IRAQ: Baghdad is under lockdown, with cars banned from city streets and Iraqis today at the polls in the first election since the U.S. withdrawal in 2011. One way to understand America’s disconnect with Iraq: There are over 9,000 candidates in this election.
One to watch besides Maliki: candidate Mowaffak al-Rubaie. His face was on election posters everywhere when I was in Baghdad, and many pro-Western Iraqis favor him.
LIBYA: Declassified White House emails released yesterday show Obama administration senior officials played a deliberate role in misleading the American public after the 2012 terrorist attack on a Benghazi diplomatic compound. Officials were directed to “reinforce” President Barack Obama and “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”
The same citizens commission has already produced documentation showing the White House facilitated the flow of $500 million in weapons into the hands of al-Qaeda militants in Libya, and resisted pleas for a peaceful transition of power in Libya ahead of the 2011 revolution.
AFGHANISTAN: President Obama risks Iraq-like violence in Afghanistan if he decides on 5,000 or fewer U.S. troops as a stabilizing force next year instead of the 10,000 minimum requested by NATO commander, U.S. Marine Gen. Joe Dunford.
NIGERIA: The plight of as many as 230 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by terrorists has taken a tragic turn. Credible reports say they have been taken out of the country and forced to marry their captors.
WORLD: Often I’m asked for ways to incorporate news of the worldwide persecuted church into family prayer and devotion times. The best guidebook I know is Operation World, a prayer guide organized by country and so full of information it’s worth the price. Its 2010 edition is the latest, a drawback, and I'd love to hear suggestions for other resources.