As the Koran burnings in Afghanistan and the deadly uprising that followed dominate the headlines, another important issue — perhaps the elephant in the room — is being largely overlooked: American and NATO soldiers are regularly being killed by members of the very same Afghan police and army they are arming and training. And the number of deadly incidents is on the rise.
As the debate rages over whether or not Iran is actively working toward dangerous nuclear capabilities, and how far it might be from actually creating a bomb, one thing remains clear: Israel considers Iran’s nuclear enrichment program a serious personal threat and continues to rattle its saber in warning of an eventual strike against its antagonistic neighbor.
The results of parliamentary elections in Egypt appear to indicate that the future of that nation will find it more closely aligned with the Islamist agenda. At the same time, another "moderate" Muslim nation, Turkey, seems to be moving in an increasingly radical direction.
As the conflict over U.S. government-funded interference in Egyptian politics appeared to be easing slightly — travel bans on American “pro-democracy” activists charged with various crimes were just lifted — analysts and officials suggested U.S. taxpayer aid to the dubious regime in Cairo would likely continue to flow.
While Americans are being murdered in Afghanistan after the accidental burning of the Koran and an Iranian general is advocating the destruction of the White House, similar Islamist extremists have gained control of the Egyptian parliament. The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party took 58 percent of the available seats in the upper house of Egypt’s parliament, while the even more extremist Salafist Al-Nour party took a quarter of the seats. In all, more than 80 percent of the contended seats in Egypt’s upper parliament are now in the hands of Muslim extremists. Last year’s “Arab Spring” is now more fully manifesting its true character: the transformation of Egypt into a more stridently Islamist regime.
In the face of escalating sanctions imposed by the European Union and the U.S. government, supposedly related to the Iranian nuclear program, officials in Iran announced that the nation would accept gold and currencies other than the dollar in international trade. China, Russia, India, and other major economies have continued to do business with the Islamic Republic despite the growing Western pressure.
Is the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, in the opinion of U.S. officials, a valued ally or a murderous, tyrannical regime? It all depends on which day you ask.
As reported in The New American here, the difference in wages between Chinese and American workers is narrowing rapidly. Part of the reason is that China has passed the Lewis Turning Point.
Borderland Beat reports that Mexico's drug cartels are using Caribbean countries as trans-shipment points for drugs bound for either the United States or Europe. VOXXI (Voice of the Hispanic 21st Century) — a multimedia site for topics relevant to Hispanic Americans — noted that on December 15 analysts with the State Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency, as well as independent analysts, told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on drug trafficking that the Sinaloa Cartel, Mexico's largest and most powerful group, is establishing drug routes with the Dominican Republic as the command center.