Happy birthday, Comrade Kim Pepe Escobar's series in the Asia Times (parts 1, 2, 3) reveals how everything we know about North Korea is wrong.
"Iran is dying. The collapse of Iran's birth rate during the past 20 years is the fastest recorded in any country, ever. Demographers have sought in vain to explain Iran's population implosion through family planning policies, or through social factors such as the rise of female literacy. But quantifiable factors do not explain the sudden collapse of fertility. It seems that a spiritual decay has overcome Iran, despite best efforts of a totalitarian theocracy. Second, according to a recent report from the US Council on Foreign Relations, "Iran serves as the major transport hub for opiates produced by [Afghanistan], and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime estimates that Iran has as many as 1.7 million opiate addicts." That is, 5% of Iran's adult, non-elderly population of 35 million is addicted to opiates. That is an astonishing number, unseen since the peak of Chinese addiction during the 19th century." [more inside]
From Guernica to Fallujah It's difficult to believe that in this day and age, when people are blogging, emailing and communicating at the speed of light, a whole city is being destroyed and genocide is being committed - and the whole world is aware and silent. Darfur, Americans? Take a look at what you've done in Fallujah." - Female Iraqi blogger Riverbend
From the Asia Times — "The more commercial television news you watch, the more wrong you are likely to be about key elements of the Iraq War and its aftermath, according to a major new study released in Washington on Thursday." [more inside]