For Palestinians, There’s No Place Like Home

Underfunded, living in illegal camps and turned away from Arab and Israeli borders — the lot of the Palestinian grows ever more dire. In the Palestinian territories, a Western aid boycott against the Hamas government has led to a strike last week by tens of thousands of government workers who haven’t been fully paid since the Islamists came to power. In Syria, Palestinians refugees from Iraq have been held at the border in a camp with only one doctor, and little shelter from winter floods and summer heat. Other refugees from Iraq are permitted free entry to Syria, but the U.N. news service reports that Syrians feel they already have “enough” Palestinians. In Lebanon, Palestinian refugees make up some 10 percent of the population, and about a quarter-million live in unregistered camps.

A Cold War Legacy of Persian Gulf Conflict: Central Command assures “unimpeded flow of oil”

By Jennifer Huang | World Power III: Geopolitics

Ground troops in the desert and aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, Kurdish alliances and leafleting campaigns, oil field protection and one slippery despot: War in Iraq is a strategic and logistical behemoth. Legions of American soldiers have shipped out to the Persian Gulf region from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. An estimated 250,000 troops are in place — add another 40,000 from Britain and Australia and the number approaches 300,000. The modern military needs a small battalion just to orchestrate its own bureaucracy. That battalion is the Central Command, headed by General Tommy Franks.