Iranians rally to denounce Bahrain-Saudi Arabia union
BBC Arabic - Reuters agency reported that according to eyewitnesses, tens of thousands of Bahrainis protested outside of the capital al-Manama against the unity plan between the Arab Gulf countries. Also, thousands of Iranians protested in Tehran after Friday prayers against the unity plan between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which was described by the Imam of Friday prayers, Ayatollah Kazem Siddiqui, as an 'American-Zionist conspiracy'. Protesters gathered in front of Tehran University, raising the Bahraini flag and chanting condemnations of Saudi Arabia, America, and Israel.
U.N. Security Council demands Sudan pull out troops from Abyei
Al Alam - The UN Security Council has commanded Sudan to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the border region of Abyei, the disputed area with South Sudan. But Khartoum said it would only withdraw after a joint monitoring military force is formed in the region. Khartoum occupied the Abyei region in May, 2011, after an attack from South Sudan on a convoy of Sudanese army personnel. The occupation has displaced tens of thousands of civilians. These developments are taking place after armed conflicts and continual tension between the two sides in the oil-rich, border region of Heglig.
Egypt's military ruler pledges fair presidential elections
Dubai - Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Military Supreme Council, vowed to secure an ideal election, worthy of post-revolution Egypt. Tantawi's vows flowed in the direction of the judiciary's statements, which aimed to disperse the Egyptian people's fears of fraudulent elections, following the numerous violations cited in several presidential candidates' campaigns. However,the election campaigns continue with vigor, amid accusations exchanged between the candidates that play on the weaknesses of each part
Israel and Iran beat the 'drums of war' ahead of nuclear talks in Baghdad
Al Jazeera - Israeli air force commander, Ido Nehushtan, said his forces are entirely ready to carry out any military operation it may be assigned to, including striking Iran's nuclear sites. On the other hand, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, warned the super powers of making any miscalculations and issuing statements that could harm the negotiations scheduled for May 23rd, in Baghdad, regarding Tehran's nuclear program. The US-Israeli statements on the matter were issued at a critical time, only several days before resuming the P5 +1 talks with Iran concerning its nuclear issue.
Iraqis mark national day for the martyrs of the mass graves
Al Forat - May 16th was chosen to be the annual day dedicated to the martyrs of the mass graves, after the first and largest mass grave was discovered in the al-Mahawil region, of northern Babil province in 2003, after the Saddam regime collapsed. Considered the bloodiest in modern history, the barbaric massacres claimed the lives of tens of thousands of men, women and children, after they were buried alive or killed execution-style.
Image: Pro-government protesters show Bahraini and Saudi flags tied together, symbol of the unity of the two countries, as they participate in a pro-government rally held in al Fateh Grand Mosque in Manama February 11, 2012. Thousands of pro-government supporters attended the rally, which was organised by The Gathering of National Unity society, holding Gulf countries flags condemning the acts by opposition groups of Bahrain. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
In a clear break from former president George Bush's two national security strategies issued in 2002 and 2006 which endorsed unilateral military action and spoke of the threat posed by "Islamic extremism," President Obama has unveiled a new national security strategy which calls for more global engagement and aims to downplay fears that the U.S. is "at war" with Islam.
President Obama also expressed his desire to break away from the unilateral military approach of "either you are with us or against us" established in the wake of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.
"While the use of force is sometimes necessary, we will exhaust other options before war whenever we can and carefully weigh the costs and risks of action against the costs and risks of inaction," President Obama said.
Not since Mr. Obama addressed the Arab and Muslim worlds from a podium at Cairo University on June 4, 2009, pledging "to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims," did the U.S. president send a clear and powerful message that America's foreign policy towards 1.5 billion Muslims across the globe has changed.
The 52-page document, entitled National Security Strategy, distanced the administration of President Barack Obama from the Bush-era doctrine of preemptive war and emphasized global cooperation and robust diplomacy to make the use of military force less likely to be updated every four years. The document omitted some of the most controversial language from the Bush administration, like the phrase "global war on terror" and references to "Islamic extremism".
"Yet this is not a global war against a tactic - terrorism, or a religion - Islam. We are at war with a specific network, al-Qaeda, and its terrorist affiliates."
Earlier on Saturday, the President, while offering a glimpse of his new national security doctrine to the West Point 2010 Cadets, reiterated his administration's position towards Islam and that of the actions of extremists and terrorists.
"Extremists want a war between America and Islam, but Muslims are part of our national life, including those who serve in our United States Army. Adversaries want to divide us, but we are united by our support for you soldiers, who send a clear message that this country is both the land of the free and the home of the brave."
Obama's National Security Strategy has been read carefully across the globe, and he has been widely credited with improving the tone of U.S. foreign policy towards the Arab and Muslim worlds. However, with unfinished wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, nuclear standoff with Iran, and no progress on peace between Palestinians and Israelis, his words remain just words. We understand that the war on Islam is over, but war should end in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine as well.