December 07, 2010

Let's have a toast for the assholes...

Or at least the liars: 3.32pm: "This case is not about WikiLeaks," district judge Howard Riddle told the court, according to my colleague Sam Jones, who was there. No. Of course not. Sexual assault in Sweden is of the utmost...
Posted by binky at 07:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 12, 2010

(In)Justice in the UAE

It remains a deeply troubling place. A prince is found not guilty on torture charges. Sheikh Issa bin Zayed, brother of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and the President of the United Arab Emirates (and on of the world's worst...
Posted by armand at 01:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 11, 2010

No, Duh.

The NYT notes that intel analysts are awash in data from the drones flying over Afghanistan and Iraq. Really? Whoda thunk it; more sensors equal more data; more data and the same number of analysts equals less analysis. Of significantly...
Posted by baltar at 07:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 02, 2010

Confirming Karzai's Cabinet Nominees

Or rather, not confirming them. That's what the parliament in Afghanistan chose to do to over two-thirds of the people put forward by President Karzai. However, the nominees most strongly backed by the United States were confirmed. The one woman...
Posted by armand at 05:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 29, 2009

The Swiss Vote to Ban Minaret Construction

It strikes me as a bad idea to put issues tied to religious liberty to a popular vote. But of course some countries use national initiatives to settle a variety of questions, and this weekend Switzerland has voted to ban...
Posted by armand at 03:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2009

Europe's First President

It remains to be seen who will get the nod (the most discussed possibilities are the heads of government of the Benelux countries), but I did like this description of the job: a Wizard of Oz without even the giant,...
Posted by armand at 02:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 16, 2009

Secretary Clinton's "Gaffes"

Yes, Crowley is throwing the dreaded g word into his analysis. Not all of the things he mentions are gaffes (surely not her response to that demeaning question in Africa - though a writer for The New Republic seeing that...
Posted by armand at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 31, 2009

Gordon Brown and His Luddite Labour Government

I have to say I'm pleased when scientists so publicly rebuke the political pandering of politicians. And I am not going to miss Gordon Brown when he (and Labour) goes down in flames next year....
Posted by armand at 12:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 13, 2009

Update on Chinese Aircraft Carrier

The Chinese are moving forward in refurbishing the Varyag (bought from the Ukraine a few years back) and have started construction of what looks to be training facilities for carrier operations inland. This won't give the Chinese full carrier potential...
Posted by baltar at 08:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2009

I never knew...

... that colors could be misleading....
Posted by binky at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2009

Interesting Reading List

I'm away at a full-on Geek-Fest Summer Camp for a few weeks. It's an academic retreat that teaches security studies, with a specific focus on military strategy and operations. We spent a couple hours today arguing about Lee at Gettysburg,...
Posted by baltar at 11:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Explaining Jay-Z via IR

This is absolutely awesome. Marc Lynch explains the battles between rap stars via international relations theory. And it works....
Posted by baltar at 03:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 02, 2009

June 19, 2009

The Violent Death of Omar Hashi Aden

More bad news from Somalia: The death of Omar Hashi Aden and at least 20 others in a suicide bomb attack on a hotel in central Somalia could shift power towards the country’s main militant Islamist group, al-Shabaab, which claimed...
Posted by armand at 02:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 08, 2009

March 14 Wins Again

Last weekend we saw record low turnout in Europe produce wins for the right, the far right, racists, Greens, and the Pirate Party. In Lebanon's national elections though there was record high turnout, and it resulted in another win for...
Posted by armand at 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 07, 2009

The BBC Live-Blogs the EU Election Results

Results here. For people who aren't fans of the status quo, this should be fun. It looks like fringe parties on the right and the left are going to do well in this unusually low-turnout election. The thread should also...
Posted by armand at 03:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 05, 2009

The Telegraph Blogs the UK's Electoral Circus

Some great stuff here on Gordon Brown's reshuffle and the results of the UK's local elections. Among the high/low-lights. 17.32 Caroline Flint has launched an astonishing attack on Gordon Brown in her resignation statement. Less than 24 hours after praising...
Posted by armand at 01:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 02, 2009

Gordon Brown's Government Slips Away

It's hard to imagine there's a major government in worse shape than California's, but the one in London looks that way of late. The scandal which took down the Speaker (a new one will be elected in about 3 weeks)...
Posted by armand at 06:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 24, 2009

Is Colombia Drifting Away from Democracy?

A troubling change....
Posted by armand at 12:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 14, 2009

Two "Torture" Related Comments

There have been two recent torture related debates floating around that I have wanted to add my two-cents to. 1. Obama's U-turn on the photos of detainees. Look; I understand the "don't release" side of this argument. I see that...
Posted by baltar at 11:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 04, 2009

Fred Kaplan's Most Important Movies About War and Diplomacy

He thinks Stephen Walt and Dan Drezner have, at best, a weird take on the movies you really need to see to understand IR....
Posted by armand at 10:47 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 03, 2009

The Sex Boycott in Kenya

They aren't just in old Greek plays any more....
Posted by armand at 09:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2009

If Guido Westerwelle Were Germany's Foreign Minister

Westerwelle is the openly gay leader of the FDP party which is polling unusually well at the moment. Should that continue it's forecast that he could become foreign minister this fall. And if that happens a new set of issues...
Posted by armand at 05:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 26, 2009

Torture: A Continuing Series

I continue to be confused by the right-wing assertions in this scandal. They've claimed everything from "the techniques we used were not torture" (wrong) to "the Democrats can't/shouldn't change the laws to criminalize acts of the previous administration" (wrong again:...
Posted by baltar at 08:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 22, 2009

I appreciate your strong feelings...

