Sunday Reading

Soldiers will not be happy to hear that Gen. Raymond Odierno has said that because of budget cuts some soldiers deployments in Afghanistan might be extended. I imagine they also are not happy about being used as pawns in the politics of sequestration.

Spiegel Online has an interesting article about how after the Arab Spring Al Jazeera is becoming the FOX news of the Middle East. Juan Cole also has a post on how Kuwait has been cracking down on criticism of its ruler since the onset of the Arab Spring.

The Pakistani cabinet has approved of the transfer of Gwadar Port to China. The remotely activated bomb in Quetta yesterday has claimed at least 64 lives, with the number expected to rise. Most of the victims are Shi’ites and the Sunni extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility.

While doing a homework assignment earlier this week I came across some interesting links at The Supreme Court Historical Society. One was the short documentary FDR & The Court-Packing Controversy and the other is Reminiscences and Documents Relating to the Civil War during the Year 1865 by John Campbell. The history of circuit riding also looks like a good read.

Other news:
** Yemen: UN warns ex leaders of sanctions if they meddle
** Apache natural gas well has leak beneath floor of U.S. Gulf
** Fracking is the only way to achieve Obama climate change goals, says senior scientist
** Most Americans will retire worse off than parents
** Don’t Blink, or You’ll Miss Another Bailout ~ Gretchen Morgenson

Step aside Gangnam Style, it’s time for the Harlem Shake. 🙂

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  • “I imagine they also are not happy about being used as pawns in the politics of sequestration.”

    Not that I support it, but they’ve been used as pawns in foreign policy for decades, they might as well be used as pawns in domestic policy too.

  • Almost 90 killed in attack targeting Pakistan’s Shi’a Muslims ~ Foreign Policy Magazine

    Tragedy continues in southwest Pakistan

    A massive explosion on Saturday at a crowded market in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta killed 80 to 90 people and wounded nearly 200, primarily Shi’a Muslims (NYT, LAT, AP, ET, CNN, Reuters, BBC). The attack took place in an area dominated by the city’s minority Hazaras, a Shi’a sect that is often the target of violent sectarian attacks by Sunni extremists. Hundreds of Hazara women staged a sit-in on Sunday to protest the blast, refusing to bury their dead until authorities pledged to hunt down the perpetrators (NYT, AP, ET, Dawn, BBC). And thousands of Shi’a Muslims protested across Pakistan on Monday, demanding that the country’s security forces protect them from violent Sunni extremists (Post, AP, The News, DT, ET, Dawn).

    News reports in Pakistan say the devastating bombing could have been prevented if military intelligence and police officers had followed up sufficiently on evidence gathered against a faction of the notorious Sunni extremist terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi that was responsible for the double-suicide bombing in Quetta on January 10 that killed over 100 Shi’a Muslims (The News). Pakistani authorities, and particularly the powerful military, are under intense pressure from the public to stem what many are calling genocide of Pakistani Shi’as (Guardian, Reuters).

    On Tuesday, Pakistani officials announced that a security operation will take place in response to the Quetta bombing, and also replaced the police chief of Balochistan Province (AP, Dawn, ET). The statement from Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s office did not provide any details on the operation, and came as Shi’a Muslims protested for the third day in Quetta against the government’s failure to prevent the attack.

    Four suicide bombers dressed in Pakistani police uniforms attacked the office of the senior political official in Khyber tribal agency on Monday, killing five and wounding seven others (AP, NYT). And Indian troops reportedly shot and killed a Pakistani soldier at the Line of Control dividing the disputed territory of Kashmir last Thursday, after the Pakistani allegedly opened fire and wounded two Indian troops (NYT, WSJ).

    Official response

    Read the rest here, with link love.

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