Friday, February 6, 2009

It's a start...

CNN picked up this story of Iranian intellectuals calling attention to the official crimes and injustice perpetrated by the regime in Tehran against Baha'i citizens, to whom the rights of other citizens are denied. The full text of the statement is available here, and it provides an insightful read into what this population suffers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

God Loves the Secularites

And the city of God has a new mayor (not this guy.)

This proves that democratic elections in the Middle East don't put zealots in office 100% of the time... sometimes.

Monday, June 23, 2008

77% of Israeli Arabs would rather live in Israel than in any other country in the world

This survey was compiled by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and reported on by Ha Aretz.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Isn't a Crusade the Christian version of Jihad?

Are they flip sides of the same coin? I think they might be the same side of the same coin.

And speaking of loose change, there are reports of Marines handing out some interesting coinage in Iraq.

"Where will you spend eternity?"

It's no wonder some people think there's a Holy War going on.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Santa's Ghetto

'Tis the Season.

Come visit Bethlehem. The shopping just got more interesting.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ignorance is *not* Bliss

Six men of Iraqi descent who were heading home from doing training for the U.S. military sued American Airlines on Thursday, saying employees detained and publicly humiliated them after another passenger voiced suspicions.

The men, who sued in U.S. District Court in Detroit alleging racial discrimination, say airline employees grounded their Aug. 28 flight from San Diego to Chicago and detained them, believing they were security risks.

The men, some of whom are U.S. citizens, were returning to the Detroit area after training Marines at California's Camp Pendleton on Iraqi culture when another passenger expressed concerns to guards partly because she heard the men speaking Arabic.

You can read the entire AP story here.

"Murder with Impunity"

Try to imagine total exclusion from education, employment, civil society, commerce and worship because your government and society consider your religious beliefs unacceptable. Now imagine that your property may be confiscated, family members disappeared and tortured, and graves of your ancestors destroyed. Hard to imagine, but this is the reality for Bahai's living in Iran.

The Weekly Standard printed a good article describing the despicable and official campaign of persecution endured by Baha'is in Iran, aptly described as "reminiscent of the Nazi Nuremberg Laws."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Let his death not be in vain

May his heroic leadership in war and peace serve not as a cautionary tale, but as a paradigm for change and a brighter future.

Murdered by a Zealot who sought to shape the world according to his religious views: November 4, 1995

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Europe, U.S. firms vie for Saudi-Iraq fence deal," but Where is the Poetic Justice?

It just doesn't stand to reason that the region's premier fence-builders wouldn't be part of this project, what with their proven track record and technological innovation.

Yes, this is a bit of dark humor. But more importantly, it highlights one of many opportunities for regional collaboration and even common goals. Especially if the Saudis want a fence that works.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Monday, September 10, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Food for thought

If we were interested in finding some way to move Middle Eastern oil out of the Persian Gulf without passing through the Strait of Hormuz, I guess an important start would be a friendly regime in Baghdad. And then Syria. And then Lebanon.

I would be less troubled by this realpolitik if we were honest about it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Best Candy Bar

Israel has good chocolate.

You hear about the violence, the women, the occupation and the blooming desert - Much gets said about Israel, but not a lot of people talk about the candy.

Well, the Elite company makes some wonderful chocolate, and my favorite candy bar is called Mekupelet, which predates but is very similar to Cadbury's Flake.

It's an ugly candy bar, but if you can get your hands on a fresh one (or many), it could change your life, or at least your preceptions of Israelis.

Here is an in depth analysis, albeit imperfect, of Mekupelet and Flake.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pushing to unify western democracies, or sounding out how desperate we are for its energy resources?

British Jets Scramble to Intercept Russian Bombers

Amid fraying relations between Russia and the United Kingdom, two British fighter jets were sent to confront two Russian bombers flying north of Scotland, the London Times reported today (see GSN, March 6).
Norwegian F-16s followed the Russian bombers south until the Royal Air Force scrambled two Yorkshire-based Tornado fighter jets from its Quick Reaction Alert squadron.
There was no direct confrontation, the Times reported.  "The Russians turned back before they reached British airspace," said a Royal Air Force spokesman. 
The air force said it was irregular for the Russian bombers to patrol so far south of their base in the Arctic Circle. 
British authorities recently ordered the expulsion of four Russian diplomats over the 2006 murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.  The move came after Moscow refused to extradite a Russian citizen charged in the United Kingdom with murdering Litvinenko (see GSN, May 22; Richard Beeston, The Times, July 18).

Monday, July 16, 2007

But are the levels sufficient to wake Godzilla?

"JAPAN: Water containing radioactive materials that leaked from the No. 6 unit at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Japan's Niigata prefecture was released into the ocean and is believed to be below levels that could affect the environment, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric said. The amount of water released was about 0.4 gallons. The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant is the world's largest nuclear plant in terms of power output capacity."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Partitioning Iraq, and talking to Iran

It is wonderful to hear truths, most of the time.
That is why I enjoyed the following quote:

"I don't expect any favors from Iran. I think Iran - as our intelligence agencies have been concluding - is in a proxy war against the United States. I think Iran would be willing to risk a destabilized Iraq to see us defeated. I expect no goodwill from them. I still think we should talk to them, partly to put pressure on them and to embarrass them in the eyes of the world and present the evidence we've got in front of as many other countries as possible."

The rest of the article is here:

Friday, May 4, 2007

More Muddling along...

“Your English is better than my Arabic," said our highest ranking diplomat to a native Farsi speaker. Maybe Bush should have appointed her to a non-diplomatic post, like the Supreme Court, where the only exotic words are in latin.

Please; someone Save us from our leaders.