... but go fuck yourself: Ah, diplomacy....
Posted by binky at 06:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 20, 2009

(Possibly) Holy Sh&t!

RUMINT (Rumor Intelligence) is always fun, if not necessarily accurate. So, we can wait a day or so for the actual truth to emerge here. That doesn't mean we can't start speculating, however. Via TMP (just cut and pasted in...
Posted by baltar at 12:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 16, 2009

Thinking Back on Tora Bora

So much could be different if Tora Bora had gone differently. That it wasn't a bigger issue in the 2004 campaign amazes me. Kerry tried to make it an issue - but didn't push it enough. And the media really...
Posted by armand at 06:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 16, 2009

Foreign Minister Lieberman?

They've got to be kidding, right? If Israel was, say, Austria, an appointment of this sort would come with howls of protest and moves to kick the European nation out various events and institutions. It will indeed be interesting to...
Posted by armand at 09:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 15, 2009

Global Finance Discussion

Hosted by the Economist, a roundtable featuring Dani Rodrik and others....
Posted by binky at 02:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 10, 2009

The Administration Caves on Chas Freeman

This is a terrible thing. It certainly conveys that some concepts and ideas are to be off-limits in decision making. How can that possibly help if the goal is to create a carefully-considered foreign policy?...
Posted by armand at 05:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 05, 2009

The Saudi Arabia of Lithium?

Bolivia. Maybe they'll have to set another Bond film there....
Posted by armand at 10:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2009

Our Affirmative Obligation to Investigate Those Responsible for Torture

Hilzoy thinks Obama has to do it: It seems to me that these facts imply that if Barack Obama, or his administration, believe that there are reasonable grounds to believe that members of the Bush administration have committed torture, then...
Posted by armand at 09:10 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

January 11, 2009

George W. Bush Was NOT a Successful Realist

Stephen Walt smacks Peter Feaver upside the head (his language is more polite than that, but that's the effect)....
Posted by armand at 10:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 30, 2008

November 28, 2008

Put Biden on an India-Pakistan Peace Deal

It strikes me as a fine way to use the Vice President-elect. Actually focusing him on that, in tandem with putting Senator Clinton and Gen. Jones on Israeli deals with the Syrians and Palestinians, could do a great deal of...
Posted by armand at 02:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 21, 2008

20 Years for Blasphemy

That's what a reporter just got from a court in Afghanistan. Yet another example to bring up, should you wish to argue against the assertion that regime change led by the United States is spreading freedom around the world....
Posted by armand at 10:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 07, 2008

The 13 Senators Who Voted Against the US-India Nuclear Deal

If you believe in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the associated regime, this deal is something between a step backward and an unmitigated disaster. So, that being the case it's worth noting who the 13 senators are who stood...
Posted by armand at 05:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 06, 2008

October 03, 2008

Gordon Brown's October 2008 Reshuffle

It's underway, and the big political story is that Peter Mandelson is moving back into the government. Among the other moves: Margaret Beckett is also back, Leader of the Lords Baroness Ashton will replace Mandelson in Brussels, Ed Miliband...
Posted by armand at 09:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 24, 2008

Pakistan's Leadership Was Supposed to Be at the Marriott

Well the bombing in Islamabad just gets more disturbing. It was the biggest bomb to go off in Pakistan in several years. Dozens were killed. It was clearly aimed at international guests in the country. On a personal note, that's...
Posted by armand at 11:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 20, 2008

Alas, probably true

Index of global Relevancy to to average american....
Posted by binky at 02:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 15, 2008

The Choice Facing Israel's Incoming Prime Minister

The Kadima Party will choose a new leader in only a couple of days. If the polls are right it appears that Israel will once again have a female prime minister. But once in that position (presuming she wins) Tzipi...
Posted by armand at 10:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2008

Pakistan, the Taliban, and India

Some big-picture points to keep in mind when you think about the future of the US presence in Afghanistan and the nature of our ties to Pakistan....
Posted by armand at 07:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2008

Admiral Mullen on Afghanistan - We're Not Winning

And "we're running out of time"....
Posted by armand at 04:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 09, 2008

A Good First Effort

The 20 Questions We Would Ask Sarah Palin It's a pretty good list. I might skip some of the more factual questions ("Who leads China and India?") in favor of more questions about policy (if you are only limited to...
Posted by baltar at 03:44 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 05, 2008

We Are Giving Georgia $1 Billion?

I think the Armchair Generalist has a good description of how we apparently choose to dole out foreign aid (your money) these days. Call the State Department now to get more details on this limited-time event. Dial 1-800-XXX-XXXX, press "1"...
Posted by armand at 01:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 04, 2008

Uh, Are You Sure?

Dick Cheney, being kept as far away from the Republican National Convention as is humanly possibly, has stated (publicly) that Georgia should join NATO: TBILISI, Georgia - Vice President Dick Cheney flew here on Thursday to deliver a forceful American...
Posted by baltar at 09:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 15, 2008

We Must Attack Iran! Errr, Make That Russia!

Hilzoy has linked to this, which makes an excellent point. John McCain (and the Neocon war-war-war chorus) might not be besties with the president of Iran. But I'd be hard pressed to think of anyone who's doing more this month...
Posted by armand at 03:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2008

Will Bush Follow McCain's Presumptuousness?

