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Showing posts from August 26, 2007

Considering a war with Iran: A discussion paper on WMD in the Middle East

The Raw Story report here.
"...written by well-respected British scholar and arms expert Dr. Dan Plesch, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, and Martin Butcher, a former Director of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) and former adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament..."Key findings of the 70-page paper [see original for various hotlinks; click the title of this post for the PDF]:
There is considerable international discussion that the confrontation between Iran and the international community over its nuclear programme may change in character into a major war between Iran and either US or Israel or both in conjunction with allies such as the United Kingdom.

This study uses open source analysis to outline what the military option might involve if it were picked up off the table and put into action. The study demonstrates…

Palestinians Poorer Than Ever, By David Cronin

[Links added by yours truly..."Jews United Against Zionism" is Neturei Karta, a pretty hyper-religious group that is against Israel and Zionism because it goes against their fundamentalist version of Judaism. Not my kind of crowd, nor my kind of reason to be against -- not Israel, per se -- but against its actions in the OTs, and some of its actions against non-Jews in Israel. Would have been nice if IPS had clearly identified this group. Otherwise, this is a good article.]

BRUSSELS, Aug 31 (IPS) - Poverty in the Palestinian territories has reached "unprecedented levels" because they have been held under an "economic siege" for almost seven years, a United Nations body has found.

During 2006 the number of Palestinians living in 'deep poverty' almost doubled to more than 1 million. Some 46 percent of public sector employees do not have enough food to meet their basic needs, with 53 percent of households in the Gaza reporting that their incomes declin…

On Gaza Beach, Avi Shavit, NYRB, 7/18/91

Brave essay by an Israeli soldier on his time in Gaza...sixteen years ago. Imagine what it's like in the OTs today...

Ah, yes, "beautiful Israel." Yes, just about any group of people will act this way, given the ethically corrosive effects of military occupation. Inflicting daily humiliation and torture warps those who carry it out -- not nearly as much as those who withstand it, of course. Those who give the orders from air-conditioned offices? I think we all know how they rationalize it -- whatever national government they happen to be a part of.

Iran atom work at slow pace and not significant: IAEA, Reuters Wire Report

This has been the consistent line from those not committed to propagandizing for a widened war in the Middle East.

I wonder what kind of play this will get. Here's a google news search of the title to this Reuters report. Doesn't include the most important media: TV news.

The IAEA also reports Iranian cooperation as "significant." Not significant enough for the insane US administration, no doubt. But don't worry, given the statements by their presidential front-runners, the courageous Democrats will stop this outlaw regime from risking nuclear war over nonexistent nuclear weapons.

Continue shopping.

Liberals, Bush Unite in Ethnic Cleansing of Iraq, Chris Floyd

Yup. It's those damn child-like Iraqis who can't rise to the occasion (the occasion being the complete destruction of their country by Republican and Democratic administrations alike for the past 17 years) who are clearly to blame for their inability to grasp the maturity and altruism of their American conquerers, who simply want to give them their God-ordained rights to democracy.

Nothing to do with oil or mideast geopolitics, of, not our "exceptional" nation, under God, marching in the vanguard toward freedom for all. Does any American citizen still believe this horseshit-laden children's story? Shame on him or her if so.

Monty Python Satirizes the Left

Lest you think we lefties have no sense of humor, here's a classic satire on anarcho-syndicalism, divine right, and much besides. Plus, it's just goddamn funny. This is followed by more excellent satire on the lefty tendency to talk and talk and talk...unlike executives at meetings, of course. Furthermore, it's easier to collate the lefty-satire, as the bulk of the rest of their work is anti-establishment in every sense:

La Commune, 2000

On the Paris Commune, filmed as though modern media were there to capture the events. IMDB on the film. I believe this is a shortened version; the French one ran to 5 1/2 hours. More info here and here; info on the director, Peter Watkins, here.

Some other sources on the Paris Commune to get you started. Draw your own conclusions; find other sources:
WikipediaKarl Marx, Civil War in France -- a classic, no matter what your politics.Lots of information at Marxists.comLots of likely different information at the Anarchy Archive

Greg Palast on Subprime Loan Sharks...

Palast, an economist and true journalist, breaks it down.

Look, my wife and I are now in the process of buying a house. We'd like to think we're fairly intelligent -- four Ivy-League degrees between us (two each), for whatever that's worth. Guess what? It has taken every single neuron we have -- without having to work three jobs, without kids, with family in the business, etc.: i.e., with every possible advantage of class (connections, that is: lawyers we know, etc.) and relative wealth -- to figure out all of the fine-print bullshit and force people to take us seriously. As in: sitting in an office for three hours going through every single line item, every single piece of fine print, knowing what to ask, being able to test various mortgage brokers, etc. Knowing enough to ask questions that will let people realize we're not low-hanging fruit. And so on. It's been a full research project, and we're still not sure we're not going to get ripped off.

So, for all…

Finkelstein Update: No Office Space, Classes Cancelled, Hunger Strike Planned

DePaul hits a new low: they have just canceled all of Finkelstein's classes for his terminal year. Plus, he has been denied all office space. Details here and here. And check this out:
How DePaul practices Vincentian values

Prof. Finkelstein - Professor Budde has informed me that you have asked for office space for your books. We do not have office space assigned to you for the coming academic year. I will look into whether we can make space available for you and either I or Professor Budde will get in touch with you next week with more information.

In the meantime, you will not have access to your old office space. To the extent that you left personal belongings in your old office space, we can discuss a plan for their return to you when I get in touch with you next week. You should not plan on moving into any office space tomorrow, as that option is not available to you.

I will contact you next week with more information.

Dr. Charles (Chu…