May 2004

2004 05 28
Huh?


Posted by in: Odds and ends

Boing Boing alerts us to the news that Canada is celebrating National Masturbation Month.

I offer hearty congratulations to my fellow Canadians, but I think I will skip the congratulatory handshakes.


A single voice crying in the wilderness (1)

2004 05 27
Geffen, Drezner, Iraq and Egypt


Dan Drezner thinks that the Iraq War was worthwhile in conception, but flawed in execution. The conception, Drezner assumes rather charitably, was the neo-Conservative idea that democracy promotion was essential to the War on Terror. And that, we are told, necessitated the Iraq War. I would dispute a genuine concern for democracy as a real animating motive for most conservatives, but I am myself very big on the idea in general. Curiously, Drezner has kinder things to say about the neo-Conservative flavour of democracy promotion than my own. He writes:

For all their criticism of Bush’s grand strategy, Europeans and left-wingers have offered very little in the way of alternatives to his vision. Some say that American soft power could bring about change in the Middle East. But decades of alternately coddling, cajoling, and ostracizing Arab despots has not led to liberalization or democratization. We have showered Egypt with aid, but have succeeded only in propping up an authoritarian monster in Hosni Mubarak. We have tried to isolate Syria, but have only strengthened that country’s anti-American credentials. Maybe U.S. soft power is part of the solution to the Middle East’s woes, but soft power alone cannot accomplish our desired ends.

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2004 05 27
Fafblog Exclusive


Fafnir interviews Donald Rumsfeld.


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2004 05 27
A few remarks on Lenin’s Tomb


This post comes awfully late, but I might as well post it anyway.

I note with amusement that I am described as having “taken up” my “sword against” Nikolai at Lenin’s Tomb in this post. It’s true that I thought Nikolai’s remarks were tasteless and mistaken – that’s why I commented on them – but I would not say that my sword was ever out. I save that for wicked, wicked folks whose sincerity and good will I doubt, and I take it that Nikolai, like, for example, Norm Geras and me, wants the best for the people of Iraq. The question is what that requires us to approve or disapprove.
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2004 05 27
Human Rights Watch on Sudan peace treaty


Posted by in: Political issues, Sudan

From the press release:

Sudan: Peace Accord in South, But Atrocities in Darfur

(New York, May 26, 2004)�The Sudanese government�s signing today of a peace agreement to end the 21-year civil war in the south must not deflect criticism of its ongoing campaign of �ethnic cleansing� in the western region of Darfur, Human Rights Watch said today.
As recently as yesterday, Arab militias attacked five villages 15 kilometers south of Nyala in Darfur, killing 46 civilians and wounding at least nine others, according to local sources. The militias, known as Janjaweed, were accompanied by government soldiers in three Land Cruisers armed with antiaircraft artillery.

Human Rights Watch has extensively documented how the Janjaweed have been armed, trained, and uniformed by the Sudanese government.


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2004 05 27
Tim Burke and Norm Geras


Tim Burke recently wrote a long and interesting piece on Iraq at his web site. In that post, Burke identifies a common error in support for the war on both the left and the right. It is
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2004 05 27
Read the Kissinger Telcons


A Press Release from the National Security Archive:
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2004 05 27
Abu Ghraib link round-up


Body and Soul has a nice one.


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2004 05 26
Uzbekistan


Three pieces of interest to Uzbekistan watchers below the fold.
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A single voice crying in the wilderness (1)

2004 05 26
Secor on Brahimi


Posted by in: Political issues, The UN

Laura Secor has an interesting profile of Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.’s man in Iraq.


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2004 05 26
CIA refuses to burn a frickin’ CD


From the invaluable Secrecy News:
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2004 05 26
Bush uses anti-American slur


The Aardvark is on the case.


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2004 05 26
Al Gore at NYU


No blogging today up until now and Al Gore just spoke at NYU. Can you guess where I’ve been? You’ll find my rambling account of the speech below the fold.
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A single voice crying in the wilderness (1)

2004 05 25
New York City Jazz: Michel Gentile at Barbes


Posted by in: Music

It’s so nice to have a place close to us in Brooklyn to see jazz. This show ought to be interesting. (My wife appears in it, so I would say that, wouldn’t I?)
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2004 05 25
Iraq: No “Sovereignty Lite”


From Human Rights Watch:
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