Yes, the McCain campaign either lacks any sense of irony or the candidate has such a lack of self-awareness that one wonders if he's conscious. It's hard to imagine behavior more "presumptuous", as the word was defined by McCain earlier...
Posted by armand at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 08, 2008

Russia Attacks Georgia

Bloody international conflict on the day that sees the opening of the 2008 Olympics....
Posted by armand at 10:20 AM | Comments (25) | TrackBack

August 07, 2008

A Coup in Mauritania

Didn't know there'd been one? Neither did I....
Posted by armand at 09:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 06, 2008

Today in Olympics-Related News

US olympians are kowtowing before the Chinese, apologizing for wearing face masks (I was just talking to someone who was there last week - she was talking about how in Beijing you can't see the sun). And the chairman of...
Posted by armand at 03:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 30, 2008

Israel's Leadership Is Soon to Change

In September there will be a new prime minister....
Posted by armand at 02:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2008

Zakaria - Obama is "the True Realist in the Race"

More evidence that Obama is the candidate of savvy members of the foreign policy establishment (which tends to be populated by George H.W. Bush Republicans). And for good reason.Obama rarely speaks in the moralistic tones of the current Bush administration....
Posted by armand at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 12, 2008

Zimbabwe, Russia, and the US

Zimbabwe is a mess. Mugabe has clearly "stolen" the election via violence and intimidation. For whatever reason (likely related to past histories of colonialism and rejecting those former colonizers politics), the African states (especially South Africa) seem unwilling to put...
Posted by baltar at 10:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 10, 2008

IR Gaming Geekery

How did I not know about this sooner? Tonight I played an international game of, essentially, RISK. I played with Baltar and a former student of ours who now works for a European government. This former student, who keeps vampire...
Posted by binky at 11:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 02, 2008

Keepin' us safe, yesiree!

I had no idea Nelson Mandela was on the terror watch list until just now, when I spotted this report that he was being removed by a bill today. South Africa's apartheid government had designated the ANC a terrorist organization...
Posted by binky at 12:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 27, 2008

McCain Wanting to Kick Russia Out of the G8 - Even Dumber Than It Sounds

Gotta agree with Hilzoy here. Kicking Russia out would be dumb. Trying to kick Russia out when you can't even make good on your word adds a whole new layer of dumbness. When it would anger someone were you to...
Posted by armand at 01:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 23, 2008

Eric Martin on John Bolton, Regarding Iran

Yes, there does seem to be something missing from the logic of our former ambassador to the UN: So let me see if I have this straight: A country that is supposedly so irrational, reckless and religiously fanatical that its...
Posted by armand at 12:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 17, 2008

Sarkozy Proposes Massive Overhaul of France's Military

The American right's favorite Frenchie is slashing the size of his country's military, closing 50 bases, increasing spending on intelligence, and rejoining NATO's military command....
Posted by armand at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 16, 2008

The Taliban Prison Break

Is it just me, or was this story oddly under-reported? Big, multi-part operation, several guards killed, hundreds of Taliban prisoners escape ... and in yesterday's edition of the local paper it was reported on page 7D....
Posted by armand at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 14, 2008

3 Top Foreign Relations Democrats Vie for Secretary of State

Mark Hosenball notes that the 3 top Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, all former presidential candidates, are "running" for Secretary of State - John Kerry, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd. While Bill Richardson and others should certainly be...
Posted by armand at 07:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 12, 2008

David Davis Resigns Over the 42 Day Detention Policy

Wow. Can you imagine something like this happening in the US? The Shadow Home Secretary, who generally ran to David Cameron's right in the 2005 race for the leadership of the Conservative Party, is resigning his seat in parliament in...
Posted by armand at 12:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 10, 2008

Does Oil Hurt Women's Rights?

There's a lot of work suggesting that oil wealth hurts the cause of democratization, so perhaps it's not too surprising that apparently it also has a negative effect on women's rights....
Posted by armand at 12:16 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 06, 2008

Israel Promises to Attack Iran

"Unavoidable?" That's troubling, to put it mildly. Also troubling, this comment was made at the same time as meetings between Olmert and Bush in which Iran was the "dominant subject". I'd say we should fasten our seatbelts. And it's...
Posted by armand at 10:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 28, 2008

Tony Blair's Recent Brush With Death

Huh. I missed this in last week's news, but it's a reminder of just how tense things are in Israel right now. Tony Blair came within moments of being killed when two Israeli fighter aircraft threatened to shoot down a...
Posted by armand at 03:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2008

Why Al Qaeda Would Rather Not Be Based in Failed States

Interesting - so Pakistan is better for them than Iraq, like Kenya is better than Somalia....
Posted by armand at 10:23 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 21, 2008

The Future of Lebanonese Politics: A Deal Is Struck

The keys according to the New York Times: Lebanon will finally get a president, but Hezbollah will have veto power over the new government.One wonders if Israel's peace talks with Syria are tied to this. And will John McCain denounce...
Posted by armand at 08:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 09, 2008

Hezbollah Turns Against Fellow Lebanese

Awful news from Beirut. The battles spread within moments of a rare news conference by the leader of the Shiite Hezbollah movement, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, who effectively endorsed the use of violence by his supporters against fellow Lebanese. This is...
Posted by armand at 02:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 02, 2008

Baltar's doppleganger takes London

And Labour takes a beating all over....
Posted by binky at 11:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Getting Pakistan Back on Track

60 judges, including the chief justice, are to return to their jobs. That would seem to be bad news for Musharraf - but good news for a freer Pakistan....
Posted by armand at 02:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Local Election Disaster for Labour

I assumed Labour would do poorly, but I didn't think they'd do this poorly: Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour Party was headed toward its worst local election defeat in four decades on Friday, fueling doubts about Brown's ability to lead...
Posted by armand at 09:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2008

Hillary Clinton and John McCain Are 'Dangerous Lunatics"

That's the message Ben Smith sees in these pieces by the Boston Globe (on Hillary Clinton and Iran) and Fareed Zakaria (on John McCain's call for "war" against Russia and China)....
Posted by armand at 12:22 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

April 18, 2008

Can We Say the Relationships Associated with Wealth and Voting Behavior Apply to Inter-State Behavior Too?

