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Latest update : 2010-01-06

Bloggers comment on the US strategy in Yemen

In this edition: Net users comment on the US strategy in Yemen; charges dropped against the Blackwater militia in the US, the web reacts; and a site offers users virtual participation in the Dakar rally raid.

YEMEN: NEW TERRORIST HAVEN?

In Yemen thousands of soldiers have been deployed in the south of the country as part of a large-scale anti Al Quaida mission. The Middle East’s poorest nation is today accused of being the new haven for international terrorism.

This blogger recalls however that Yemen has been a terrorist haven for several years already. He points out that Al Qaida has already planned and carried out five attacks there since 2000, including one that Osama Ben Laden himself claimed responsibility for.

This IRIS researcher declares in this video that by waging war on Yemen, the US is above all trying to justify the increased funding allocated to the war on terrorism and its pursuit.

‘The Obama administration is saying ‘we know Al Qaida cells are not only located in Afghanistan and Pakistan. There is reason to believe we must also focus on other regional fronts’.

A strategy denounced by this video blogger, who compares the situation in Yemen to those in Iraq and Afghanistan. He criticises the attitude of the Obama administration, which continues, in his opinion, to inflame the region.

BLACKWATER IN IRAQ

Last week the US justice system dropped charges against five Blackwater agents. The men, employed by the private security company in Iraq, were accused of having opened fire on a crowd during a mission in Bagdad in September 2007, killing seventeen civilians.

And the reaction by the Iraqi authorities quickly manifested itself. As explained by this blogger, Blackwater and all its current or former employees are now banned from Iraqi territory.

This former Iraqi journalist and blogger expresses his disappointment with the American decision. In his post he mentions many testimonies indicating that Blackwater employees allegedly shot civilians on sight that day. Action he feels should have been punished.

A point of view not shared by this US video blogger. He esteems Blackwater employees to be highly trained professionals, who would have had a good reason to act the way they did.

This extract of a documentary, available online, looks back at the judicial blurring surrounding the actions of Blackwater employees in Iraq. A documentary which explains that the hired soldiers were not accountable to anyone, contrary to members of the military.

But as recalled by this lawyer, the only way to instil a sense of responsibility among foreign troops in the country would be to lift the immunity granted to all US personnel present on Iraqi soil.

WORLD OF WARCRAFT

US police have managed to localise a fugitive, wanted since 2007, thanks to his addiction to the very popular online video game: World of Warcraft. Following an enquiry, police asked the game’s publishing house to supply information about the individual, such as his IP address. Data which led the investigators to Canada, where the man was finally arrested and extradited.

VIRTUAL DAKAR

With the Dakar rally raid currently underway, fans can also take part in this famous race, online. On Virtualdakar.com, players must drive in the same conditions as the real drivers during a virtual race. Net users must therefore log on each day at the same time as the drivers. An adventure almost as intense on the web as in real life.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

What would happen if the Super Mario video game character took on Pacman in a virtual world? Well for the creator of this 2D animation, there would be a merciless combat in which no holds barred.

 

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