War & politics: Sept 11th, bin Laden, Middle East news, from my own perspective.
Hmmmm. I really didn't think that there could possibly be an attack on Syria, and I know I need to read DEKAfile with my pinch of salt handy, but, I dunno, it seems plausible enough.
I don't believe that there is a 'great' army in Syria, as there was once, at least a very large army, in Iraq. But, certainly special forces would be on the prowl, along with their Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Look out Assad, Bush ain't one to fuck about.
""These organizations are just risk averse," says Joshua Micah Marshall, whose 2-year-old blog TalkingPointsMemo.com is a daily stop for more than 20,000 political junkies. "What good does it do them to have someone they are identified with saying things that they can't control, that by the nature of the medium are going to be provocative?""
I'd have thought that they would have started to understand it by now. The journo refs and praises the BBC Iraqi blog, which is dull as dishwater, I also skip the Guardian's weblog, which is also sterile. The Kevin Sites blog showed promise before it was shut down, but I wouldn't say it was a compelling site, just that there wasn't much out there.
The best Iraqi war blog? It would have to be Where's Rael? still I visit hoping that he's OK. Of course the Agonist was useful though very US biased, and the hiccup over pointing to stratfor was a storm in a tea cup, blogs or war showed promise too but became limited and mechanical with not much in the way of commentary, or thought.
Yahoo's directory lists loads of 'war web logs' as they call warblogs.
I've always liked DEBKAfile, though not a blog, more a news site, but I hang on their every word (with my pinch of salt ";->").
Anyway I digress, why haven't media companies got the handle on blogs? Because they aren't real people! They're androids, scared of their lawyers, and shareholders.
"Syria's human rights record is far from unsullied though it has improved since President Assad took over from his late father. Rule by the Ba'ath party - a sister branch of the unlamented Iraqi variety - may be unsavoury, but that's all. "
Of course the US is prancing and proud, it wants to make the most of its' win over Iraq. And sure Assad's late father has left a legacy of the weird and dangerous at the new leader's court. I don't think an invasion is on the cards, but a little light bombing maybe enough to pull together Assad's reformists into a strong enough force to oust the militants. Or, at least that's my hope. For sure there are enough hizbollah nutters in Syria, but the only way is to get the Assad Government to crack down on them.
If he doesn't more serious responses from the US are waiting in the wings.
I found this via a comment on John Robb's comments and followed it to another blog at lies.com
"Updating the Jap... You're Next! war bonds poster seemed like an obvious thing to do, so I did a (fairly lame) version of it, which in turn inspired ymatt to produce this much-more-awesome rendition"
"And when the negotiations reached a dead end, the Liwaa was surrounded and artillery fired on them, and also Apache airplanes were used against them, and many were killed and injured on both sides. As for the group that was arrested, they were assassinated on the spot, which was only about 20 km from the Republic's presidential headquarters in New Cairo.
As for the Egyptian media, it was mentioned on the news that the shots heard were military manoeuvres with live ammunition, and this is obviously not correct because for more than 50 years there has never been manoeuvres with live ammunition this close to the capital Cairo"
Could be just a rumour?
"Leaders of the main countries opposing the U.S.-led military action against Baghdad will meet this weekend and are expected to press for a major role for the United Nations in a postwar Iraq."
"Al-Riyadh newspaper raised a question about the fates of the Iraqi human resources and the prospects of the brain drain of the talented Iraqi people.After the silence of the guns, there will be a problem of the human resources inside and outside Iraq. Are they going to be kept for Iraq or will they be incited to emigrate to America, Britain and other countries in order to continue the sanction over this country and prevent it from growing in a way that might threat Israel which is planning along with America to dry out the springheads of the highly professional Iraqi people with any means," the paper said."
What about them running off to Pakistan, Iran or some Russian Mafia boss to be auctioned off to the highest bidder?
Below is a different story. I hope the reasons we started this war can somehow justify what's happened to this little boy. His life ruined, for ever.
U.S. media show carnage with a soft-focus lens
During an era when popular culture is filled with depictions of violence and death, the images that many Americans are seeing are remarkably bloodless.