Larry Bartels had a column in yesterday's New York Times noting that it's not working-class people who vote at unusual levels on social issues - it's wealthier people. This holds internationally too right? The green revolution in Europe, or the...
Posted by armand at 02:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 09, 2008

A Turn for the Worse in Somalia

Suicide bombers....
Posted by armand at 02:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 06, 2008

The US in Iraq - Trying to Secure a Terrorist-Funded Army Maintains Power

Yeah, this really does cut to the chase, doesn't it: So, just so that we're clear on this. We are building an army full of people who are still getting pension payments from an organization that the U.S. has designated...
Posted by armand at 11:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 25, 2008

The European Naval Surge in the Middle East

Yesterday Galrahn posted on the big increase in naval activity in the Middle East - "we find it noteworthy we are in the midst of the largest European naval surge to the Middle East in the 21st century and nobody...
Posted by armand at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 21, 2008

Richardson Endorses Obama

Now this makes me happy, mostly at the thought that Richardson could be considered for a VP or other major foreign policy spot in an Obama administration. As you know, I have been less willing than Armand to commit in...
Posted by binky at 09:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 17, 2008

Teamwork

Yep. That's what you call it: The account that emerges from those interviews, and from access to previously unpublished documents, makes clear that Mr. Bremer’s decree reversed an earlier plan - one that would have relied on the Iraqi military...
Posted by binky at 09:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 13, 2008

UK Denies Gay Teen Asylum - Gives Him a Death Sentence?

Errrr, what are the courts in the UK smoking - they don't think there is systematic persecution of gays in Iran? That would come as a shock to the gays of Iran. Seems pretty clear to me if this teenager's...
Posted by armand at 02:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 19, 2008

What to Take Out of Pakistan's Elections

China Hand does a masterful job of concisely analyzing the outcome of the election, and the different roads the near future might take. He's also got a nice map of the results. If you are interested in the topic this...
Posted by armand at 08:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 18, 2008

HAMAS's Jew-eating Bunny

Sick, and yet sadly so predictable....
Posted by armand at 03:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 08, 2008

A Dilemma

This will be somewhat obscure, 'cause I don't want this to be public (this will make sense; just read on).I've been invited to have dinner with a gentleman being inducted to this august University's Alumni Hall of Fame (or whatever...
Posted by baltar at 11:26 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 07, 2008

Remind Me Why We Put Up With the Saudis?

From the people that President Bush prances around hand-in-hand with ...An American businesswoman was carted off to jail by religious police in Saudi Arabia for sitting with a male colleague at a Starbucks in Riyadh, the Times of London reported....
Posted by armand at 02:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 26, 2008

The Vatican, a Caliphate, and Membership in the UN

Charli Carpenter discusses the unique position of the Vatican here, and raises an interesting hypothetical. It's true the Holy See has the ostensible status of a state for the purposes of multilateral treaty negotiations. It sits on deliberations over UN...
Posted by armand at 02:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 18, 2008

The UAE Goes Crazy for All Things French

They are building a French military base in their country, and constructing copies of Lyon and the Louvre....
Posted by armand at 09:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 17, 2008

So Did George Bush Get the Arab Monarchies on Board Against Iran?

No. Not even close.In the wake of the president's visit to the region Abu Aardvark has a post up that includes lots of links that point to increasing and improving ties between Iran and the GCC monarchies. And about the...
Posted by armand at 04:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 21, 2007

Japan Cancels Humpback Whale Hunt

And apparently US criticism played a part in their decision. Japan dropped the planned taking of 50 humpbacks - which have been off-limits to commercial hunting since 1966 - at the behest of the United States, the chair of the...
Posted by armand at 05:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 13, 2007

How to Restore America's Good Name in the World? Impeachment Hearings!

Actually, that's not a bad idea. Hey, if nothing else it's a bit of insurance against the killing blow to our image abroad that electing another Republican in November would be. And it's not like Vice President Cheney hasn't presented...
Posted by armand at 10:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 10, 2007

Want to Prevent Nuclear Proliferation? Negotiate!

That's Robert Farley's advice, and it's good advice. Just about any nuclear program can be negotiated away. Iraq gave up its nuclear program (as well as its other WMD programs) years before the U.S. invasion of 2003. Libya began steps...
Posted by armand at 09:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 07, 2007

Does the Destruction of the Interrogation Tapes Hide a Saudi-9/11 Link?

That's what Gerald Posner is raising. And while I'm not often given to thinking there's much to "conspiracy theories" the deaths of those princes have always looked really peculiar....
Posted by armand at 01:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 03, 2007

The New Iran NIE

It appears that the intelligence community still hates the Bush administration. Oh, and that Iran's nuclear weapons program was halted 4 years ago. A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003...
Posted by armand at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Lebanon Gets a New President

The leaders of March 14 are extremely annoyed, and Hariri wasn't even informed, but pressure from the French, the Egyptians and the Saudis was enough to get a new president elected in Lebanon. Joshua Landis has the story and a...
Posted by armand at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Back to Square 1 in Negotiations Over Iran's Nuclear Program?

