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Foreign-Policy Pickle

US President Obama warned last week that no US troops would remain unless they are granted immunity [Reuters]It’s becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. interventionist crowd is finding itself in a pickle with respect to the U.S. government’s 12-year occupation of Afghanistan and 12-year “war on terrorism. “

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Flu Epidemic Hysteria

Flu EpidemicWe've heard it all before. Media scoundrels hype fear. So do drug companies. Doing so boosts sales.

On January 11, The New York Times headlined "Flu Season Deaths Reach Epidemic Level but May Be at Peak, CDC Says."

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2013 Shoulda Coulda Woulda Resolutions

US CongressOkay. Bent over. Hands on knees. Breathing hard. Whew. Made it. “Pant. Pant.” For a while there, didn’t seem like it’d ever happen, but somehow we mercifully staggered across the annum finish line finally placing 2012 irrevocably in the rear view mirror. Make no mistake, the political climate is still volatile. Rash. Mad. Loud. Pulsating forehead vein above arcing spray of spittle loud. And the double- crossing chicanery hasn’t mellowed a bit of a spot of an iota from the fever pitch of last year’s quadrennial heights.

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US support of Pakistani generals in Afghanistan

Afghanistan former justice minister Nooruddin Turabi by Ehsan Azari Stanizai

Amid a nation-wide surge in anti-state violence, Pakistan released eight Taliban prisoners, including former justice minister Nooruddin Turabi in order to facilitate a peace process in neighbouring Afghanistan. The release of the new bunch of Taliban is part of the “Peace Process Roadmap to 2015,” drawn up in secret by Kabul and Islamabad recently. The idea of ‘peace’ sounds virtuous in a war-ravaged country like Afghanistan, however, the question now is whether these good-faith gestures are red herrings or true covenants? 

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'Mr. Obama, Tear Down These sanctions!'

SyriaThis observer has learned from time in this region that if one wants to learn what is happening on the ground politically and socially it is fine to speak with government officials, journalists, long tenured academicians, NGO’s, and people on the street. But I have learned that one of the best sources of objective information comes from university students. As explained to one official the other day, if ones sit with half a dozen graduate students one is sure to witness and benefit from a spirited, challenging exchange with varying points of view and few expressed without having to justify to the others one’s positions or interpretation of events.

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