Tag Archives: Joe Biden is Da Bomb
Robert Mugabe; A Big Part of Zimbabwe’s Problems
Part of the change many are expecting to see under Barack Obama’s administration is a renewed focus on Africa.Â Yes, George Bush’s administration has been one of the more active and generous American administrations in Africa, but Barack Obama is expected to do far more. From stepping up involvement in DarfurÂ and the Congo to standing up to Somali pirates, there are a lot of actions that Barack Obama isÂ expected to take byÂ many of his supporters in the region.Â Lately, Zimbabwe has becomeÂ anotherÂ country in which the United States will have to play a crucial role.
As we talk about sending more troops into Afghanistan, it is important to realize that there are more problems than just the Taliban.
This may be far less common in Iraq very soon
For all of us who cringe in disgustÂ whenever we hear the name Blackwater, good news! A new report from the State Department’s inspector general warns that Blackwater may not be allowed to operate in Baghdad next year. In addition to this, employees of contractors as a whole in Baghdad, not just Blackwater, are likely to start leaving in force if they lose immunity from criminal prosecution under Iraqi law, as is very likely to happen.
Yesterday, the response of this blog to the shoe-throwing incident was laughter. Today, it is time to evaluate how serious this incident truly is, and whether or not the journalist who threw the shoes, Muntader al-Zaidi, was right to throw them.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called Mr. al-Zaidi’s action “a shameful savage act” and has demanded a public apology. The incident has embarassed him, so this response of outrage should be expected.
On the other hand, his brother, Maythem al-Zaidi, said that he was “proud of his brother- as all Iraqis would be.”
About 100 American and Iraqi lawyers have already offered their services free of charge, including Khalil al-Dulaymi, the guy who defended Saddam Hussein. When asked whether or not he would accept the services of Mr. al-Dulaymi, Maythem said, “Why not, we are all Iraqis.”
Throughout Iraq, many people are forming strong opinions about the incident. The New York Times documents these reactions quite well. Here are a few samples:
In a giant step for mankind, Japanese brewery Sapporo Breweries has unveiled a new beer made from barley grown in space!
The Russian Academy of Science, Okayama University in Japan, and Sapporo Breweries collaborated on the development of the beer, with a Russian laboratory in space being used for growing the barley. The beer will not be sold commercially, but 30 lucky couples selected by lottery will be invited to a special tasting event inÂ TokyoÂ next month.
A couple thingsÂ come to mind in regards to this story. First, where are the Americans on this one? This is a great scientific achievement that Americans should feel shame for not being a part of. Surely our large population of beer drinking college alumni in this country would have plenty of interest in the project. Second, I want to taste this beer. How do I get myself into this lottery, and then rig it so that I win?
Overall, this story is boundÂ to get overshadowed by stories deemed to beÂ ”more important,” which is truly a shame. The groundbreaking nature of the discovery that beer can be made in outer space deservesÂ our complete attention.
When you think of the Taliban, this is a likely image to come to mind. But, there’s actually a lot more to it.
Recently, there has been increasing discussion of talking to the Taliban to reach peace in Afghanistan. This is an excellent idea.
Retired Russian general Ruslan Aushev has weighed in on the issue decidedly for negotiating with the Taliban.Â Here is a passage of an interview he gaveÂ with the Los Angeles Times:
Late Tuesday, the Indian vessel INS Tabar, shown above, blew up a pirate “mother vessel,” in the biggest blow to pirates to date. This is the latest in escalating fighting between pirates and international vessels.
Since the Saudi tanker the Sirius Star was captured this weekend, three ships were hijacked on Tuesday. These included a Hong Kong-registered freighter, a Thai fishing boat, and a GreekÂ bulk carrier. Al Jazeera has also broadcasted an audio tape that it said was of one of the pirates making a ransom demand for the Sirius Star.
To give some more visuals of present day pirates and their weaponry, I present you with the following: (more…)
Map showing the location of the hijacking and the path of the tanker to the port of Eyl
Yesterday pirates hijacked a Saudi oil tanker off the coast of Africa. The above map shows where. This hijacking involved the largest vessel (318000 deadweight tonnes)Â seized in what has been a string of piracy in the region. The vessel was also 450 miles off the coast of Kenya, which is the furthest off the coast that a ship has been seized, according to the top US military officer, Admiral Michael Mullen. The pirates are coming out of Somalia, where there is no effective government to control them. (more…)
For too long, military efforts in Afghanistan have relied on pure brute force to succeed. Bombs and big guns kill and destroy really well, but they are not capable of winning the support of a local population on their own. Now, the United States is adding some much needed brains to its operations in Afghanistan, bringing in cultural anthropologists and sociologists to help our military be smart, as well as strong. This video discusses what they are doing and how it’s helping. Robert Gates supports the programÂ and has ordered it to be expanded. Hopefully that continues.