While there could be more going on here than meets the eye given the intricacies of Iranian politics, the New York Times sure doesn't show us that. In fact, it's just the opposite. They paint this turn as bleak and...
Posted by armand at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 30, 2007

O! Canada

Bring us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses, afraid of being tortured in the United States: The United States is not a safe country for refugees, the Federal Court said Thursday as it ruled that Canada will no longer...
Posted by binky at 07:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 25, 2007

Aharon Barak on Israel and the US and the Security/Rights Balance

It's a sign of how far the US has moved in the last decade that the current and former heads of Israel's highest court are noting that Israel is much better at protecting human rights than the United States. Of...
Posted by armand at 10:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 24, 2007

Going to a gossip blog for lessons in diplomacy

On handshaking: Some politicians (I won't name names, but you know who I mean) won't shake Hugo's hand. It's not that Sarkozy thinks Chavez is a great guy or an example of good governance, but that he appreciates that Chavez...
Posted by binky at 06:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 14, 2007

Levy on the Political Math in Israel, Relating to an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal

This detailed post is almost a week old, but well worth reviewing if you are interested in Israel/Palestinian issues. Long story short, the Israeli government is actually in a surprisingly good position to approve further deals with the Palestinians when...
Posted by armand at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 12, 2007

File Under: Ruh-Roh

Via Majikthise, we find nuclear security lacking in South Africa: A brazen attack by four gunmen on the Pelindaba nuclear facility has left a senior emergency officer seriously injured. ... He was shot in the chest when the gunmen stormed...
Posted by binky at 11:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2007

If You Want Another Reason to Loathe Dubai ...

Apparently men can't be raped there - which may come as a surprise to the men who are raped there. Ah, the power of language and identity ......
Posted by armand at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 26, 2007

Consoling Turkey With Warships

Sure we've been annoying them no end of late - but maybe giving them two Perry-class frigates and two minesweepers (3 for free, one at a greatly reduced price) will take the edge off that a tiny bit. Looks like...
Posted by armand at 08:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 20, 2007

Russia Calls the US a Bunch of Hypocrites

If an unchecked presidency and human rights violations are okay for the US, Russia wonders why it can't engage in similar practices.And yes, perhaps Secretary Rice should have thought twice before going there....
Posted by armand at 03:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 18, 2007

Peter Bergen's "War of Error"

Or "How Osama Bin Laden Beat George W. Bush".Yes on occasion good articles can be found inside The New Republic, and this one is insightful. The general tale is familiar, but the details are enlightening and deeply depressing....
Posted by armand at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 15, 2007

We're Noting a Genocide to End the War In Iraq?

That's what John Cole seems to think the Democrats are up to. I think that's flat-out wrong. If the Democratic leadership in the Congress really wanted to end war in Iraq there are several other things they could do that...
Posted by armand at 01:01 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 07, 2007

The Saudi King Checks Conservative Clerics

The rule of law (or what looks more like it to American eyes) is coming to Saudi Arabia....
Posted by armand at 09:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 26, 2007

Did 76 US Senators Just Vote to Go to War With Iran?

Josh Marshall thinks that more or less what happened yesterday. Among those voting "yea" on Kyl-Lieberman were Hillary Clinton, and 3 of our 4 regional senators (Rockefeller, Casey and Specter).UPDATE: Apparently most of the worst language in the amendment was...
Posted by armand at 01:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 19, 2007

Another Car Bomb in Lebanon

And yet again an anti-Syrian lawmaker appears to have been the target. He was killed, as were several others....
Posted by armand at 02:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2007

Is Japan's Foreign Policy Turning?

I'm no expert on the leaders of the LDP, but it's interesting how quickly the press and analysis has turned regarding Prime Minister Abe's successor. In a few days it's gone from Aso being a sure thing, to it likely...
Posted by armand at 12:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2007

"Countries come and go."

Posted without comment, from the Economist (p. 14): A recent glance at the Low Countries revealed that, nearly three months after its latest general election, Belgium was still without a new government. It may have acquired one by now. But,...
Posted by binky at 09:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 07, 2007

An New Osama Bin Laden Tape

So any thoughts on why this is coming out now? My first thought is to influence the debate over the "Petraeus Report". Agree? Disagree? As far as the effect he has on US policy debates this is sort of interesting,...
Posted by armand at 09:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 06, 2007

Would Iran Nuke the Al Aksa Mosque?

Joe Klein notes something (in the midst of a very depressed column about the latest Republican presidential debate) that I pretty much never hear in discussions of the possibility that Iran would launch a nuclear attack against Israel:... the fact...
Posted by armand at 12:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 02, 2007

Divesting in Iran

In terms of who I read on occasion, I seem to disagree with Matt Stoller more often than any other lefty blogger. And I think this would be another one of those cases. What exactly is so terrible about divesting...
Posted by armand at 09:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 28, 2007

Lieberman's 'Syria Hysteria'

This is one of those mornings when I hate Connecticut Republicans. Why oh why couldn't we have had Sen. Ned Lamont instead? Instead we get the frothing at the mouth, unglued from reality war-war-war rhetoric of Sen. Joe Lieberman. Ugh....
Posted by armand at 09:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 27, 2007

"Could Be Considered"

Greek authorities are discussing whether the fires ravaging the country could be considered to be terrorism: Dimitris Papangelopoulos, who is responsible for prosecuting terrorism and organized crime, ordered an investigation to determine "whether the crimes of arsonists and of arson...
Posted by binky at 05:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 21, 2007

Obama Would Move to Normalize US Ties With Cuba

I imagine this is going to be Obama labeled as 'inexperienced" right? (Yes, by the same people's whose "experience" has led to the wildly successful US foreign policies we have seen in Iraq and ... Cuba) Accordingly, I will use...
Posted by armand at 11:06 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

August 16, 2007

Hot; Tired; Cranky.

