winter. Egypt is on course to follow Pakistan's quasi-praetorian path. There has been a change in government. Mubarak is gone. But the regime lives on through the powerful Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Egypt's democrats can learn from the successes and failures of their Pakistani counterparts. Here are five lessons from Pakistan.


1) Don't let the military divide and rule the civilians.

In Pakist…

How Thomas Jefferson’s secret Bible might have changed history

Thomas Jefferson and his Bible
Read also: Bible: Myths and their Parallels in other religions By T. W. Doane
The 'Jefferson Bible' was Thomas Jefferson's attempt to extract an authentic Jesus from the Gospel accounts.by Marilyn Mellowes.The White House, Washington, D.C. 1804. Thomas Jefferson was frustrated. It was not the burdens of office that bothered him. It was his Bible. Jefferson was convinced that the authentic words of Jesus written in the New Testament had been contaminated. Early Christians, overly eager to make their religion appealing to the pagans, had obscured the words of Jesus with the philosophy of the ancient Greeks and the teachings of Plato. These "Platonists" had thoroughly muddled Jesus' original message. Jefferson assured his friend and rival, John Adams, that the authentic words of Jesus were still there. The task, as he put it, was one of abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its …