"In a warehouse outside Baghdad. The U.S. news station National Public Radio, reporting what appeared to be a separate discovery, said U.S. forces found a weapons cache of around 20 medium-range missiles equipped with potent chemical weapons.
NPR said the rockets, BM-21 missiles, were equipped with sarin and mustard gas and were "ready to fire."
NPR said the rockets, BM-21 missiles, were equipped with sarin and mustard gas and were "ready to fire.""
Smoking gun -- coming soon. My guess is that most is hidden in the Iraqi/Syria border area.
North of Karbala: U.S. Army commanders said they have discovered more than a dozen barrels of chemicals in an agricultural facility 30 miles northeast of there that have tested positive as blister and nerve agents.
In a compound south of the central Iraqi town of Hindiyah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad: initial tests of samples from the facility were inconsistent. Some tests did not indicate chemical weapons, while others indicated the presence of G-class nerve agents Ñ which include sarin and tabun Ñ and mustard agent, a blistering chemical first used in World War I.
"The difference now is they have a sense of identity and they have CNN and al-Jazeera. They know they're a part of something bigger. This may make contemporary Iraqis even less willing to accept foreign dominance."
Bit of history, the British were in there basically from 1914 - 1958.
"Woolsey described the Cold War as the third world war and said "This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us. Hopefully not the full four-plus decades of the Cold War." He said the new war is actually against three enemies: the religious rulers of Iran, the "fascists" of Iraq and Syria, and Islamic extremists like al Qaeda. "
Baghdad pre-paid and chartered entire Hotel Cote d'Azur De Cham Resort at Syrian Mediterranean port of Latakiya near Assad family villa. Group may include Saddam Hussein or his sons, but this is not confirmed.
Top Iraqi officials hiding there since March 23, four days after coalition invaded Iraq, guarded by Syrian commando unit armed with anti-air missiles and Syrian naval missile boats securing port"
I don't think he's still in Baghdad. Saddam has always struck me as a survivor. He'll have had a get-out plan which only he knows. He wouldn't have trusted anybody, not even his sons. He'll have known that many within his government or army would have wanted him dead by now.
One in three French backs Saddam Seems to me that it is one thing to be against the war in Iraq--Many Americans are--but quite another thing to root for Saddam to win over America. I had known relations between the U.S. and France had deteriorated. But this is mind boggling." [And discussed in MetaFilter]
I'm getting a lot of news items from Metafilter this morning.
This French thing is serious though. I cannot believe anybody would back Saddam let alone a third of the French population!
"A US blueprint to rebuild blitzed Iraq will turn the nation into a 'little America', it was claimed yesterday.
Every aspect of Iraqi life will be affected. There are even proposals to draw up a 'politically neutral' school curriculum and replace the Iraqi dinar with the dollar.
The aim is to create under the USAID agency an open society modelled on Western democracies.
But critics in the region will see it as confirmation that the US wants to turn Iraq into a puppet state.
Dr Azzan Tamimi, an expert on Middle East politics, said: "The US is trying to make a Little America because it needs Iraqi oil." It's arrogant to think America can replicate its society. It's never been successful in exporting democracy. That has to grow from the people.""
Wait a minute. The US is THE biggest exporter of democracy, witness Europe after the WWII. And what's wrong with modelling Iraq on Western democracies? This was always the aim, no longer tribal despots - their 'aving fuckin' democracy and they'll learn to love it. Then, it'll grow from the people.
And education is what I want! Currently, the only place kids in most arab countries can get educated is in religious schools, and we know were that leads, and where it'll lead in the future. If the US is successful in one thing, this has to be it.
And education is what I want! Currently, the only place kids in most Arab countries can get educated is in religious schools, and we know were that leads, and where it'll lead in the future. If the US is successful in one thing, this has to be it.
Why is the Mirror reporting such crap?
This is a strange story! Only tiny amounts of ricin were found in London, and ricin can be made in this country out of castor beans.
"Some of the bodies that have been recovered, enemy bodies that have been recovered up there, are not Iraqis, they're not Iranians. We don't know for sure, but they're most likely al Qaeda."
How, can they discern that? Can they really tell the difference between a dead Iraqi/Iranian/Saudi? Come on, what's going on here?
Why is Reuters reporting such tosh?