"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

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Pakistan Taliban appears in turmoil

From Yahoo.

Pakistan's Taliban appears in turmoil after reports of a deadly shootout between contenders to replace the shadowy movement's leader, believed to have been killed in a US drone attack.

This article should be read in unison with these other articles to get a complete picture of what is happening in Pakistan. The most important point comes out in this article from the Daily Times.

The people of Mingora have long been used to the sight of bullet-riddled bodies dumped on the streets. For months these used to be government officials, policemen or women killed by the Taliban, the Times has reported. Now the pattern has been reversed.

The Taliban are being hunted down by the security forces and families of their former victims.

Other important articles are here, here, and here. Needless to say, most of them point to a general dissatisfaction with extremists by the population. An insurgency first and foremost needs tacit support of the population. It appears that both the Taliban and Al Qaeda have lost their popular support.

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Put Moussavi, Khatami, Karroubi on trial says Iran general (Roundup)

From Monsters and Critics.

A senior general of the Iranian revolutionary guards said Sunday that top opposition leaders should be tried for having planned a coup against the Islamic establishment, the official news agency IRNA reported Sunday.

Yadollah Javani, head of the guards' political bureau, demanded that Mir-Hossein Moussavi, former president Mohammad Khatami and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi be put on trial.

President Ahmadinejad is floating the idea of putting key figures on trial. While Iran has put normal citizens on trial with no real loss in support, trying to put these leading figures on trial will cause the regime to crumble. These figures have not yet really taken sides against the regime. If this trial gains traction, they will be forced to take sides against the regime. If and when they do, it will be an ugly day for Iran.

To read the complete article, click here.

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EXCLUSIVE: Report sees recipe for civil war in Iraq

From The Washington Times.

A report to be published this month by the U.S. government's prestigious National Defense University warns that the Iraqi army and police are becoming pawns of sectarian political parties -- a trend that it calls "a recipe for civil war."

The report by Najim Abed al-Jabouri, a former Iraqi mayor and police chief who helped run the first successful counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq after the U.S. invasion, also concludes that U.S. forces have failed to use their remaining leverage as trainers to insulate the Iraqi army and police from the influence of powerful Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim and Kurdish parties.

This article is very interesting in that it accurately portrays many dynamics currently ongoing in Iraq. The Iraqi Security Forces are for the most part nonsectarian and generally do operations which are nonsectarian, especially the Iraqi Army. However, there are loyalties to political parties which occassionally swing operations for purposes of different political parties. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the course of the next year as US Forces withdraw from Iraq.

To read the complete article, click here.

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