Saddam and al-Qaeda
Even the WaPo‘s carrying the story.
Saddam and al-Qaeda
Saddam and al-Qaeda
Even the WaPo‘s carrying the story.
Iraqi interim goverment just sworn in
Read what the Iraqi blogs have to say: Hammorabi and Iraq The Model. Zeyad at Healing Iraq hasn’t posted in the past 2 days, but he’s worth reading.
Roger‘s on the money
By the way, I know I have written this before, but I think the use of the term “insurgents” by the media inaccurate and propagandistic in its essence. As far as I know… and correct me if I’m wrong… there has not been one single of these people being anything but fascists, either of the Baathist or Islamist variety. Calling them “insurgents” then cloaks them in the romantic veneer of “freedom fighters.”
Fascists is the right word.
Update: Jane at Armies of Liberation declares a day of celebration.
Gratuitous Sunday NYT Book Review insult
Cristina Nehring, realizing that Books Make You a Boring Person, opines,
Books are not the pure good that the festival crowds are sometimes told: you can learn anything from a book — or nothing. You can learn to be a suicide bomber, a religious fanatic or, indeed, a Bush supporter as easily as you can learn to be tolerant, peace-loving and wise.
Wise enough to equate Bush supporters with suicide bombers and religious fanatics, Cristina?
One of today’s NYT’s headlines
. . . For Iraqi Girls, Changing Land Narrows Lives made me wonder, just how safe did these girls think they were under Saddam, with Uday and Qusay around? But more to the point, just at the moment I was looking at the paper, I had just watched the last minutes of Elinor Burkett‘s lecture on CSPAN urging American “conservative women” to apply for money that would start a women’s studies department in Baghdad University. As Ms Burkett pointed out, every time fundamentalists take over a society, they start by diminishing women’s status to nothing — the difficult thing is empowering those women again. No question that I raq is in turnmoil and it is a dangerous place; using teen girls as illustration of the danger is almost trivializing the issue.
(An aside: I use the term “conservative women” in quotes since I’ve met some very radical “conservative women” as of late. But I’ll blog on that some other time.)
Still on the subject of Iraq, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees June 15 report on GLobal Refugee Trends (via the Barcepundit) just came out. The NYT’s not writing about the results of the study, for that you have to look at an Australian newspaper
But perhaps the most telling sign is what you could call the “refugee indicator” of success. Last week, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, reported that the number of refugees worldwide had dropped to its lowest level in a decade, falling by 18 per cent to just over 17 million.
From the first quarter of last year to the first quarter this year, there was a 25 per cent drop in the number of people seeking political asylum in the developed nations, The Boston Globe reported. That’s mostly because people are now less likely to flee Afghanistan and Iraq.
The UNHCR also found 81 per cent fewer Iraqis claimed asylum this year than last year, and is now preparing for the return of more than half a million Iraqis. “Nearly 5 million people … over the past few years have been able to either go home or to find a new place to rebuild their lives,” Lubbers told the BBC. “For them, these dry statistics reflect a special reality: the end of long years in exile and the start of a new life with renewed hope for the future.”
More than half a million people also returned to Afghanistan last year, something Lubbers said was “phenomenal [and] underscores the benefits of sustained international attention”. International attention as in wiping out the Taliban, and removing Saddam.
Refugees have registered their approval by voting with their feet. But there must be a conspiracy theory to explain it away.
I wonder how many of the returning exiles have been reading what the NYT wants to report.
According to French social scientist Patrick Weil, an expert on French naturalization and immigration, French civil law permits “citizens of states or territories over which France has ever exercised sovereignty or extended a mandate or protectorate” to apply “immediately” for naturalization as a French citizen. Normally you’d have to live in France for five years before applying. But Clinton was born in Arkansas, which was once part of France, and which was then acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase, making it “a state or territory over which France has ever exercised sovereignty or extended a mandate or protectorate” [emphasis added]. . .
“As I wrote in 2001, he would need to move to France and learn French, but he could apply immediately. It would take between one year and 18 months, enough to run for the next election,” which is in 2007.
This is a brilliant proposal. Offhand I can think of several advantages:
I say, go for it!
On the chemical munitions, Mr. Deulfer, who replaced David Kay as the head of the Iraq Survey Group earlier this year, said that the group has uncovered 10 to 12 bombs filled with blistering mustard gas or the nerve agent sarin.
“We’re not sure how many more are out there that haven’t been found, but we’ve found 10 or 12 sarin and mustard rounds,” he said. “I’m reluctant to judge what that means at this point, but there’s other aspects of the program which we still have to flush out.”
Those who say “there were no WMDs” can’t even hide their heads in the sand, considering there’s the MiG 25 found in the desert.
And don’t forget that UN report, with photos of a ballistic missile site outside Baghdad.
(Prior posts on this subject: June 18, June 5, May 19, May 18, May 17, May 15 links re: nuclear gear found in Europe, the Iraqi Survey Group findings, and weapons found in Syria, and April 27.)
Dr. Thomas Sowell has a list:
Paul Johnson”s A History of the American People, and Modern Times
Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom’s America in Black and White
Nikolai Shmelev and Vladimir Popov’s The Turning Point
Gurcharan Das’s India Unbound
Peter Bauer’s Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion
Joshua Muravchik’s Heaven on Earth
John Stossel’s Give Me a Break
and his own’s Basic Economics, Applied Economics, and Ethnic America.
The Economist has a review of Dr. Sowell’s Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study
Mr Sowell’s insight is that regardless of the supposed moral basis for preferential policies, the results are often remarkably similar. Though such policies are supposed to help the poor, their beneficiaries tend to be quite well-off. The truly poor rarely apply to enter university or bid for public-works contracts, and so cannot take advantage of quotas. The better-off quickly learn how to play the system
Last week I finished reading Carlos M. N. Eire’s Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy, and highly recommend it. In fact, I even ordered two as gifts for a friend and a relative. Don’t miss the author’s interview at the end.
More on Nick & Jacques
Because it is a weekly magazine, sometimes The Economist is a little behind in the news,
“Six months ago, la chiraquie—the president’s circle—was bent on finding a loyal successor to Mr Chirac, and, above all, on keeping out Nicolas Sarkozy, the ambitious finance minister. Today, fretful for their own survival, former loyalists on the UMP backbenches have begun to desert the president. Roselyne Bachelot, Mr Chirac’s spokesman for the 2002 presidential elections, says the party needs Mr Sarkozy. Alain Madelin, the former pro-market leader, has swung behind him. “Sarkozy’s the best chance we have,” says one UMP backbencher formerly in the Chirac camp. This week Mr Chirac said that he was ready to acquiesce in Mr Sarkozy’s taking over the party.”
Just yesterday Le Monde was saying that Jacques wasn’t too thrilled about Nick’s moves; i.e., Jacques would agree to Nick’s presidency of the UMP if Nick leaves the goverment. Today Helen‘s got the details.
While reading all this, keep in mind that, according to recent surveys, Nick’s the most popular politician in France nowadays.