$20,000 bonus to official who agreed on nuke claim A former Energy Department intelligence chief who agreed with the White House claim that Iraq had reconstituted its defunct nuclear-arms program was awarded a total of $20,500 in bonuses during the build-up to the war, WorldNetDaily has learned...His officers argued at a pre-briefing at Energy headquarters that there was no hard evidence to support the alarming Iraq nuclear charge, and asked to join State Department's dissenting opinion, Energy officials say. Rider ordered them to "shut up and sit down," according to sources familiar with the meeting.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly
on Aug 13, 2003 -
An Iranian student's account
of the recent protests
in Tehran and the retaliation by pro-government vigilantes with an attack on a dormitory: "They got shields from the police and entered the dormitory. There were about 600-700 of them — armed with swords, sticks, daggers, iron chains, and tear-gas guns — to 700 of us students, mostly in pajamas. We had run out of stones to resist any longer…"
. For more first hand accounts see Buzzmachine's list of Iranian bloggers
posted by Quinn
on Jun 17, 2003 -
Iraq in a Nutshell
by O'Reilly Books (not really)
A WARMONGER EXPLAINS WAR TO A PEACENIK
A light hearted look at the oft repeated justifications for war in Iraq and their counter arguments.
posted by nofundy
on Apr 7, 2003 -
Anal insult or USA A-Number 1? Via the Riddler
. Defense Language Institute
This gesture, expressing connotations of “I am winning,” historically is offensive to many Arabs. After the Gulf conflict, however, Middle Easterners of the Arabian Peninsula adopted this hand movement, along with the OK sign, as a symbol of cooperation toward freedom.
That's what you think, GI Joe.
posted by hairyeyeball
on Apr 5, 2003 -
Friday Doublethink Fun.
"An extraordinary communication
from the United States to UN representatives around the world has been leaked to Greenpeace. In it, the U.S. warns that the simple act of support for a General Assembly meeting to discuss the war will be considered 'unhelpful and directed against the U.S.'"
But really now, do we actually expect the U.S. (which claims it fights to "democratize" the Middle East) to welcome discourse and listen to what the majority of the world may think?
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Apr 4, 2003 -
Is the looming war with Iraq the first Water War?
Should the signs really be saying No Blood for Water?
From -Water Wars: a lecture by (Adel Darwish)
"Oil has always been thought of as the traditional cause of conflict in the Middle East past and present. Since the first Gulf oil well gushed in Bahrain in 1932, countries have squabbled over borders in the hope that ownership of a patch of desert or a sand bank might give them access to new riches. No longer. Now, most borders have been set, oil fields mapped and reserves accurately estimated - unlike the water resources, which are still often unknown. WATER is taking over from oil as the likeliest cause of conflict in the Middle East."
posted by thedailygrowl
on Mar 17, 2003 -
is an provocative proponent of the American Empire
theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire
I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era
of The Whole Wide World
The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?
It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
posted by y2karl
on Mar 13, 2003 -
Thomas Friedman gave at SAIS
a few days ago. A longer form, very interesting and informative explanation of what he's learned post-Sept. 11th about the Middle East. Windows Media video and Real video and audio all available.
posted by turbodog
on Mar 10, 2003 -
The Pentagon's New Map
is probably the frankest asssessment yet of why neo-cons want to go marching into Iraq - and, maybe, keep on marching. An instructor at the U.S. Naval Military College tells us why "military engagement with Saddam Hussein’s regime in Baghdad is not only necessary and inevitable, but good."
posted by kgasmart
on Mar 6, 2003 -
From the faculty at Salahaddin University in Kurdistan: "We as academic staff for the region's biggest Universities attended by different nations including Kurds, Turkman, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Arabs condemn this terrible threat towards our achievements and legitimate rights and express our complete refusal to any Turkish military intervention into the region's territory and affairs."
posted by Artifice_Eternity
on Mar 3, 2003 -
"The United States Congress has stepped in to find nearly $300m in humanitarian and reconstruction funds for Afghanistan after the Bush administration failed to request any money in this latest budget."So much for rebuilding Afghanistan.
posted by artifex
on Feb 13, 2003 -
Palestine as metaphor.