It's hot (back into the high 80s, with approximately the same humidity); I'm tired (I start teaching three classes on Monday). Thus, I'm cranky. Consider this a wrap-up of the things I have muttered to myself this past week. If...
Posted by baltar at 07:40 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

August 15, 2007

Paper Tigers, Paper Ligers, and Iran

Victor Davis Hanson is famously stupid (as has been pointed out again and again by the folks at Lawyers, Guns and Money), so maybe he really did mean "paper tiger". That would fit with his general habit of making assertions...
Posted by armand at 08:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2007

Al Qaeda at Its Strongest Since 9/11

Feeling safer yet? Al Qaeda is the strongest it has been since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a new U.S. government analysis concludes, according to a senior government official who has seen it. Despite a campaign...
Posted by armand at 10:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 11, 2007

Iran and Iraq, Hand in Hand

Literally. For the life of me I'll never understand why this doesn't get discussed more in the media's discussion of what victory entails, or whether the US can "win"....
Posted by armand at 06:21 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 10, 2007

More Depressing News

In a surprise to no one, any domestic political party the US tries to help in the Middle East loses in democratic elections. Thus, the US is bringing democracy to a region that is systematically voting against us. Gee, wonder...
Posted by baltar at 12:19 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The Reverse Midas Touch in Southwest Asia

In all the back and forth over the supposed Obama/Clinton brouhaha over Pakistan I'm really surprised that I never saw this brought up. As to the case in Lebanon, it's highly troubling though also completely predictable....
Posted by armand at 09:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 07, 2007

Karzai, Bush and Iran's Role in Afghanistan

President Karzai believes Iran is helping his country. To that President Bush responds ... well, I'm not sure. Can you make this out? "The president knows best about what's taking place in his country, and of course, I'm willing to...
Posted by armand at 05:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 01, 2007

Obama Vs. Al Qaeda and Pakistan: (MUCH) Tougher Than Bush

Marc Ambinder discusses the foreign policy agenda that Sen. Obama is laying out this morning.,/p> As President, Barack Obama would order attacks on terrorist camps in Pakistan even if its president, Gen. Pervais Musharraf, refused to give permission and would...
Posted by armand at 09:54 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

July 30, 2007

Khalilzad Accuses the Saudis of Undermining the US in Iraq

Don't you know that Condi Rice and Bob Gates are just thrilled that our UN Ambassador made these comments just before they visit Saudi Arabia? I presume the administration planned this, but talk about a way to make some difficult...
Posted by armand at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 28, 2007

On the Verge of Massive Arms Sales to the Middle East

$50 billion. Massive increases in arms sales to both Israel and the Persian Gulf monarchies - that's what we need to bring about peace in the Middle East, right?...
Posted by armand at 03:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 27, 2007

Why Are We Doing This?

In today's New York Times: WASHINGTON, July 26 - Three years after President Bush urged global rules to stop additional nations from making nuclear fuel, the White House will announce on Friday that it is carving out an exception for...
Posted by baltar at 07:50 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

July 04, 2007

Tanzania Is Sending Them Back

This is the kind of story that has huge international implications, but which I imagine the US media won't cover at all. I mean it's much more important that we see pics of high school bands and great big flags...
Posted by armand at 04:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 03, 2007

Just Sayin': Britain's Terror Bombings

Has anyone noticed that Britain's response to the round/wave of bombings is to use the law, arrest people according to the law (technically, they can "hold" them for 28 days before arresting them or letting them go, but the law...
Posted by baltar at 09:21 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 02, 2007

Good George Packer Post on Iraq

George Packer (who wrote a great book on Iraq last year) also has a blog over at the New Yorker. He muses about Phil Carter (who runs Intel-Dump, a great military blog), who has served in Iraq and now feels...
Posted by baltar at 12:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Good Ideas

Also from Neatorama, a simple modification to a time worn practice: water jugs that roll, so people without running water can transport more easily....
Posted by binky at 12:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 29, 2007

I'm Supposed To Be Happy About This?

I see that the Supreme Court has decided to see if Congress can pass a law that forbids people (granted, non-citizens) from having access to our judicial system. I'll agree that, in theory, this is a question the Court should...
Posted by baltar at 11:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 28, 2007

Gordon Brown's Cabinet

Here you can find a visual rundown of who was who in Tony Blair's cabinet, contrasted with who is filling the positions in the Gordon Brown Cabinet. Only one person is staying in the same slot (Des Browne at Defence...
Posted by armand at 09:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

AIPAC's Alignment with the Republican Party

That AIPAC is friendlier with Republicans than Democrats is hardly shocking news. They are basically in bed with the neocons and a large number of Christianist Republicans. But evenso ... you've got to be kidding me: The aid to Israel,...
Posted by armand at 09:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 27, 2007

Blair's Out!

