Nobody wants a return to civil war in Iraq, but events are moving in that direction. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has become too divisive to stop it.
Not to be a pessimist, but all evidence points to a coming, wider war. It will “pit Sunnis vs Shi'ites; Kurds vs Turks vs Arabs; federalists vs centralists; nationalists vs international jihadis; anti-government vs pro-government forces and alliances; Iran vs Saudi Arabia; international jihadis vs everyone else; and probably more,” writes Elizabeth Kendal. “Underneath it all, the region's indigenous, long-suffering, besieged, remnant Christians will be victims of every contest, targeted by all forces.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the United States is no longer ruling out arming Syria’s rebels. War of necessity?
There’s a row in Hong Kong over the legislature’s decision to send HK $100 million (about U.S. $13 million) to the Sichuan government in China for relief efforts for the April 20 Ya’an earthquake. Critics insist the money should be channeled through private NGOs, not corrupt government officials.
One private NGO, Agape Way, reports state-run media has confirmed 194 deaths, 11,000 injured, and 150,000 houses collapsed from the quake, and Agape Way will be assisting with long-term reconstruction. (If you know of other private, faith-based NGOs provided quake relief there, we’re interested to know).
A growing body of evidence suggests the Obama administration is siding with radical Islamists around the world. Among the latest: An invitation to Washington for talks extended by U.S. officials to Nafie Ali Nafie, senior advisor to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Bashir himself is under indictment by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity (which by law prohibits his travel to the United States), but Nafie is equally complicit—and likely more so in the more recent ethnic and religious cleansing unfolding in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains. “Such a meeting in Washington is an extraordinary reward to a regime that is guilty of serial genocide,” writes analyst Eric Reeves.
Dr. Tom Catena is an unsung hero who remains in the Nuba Mountains after many humanitarian workers were forced out by Sudanese forces. He’s served for five years at the only hospital in the region
The new Obama plan for food aid distribution overseas will retain 55 percent of funds for U.S.-sourced food. Despite the efficiencies everyone seems to agree are possible with buying 45 percent from sources closer to the need, a coalition of aid groups and agribusinesses are resisting. We’re curious: Why are so many liberals suddenly interested in saving taxpayer money on food aid overseas? This AEI panel included USAID’s Nancy Lindborg, and representatives from Oxfam and Bread for the World.
Elham Ruzbehi became the fourth Bahai mother to be imprisoned in Iran—with her young child. Rusbehi began a two-year-sentence last weekend for her religious activities, having been first arrested in 2011 while she was pregnant.
I'm reading: Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey.