Articles

July 19, 2014Neo 07-19-14-150

Legislating the Way to World War 3?

The US Congress is doing its part to escalate the tensions with Russia over Ukraine and a host of other issues. In so doing, the legislative and executive branches of the US Government work hand in glove to further the US-NATO agenda in Eastern Europe.

July 17, 2014RT 07-17-14-150

ISIS seizing chemical materials creates pretext for Iraq power change

The seizure of Saddam-era chemical weapon stockpiles by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) not only will have dangerous implications for the security situation in Iraq, but also enflame an already combustible situation in neighboring Syria. 

July 8, 2014neo-07-08-14-150

The Politics of Terrorism in Pakistan

Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a long awaited report this week on the ongoing violence and killings of Shia Hazara Muslims in Pakistan. The report, entitled We are the Walking Dead: Killing of Shia Hazaras in Balochistan, Pakistan, details the continuing campaign of terrorism and murder being waged against the minority Hazara community, particularly by Lashkar e-Jhangvi and a handful of other groups. 

July 3, 2014neo-07-03-14-150

The Strange Case of Nouri al-Maliki

While the world’s attention has been fixated on the rapid advance and conquering of territory by ISIS/ISIL in Iraq, a clear shift has taken place in the rhetoric against, and analysis of, Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki and his government. Though he was praised up and down by Washington while US troops remained on Iraqi soil, in the nearly three years since their exit he has transmogrified into a brutal sectarian autocrat evoking the worst aspects of both Saddam’s regime and that of his Shia neighbors and allies in Iran. What could possibly account for such a dramatic about-face?

June 27, 2014rt 06-27-14-150

Waging war against Russia, one pipeline at a time

While the human politics of the crisis in Ukraine garner all the headlines, it is the gas politics that in many ways lies at the heart of the conflict.

Indeed, the energy issue has not only framed much of the economic dimensions of the crisis, it has revealed the deep divides that exist among the political and business elite of Europe…

June 23, 2014neo 06-23-14-150

The Truth of Libya (Finally) Goes Mainstream

More than three years after the US and its NATO allies unleashed an “intervention” and regime change in Libya, the US establishment admits they maybe have “got it wrong.” Naturally, there were many of us who were demonized endlessly for speaking out against that war, and against all those politicians, analysts, and “activists” on the left and right, who championed the “humanitarianism” of waging war on Libya.

June 13, 2014RT 06-13-14-150

Obama, Gitmo, and ‘American exceptionalism

Yet another scandal has engulfed the Obama administration, as the President has come under fire for his prisoner swap that secured the release of the only US POW remaining in Taliban custody.

However, the real scandal is not whether Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a hero or a traitor, but rather the fact that the US – purportedly the “land of the free” – detains prisoners indefinitely, denying them any legal process.

June 8, 2014neo-6-08-14-150

Benghazi, the CIA, and the War in Libya

The unfolding violence and chaos in Libya’s second city of Benghazi should be understood as a power struggle between competing factions, each struggling to assert its own authority over the critical commercial center. 

June 4, 201406-04-2014- 150-Geopolitical European

The Geopolitics of the Eurasian Economic Union

The deal signed last week by Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan to create a Eurasian Economic Union is yet another countermeasure against US and European attempts to isolate Russia.  

May 30, 2014NEO 05-30-14-150

US Hypocrisy in Ukraine and Syria

The violence being unleashed on civilians and self-defense forces in the east of Ukraine by the authorities in Kiev constitutes a laundry list of war crimes. However, the West seems intent on employing double standards with regard to human rights and war crimes, applying or ignoring these principles as is convenient to its geopolitical agenda.

May 25, 2014RT 05-23-14-150

China v America’s cyber-hegemony

This week’s indictment by a US grand jury of five Chinese military officials on charges of cyber espionage is both revealing and hypocritical. After all, the US, along Israel, is the world’s leading purveyor of cyber espionage, warfare and subversion. Moreover, these latest charges should be understood against the broader backdrop of Washington’s‘pivot to Asia’, including the much-touted corporate monopoly ‘free trade’ of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

May 8, 2014NEO 05-08-14-150

The Face of Empire in Latin America (Part 1)

In his landmark post-colonial work Culture and Imperialism, the world renowned public intellectual and critical theorist Edward Said wrote, “Just as none of us is outside or beyond geography, none of us is completely free from the struggle over geography. That struggle is complex and interesting because it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also about ideas, about forms, about images and imaginings.”

May 6, 2014RT 05-06-14-150

How the corporate media whitewashes Ukraine

Cities in eastern and southern Ukraine have become battlefields as the junta in Kiev has unleashed military and paramilitary thugs on the people of those regions.

At the same time the media, with its critical role in shaping public opinion, has also become one of the principal theaters in this ongoing conflict, with Western propaganda being one of the most potent weapons.

May 5, 2014neo 05-05-14-150

The Unraveling of Ukraine

The Kiev regime’s deadly assault on cities in the East and South of Ukraine in recent days has opened a new chapter in the ongoing conflict in that country. The scores of dead and injured provide a sad testament to the fact that what was a united country little more than three months ago has now become a nation tearing apart at the seams.

April 24, 2014neo-4-24-14-150

Bye Bye Bandar

The recent dismissal of Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan is a significant development in the region, but not one that signals a fundamental change. Although the sacking of the man long known as “Bandar Bush” represents the departure of an infamous regime figure with close ties to the US political elite, the House of Saud remains the unchallenged authority in one of Washington’s principal client states.

April 23, 2014RT-04-23-14-150

Amending constitution to better serve rich?

There is a growing movement among many conservatives and right wing state legislatures to call a Constitutional Convention to pass a ‘balanced budget amendment’ to the US constitution. Despite the attempt by many on the right to frame the issue as one of fiscal responsibility, in reality it is merely the latest attack on working people and the poor in the US.

April 15, 20144-15-14-150

West increases tensions over Crimea for political gain

The PACE decision to suspend Russia’s voting rights and exclude it from all leadership positions in 2014 is yet another, mostly symbolic, retaliatory measure by the West in response to Crimea’s vote to reintegrate with Russia. Moreover though, it is an affirmation of Moscow’s reiteration of the hypocrisy of the West with regard to democracy and the rule of law.

April 3, 2014NEO 04-03-14-150

NATO, Russia and the View from Mars

Robert Heinlein’s classic novel Stranger in a Strange Land tells the story of a human, born and raised on Mars, who comes to Earth and struggles to understand the world around him. The protagonist of the novel, having no knowledge of the planet, is susceptible to misunderstanding issues based on a literal interpretation of all he sees and reads.

April 2, 2014RT 04-02-14-150

Sunctioning Russia into multi-polar world?

US and European sanctions against Russia are designed to “punish” its actions in Crimea. However, instead of forcing Russia into economic and political submission, the sanctions will spur the country to greater political and economic independence.

March 25, 2014neo 03-25-14-150

The Financial Elite and the Global Land Grab

The global financial crisis, which began in 2008, has significantly altered the way many speculators and financial institutions invest. Rather than taking huge risks with dodgy derivatives like credit default swaps and mortgage-backed securities, both of which have proven to be particularly volatile, many speculators have instead begun to invest in the most tangible asset of all: land.

March 20, 201403-20-14-150

Solving the crisis in Ukraine

Ukraine has become a geopolitical and strategic battleground upon which the West (US-EU-NATO) and Russia are struggling for influence.

But, underlying this conflict is the need to develop a viable solution, one that would address both the short term and long-term needs of the Ukrainian people and both Russia and the West.

March 16, 2014neo 03-16-14-150

Assessing the Cost and Benefits of “Punishing Russia”

With the referendum on Crimean independence and possible reunification with Russia now taking place, the US and its European allies have threatened punitive actions to punish Moscow. These measures include the denial of visas, freezing of assets, even possibly commencing economic sanctions against Russia and Russian interests.

March 11, 2014NEO 03-11-14_150

Crimea: Demoracy Is Not Democracy…Unless Obama Says It Is…

As Crimea prepares to vote on Saturday March 16th in a crucial referendum on its future, the rhetoric coming from the West and its propaganda machine has hit a new and ridiculous low.

March 7, 2014monteiro-150

Dr. Anthony Monteiro and the Assault on the Black Radical Tradition.

The recent firing of scholar and activist Dr. Anthony Monteiro from Temple University is unquestionably a politically motivated and racist assault on a world-renowned professor and community leader. However, it is equally an attack upon the very foundation of higher education and the place of Black people, Black politics, and Black communities within it.

March 6, 2014RT- 03-06-14_150

US Supreme Court’s war on civil liberties.

The US Supreme Court has opened the door to expanded police abuses and violations of the constitutional rights of ordinary Americans. It ruled that police can enter a person’s home or other dwelling without his/her consent, representing the worrying trend of the ever-growing police state apparatus in the United States.

March 4, 2014P&O-150

Ukraine, Intervention and America’s Doublethink.

With the deployment of Russian forces into Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the US-NATO propaganda machine has kicked into high gear.  Putin has been portrayed as a tyrannical aggressor, while the Obama administration and its European allies have attempted to stake out the moral high ground…

February 25, 201402-25-14-150

Russia, Europe, and the Geopolitics of Energy.

From Syria to Sochi, Poland to Pussy Riot, diplomatic and geopolitical conflicts between Russia and the West have come to dominate the headlines. However, behind these issues lies the fundamental economic competition that must frame any analysis of the politics and interaction between the two.

February 24, 2014ukraine_europe_asia_150

Ukraine’s Sickness … and Europe’s Cure.

The situation in Ukraine is evolving by the hour. Right wing ultranationalists and their “liberal” collaborators have taken control of the Rada (Ukrainian parliament) and deposed the democratically elected, though utterly corrupt and incompetent, President Yanukovich.

February 21, 2014US expands-150

US Expands military net over Africa, checking China’s influence.

Over the last decade, America has quietly expanded its military presence throughout Africa in an attempt to counter Chinese and other emerging nations’ influence, while consolidating control over critical strategic resources and trade routes.

February 13, 2014RT-02-13-14-150

What makes Aaron Swarts a hero? 

The recent anti-NSA, anti-surveillance protests were the latest manifestation of a burgeoning movement for freedom from mass surveillance and the liberation of information. It is this new resistance movement, comprised of myriad individuals and organizations, which is perhaps the greatest measure of the legacy of Aaron Swartz.

February 10, 2014NEO 2-10-14-150

The Diplomacy of Regime Change

The recently released recording of US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland conspiring with the US Ambassador to Ukraine to manufacture a new government in that country has revealed how the US directly meddles in the affairs of sovereign nations. 

January 30, 2014ukr_fascists-150

Ukraine and the Rebirth of facism in Europe

The violence on the streets of Ukraine is far more than an expression of popular anger against a government.  Instead, it is merely the latest example of the rise of the most insidious form of fascism that Europe has seen since the fall of the Third Reich

January 28, 2014RT - Torture in the Age of Obama -150

Tourture in the age of Obama

Article 5 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights expressly forbids that any person “be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

January 23, 2014The secret war in Libya - 600x389-150

The Secret War in Libya

The battles currently raging in the South of Libya are no mere tribal clashes.  Instead, they represent a possible burgeoning alliance between black Libyan ethnic groups and pro-Gaddafi forces intent upon liberating their country of a neocolonial NATO-installed government.

January 23, 2014Occupy Bangkok 01-23-14_150

Occupy Bangkok’s Quest to de-Thanksinize Thailand

As hundreds of thousands of protesters fill the streets of Bangkok demanding the ouster of the Shinawatra government, the Western media continue their one-sided portrayal of events in Thailand, misrepresenting the protests as anti-democratic.

January 17, 2014America fighting for justice 01-17-14-150

America fighting for justice, one burger at a time

The heinous terrorist attacks in Volgograd in recent days are merely the latest chapter in a terrorist war aimed at destabilizing Russia politically and economically, while tearing at the very fabric of Russian society.

As the families of the more than 30 dead mourn their loved ones, details of the incidents are beginning to paint an all-too familiar picture for anyone who has followed the development of jihadi groups in the Russian Caucasus.

January 15, 2014Does God work for CIA 01-15-14-150

Does God work for CIA?