Bust out the champagne (or at least break out the mimosas) - Tony Blair has resigned. Gordon Brown is now prime minister (the first Scot in the job since Sir Alec Douglas-Home), and he's expected to name the top members...
Posted by armand at 09:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 24, 2007

Brown and Harman Now Lead Labour

In a few days Gordon Brown will succeed Tony Blair as prime minister. In advance of that, today he became the new leader of the Labour party. That was of course expected. What was not expected was that the new...
Posted by armand at 01:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 21, 2007

A Name Every Victim Law

I can see a big upside in the proposal for a Name Every Victim law - politically, ethically, and in our ability to make better-informed choices as a nation. Still, I can't imagine that our "pro-life" administration would support it...
Posted by armand at 01:46 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 19, 2007

The Cold War Returns!!!

We have a different "enemy," but just about everything else is the same. Via DefenseTech, we find that the US and China are installing a "hot line" to facilitate communications during crises. Just like the Cold War (where we had...
Posted by baltar at 10:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 18, 2007

And speaking of failed states...

What happens when a state can't - or won't - rely on a standing army to accomplish its security objectives? Privatization. In the case of the war in Iraq, it looks like the private sector has found new and improved...
Posted by binky at 01:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Failed States

Foreign Policy released this year's failed states index. Iraq has moved up from 4th place (the last two years) to second. The top ten: 1) Sudan 2) Iraq 3) Somalia 4) Zimbabwe 5) Chad 6) Ivory Coast 7) Democratic Republic...
Posted by binky at 01:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 17, 2007

"We are doing things to help that we are not obliged to do"

Wow. Do you think she could be a little more condescending? Just maybe? Maria Carvajal walks the sweltering streets of Tijuana, Mexico, clutching a photo of her mentally disabled son, who she says went missing after being deported more than...
Posted by binky at 09:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 03, 2007

Is the War Going Well?

Basic counterinsurgency strategy (best discussed about forty years ago in Galula's counterinsurgency bible, written after Galula served in Algeria, and observing France's failing attempts to win in Vietnam) argues that counterinsurgency is fundamentally political. On one side is the government,...
Posted by baltar at 01:51 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 31, 2007

About the Zoellick Nomination ...

I have yet to see this question answered in any of the press I've read on Zoellick's nomination to be the next head of the World Bank, so I'll ask ya'll in case you might know - Is he nominated...
Posted by armand at 06:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 27, 2007

The Labor Leadership Election in Israel

Will it be the general or the admiral? It sure as hell isn't going to be the current party leader, the Defense Minister. Ami Ayalon, a former head of the navy and former head of Shin Bet is likely to...
Posted by armand at 05:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 21, 2007

The US Is Setting Israeli Foreign Policy?

This definitely isn't the first time I've heard of such a thing. But it's pretty remarkable nonetheless, and one does wonder about the circumstance under which Israel decided to cede sovreignty over its dealing with a state it's at war...
Posted by armand at 10:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 18, 2007

Who Will Be Gordon Brown's Deputy?

While the race to replace Tony Blair is no race at all - Gordon Brown's is the only name in contention - the Labour party is seeing a competitive contest to replace John Prescott as Deputy Leader. Hillary Benn managed...
Posted by armand at 05:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 17, 2007

"That's the difference between a free media and propaganda."

One of the prime problems with US policy in the Mid East (if not the world) is that everyone believes that the US hates all of them, wants to bomb everybody, and generally couldn't give a dead rat what happens...
Posted by baltar at 11:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 16, 2007

So Do US Right-Wingers Still Love Sarkozy?

One of the oddest bits of spin of the last month had to be the joy with which American "conservative" activists greeted the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France. They clearly betrayed their lack of knowledge of French...
Posted by armand at 09:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 01, 2007

Where Are They Now? Tony Blair's First Cabinet

An interesting feature on the BBC - Over the last 10 years, what's become of Tony Blair's first cabinet?Three quarters of them are now out of the cabinet, and of those who remain only Blair, Chancellor (and soon to be...
Posted by armand at 07:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Turkey - Looks Like It'll Be Early Elections

Wow. The secular opposition won the day in their fight to block Foreign Minister Gul's election to the presidency. The Constitutional Court decided that since their boycott of the election meant there was not the 2/3's quorum called for, the...
Posted by armand at 07:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 25, 2007

Women Literally at the Back of the Bus in Israel

Lovely segregationist policies, no? Uh, no. I'm continually baffled by people in this country who seem to believe that Israel is a vanguard for of liberal, secural Western views in the Middle East. It's not....
Posted by armand at 12:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 23, 2007

The Wall Around Adhamiya and "Other Walls"

Funny, I thought Iraq was now a democracy with an independent government. Did President Bush lie to me? Because if it is a democracy with an independent government, you'd think that a call by the prime minister to stop a...
Posted by armand at 09:34 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 21, 2007

And the French Winner Will Be ...

If anyone is in the mood to try to predict the results of the French presidential election (round 1), feel free to do so in the comments section of this thread. The consensus seems to be Sarkozy will come in...
Posted by armand at 03:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 20, 2007

Posada Is Released

"George Bush's government is an accomplice of this terrorist," Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said. "It has protected him and today it has guaranteed his freedom, striking a blow against and mocking international law." Predictably, the Bush administration's decision to...
Posted by armand at 08:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 19, 2007

Could Ghani Replace Wolfowitz?

