Lots going on in our favorite region of the world.
The Taliban launched an attack on a NATO base in Helmand Province in Afghanistan over the weekend, destroying eight fighter jets and killing two Marines. Prince Harry, whom the Taliban had vowed to target, “was stationed at Camp Bastion at the time of the attack, but was not hurt.” The attack comes in the wake of the surge ending, Alissa J. Rubin of the New York Times reports.
Richard Leiby and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post inform us that four U.S. troops were killed yesterday in a “green-on-blue” attack. This episode brings “the number of international troops shot dead by their Afghan partners this year” to 51.
Matthew Rosenberg of the Times describes President Karzai’s displeasure with NATO’s continuing airstrikes—the latest of which killed eight Afghan women collecting firewood—and “the continued detention of some 600 Afghans” at Bagram Air Base.
Unrest continues in the Arab world over the offensive film: Salman Masood of the Times tells us that anti-American protesters attempted to storm the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan yesterday, killing one person and injuring dozens. Anna Coren of CNN reports that protesters outside the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan attacked and injured fifteen police officers. CNN also says that Libyan authorities have arrested almost 50 people in conjunction with the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya; the BBC has more. Meghashyam Mali of the Hill tells us that SecDef Panetta thinks the protests are likely to continue, and Foreign Policy’s National Security Channel interviewed Panetta on the continuing unrest.
Meanwhile, on the home front, an 18-year old gentleman by the name of Adel Daoud has been arrested for attempting to detonate what he thought was a car bomb. Michael Schwirtz and Marc Santora of the Times have more details about the arrest, as does the Associated Press.
Jennifer Peltz of the Associated Press reports that the government has requested Judge Katherine Forrest to stay her permanent injunction ruling in Hedges while the government appeals to the SDNY. Read some of our coverage here, here, and here.
The Post editorial board argues that Judge Katherine Forrest’s ruling was an “overreaction.”
Edward C. Liu of the Congressional Research Service has this excellent report entitled “Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act,” which, as you’ll recall, the House voted to do last week.
From the Department of Beware the Ides of March: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did the Sunday morning media rounds around town, warning us—lest we forget—that Iran is closer than ever to having an atomic bomb, and that it is “20 yards away” from scoring a “touchdown.” Steven Lee Myers of the Times has more, and Josh Gerstein of Politico does too.
Nabil Makloufi aka Nabil Abou Alqama, a deputy chief of AQIM, was killed in a car accident over the weekend, reports Agence France Presse.
And, this excellent story from the Onion conveys one presidential candidate’s position on the continuing tensions across the Arab world—it’s today’s Moment of Zen:
JACKSONVILLE, FL—Criticizing the Obama administration’s response to the current crisis in Libya and Egypt, Mitt Romney told reporters Wednesday that we should never, under any circumstance, apologize for the values that make this country great, such as our belief in the right to practice religion without persecution, our commitment to the freedom of assembly, or the overwhelming xenophobia that led to the relocation and internment of more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II. “As Americans, we should never feel the need to question who we are or what we stand for, whether it’s our strong commitment to family or whether we’re rounding up a group of innocent people, separating them from their friends and loved ones, and putting them into what are essentially overcrowded prisons because they happen to be of Japanese descent,” Romney told the assembled press corps, adding that free speech and concentration camps are American ideals that should be cherished, not second-guessed. “So if you ask me, should we ever apologize for freedom, justice, honor, or how we perverted those beliefs to justify one of the most horrifying acts of prejudice in American history, the answer is no.” When asked by reporters what American values are exactly, or what the phrase American values even means, Romney stared at the press, blinked several times, and walked off stage.
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