The arrest and imprisonment in North Korea of US citizen Kenneth Bae raises once again the issue of the use of religion and humanitarianism as covert vehicles for furthering US hegemony.

January 3, 2014RT- Waging war on russia - 01-03-2014 -150

Making war on Russia: Looking into Volgograd terror blasts

The heinous terrorist attacks in Volgograd in recent days are merely the latest chapter in a terrorist war aimed at destabilizing Russia politically and economically, while tearing at the very fabric of Russian society.

As the families of the more than 30 dead mourn their loved ones, details of the incidents are beginning to paint an all-too familiar picture for anyone who has followed the development of jihadi groups in the Russian Caucasus.

November 6, 2013

RT - Making sure 11-06-2013

Making sure Wall Street gets Fed 

In an attempt to justify further cuts to social programs and other essential elements of the US budget, politicians and media demagogues have been fear-mongering Americans regarding the nation’s debt.

At the same time, the Federal Reserve and the major financial institutions that control it, literally laugh all the way to the bank.

 

August 30, 2013

use of chemical weapons report-150

Debunking the “U.S. Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013”

The document entitled “U.S. Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013”, released in tandem with public statements made by Secretary of State John Kerry, is merely summary of a manufactured narrative designed to lead the US into yet another criminal and disastrous war in the Middle East.  Having been released prior to even preliminary reports from UN chemical weapons investigators on the ground in Syria, the document is as much a work of fiction as it is fact.

August 29, 2013

King's dream - 150

King’s dream still just a dream after 50 years 

As America marks the 50th anniversary of a landmark speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, it’s fitting to ask the most important question: has the ‘dream’ of a just society built upon a foundation of morality and equality actually been fulfilled?

Or is it merely a collective delusion that all must accept?

August 28, 2013
war on iran begins-150

War on Iran begins … in Syria 

As the United States, along with its European and Israeli allies, prepares to launch yet another illegal war of aggression in the Middle East, the geopolitics of the US strategy could not be more apparent. Despite the high-minded talk of humanitarianism, the US is advancing a transparently neo-colonialist agenda aimed at securing hegemony in the region by destroying what little opposition remains.

August 20, 2013

RT-Miranda detention_150x156

Miranda’s detention: Intimidating journalists and their families new norm?

To everyone’s regret, given the current state of secrecy and political repression, the detention of Glenn Greenwald’s partner seems to have become the norm, rather than the exception. David Miranda, at London’s Heathrow airport earlier this week, is yet another example of the use of draconian “anti-terror” legislation in the US and UK to intimidate whistleblowers, journalists and their families, and anyone confronting the surveillance/police state directly.

July 16, 2013Candidates-150x97

Zimbabwe: Voting for Progress

Zimbabwe’s upcoming elections, scheduled to take place on July 31st, will go a long way to determining the future of the country.

July 11, 2013Fomenting Civil War in Egypt_150x112

Fomenting Civil War in Egypt

The killing of more than 50 people at a demonstration in support of ousted Egyptian President Morsi in Cairo on Monday has justifiably horrified many in Egypt and internationally.  The pro-Morsi elements have placed the blame on the military forces, while the military claims it was attacked with live ammunition.

July 8, 2013Quatar-150x105

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Struggle for Influence in Syria

This week’s resignation of Ghassan Hitto, the so-called “Prime Minister in waiting” of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, coupled with the July 6th election of Ahmed Assi al-Jarba to head the umbrella coalition of US-supported proxy groups attempting to topple the Assad government, has revealed further cracks in the edifice of the imperialist assault on Syria.

June 18, 2013

z6-150x101

Zimbabwe: The Revolution Examined (part 2)

As I sit down to write the second part of my series on Zimbabwe, I am struck by the difficulty of the task before me.  In the first article, Zimbabwe: The Revolution Continues, I attempted to illustrate the political and economic policies that have made President Mugabe and ZANU-PF the hated enemies of Washington and London.

June 12, 2013nsa-150

The NSA and the Infrastructure of the Surveillance State

It has long been known that cyberspace is one of the main battlegrounds in the 21st century.  However, last week’s shocking revelations about the NSA’s surveillance and data-gathering activities illustrate the extent to which US intelligence seeks “full-spectrum dominance” in cyberspace.

