Iran’s Nuclear Program

Please read the two articles found at these links:

BBC – Questions and Answers about Iran’s Nuclear Program

Christian Science Monitor – Iran’s Pursuit of Nuclear Power

Using the Comment button below, respond the following question:

• Do you think world leaders should take additional steps to try to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, if that is in fact the Iranian government’s intent? If so, what steps do you think would be effective?

I encourage you to respond to one another’s comments on the blog. You may wish to share your views, ask a question, or ask for clarification on a point made in one of the articles. In any case, I encourage you to draw on evidence from the articles or our work in class as part of your response.

In Turkey, Mosque Gets A Woman’s Touch

Website Name: NPR



The role of woman in Islam, has always been a topic to discuss and debate. In this article, a woman by the name of Zeynep Fadillioglu is a team member of a group of interior designers whom are contributing to the construction of the Sakirin Mosque. It is her first Mosque, and the only Mosque to be designed by a woman.


This happening, will be a positive effect for Islam, though many are sure to disagree, the outcome will be a unfolding, growing process for the religion and woman’s rights in Islam. Woman need to have a role within the community for the purpose that you need to balance the ideas and perspectives. They do exist, and with many talents. It’s a large stepping stone for them, since this is the first time a mosque has been built and designed by a woman. The idea of creating a larger praying space for the woman will enable more children to join, and hopefully more woman. Ms. Fadillioglu herself does not practice Muslim, but her driven energy is from her excitment of herself, and other joining woman to create a beautiful, and modern mosque. Hopefully it is a step towards, the ablitly for woman who choose to wear headscarves to enroll and study in Universitys some day.

Guest Speaker Visit

You did a nice job as a class today listening attentively and respectfully to our guest speaker. It was a bonus to have our young, inquisitive guest visit too. Mr. Abdulhameed shared perspectives and viewpoints that we have not frequently heard in the US, including what you might consider to be controversial statements. We will have a chance to fully debrief in class on Wednesday. Until then, which statements or ideas stand out to you the most? What questions do you have as a result of his visit?

You do not have to log in to add a comment. Simply click on “no comments” — if you’re the first — or “2 comments” to add your voice to the dialog.

Iraq Says US Troop Deal is Close

Source: BBC

A deal between the Iraqi government and US a troop to keep troops in Iraq past 2008 is close to being passed.  A UN mandate requiring multi-national forces in Iraq ends at the end of 2008, but the Iraqi government does not yet feel ready to take on its country without military aid from the US. A meeting held about the deal in the green zone a bomb was set off nearby.  The source of the bomb is unknown, but it is suspected to have been attached to a car.  Regardless of the incident, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has identified a few problems concerning US occupation: the troops are immune to local law.  The current deal calls for troops to stay until 2011 unless asked to stay longer by the Baghdad government.

The current issue in Iraq is clearly a very delicate issue and should be treated accordingly.  With the US currently occupying Iraq it is important that the troops gain a good reputation among all of the different political, religious, and cultural groups.  At the same time the US cannot just leave Iraq in it’s current state, therefore the Prime Minister of Iraq has stated that for the current troop deal being written up, US soldiers  should not be immune to local laws.  This will put US troops and Iraqi citizens at a more equal level.  Hopefully the deal that is passed will lead to a more independent and safe Iraqi state.

Iraq Withdrawal

Iraq Withdrawal

Signe Wilkinson




What issue, event or idea does the cartoon address?

This cartoon deals with the time of withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. There is no real answer to the question to when the troops will be taken out of Iraq. There is no consensus in popular opinion or even with in the U.S. political system. Bush has been refusing to set a date for withdrawal from Iraq but Al-Maliki has said that he wants U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011.


What key people or groups are part of the cartoon’s message?

George Bush is the man with the large telescope. You can recognize him because he is commonly portrayed with exaggerated ears and mouth. Nouri Al-Maliki is the other man with the “Iraq Prime Minister” sign on his jacket.


