Tuesday 9th of August 2022

dumb & getting dumber .....

‘President Bush should talk to the Iranians. Refusing to
talk is childish. How would the Cold War have ended if Ronald Reagan had
refused to talk to Soviet leaders? How would relations with China have been
established if Richard Nixon had said he would never talk to Chinese leaders? 

For heaven's sake, how would the
American Revolution have ended if the Americans had refused to talk to the

It is those with whom you have a
disagreement that you most need to talk to. There are only two ways to resolve
a conflict – through negotiations or by force. Bush's refusal to talk to the
Iranians, except in terms of threats and ultimatums, seems reckless. Unlike the
use of force, talking doesn't cost you anything.’ 

Talk Is Necessary

700 ton gorilla

Mine's bigger: Divine Strake Test-Blast Battle Not over Yet

From Global Arms Shipments out of Control: Amnesty

... The report cited the vast quantities of weapons in Bosnia that were shipped after the war by the Alabama-based Taos Industries Inc on behalf of the US Department of Defense to Iraq for the new Iraqi Army after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

It said Taos sub-contracted the multi-million dollar deal to companies in Israel, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Britain, with the first shipments being flown out of Bosnia via Aerocom which had been accused in a 2003 UN report of smuggling arms to Liberia. ...

This is how the military-inductrial complex achieves its ends: Federal Judge Abandons Bench for Boeing.

From Counterpunch, Werther: Axiom of Evil:


... Here we see the outlines of a remarkable phenomenon. In George Orwell's 1984, the Party had to work assiduously consigning historical records to the Memory Hole in order to render the populace eternal children: subjects of the state without memory of anything beyond their immediate experience. [3] Anno 2006, by contrast, the bookshelves of any free public library heave under the weight of historical documentation. It apparently moulders unread, for such is the superstitious reverence the people grant to the "policy expert," particularly one who has graduated to the celestial sphere of "leader," that all he has to do is say something in order to make it so. It is practically axiomatic.



For those with broadband and Firefox, this clip from robot chicken is a tonic. 

Some in the US want to make changes: Camp In with Ray and Cindy

And a letter in The Age, by David Jonas (the last one at Costello's epitaph to a bankrupt philosophy) is surprising, in that Fairfax gave such high-minded principles a bit of space.

... We live in a world that is predominantly composed of hungry, sick and frightened people. We would have been proud if the Government had announced a meaningful increase in foreign aid programs — but there was none.We can hope, probably in vain, that when Kim Beazley stands up to reply to the budget, he says some of these things. But Labor's tendency to navigate by looking in the rear-view mirror suggests that this is a vain hope.

nuclear hypocrisy .....

‘Brazil has inaugurated its first
uranium enrichment facility to produce the type of fuel for nuclear power
plants that Iran is running into trouble for attempting to produce. There are
strong suspicions that the objective of the Iranian nuclear program is to
eventually build a bomb, but Brazil has managed to assure the international
community its intentions are industrial and commercial, not military.’ 

Officially Starts First Uranium Enrichment Facility

the face of exceptionalism .....


‘As the George W. Bush administration pushes for a
showdown over Iran's nuclear programme in the U.N. Security Council, it has
presented the issue as a matter of global security - an Iranian nuclear threat
in defiance of the international community. But the history of the conflict and
the private strategic thinking of both sides reveal that the dispute is really
about the administration's drive for greater dominance in the Middle East and
Iran's demand for recognition as a regional power. 

It is now known that the Iranian
leadership, which was convinced that Bush was planning to move against Iran
after toppling Saddam Hussein in Iraq, proposed in April 2003 to negotiate with
the United States on the very issues which the administration had claimed were
the basis for its hostile posture toward Tehran: its nuclear programme, its
support for Hizbollah and other anti-Israeli armed groups and its hostility to
Israel's existence. 

Tehran offered concrete,
substantive concessions on those issues. But on the advice of U.S. Vice Pres.
Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, Bush refused to respond
to the negotiating proposal. Nuclear weapons were not, therefore, the primary
U.S. concern about Iran. In the hierarchy of the administration's interests,
the denial of legitimacy to the Islamic Republic trumped a deal that could
provide assurances against an Iranian nuclear weapon.’ 

Iran Nuclear
Conflict Is About US Dominance


The latest on-line dialogue at Bloggingheads is All About Iran with Eric Umansky & Afshin Molavi. Lots of inside info about Iran, from Molavi. Iran has a high ratio of bloggers, too. [Requires broadband.]

A video clip of President Al Gore on SNL, at Youtube. 

Slashdot, on The Future of Digital Books.

Meanwhile, back in the dark age, New look broadband policy unveiled.

The importance of Hand Talk in communication rehabilitation among Aboriginal Australians in the Northern Territory in the latest Medical Journal of Australia, has a reference to Wikipedia. That just about completes the circle.

(Youtube also has Stevie Gerrard equalizer in FA Cup Final 2006, whatever that is. How about one of the goals from Chris Judd or Aaron Davies in Round Seven?)

More discourse

Juan Cole, on Mearsheimer and Walt Again :

... The academic reaction to the Mearsheimer and Walt paper will appear in places like the journal of the International Studies Association or Political Science Quarterly, literally years from now. Academia exists in a different time-dimension than journalism. John Mearsheimer is like the theoretical physicist doing basic research on quarks, and Fairbanks' sort of op-ed writer is like the jingle-writer for Walmart who retails some invention that came out of the basic research.

And, the Mearsheimer-Walt paper would require lots of research to address. A good research project in this regard would be to do in-depth interviews with former congressional staffers on Capitol Hill who are now in other fields of endeavor and might speak freely about how exactly lobbying works on this issue. Talking to former Israeli and Arab ambassadors in Washington might also be enlightening. ...