CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 2011 |
He was a 21-year-old American, an Army private stationed in Italy. She was an 18-year-old local girl who spoke little English. They met at a club in 1994. He asked her to dance. She said no. "He didn't give me a choice," Monia Wilke said recently, recalling their meeting. "He grabbed my hand and we danced. " Two years later, Monia and James Wilke were married. Last month, Monia became a widow after 15 years of marriage. Chief Warrant Officer James B. Wilke died Oct. 10 in the Persian Gulf city of Doha, Qatar.
October 2, 2011 |
The world has grown accustomed to Iranian bluster. But even by the standards of the Islamic Republic, Adm. Habibollah Sayari's call last week to deploy the Iranian navy near the U.S. coast is stunning. The Pentagon knows, of course, that Iranian war vessels won't come near America's shores any time soon. As White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "We don't take these statements seriously, given that they do not reflect at all Iran's naval capabilities. " The Iranian admiral may bark, but he doesn't have much of a bite.
May 12, 2011 |
Yemeni security forces and antigovernment protesters clashed violently again Thursday, as Persian Gulf and U.S. officials pressed for a deal that would allow longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh to leave office with immunity. Government supporters fired gunshots at protesters, resulting in at least two deaths in the tribal town of Bayda and at least one in the commercial city of Taizz. Scores more protesters were wounded as they attempted to blockade government buildings and enforce a general strike.
March 5, 2011 |
Despite its eagerness to show support for protesters across the Middle East, the Obama administration has lined up squarely with the royal family of Bahrain as tens of thousands march in the streets demanding reform in the strategic kingdom that is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet. While Bahraini demonstrators continue to denounce the monarchy's reform offers as a sham, U.S. officials are praising the king of the Persian Gulf island nation and have taken a lead role in pushing for negotiations aimed at satisfying Bahrain's marginalized Shiite Muslim majority.
February 21, 2011 |
The crown prince of Bahrain called off Formula One's season-opening race Monday, handing another victory to protesters aiming to break the ruling dynasty's stranglehold on power in the Persian Gulf kingdom. Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa owns the rights to the grand prix and serves as commander of the armed forces in an island country where at least eight protesters have been killed in a week of unrest. Angry protesters, who see the Bahrain GP as particularly meaningful to him, wanted the March 13 race dropped.
February 20, 2011 |
It's not easy promoting democracy and defending monarchies at the same time. But that's the awkward position the Obama administration finds itself in these days in the Arab world, where many of the countries we consider our best friends ? Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Bahrain, to name a few ? are ruled by families that seized power in the tribal past and hold on to it by virtue of heredity. The optimists' argument has been that these could be "modernizing monarchies. " With luck, the royals could turn anachronism into a virtue, maintaining stability through their traditional roots, gaining legitimacy through good government and gently nudging their societies ever so gradually toward some local form of parliamentary democracy.
February 14, 2011 |
Three more Middle Eastern governments came under assault from thousands of street demonstrators, a sign of widening reverberations from the pro-democracy movement that upended repressive governments in Egypt and Tunisia. Street clashes in Iran, Bahrain and Yemen were met by riot police Monday, as authorities in the conservative nations sought to squelch demands for greater political freedom, better jobs and an end to corruption. Though the demonstrations were small by comparison, the cries in the streets echoed the spirit of the recent revolts that toppled authoritarian rulers.
January 21, 2011 |
Twenty years ago this week, despite fears of "another Vietnam," the House and Senate voted to authorize the use of force against Iraqi troops occupying Kuwait. After days of impassioned debate, the House supported President George H.W. Bush's policy by a comfortable margin. The Senate's 52-47 vote was the closest margin for war by a chamber of Congress in U.S. history. The anniversary of the Persian Gulf War, a watershed event in modern American history, has gone almost entirely unnoticed.
January 9, 2011 |
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday that there is growing evidence that Iran has suffered a setback in its suspected nuclear weapons program, but insisted that world powers must continuing tightening their economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Clinton, arriving here for a four-day visit to the Persian Gulf, said Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program will remain a threat to nations in the Middle East and elsewhere even if setbacks prevent it from acquiring bomb-making ability for several years.
September 15, 2010 |
The upcoming launch of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant has sparked fresh worries in the Persian Gulf about a possible atomic accident, but also will usher in an era of business opportunities for the oil-rich and strategically vital region. Most experts see little chance of a Chernobyl-like accident at Bushehr that would spread a vast radioactive cloud. But gulf residents remain concerned about what they describe as a lack of transparency on the plant and the safety records of Iran as well as Russia, which completed the plant and will help run it for at least a year.