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Greetings from your Moderator [27 Jan 2005|11:07am]

As much as I hate to discourage posting activity, I've deleted the previous post. I can't stress enough that this is not a soapbox for unsubstantiated bashing of any individual, family, organization, country, region (as in the last post), race, ethnicity, or other.

Another thing I wanted to bring up: if anybody wants to serve as a co-moderator here, let me know at my livejournal e-mail address. We need to pick up activity here - I'm open to any ideas you have on how to do this and of course maintain the standards of discourse set out in the userinfo.

So, how about Cheney threatening Iran with the Israelis last week? It shouldn't be news to Iran or anyone else that Israel has the will and ability to perform this kind of strike (there is a clear precedent.) The only even vaguely practical purpose I can think of for this is to create some urgency among the EU powers working toward a resolution with Iran by signaling that the US's military overcommitments will not prevent them from dealing with Iran forcefully, even using the worst possible proxy... If he had said this a few months earlier I'd consider it electioneering, but the Bush Admin has their mandate. There's little reason for them to saber-rattle for their own citizens at this point.
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Asian Tsunami [27 Dec 2004|10:42pm]

Feel free to delete this post if the moderator(s) feel it's irrelevant to the community.

At 07:58am local time on Sunday (12/26), an 8.6 ritcher scale earthquake hit The Indian Ocean. The tidal waves from the epicenter swept the coasts of the surrounding countries: Indonesia (Sumatra and nearby islands), Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and The Maldeves. So far this goblal tragedy has taken the lives of up to 14,000 people, mostly children, and the number is still rising.

I can't think of a better way to spend a few minutes of your time this holiday season than to look into charitable organizations, like Red Cross, and see what you can do to ease the sufferings of the people in these areas. They've lost their houses, source of living, not to mention loved ones due to the earthquake. And no matter how small the donation you make will mean a lot to them.

Thank you

(cross posted everywhere)
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vote! [13 Oct 2004|12:52pm]

This is a neat little site- x-posted in my journal and elsewhere.

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on ethics of war- strategic resistence [16 Aug 2004|02:36pm]


ASPEN TREE, your leaves glance white into the dark.
My mother's hair was never white.

Dandelion, so green is the Ukraine.
My yellow-haired mother did not come home.

Rain cloud, above the well do you hover?
My quiet mother weeps for everyone.

Round star, you wind the golden loop.
My mother's heart was ripped by lead.

Oaken door, who lifted you off your hinges?
My gentle mother cannot return.

paul celan, aspen tree, holocaust poet


"terrorism is war against rich people
war is terrorism against poor people"

me was told that theese dictum is too essential... reductionist..
of course it is,
you cant say that all terrorism is war against the rich.

now ask me, "were all the people killed in WTO 'sinners', were they rich..."

this is a real problematic, faced when you take a stand against multinational

capitalism, and an american centric philosophy of economy and life.

 my point is... the wto victims
they were not the victim of bin laden, they were the victim of multinational, capitalist,

colonial america..
means, to put it straight,
its george bush who killed them.

and they are not martyers of america, they are only victims,
and their death, were used by the state as a promotional advertisment... used

strategically, as 'emotional' and political violence.
which untimately was directed against the iraqies and afgans,
dropping bombs and food packets from the same airfighter.
it is to this strategic violence, that we use, a 'strategic essentialism' when saying

that terrorism is 'war against rich people'...

it is the 'survival tatics' of the oppressed, 

a tatics, not for oil or money but for existence...

 this statement-'terrorism is war against rich people' is not a universal 'truth'-

applicable to all times and all people,
its contextual, and always under the chance of 'erasure'

'would love someone to, tear up-art my argument'

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[15 Aug 2004|12:46pm]

today is india's 57th (in)dependence day...

WHOSE_________________________________ FREEDOM?????
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[31 Jul 2004|03:58pm]

friends... romans... countrywomen

i am doin a weekly column in our newspaper, from this week,
the general theme is, to put it very simbly, how foreigners(foreign media, travelogues, advertisments) see indians, our culture, our news etc...

even though the we/they distinction is problematic, for general convienience ive decided to put it this way,

the first issue would carry, a travel experience of a white woman in india... and the next one would feature a cnn advertisment that appeared in the latest issue of time magazine, asia edition.

if you ever come across anysuch news, feature, historical piece, it can be even missionary writings or colonial military records... it can be a little news item, that appears in a foreign newspaper... sometimes hate attacks, or items which have subtle colonial suggessions in the way the news or views are presented.
please let me know at..
and the name of the column is zebra...
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[03 Jun 2004|02:28am]

if a tree falls in balanceofpower, will anyone hear the sound?

it's been too quiet in here. need to stir things up a bit.
any ideas? hrm...
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[22 Apr 2004|01:42am]

Hi folks, I'm looking for some good books to read in relevance to the question, "What is a nation?". I would really appreciate it if someone could point me in the right direction towards some good literature. Thanks!
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[07 Apr 2004|02:00am]

Not quite on topic to this community, but things have been mighty quiet 'round here lately...so i thought i'd try to spark some discussion.


