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O.I.L. Media Roundup (29 November)

[U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits sits with his fellow P5+1 foreign ministers -- as well as European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, far right -- at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, after the group concluded negotiations about Iran's nuclear capabilities on November 24, 2013. Image from US State Department via Flickr/Public Domain] [U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits sits with his fellow P5+1 foreign ministers -- as well as European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, far right -- at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, after the group concluded negotiations about Iran's nuclear capabilities on November 24, 2013. Image from US State Department via Flickr/Public Domain]

 

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention, and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] 

 

News

Iran and the P5+1

Iran, World Powers Reach Historic Nuclear Deal, Anne Gearan, Joby Warrick
Iran and the P5+1 powers have agreed on a deal wherein Iran receives relief on a number of economic sanctions in exchange for freezing parts of the nuclear program.

Secret US-Iran Talks Paved Way for Nucelar Deal, Julian Border, Saaed Kamali Dehghan
The Guardian sheds light on secret meetings running alongside official negotiations that ultimately brokered the recent Iranian nuclear deal.

Detention and Law

Bahrain: Two Former Guantánamo Inmates Arrested in Saudi Arabia, Associated Press
Two former Guantanamo Bay detainees, have been arrested in Bahrain for plotting attacks against the state of Bahrain.

Guantanamo's Last UK Inmate Shaker Aamer Speaks from Cell, BBC News
Shaker Aamer, a Guantanamo detainee since 2002, has spoken to US media outlets regarding his treatment in the facility.

Israel Secretly Detained al-Qaeda Suspect Baraq, BBC News
BBC reports that Israel has held Samir Abdul Latif al-Baraq, a man described by Israeli military prosecutors as an al-Qaeda biological weapons expert, in a detention center without charge or trial since 2010.

Kuwait Twitter 'Insult' Prison Sentence Condemned, BBC News
Kuwait has sentenced Musab Shamsah, a man accused of making a comment insulting the Prophet Muhammad, to five years in prison, the second man convicted in Kuwait on such grounds.

Syria, Palestinian Refugees Held in Egypt Begin Hunger Strike, Reuters
Fifty-two Syrian and Palestinian refugees have begun a hunger-strike in an Egyptian police station to draw attention to their treatment. 

Afghanistan

US Spent Billions on Afghan Projects That Will Fall Apart When We Leave, A.J. Vicens, Dave Gilson
Vicens and Gilson, writing for Mother Jones, detail a number of infrastructure projects initiated by the US military that are either falling apart or run the risk of doing so. 

Pact May Extend U.S. Troops' Stay in Afghanistan, Tom Shanker, Rob Nordland
The United States and Afghanistan has finalized a bilateral security agreement allowing for a US troop presence through 2024. 

Palestine

Israel Says Separation Wall Will Be Border, Al Jazeera English
Israeli negotiators with the Palestinian Authority have rejected the possibility of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, telling PA officials the border of a Palestinian state would be the separation wall between the West Bank and Israel.

American Studies Association Weighs Academic Boycott of Israel, Nick DeSantis
The Chronicle of Higher Education details plans of The American Studies Association to discuss a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israel. 
 

Commentary

The "War on Terror"

America's Army of Lawyers Is Just as Dangerous As Its Drones, Dawood Ahmed
Ahmed argues military prowess alone does not account for US implementation of its drone program in Yemen and Pakistan, pointing out that a US "army" of lawyers have won critical battles in defining the legality of the program. 

Whose Interests Do the US Serve in Afghanistan?, Kathy Kelly
Writing in CounterPunch, Kelly points out the discrepancy between a deteriorating quality of life in Afghanistan and an increasingly expensive US military operation in the same country.

Why Arab Iraq Survives, Fanar Haddad
Haddad discusses the enduring appeal of a unified Iraqi nation-state despite a number of ruptures in post-war Iraqi social cohesion.

Homeland and the Imagination of National Security, Deepa Kumar, Arun Kundnani
Kumar and Kundrani argue in Jacobin that the Showtime television series Homeland approaches the War on Terror with a remarkable lack of empathy for those on the receiving end of its violence.

Syria

Inside Emergency Damascene Shelters, Franklin Lamb
Lamb highlights "solidarity, resistance, and good will" among Palestinian refugees in a shelter for internally displaced Syrians in al Zahera, Damascus.

Lebanon and the Long Reach of Syria's Conflict, Dexter Filkins
Filkins reacts to the bombing of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut by suggesting the incident indicates sectarian conflicts of Syria have begun to extend their reach to Lebanon.

Palestine

The Life and Death of Juliano Mer-Khamis, Adam Shatz
In London Review of Books, Shatz reflects on the 2011 murder of the co-founder of the Jenin refugee camp Freedom Theater. 

United States Takes a 'New Path' Forward in the Middle East, Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss provides an compendium of reactions to the Washington-Tehran deal from Twitter and the blogosphere at large.
 

Blogs

Armed Conflict

The New US-Iran Deal Doesn't Look Legally Binding. Does it Matter?, Duncan Hollis
Hollis argues on Opinio Juris that the Joint Plan of Action agreed to by Iran and the P5+1 parties contains less than legally-binding language to prevent the plan from qualifying as a treaty or international agreement, which would allow the US to avoid involving Congress in a deal.

Where Is the Moral Rectitude When Political Retaliation Drone Strike Hits Settled Area, Misses Target?, Jim White
White surveys the evidence for arguments that a recent US drone strike in Pakistan was intended as political retaliation for Pakistani demands that the US curb such strikes.

Readings: Christine Fair, “Drones, Spies, Terrorists and Second-Class Citizenship in Pakistan – A Review Essay”, Kenneth Anderson
Lawfare summarizes an academic paper from Fair reviewing a number of books and reports focusing on US use of drones in Pakistan.

Other

Why We Must Boycott Israeli Universities, Colin Dayan, David Lloyd
Layan and Lloyd respond on The Electronic Intifada to a number of criticisms of academic boycotts of Israel.

Period Review Board Hearings Start Up At Gitmo This Week--but Why in Secret?, Daphne Eviatar
Eviatar, writing for Just Security, criticizes a lack of transparency in the Pentagon review hearings for indefinitely held Guantanamo detainees.


Reports

Iran Nuclear Deal: Joint Plan of Action - Full Document
The Guardian provides the full text of the agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries. 

 


Conferences

Human Rights Interest Group Workshop; 22 November 2013; UC Berkeley School of Law; Register here.

 

 

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