-Heinrich von Treitschke
The Maoist cult was sustained by the publication of the Little Red Book of quotations from Mao. The more militant have been longer remembered: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun; politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed; all reactionaries are paper tigers; people of the world, unite and defeat the US aggressors and all their running dogs.
-John McCormick, Comparative Politics in Transition
Now for a thumbnail view of the news I think is interesting:
US health debate stalls
Here's a nice little snapshot of the highlights of the healthcare debate. Intended for an international audience, it's a good intro to the topic if you haven't been following too closely.
I thought his remarks were funny (if not slightly classless), but I think McCain needs to shut up and move on. In other news, I like Obama's tie, and I can't help but thinking about the security ramifications of having the President, Vice President, and plenty of senior citizens in the same tiny office...
Al-Qaida leader in Yemen threatens new US attacks
Qasim al-Raimi, a top military commander for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, warned Americans in an article published in an online militant magazine that the group "will blow up the earth from below your feet."
"You have attacked us in the midst of our household, so wait for what will attack you in the midst of yours," al-Raimi said.
Al-Raimi claimed in the article that U.S. efforts have backfired, and only succeded in pushing more Yemenis into the militant fold. "You united us with our people, made our catastrophe one," he said.
Iranian rebel 'admits US links'
An alleged member of a Sunni Muslim group fighting the Iranian government has said in a televised confession that his group received help from the United States.
"They [Americans] said they would co-operate with us and will give me military equipment," Rigi said in Farsi in the prerecorded television statement.
"They also promised to give us a base along the border with Afghanistan near Iran."
Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said...that accusations that Washington supported Jundallah or any other anti-goverment groups fighting in Iran were "nothing more than Iranian propaganda."
"Allegations that we played some role in creating or supporting Jundallah is just another false claim in a long list of ridiculous Iranian fabrications."
Ahmadinejad: Arab world will usher in new Mideast without Zionists
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that Arab nations will usher in a new Middle East without Zionists and without colonialists.
The Iranian president also said that "if the Zionist regime wants to repeat its past mistakes, this will constitute its demise and annihilation."
Ahmadinejad said Iran, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon will all stand against Israel.
"(The Americans) want to dominate the region but they feel Iran and Syria are preventing that," Ahmadinejad said during a news conference with Assad. "We tell them that instead of interfering in the region's affairs, to pack their things and leave."
Ahmadinejad is also scheduled to meet senior officials from the militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
Navy to allow women to serve aboard submarines
The Navy will soon permit female sailors to serve aboard submarines, removing one of the last barriers to women in the military serving equally alongside men.
The integration is likely to be phased in, with the first women serving on some subs perhaps within a year or so. Women might serve first on some of the larger submarines that are easier to reconfigure to accommodate them. Before women are assigned to a submarine, they must receive nuclear training, which can take up to a year, say military officials. The Navy isn't speaking about the plan until it planners determine how it will be implemented.
Russia’s Military Doctrine: New Dangers Appear
Aleksandr Khramchikhin, the Deputy Director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis, highlighted the potential for conflict on the Russian border, which had nothing to do with NATO, but was likely, if unleashed, to lead to a much wider war. Khramchikhin pointed to increased tensions between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He warned that neither Seoul nor Pyongyang, and neither Beijing nor Washington wanted to start a conflict, but the large arsenals and the heightened tension might lead to an uncontrolled escalation bringing in other powers.
US intervention on the side of South Korea would not fundamentally change that military balance, or bring the war to a rapid conclusion. US forces are currently overcommitted in other theaters and lack the strategic reserve to occupy the North. Khramchikhin characterized such a conflict as a catastrophe for everyone. Moreover, North Korea could make use of it nuclear arms delivered by short-range missiles and aircraft or as nuclear mines. Such an escalation would demand that China acted.
Qaddafi calls for jihad against Switzerland: Is it funny?
Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi has ratcheted up his campaign against Switzerland by calling for jihad, or holy war, against the European nation.
The British daily the Telegraph quoted Qaddafi after he gave a "rambling" address.
"Any Muslim in any part of the world who works with Switzerland is an apostate, is against [the Prophet] Mohammad, and God and the Koran," he told a meeting in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
"The masses of Muslims must go to all airports in the Islamic world and prevent any Swiss plane landing, to all harbors and prevent any Swiss ships docking, inspect all shops and markets to stop any Swiss goods being sold."
Later in his address, Qaddafi distinguished his proposed holy struggle from Al-Qaeda-style terrorism, saying: "There is a big difference between terrorism and jihad which is a right to armed struggle."
The BBC reported that, in his speech, Qaddafi also slammed Switzerland's vote in November last year to ban minarets, or spires on Moslem mosques used for the call to prayer.