Japanese PM war shrine visits declared unconstitutional

i wonder if this is a legitimate ruling or not. should the separation of church and state be enforced to such a degree? on one hand, i feel like its Koizumi's right to worship as he chooses, independent of his role as prime minister. on the other hand, does the fact that war criminals are also buried at this shrine 'prove' or demonstrate possible loyalties Koizumi may harbor, which would be detrimental to his role as a leader of Japan? can his frequent visits to this shrine be equated to a German politician visiting a Hitler memorial or a Russian leader going to Stalin's grave?

... thoughts?

(crossposted to personal lj)
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Intelligence 101: know your source. [19 Feb 2004|05:13pm]

Stratfor makes a pretty obvious case that Ahmed Chalabi and his cronies in Iran played US intel like a flute. It's hard to accept that the responsible agencies didn't discount their info considering that (A) their main source was a mortal enemy of Hussein and Sunni minority rule, and (B) any 'official' corroboration on WMD programs (or "program-related activities", if you prefer) was likely tainted by middle managers' desire to conflate their own accomplishments and stay in Saddam's favor.

"U.S. intelligence about Iraq was terrible. It was wrong about
WMD; it underestimated the extent to which the Shia in the south
had been organized by Iranian intelligence prior to the war; it
was wrong about how the war would end -- predicting unrest, but
not predicting a systematic guerrilla war. An enormous amount of
this intelligence -- and certainly critical parts of it -- came
to the United States by way of the INC or by channels the INC or
its members were involved in cultivating. All of it was wrong.

It was not only wrong, it created an irresistible process. The
WMD issue has delegitimized the war in the eyes of a substantial
number of Americans. The failure to understand the dynamic of the
Shiite community led to miscalculations about the nature of
postwar Iraqi politics. The miscalculation about the guerrilla
war created a U.S. dependence upon the Shia that is still
unfolding. It is al-Sistani, in consultation with U.N.
negotiators, who is setting the terms of the transfer of power.
The U.S. position in Iraq is securely on Shiite terms, and that
means it is on Iranian terms.

This is not an argument against the invasion from a strategic
point of view, nor an argument that it was a failure. In the real
world, things are rarely so clear-cut. But it does raise a vital
question: Who exactly is Ahmad Chalabi? He has been caricatured
as an American stooge and used as a tool by the Defense
Department. As we consider the intelligence failures in Iraq,
Chalabi's role in those failures and his relationship with senior
Iranian officials of all factions, a question needs to be raised:
Who was whose stooge?"

The full Stratfor WeeklyCollapse )
3 comments|post comment

[17 Feb 2004|04:33pm]

Putin seems to be putting on quite a display this election year. Magically disappearing/reappearing opponents, exploding Chechen leaders, proclaiming the end of the USSR a great tragedy, massive military exercises and missile tests...

Election-year showmanship, or an honest-to-God itch for the old empire?
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China & US Economics [25 Jan 2004|11:17pm]

[ mood | pensive ]

This article gives the best explanation of the economic situation between China & the US. And it's not upbeat, but it's not a prophesy either.

Even before this week's figures on China's explosive 9.1 percent growth in 2003, which many commentators thought actually understated the reality, the United Nations' annual economic report had identified the People's Republic of China as the locomotive for growth in Asia (with a nod to India), and added that the US with its 4 percent growth rate will do the same job for the industrialized world. But once again, the question must be asked - will these two Chinese and US engines run in the same direction indefinitely, or will they begin to diverge? Indeed, even more scarily, will they have a head-on collision and involve the world economy in the mother of all train-wrecks?
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Election year thoughts on State of the Union day [20 Jan 2004|02:30pm]

Don't expect much emphasis on foreign policy from Bush for the next year or so. This is the season of "domestic issues", which so far seems to mean 'handouts targeted at desirable voting blocs'. Iran and North Korea will be back-burnered this year, with the USG providing the requisite tough talk and international bodies / relevant regional powers driving diplomacy. We could see some activity there in late summer if (A) either country decides to influence the US elections by making some noise, or (B) Bush feels threatened on his core defense platform and starts lavishing crisis-level attention to one of them.
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Gun control item here... [16 Jan 2004|08:53am]

Court upholds District of Columbia gun law prohibiting handgunsCollapse )

Ok, y'all. What do you think? Here are my considerations and questions:

1. "[T]he Amendment's objective is to ensure the vitality of state militias."