 

June 6, 2013welcome 2x150

Zimbabwe: The Revolution Continues  (part 1)

The coming elections in Zimbabwe are no mere referendum on the leadership of the coalition government.  Instead, the decision before Zimbabweans is a clear one: continue on the revolutionary path of Mugabe and ZANU-PF or follow Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and their pro-US, neoliberal economic agenda.

June 5, 2013susan ricex150

Susan Rice and the Illusion of Change

The appointment of Susan Rice as national security adviser to Obama is instructive in the context of domestic partisan politics. But the true global significance of her appointment will be reflected in US policy in Syria, Africa, and around the world.

May 26, 2013

March against Monsanto: Rallying for our future

The worldwide March Against Monsanto this past Saturday was no mere political demonstration. Rather, it was a worldwide mobilization against corporate greed, the assault on our health and environment, and the oppression of small farmers.

As the diverse crowd gathered in New York City’s Union Square on an unseasonably cold and rainy Memorial Day weekend – just as they did in hundreds of cities around the world – it was clear that Monsanto and the issue of health and food sovereignty transcends political ideology. People from all walks of life joined together to reject Monsanto and its pesticides, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and socially and environmentally destructive business practices.

April 24, 2013

War of words  - RTthumb

War of words: The new ‘Chechen terror’

For years the US and its intelligence services have championed the Chechen cause – legitimizing terrorism as righteous resistance. But after news that the two alleged Boston bombers were of Chechen origin, the story took on a new political dimension.

How Boston has changed the language

In the last 48 hours, an astounding change has occurred in the lexicon of the mainstream media in the United States, as Chechen Islamists are no longer being referred to as “rebels” and “freedom fighters”.

January 29, 2013

MDG : Venezuela : President Hugo Chavez

Poverty and Progress: Comparing the US and Venezuela

What does it mean to be “Third World” in 2013?  If we are to take the traditional definition of the term, then “Third World” refers to those (non-white) countries that struggle to attain high levels of economic development and which, for the most part, are reduced to the periphery of the global economy.  However, since the onset of …

January 8, 2013

01-08-2013

The US and the Privatization of El Salvador

As much of Latin America braces itself for the possibility of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s death, observers around the world would do well to note the stark contrasts that exist within the region.  On the one hand, there are the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas) countries, united by Chavez in their rejection of US imperialism and neoliberal capitalism.  On the other hand, there are those …

December 21, 2012

12-21-2012

Betraying the People: The ANC and the Exploitation of South Africa

This week’s elective conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa highlighted what has become an ever more apparent and painful reality to working people in that country and political observers around the world – the revolution of 1994 effected little more than cosmetic change.  The ruling class in South Africa, though fronted by black faces, continues to work in the service of Western finance capital and …

December 11, 2012

12-11-2012

Unmasking the Brotherhood: Syria, Egypt, and Beyond 

The complexities of the Arab Spring and the struggle for political freedom throughout the Arab world should not obscure what has now become an absolutely essential understanding for all anti-imperialists: the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the most powerful weapons of the Western ruling class in the Muslim world.  While that may be a difficult pill for some to …

October 05, 2012

10-05-2012

Attacking Democracy: Chavez, the US, and the Destabilization of Venezuela

Venezuela goes to the polls this Sunday in an election many are calling a referendum on President Chavez and his policies.  Although there is surely such a dimension, the significance of the elections goes far beyond political opinion and partisan bickering, striking at the heart of the Venezuelan state.   This is because these elections will be used as a front for an attempt to overthrow, by brute force if necessary …

September 18, 2012

09-18-2012

Subverting Sanctions: Iran’s Strategic Economic Development

The ongoing overt and covert war against Iran, instigated by the United States and Israel primarily, seeks to isolate Iran politically, militarily and, most importantly, economically.  The Western imperialists have as their goal no less than full-scale war with Iran, a key regional power and one that the United States has failed to control or otherwise manipulate since the revolution of 1979.  Their attempts to demonize …