Choose one technique (symbolism, exaggeration, labeling, humor/irony, or stereotype) and briefly explain how the artist used it in the cartoon.

What is the message of the cartoon? What do you think is the cartoonist’s     opinion or point of view on this issue?

The size of the binoculars that Bush is holding is intentionally exaggerated because the author wanted to stress the fact that Bush doesn’t really have a plan for when the troops should come home which makes many people think that it will take a very long time. Compared to Bush’s binoculars, Al-Miliki’s opera glasses look absurdly small. This means that not only can both leaders not see eye-to-eye, but Al-Maliki wants U.S. troops out of his country much sooner than Bush wants them out.

            The author most likely thinks that Al-Maliki has a better idea of how his country should be run. You can tell this by the way he has drawn the expressions on both faces. Bush has a rather scary look on his face, while Al-Maliki has a much more Innocent facial expression with his eyebrows raised.   

2 U.S. Helicopters Crash; Poland Ends Its Iraq Role

Title: “2 U.S. Helicopters Crash; Poland Ends Its Iraq Role”

Source: The New York Times

URL: sq=poland&st=cse&oref=slogin



On October 4, 2008, two U.S. helicopters crashed in northern Baghdad. One Iraqi soldier was killed, and two Iraqi and three American soldiers were hurt. However, this crash is not considered to be the result of an enemy attack. The Iraqi police reported that there were shots taken around the area of the helicopter, and it caught fire before it crashed. This occurred near a Sunni neighborhood and Sadr City, which is Shiite.

Earlier on October 4, Poland ended its military mission in Iraq. The 900 remaining soldiers are expected to return to Poland by late October. At one point, Poland had 2 500 troops in Iraq. Poland was one of the countries that were referred to as supporting the American invasion. Polish troops operated out of Camp Echo in Qadisiya Province in southern Iraq. Twenty-one Polish soldiers died while operating there. Other countries, such as Ukraine, Latvia, Romania, Armenia, Britain, and Albania, have forces in that area. Qadisiya Providence has been the most turbulent in the south besides Basra. In the past years, Italy, Japan, Spain, and other countries have left Iraq.



            The news of the helicopter crashing in Baghdad may or may not evoke a reaction in Iraq since there have been many crashes. While the death of their own soldiers might upset the citizens, since only a few were hurt or killed, they may not become too angry. However, the withdrawal of Polish troops should draw a bigger reaction from the people of Iraq. Since many of the citizens are not happy with how the troops have been controlling their country, the Polish troops leaving will most likely give those people hope and make them push harder for the other troops to leave. Those that are content with the troops are probably disappointed because they feel as if the world is abandoning them, making them more upset at other nations. The United States is sending in some of its own troops to replace those of the Polish, which could also cause a reaction. Those who are against the United States could be upset with these added troops.

            Again, while the helicopter crashing does not have huge implications for the rest of the world, the withdrawal of Polish troops does. Poland was considered to be one of the nations that were united with the United States. By withdrawing troops from Iraq, the country is showing some sort of doubt or disapproval for what the United States is doing. This act makes the world once again question the ethics and the efficiency of what the United States is doing. Many countries have left the United States efforts against Iraq, showing their disapproval; Poland reemphasizes it. Also, the United States is adding its own troops to replace those of Poland’s. Not only will the Iraqi people who are anti-United States resent this, those in America who are against the war will also feel that adding more United States troops is a bad idea. Since not as many troops are being added as there were, it could make people happy by implying there will be a United States withdrawal soon. However, more likely than not, the citizens will view this deployment to the new area as an increase in troops. This will increase hostility toward the United States in Iraq and also in the United States. Additionally, spreading the United States troops wider will not seem good to some of the international community who, as evidenced by their pulling out, feel as though it is more beneficial to stay out of Iraq than it is to stay in. 

