August 2015 archive

Cluster Bombs in Yemen

Saudi Arabia has used Cluster Bombs manufactured in the United States to bomb Yemen.   Many civilians are killed and wounded in the initial attack where more than 600 bomblets are distributed across a wide area by exploding the main bomb in the air.   Many of the bomblets don’t explode at the time of the …

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Open Letter from International Relations Experts In Support of the Nuclear Deal

This is an open letter from the National Iranian American Council, a moderate, politically active group of Iranian Americans.  It is signed by a number of U.S. Experts on International Relations. The Nuclear Agreement with Iran: A Plus for Regional Stability

Statement from Middle East and International Relations Scholars The nuclear deal with Iran (The …

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Speaking of Diplomacy

Russia Today carried an article today saying that the Russian Duma is outraged because the United States refused to provide a visa to a high level member of the Russian government to enter the U.S. to meet with Ban Ki Moon and attend a UN sponsored conference.   Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko was not …

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Rally in Support of the Iran Nuclear Deal

On August 26th, Rochester activists joined a national call to stand up for the Iran Nuclear Deal as an example of successful diplomacy.   More than 50 people showed up at the Federal Building for a rally and some enthusiastic protesting.  Members of Senator Gillibrand’s staff join us for a while, and conversed with members of …

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International Red Cross Report on Conditions in Yemen

This is the central city of the Houthi tribes from which the leadership of Ansarullah are are drawn.  The video was posted in early July.  Since then the aerial bombing has continued for nearly two months, and the ground fighting has increased.

Yemen: ICRC calls for better access to civilians affected by continuing violence

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Some Thoughts on Islam and the Barbaric Hordes

This is a response to a rather backhanded compliment to Islam that recently passed through my email, presented as an expression of tolerance focused on Iran.   Sometimes tolerance can be misleading because it focuses on the presumed negative rather than the experience of that which is ‘other’.   So, there is no room for a …

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Photonics In Rochester, A Question of Values

Guest post by George Payne of Gandhi Earth Keepers, International.  George follows local and global issues, and has a radio show on Rochester Free Radio called The Broken Spear.

The $600 million photonics hub promises to create manufacturing jobs and spur innovation in the science of light, robotics and medical imagery. Senator Charles Schumer has …

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Syria What’s Ahead? Diplomacy or Military Escalation (VIDEO)

This week, the International Action Center hosted an informative forum on Syria with many excellent speakers.  Among them were several members of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) Administrative Committee, all of whom have been closely monitoring the disastrous war on Syria over the last 4 years, which was one of the topics highlighted in …

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The Metastasizing US Military Drone Program

It was never in doubt that the US has expanded its military drone program continuously, at least since 2001, and continues to do so. Not only have the numbers of active, armed Predators and Reapers increased, but continuing research and development have yielded larger, faster drones capable of carrying more armaments, better video feeds, and …

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Yemen Crisis: Trapped American – Freed Hostage

I wasn’t following this story in real time, but when it came to my attention today, the irony was too poignant to ignore.   A friend just sent me the content of an post from  Journalist Casey Coombs on the First Look, Intercept website.on May 4.   It is called “Stuck In Yemen: A Personal History“.  In the article, Coombs describes being stranded in Sana’a during the Saudi bombing campaign because the United States decided not to rescue US nationals in the country.

On April 30, the U.S. State Department posted updated information for Americans in Yemen with this printed in bold: “There are no plans for a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of U.S. citizens at this time.  If you wish to depart Yemen, you should stay alert for other opportunities to leave the country.” 

So there he is.  Abandoned in a war zone.  Fortunately, the locals are friendly, including the Houthis guarding a nearby outpost..

A month later, he is an American Hostage of the Houthis, freed by the Sultan of Oman.

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