Is "linkage" of the Palestine/Israel situation to a wider peace in the Middle East valid? Some say yes
, some say no
. But it seems clear that most (except the Palestinians and Israelis themselves) view the situation more as a metaphor for wider Arab/Western relations rather than as a conflict between two peoples.
I approach this post with fear and trembling.
posted by mrmanley
on Feb 10, 2003 -
Media covers massive D.C. (and world) Anti-War protests, discounts numbers - Backflash: NPR and the NYT later issued apologies for their drastic undercounting of the Oct. 26 D.C. Anti-War protest - later admitted to be between 100,000 and 200,000 in size "...It was not as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted. They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say there are fewer than 10,000"(NPR's Nancy Marshall) Last saturday's D.C. AntiWar protest received far more media coverage but a similar discounting of the numbers. IndyMedia (above link) provided numbers more in line with D.C. Police statements. Many media outlets ran the same AP news feed. [NYT, NPR , CNN, ABC, AP] and claimed..."Thousands" or "tens of thousands" of protesters. But in the words of those who witnessed it (as I did - 2.5 times size of Oct. 26 protest, from what I saw): 'D.C. police chief Charles Ramsey said, "It's one of the biggest ones we've had, certainly in recent times." U.S. Capitol Police chief Terrance Gainer said, "I know everyone is skittish about saying a number, but this was big. An impressive number." A C-SPAN cameraman I spoke to spent the entire protest on the roof of a cargo truck just to the side of the stage. He told me that he had covered dozens of protests in his time, and that the crowd on Saturday was the biggest he had ever seen.' (story) and organizers claimed 500,000 marched in DC meanwhile, a new poll shows support for a war on Iraq is slipping in the US and also dropping at the UN
posted by troutfishing
on Jan 20, 2003 -
15 months after the first waves
, Blogging seems to prove so popular among young Iranian boys and girls that now the number of Persian (or Farsi) weblogs has jumped to more than 9,000. Almost half of them are using Blogger.com
's free service and other half are using a similar but more Persian-friendly online application, created by Iranian programmers, called Persianblog.com
. Tomorrow, they are gathering in a big conference hall in Tehran to meet other colleagues and bloggers and to share what they've experienced during their lovely days of a rare thing in Iranian history: absolute freedom of expression
posted by hoder
on Dec 26, 2002 -
Have you grown weary of the tiny, grayscale maps of Iraq and the Middle East accompanying most newspaper stories on the region? TomPaine.com
went in search of better geographic tools, and found them at the University of Texas' Online Library, with links to dozens of maps
—political, topographical, historical—of a region many Americans have never scrutinized geographically. More inside...
posted by silusGROK
on Oct 22, 2002 -
The Push For War (by Anatol Lieven).
"The most surprising thing about the Bush Administration's plan to invade Iraq is not that it is destructive of international order; or wicked, when we consider the role the US (and Britain) have played, and continue to play, in the Middle East; or opposed by the great majority of the international community; or seemingly contrary to some of the basic needs of the war against terrorism. It is all of these things, but they are of no great concern to the hardline nationalists in the Administration....The most surprising thing about the push for war is that it is so profoundly reckless....What we see now is the tragedy of a great country, with noble impulses, successful institutions, magnificent historical achievements and immense energies, which has become a menace to itself and to mankind."
Excecutive summary: Lord Acton
foretold all fruit of "military superiority".
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Oct 4, 2002 -
Could We Become What We Abhor
and compromise the very ideals that we hold dear. Here, Jimmy Carter traces some of the fundamental changes that are taking place in the historical policies of the United States with regard to human rights, our role in the community of nations and the Middle East peace process -- largely without definitive debates.
posted by karlcleveland
on Sep 5, 2002 -
Chinese checkmate ?