Huh? If it had nothing to do with firearms, why does it say "the right to keep and bear arms"? Were they talking about upper appendages? And if they were talking about firearms, what makes a handgun less qualified than a rifle?

2. "It's a big victory for those who overwhelmingly believe that we need fewer guns on our streets, not more."

Exactly how does this law prevent "more guns on the streets?" Is there proof that proves any correlation between handgun laws and a reduced number of guns on the streets? Furthermore, what is inherently bad about having more guns "on the streets"? Police officers have guns all the time. Does that make their immediate vicinity more dangerous... or safer?

3. [T]he Second Amendment does not apply to the district because it was intended to protect state citizens, and the district is not a state.

I find this very interesting. If the people are not state citizens, what are they a citizen of? Are they federal citizens? If they aren't protected by the 2nd amendment because they live in D.C., does this mean they are not eligible for protection under any of the amendments?

4. He went on to say that the amendment was designed to protect the citizens against a potentially oppressive federal government.

*snicker* Too easy. Just too easy.


Have a great day, y'all.

(Not Howard) Dean.

(x-posted to my LJ and to libertarianism
2 comments|post comment

Russian Federation [30 Dec 2003|12:19pm]

Where would you guys say that Russia weighs in today on the scales of global power?

To my knowledge they aren't capable of projecting force in a meaningful way outside their corner of the world, but on the other hand that corner is the largest around. I know they still wield influence on their member republics and even other states in the region no longer politically affiliated. Watch the headlines and occasionally even Washington has to compromise and court Moscow over small things.

I saw a decent Newsworld International report where they said that within Russia people back the Chechnya conflict because it 'arouses their fading sense of Russian empire'. I'm also remembering news like their caution to Azerbaijan against coopearating with the US military, their meddling in Georgia, and the games they have been playing lately over the Kyoto atmospheric treaty & Iraqi debt.

Add to this the ominously quasi-authoritarian election & events around it (more than quasi?) and I wonder where Russia sees themselves in the global 'big dog' hierarchy and what kind of role they are setting themselves up to play. What do you all think?
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an easy prediction to make [22 Dec 2003|01:35pm]

A lot of people are going to be embarrassed when Libya spills its guts.
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[21 Dec 2003|05:16pm]

Results triumph over rhetoric. For now.
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More about Israel [19 Dec 2003|01:04am]

And here is what happens in the absence of global institutions:

US warns Israel over unilateral action

The United States has warned Israel against taking any unilateral measures to separate itself from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

...The United States "would oppose any unilateral steps that block the road towards negotiations under the roadmap that leads to the two-state vision," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

Global karma biting us in the ass? Maybe just a little bit.

This sounds like a legit approach on Israel's behalf to me. Their position would be much better if they become as extricated as possible from Palestinian space but nothing happens on the Palestinian side to dismantle militant organizations, or keep them from attacking Israelis.
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budget balance of power? [19 Dec 2003|12:56am]

I thought we might mix it up and bring another global institution into discussion here.

IMF tells Scotland PM to cut �5bn in budget

The International Monetary Fund last night told Gordon Brown to cut public spending by �5bn in next year's budget after expressing alarm about the growing deficit in Britain's public finances.

...{Scottish}Treasury sources said the IMF had an "ideological opposition" to public spending. It was the wrong time to be contemplating the cuts the report called for.

Hey since when has Scotland been a third world nation :D ? I say third-world because I'm not sure the IMF would 'tell' US or Germany what to do with their deficits, unless it was tongue-in-cheek.

The article mentions that the deficit approach has been working for Scotland in cushioning themselves from current downturns. I have to agree with the cynical Scot Treasury reaction...isn't 'cut public spending' the IMF's cookie cutter solution to everything?
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Quid pro quo [11 Dec 2003|12:35pm]

sayeth Reuters:

"The decision to bar war opponents like France, Russia and Germany from the contracts generated outrage in Europe and triggered new transatlantic tensions.

The timing of the announcement created a new challenge for Bush, coming as he prepared to send former Secretary of State James Baker to France, Germany and Russia as well as Italy and Britain to seek debt restructuring for Iraq. "

Did it occur to them that Bush's refusal to allow "old Europe" in on the Iraqi reconstruction gold rush could be an effective negotiating ploy for the debt reduction effort? No contracts for you, but we'll consider it if you forgive Saddam's existing balance. Maybe.
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