CBC NEWS: While Stephen Harper is still receptive to the tweets of Homer Simpson, he has stopped following the Russian prime minister on Twitter. Earlier this month, CBC News pointed out that the Simpson family’s patriarch and Dmitri Medvedev were among the noteworthy people and organizations that Harper followed on his Twitter account @pmharper. What made Medvedev’s inclusion particularly noteworthy was that he was the only foreign leader followed by Harper and that Medvedev’s tweets continued to be followed by Harper despite the tough criticism coming from the Conservative government about Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. Asked about the sudden unfollowing, Carl Vallée, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, said in an email: “The Putin regime’s aggressive behaviour in illegally occupying Ukraine speaks for itself. We have no interest in following Russian propaganda.”
MASHABLE: DONETSK, Ukraine – Strelkov is out. The military commander of Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, who ordered the executions of at least three men by firing squad and boasted on social media about shooting Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 out of the sky, resigned on Thursday, according to the news agency of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s republic (DNR). Igor Girkin, a Russian nationalist and former security service agent better known by his nom de guerre “Strelkov,” or “Shooter,” stepped down after conflicting reports on Thursday that he had been severely wounded in battle near the city of Torez, Donetsk region..continued
Foreign Policy: Since the White House announced plans to bomb Iraq on Aug. 7, a predictable set of Washington players has taken the opportunity to blame the Obama administration’s missteps for the capture of broad swaths of Iraq by radical jihadists. But while U.S. jets pound the Islamic State’s positions in northern Iraq, President Barack Obama has been firing back at critics at home. When a reporter asked Obama last Saturday if withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq had caused the current situation there, the president pointed the finger back at the Bush administration and its supporters. “So that entire analysis is bogus and is wrong. But it is frequently peddled around here by folks who oftentimes are trying to defend previous policies that they themselves made,” the president said. Meanwhile, the president’s critics, including notably Sen. John McCain, have accused Obama of not just doing too little in Syria or Iraq, but having “lost” a war in Iraq that George W. Bush had “won.”…
The task for anyone concerned about the parlous developments in the Middle East is to persuade Americans that the previous administration’s blunders over Saddam Hussein’s illusory weapons of mass destruction should not prejudice the current administration’s efforts to deal with the very real threat of a brutal, highly capable extremist group attempting to take over the heart of the Middle East. That change in American public opinion won’t happen as long as proponents of greater U.S. intervention in Iraq run away from the reality of the Bush intervention. Indeed, the charge of having “lost” the Iraq War only prompts critics of that war, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to issue pointed reminders of the litany of Bush-era Iraq mistakes. “We’re stuck listening to the very same neocons who pushed us into the Iraq War in the first place, as they try to plunge our military into another foreign misadventure,” Reid said on the Senate floor…..
A member of the U.S. Mt. Sinjar Assessment Team receives a warm welcome from locals near Sinjar, Iraq, Aug 13 (1/2) pic.twitter.com/OLpPQadSso