"Those who love to quote Sun Tzu might consider his nationality', says James Webb, as he offers still more cogent reasons why a 30 year "MacArthurian regency in Baghdad" is probably not in America's national interest. Why are the military men the ones who have to keep pointing out the unwisdom of an invasion of Iraq? Quoth Secretary Webb:
"The issue before us is not simply whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to physically occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years."
posted by rdone
on Sep 4, 2002 -
A wargame carried out by the US military was rigged
to ensure the success of the American side against unspecified Middle East opponents, according to the retired General commanding the Middle East forces. Most amusingly, he managed to sink most of the American navy, and the game had to be stopped so the ships could be "refloated". I have to wonder, does this wargame indicate that America could be biting off more than it can chew, if it decides to invade Iraq by itself, or was this $200million down the drain?
posted by salmacis
on Aug 21, 2002 -
Abu Nidal is Dead.
The Bin Laden of the 70s and 80s. Having read his biography
years ago he makes Kyzer Soze childsplay...possible suicide
.. yeah, suicide Israeli style. The War On Terror heats up one more terrorist scum dead.
posted by stbalbach
on Aug 19, 2002 -
The Axis of Medieval.
Claims of support for women and women's rights in the current regime are nothing more than hot air according to Mr. Kristof. He says their record and the facts tell a different story. The details are shocking. Kowtowing to religious fundamentalists in the US causes devastating results abroad.
Would programs like these qualify for using some of the wealthiest persons dollars instead of a tax cut?
posted by nofundy
on Aug 16, 2002 -
Depths of depravity.
No, it's not a new adults only activity or a grunge band. It's the Palestinians. Is it just me or are US spokespeople having a tougher time forming accurate and coherent sentences.
posted by shagoth
on Aug 1, 2002 -
Pariah dogs of the Middle East
No, not these two
jokers, but the real thing
: Canaan dogs
. Like the more refined Saluki
, Afghan Hound
and "barkless" Basenji
(among many others
), Canaan dogs have been known for thousands of years. They guard herds for modern Bedouins
like they did for ancient Israelites. During the 1930s, when traditional "war dogs" were having trouble adapting to Palestine, Zionists carefully redomesticated
the semi-wild animals, turning them into seeing eye dogs
and guards for isolated settlements
. Canaan dogs became one of the first breeds trained to detect mines effectively, although their use for bomb-sniffing remains a touchy subject
[LAT, reg'n]. You also might enjoy pondering the provocative question raised by this detailed essay: Why have all three major monotheistic religions considered dogs "a threat to the authority of the clergy"
posted by mediareport
on Jul 15, 2002 -
With friends like the Saudis, who needs enemies?
"There is, then, no real need for us to be frightened by the loss of the kingdom's oil friendship. But we should be concerned by the evidence of its strategic enmity. It may be true that the Saudis are neither Iraqis nor Iranians nor Libyans; but it is quite dangerous enough that they are Saudis."
posted by homunculus
on Jul 9, 2002 -
Bush's speech today
revealed the basis of what the current administration believes is the roadmap to peace in the Mideast. After looking at the major points
of the plan, I feel it's about as good of a deal as the Palestinians are ever going to get and pretty much the only way out for the Israeli's also. What do you think?
posted by RevGreg
on Jun 24, 2002 -
to Ted Turner's comments prompts CNN offer a series of pieces focusing on the toll Palestinian terror has taken. "Ted Turner apologized, CNN's executives were quick to disassociate themselves from him and to announce he has no influence over the content of the broadcasts, and Eason Jordan, news director for the network, hurried to fly over to Israel and offer 'compensation' - a series of reports on the victims of terrorism."
. Indeed, a visit to CNN's website
this morning uncovers a series of focus items reporting on Israeli casualties and victims. Is this a case of journalism caving to political and commercial interests, or is Israel effectively combating the liberal bias of Western media?
posted by astirling
on Jun 24, 2002 -
Interviews of failed suicide bombers,
by Israeli defense minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer. Both Ben-Eliezer and two Palestinians, who (1) failed to and (2) opted not to detonate their bombs, talk about the motivations behind the current wave of attacks. Should prove interesting no matter which side of the Isreali-Palestinian conflict you stand on.
posted by astirling
on Jun 21, 2002 -