US soldier jailed for Iraq deaths

Title of newspaper article: US soldier jailed for Iraq deaths
Newspaper: BBC News

US soldier Ribordy is jailed for being part in the unlawful killing of four Iraqi prisoners in April 2007. He has to spend eight months in prison. He stood guard and watched how six other soldiers shot the prisoners and helped to through their bodies into a canal. Three soldiers were jailed with murder because of that case and another one was arrested last month. Ribordy felt guilty for what happened.

This is a conflict that often happens, when foreign soldiers are in another country. It’s not right that there are always people who let that happen, like Ribordy in this case and of course it’s not right that it happen.
I think it’s sad that Ribordy and the other soldier are not jailed until now, 17 months after the killing. And two of them haven’t got a fine till now and might not get it. I don’t know how it could be that it happens again and again. Why don’t they learn from the conflicts in the past? And why are they doing it. One theory says, that it’s because they are in a foreign country and are away from friends and family for a long time. But this shouldn’t happen.

2 U.S. Helicopters Crash, Poland ends its Iraq Role

Article Name: “2 U.S. Helicopters Crash, Poland ends its Iraq Role”

Newspaper name: The New York Times




            Two American black hawk helicopters crashed in Northern Baghdad. One solider was killed and two Iraqi soldiers and three Americans were wounded. Lt. Patrick Evans said that the military didn’t think the crash was caused by enemy fire. Local Iraqi police officers said that the trail of one of the helicopter caught fire before crashing and shooting was heard from the area. Early on Saturday, Poland’s military mission in Iraq was closed. The polish 900 soldiers are expected to be home by the end of October.


            These events affect the people of the region because they have lost people and another country’s soldiers.  At the height of their support for the American-led coalition in Iraq, Poland had 2,500 troops in Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld called Poland “the coalition of the willing,” because they supported the American led invasion of Iraq. There could be an increase in violence without the 900 soldiers. This affects the rest of the world including the US, because the Americans troops there will have a harder time protecting the area. Neighboring countries of Iraq will feel less secure and more afraid that violence will spill into their countries.







France Urges Israel Not to Attack Iran

New Site: Reuters
Date of Publication: Sunday October 5, 2008


Last month Tehran rejected a resolution from the United Nations, demanding that they suspend any activities related to enriching uranium. Israel declared that they would not wait for Tehran to produce nuclear weapons before they would respond. When France caught wind of the idea that Israel would use military means to prevent Iran from enriching uranium, the Prime Minister, Bernard Kouchner, urged Israel to not take such drastic measures. The Prime Minister further urged all countries to pursue “talk, talk and more talk” as well as continue with the sanctions already in place. Iran has stated that they are only seeking to build power plants, however Kouchner said he believed Iran would be able to produce nuclear weapons within two to four years.


With tensions being so high in the Middle East, influence from other countries to pursue diplomatic approaches can do nothing less than begin to let some of the steam out of the conflict. However Israel’s threat of a preemptive strike on Iran could cause a reaction from Iran, or other Muslim extremists. If a direct strike were to occur from either country the entire Middle East could potentially erupt. Since Israel is the only known nuclear power in the Middle East, there appears to be a sense of urgency from Iran to establish it’s own nuclear program, despite the global objections. With the current issue being so unstable France’s approach would clearly be the most levelheaded approach.

Gaza-Egypt Border crossing opens

Title of Newspaper Article: Gaza-Egypt Border crossing opens
Newspaper: BBC News

The border between the Gaza Stripe and Egypt, which had been closed since the Hamas rule the territory of Gaza in June 2005, is being opened for two days. Students, Pilgrims and medical cases are allowed to leave to country. About 3000 Gazan want to leave their country, 650 are pilgrims who want to start their pilgrimage to Saudi-Arabia.

It must be terrible for the Gazan to be imprisoned in their country. The Egyptians shot the border after the Hamas took over control in Gaza, because they are afraid, the Hamas would try to come in their country and do similar things in there. But it shows sense humility, that they allowed students to study in another country and the Islamic pilgrims make their pilgrimage to Mecca and the Ka’aba, they should make at least once in their lifetime.