August 20, 2012

08-20-2012

Barbarians at the Gate: Terrorism, the US, and the Subversion of Russia

The shootings and bombings in Ingushetia and Dagestan this week rekindled a long-standing, brutal campaign of violence and terrorism in Russia’s Caucasus region – one that has seen more than its share of terror stretching back to the Chechen “rebellion” of the 1990s.  However, in examining the recent attacks, it becomes clear that there are political and geopolitical interests behind the scenes that are actively working to …

July 31, 2012

07-31-2012

Choosing Hegemony: Turkey, NATO and the Path to War

As the destabilization of Syria has evolved over the course of the last year and a half, what has become apparent to political observers is the seeming incongruity of Turkey’s role in the region.  While Ankara has attempted in recent years to establish itself as a force for political and economic change and progress, it has also assumed the role of a NATO attack dog, becoming a crucial weapon in the arsenal of the Western…

July 18, 2012

07-18-2012

Sudan: Protests and the Politics of Regime Change

The protests that have broken out in Sudan are, on the surface, the manifestation of legitimate grievances.  Portrayed in the Western media as a direct response to austerity measures implemented by Sudanese PresidentOmar al-Bashir, these protests indicate …

July 12, 2012

07-12-2012

Mali, Al Qaeda, and the US Neo-Colonial Agenda

Recent developments in Mali illustrate both the way in which the Unites States and its Western allies directly project military and political power, as well as the role of terrorism as a necessary pretext for imperialist, neo-colonial domination.  Beginning with the establishment of AFRICOM (US Africa Command) in 2007, incorporating the war in Libya and the military coup d’etat in Mali, and up to today’s consolidation of power by…

June 25, 2012

06-25-2012

War At Any Cost: Another Manufactured Pretext for War with Syria

The downing of a Turkish jet by the Syrian military last week was not merely a military incident making the possibility of an intervention and regional war much more likely.  This episode was the most recent in a long and storied history of “international incidents” or …

June 20, 2012

06-20-2012

Pakistan: An Uncertain Present and Future

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s ouster this week was more than merely a significant development for national politics, it was an unequivocal message to the people of Pakistan that ineptness, subservience, and corruption will not go unpunished.  Though it is …

June 19, 2012

06-19-2012

A New Front: Myanmar’s Role in the Geopolitics of Empire

Myanmar has been gripped by abhorrent ethnic violence in recent weeks – violence which has begun to cast doubt on the democratic future of the country.  The sectarian and religious bloodletting between the Buddhist Rakhine people and the Muslim minority known as …

May 30, 2012

MDG : Venezuela : President Hugo Chavez

Balochistan: Crossroads of Proxy War

The current unrest in Balochistan centers around forced disappearances, kidnappings, targeted killings, assassinations and terrorism. However, these are merely the tactics of a much broader, more geopolitically complex war in which the United States and its Western allies are engaged.

May 29, 2012

05-29-2012

Rape and Torture: Weapons in the Propaganda War

Rape and torture have become standard issue in the propaganda arsenal of Western media.  Reports from organizations such as Human Rights Watch and the UN Human Rights Council that claim to document the systematic use of rape and torture by the “enemies” of the West have become usual fair in the soft war against whomever the imperialists have chosen to attack.  We have seen these claims used to legitimize aggression against Libya, Iraq, and now Syria.

May 25, 2012

05-25-2012

Syria, Yemen, and America’s Quest for Imperial Dominance 

At the G8 summit last week, President Obama and other officials in his administration, began utilizing the talking point of Yemen being a model to be emulated in Syria. Ostensibly, they were referring to the “peaceful” transition of power in Yemen as an example of what they would like to see in Syria.  However, the comparison goes much deeper than simply this superficial connection.  The truth is that Yemen represents, in more ways than one, the blueprint that the US imperialist ruling class would like to see applied to the escalating conflict in Syria.

May 23, 2012

05-23-2012

The New War in Iraq: US Occupation Shifts to Proxy Subversion

Since the withdrawal of US military forces from Iraq, there has been an ongoing campaign of demonization and subversion of Prime Minister Maliki. Though this effort likely began with an assassination attempt in December of 2011, it has come to a head in recent months with the warrant, flight, and subsequent trial of Vice President Hashemi.  This conflict illustrates …