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Showing posts from February 22, 2009

Muslim Publics Oppose Al Qaeda's Terrorism, But Agree With Its Goal of Driving US Forces Out

February 24, 2009Support for Including Islamist Groups in ElectionsFull Report (PDF)
Questionnaire/Methodology (PDF)A study of public opinion in predominantly Muslim countries reveals that very large majorities continue to renounce the use of attacks on civilians as a means of pursuing political goals. At the same time large majorities agree with al Qaeda's goal of pushing the United States to remove its military forces from all Muslim countries and substantial numbers, in some cases majorities, approve of attacks on US troops in Muslim countries.(Photo: Ed Yourdon)

People in majority-Muslim countries express mixed feelings about al Qaeda and other Islamist groups that use violence, perhaps due to this combination of support for al Qaeda's goals and disapproval of its terrorist methods.However large majorities support allowing Islamist groups to organize parties and participate in democratic elections. In some majority-Muslim countries, Islamist groups, such as the Muslim Brothe…

Altering Bailout Rules, US Moves Closer to Nationalizing Troubled Banks

The Obama administration has revamped the terms of its emergency aid to troubled financial firms that could lead to the government nationalizing some of the country’s largest banks. With nationalized banks on the horizon, we speak to Robert Johnson, former chief economist of the Senate Banking Committee, and former investment banker turned journalist, Nomi Prins.The Obama administration has revamped the terms of its emergency aid to troubled financial firms that could lead to the government nationalizing some of the country’s largest banks. In a joint statement, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and federal bank regulatory agencies announced yesterday the government might demand a direct ownership stake in major banks that do not have enough capital to withstand an extreme recession. The government will begin a series of so-called “stress tests” this week on twenty of the country’s largest banks with $100 billion dollars in assets.The Obama administration has confirmed it is…

Noam Chomsky Interview: See Description Below

Kind of a strange interview; see blurb: On February 17, 2009 we had the pleasure of meeting Noam Chomsky in a virtual classroom for a learning conversation. A learning conversation with a great author, professor, teacher or public speaker is the concept of the free of charge Virtual Round Table on Demand program which is conducted by LANCELOT School ( Those requesting the author are encouraged to collect 5 great questions which they would like to ask the author (teacher, professor or public speaker). The following is a recording of those 5 questions. LANCELOT School is an innovative, inspiring and sociable teacher training center for language teachers. Virtual Round Table with Noam Chomsky was sponsored by LearningTimes ( and ( The system kind of sucks, in my instructional-designer opinion, and the presenter wasn't too on the ball, either. But there's…

Robert Fisk on Gaza and the media,

February 23, 2009

An unembedded reporter tells us how he really feels about the mainstream Western press
[1] Reporting independently from the front lines of war is an increasingly rare engagement for journalists working for major international media outlets. From Iraq to Afghanistan, reporters are increasingly embedded with Western military forces, operating without independence.

When Israeli military forces launched an invasion into the Gaza Strip, international journalists were barred entry into the territory by the Israeli government for the majority of the conflict, despite a ruling from the Israeli Supreme Court that called on the government to allow international reporters into the territory. Major international media outlets, including CNN and the BBC, ended up reporting from hilltops in Israeli-controlled territory kilometres away from the actual conflict.British journalist Robert Fisk has offered fiercely independent accounts of conflicts throughout the Middle East for decades. S…

President Obama to Sanction Israel?

Take Action: President Obama to Sanction Israel?February 23, 2009

Tomorrow, President Obama is expected to address a joint session of Congress and deliver a "blueprint" for his FY2010 budget.According to the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the United States and Israel in 2007 and made public by the US Campaign, the President is expected to request $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel in FY2010.However, there are growing indications that the Obama Administration is considering sanctioning Israel.According to a senior Israeli security official in a Feb. 17 article in Ma'ariv, Israel fears that Special Envoy George Mitchell will convince the White House to cut military aid as a response to Israel's ongoing settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.A Feb. 15 Ha'aretz article speculated that amounts available for U.S. loan guarantees to Israel would be cut for the same reason.

Meanwhile, last Thur…