Links to Start Your Week 2/9/14


What started as a local anti-privatization protest in Bosnia-Herzegovina has morphed into a broader condemnation of corruption and nationalism.

A Ukrainian man, reportedly very drunkenly, tried to hijack a plane and force it to land in Sochi. He claimed to have a bomb and was brandishing what looked like a detonator. The pilots were able to land safely in Turkey and the man was taken into custody.

Middle East

A new report from Human Rights Watch showcases the endemic abuse of female prisoners in Iraq. Many of these women are illegally arrested by authorities trying to force them to inform on suspected terrorist relatives.


It turns out its really hard for white/Western journalists to write about Africa with depth/a multi-faceted approach. Most of the journalism about the continent falls into a familiar trope of suffering and tragedy. Jina Moore at the Boston Review writes about how journalists can do better.

Some thoughts on Somalia’s al Shabab, its future, and its interaction with al Qaeda.


Um, so, Burma/Myanmar maybe has a chemical weapons factory.

United States

The rest of the world views the U.S. as the biggest threat to peace, probably due to our military interventions to disarm countries that turn out not to have the arms we’re targeting, drone strikes, and special forces raids into countries we’re not officially at war with.

On a related note: we also arm countries pretty irresponsibly. For example, the biggest recipient of U.S. foreign aid is Israel, and most of that aid is military in nature. Here’s a critique of our policy of arming a colonialist nuclear power in the Middle East.

So naturally, the thing to do is to spend more on defense. Specifically, on missile defense systems that tend not to work or be delivered on budget. The Department of Defense is asking for an additional $4.5 billion this year. Given that the U.S spends more on defense than the next 14 countries combined, this totally does not seem like overkill, you guys.

Also, an FBI agent checked the wrong box on a form one time and as a result, someone was incorrectly listed on the no-fly list for years.


Five Iranian guards have been kidnapped by Pakistani extremists on the Iran-Pakistan Border.

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