Wolfowitz remains head of the World Bank, but the London Times says the White House is drawing up a list of possible Wolfowitz replacements. They only list one name though, Ashraf Ghani, the Chancellor of Kabul University. If he was...
Posted by armand at 09:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 10, 2007

Team Bush: Aiding Terrorists and Supporting North Korean Arms Sales

Hypocrisy? Aiding enemies of the US? Undermining their own freakin' foreign policies? You are just shocked, I know. Though actually, maybe Kevin's preceding post is even more damning. Are US prisons in Iraq basically terrorist academies?...
Posted by armand at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 09, 2007

Moises Naim on America's Learning Disability in Iraq

This was posted last Friday, but as I think it's a wise observation I figured I would still link to it. The editor in chief of Foreign Policy thinks the US is still operating under the (incorrect) assumuptions that got...
Posted by armand at 12:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 08, 2007

Politics Versus Reality

For those of us who have come to oppose the US adventures in Iraq (either recently or since 2002; either strenuously or moderately), this WaPo article presents the crux of the problem: An official in Iraq warned that executing the...
Posted by baltar at 12:16 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

March 30, 2007

Egypt's Constitutional Reforms

Egypt slid even further away from democracy this week. One of the biggest recepients of US foreign aid has passed via national referendum a set of reforms that's been dubbed "a cancellation of the constitution". It appears that virtually no...
Posted by armand at 01:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2007

Iran and Political Freedom

They might be nasty in many ways, but Ezra's got a good point about the Iranian regime. As messed up as it is, it still has room for more political dissent than a lot of our allies allow. For all...
Posted by armand at 12:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 13, 2007

A Visual Explanation For American Foreign Policy

Via YouTube, an explanation for America's Iraq policy in about four and a half minutes. Very close to accurate....
Posted by baltar at 09:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 12, 2007

Oh, Those Kinky Israelis!

Via a lurking reader, we get this classic BBC headline: Israel Recalls "Naked Ambassador": Israel has recalled its ambassador to El Salvador after he was found drunk and naked apart from bondage gear. Reports say he was able to identify...
Posted by baltar at 01:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Things Going Wrong In Iraq, Part 5,498,560.

If you didn't see Sunday's WaPo story on bureaucratic infighting, you should. Long story short: DC based bureaucrats try to remake Iraq into their (ideological) image. Iraqis ignore silly Americans, continue to duck mortar shells. As I noted before, my...
Posted by baltar at 11:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 11, 2007

Are Targeted Sanctions Working in Zimbabwe?

Quite possibly, yes. That's great news....
Posted by armand at 12:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Maybe It Won't Be Sarko vs. Sego After All

The center-right's Francois Bayrou continues to inch up in the public opinion polls, and he's now tied Socialist candidate Segolene Royal for 2nd place. Given that polls have shown Bayrou could defeat either Royal or front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy in a...
Posted by armand at 10:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 03, 2007

A Princess is Born and Thousands Are Pardoned

Yeah they do things differently in other parts of the world. I really don't think President Bush would feel the urge to pardon several thousand people and commute the sentences of over twenty-four thousand more if Laura gave birth to...
Posted by armand at 05:41 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 02, 2007

Tragically Stupid, Updated

As I noted yesterday, our intelligence that North Korea was enriching uranium in violation of 1994's "Agreed Framework" may have been wrong. Today we find out that we may have been wrong on other aspects of North Korea. Knight Ridder/McClatchy...
Posted by baltar at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 01, 2007

Tragically Stupid

Yes, of course, we're talking about Bush's foreign policy again. Just when you think you've reached the nadir of stupidity, something else comes down the pike: For nearly five years, though, the Bush administration, based on intelligence estimates, has accused...
Posted by baltar at 08:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 28, 2007

"Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!"

Would someone please explain this to me: After 28 months of incarceration, Jabour -- who was described by a counterterrorism official in the U.S. government as "a committed jihadist and a hard-core terrorist who was intent on doing harm to...
Posted by baltar at 08:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 25, 2007

Worserer

So, maybe saying that Negroponte isn't an an asshole doesn't even come close. According to Sy Hersh, Negroponte is "too ethical" for the Bush administration. Evidently Negroponte has been troubled by the Bush administration's plans due to his experiences in...
Posted by binky at 02:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 16, 2007

Israel Builds an Arab City

Over at the Head Heeb there's an interesting post that highlights a paradox all too common to political divides in Israel - How does one give the Arabs some autonomy without endangering the ability of individual Arabs to integrate into...
Posted by armand at 03:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2007

Deal on North Korean Nukes

As any news source will tell you, there is a general agreement among the six parties to the appropriately named "Six Party Talks" with regard to the North Korean nuclear program. The general outlines of the argeement are interesting: North...
Posted by baltar at 12:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 09, 2007

And speaking of the intersection of IR and popular culture...

...I'm looking forward to reading Harry Potter and International Relations. And while you're over there, you should check out the post after that book review, on why it is so difficult to debate the war in Iraq....
Posted by binky at 09:27 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 03, 2007

Raising SADDAM After Burying Saddam

I guess I've become too cynical and depressed about our policies in the Middle East (at least on this bitterly cold icy day) to raise a passionate call either for or against this move. Though I guess a big reason...
Posted by armand at 11:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 24, 2007

State Of The Union

I was fairly unimpressed by Bush's State of the Union speech last night. The tone was better (more engaged, more animated) than the dreary "library speech" of 10ish days ago, but the content hasn't really changed much. On domestic policy,...
Posted by baltar at 05:49 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

January 19, 2007

Hegemony

Some general points, based on the very (very) long view of history: 1. No state (or, for those of a historical bent, pre-state - empire, city-state, etc.) achieves permenant supremacy. They all (ALL) fall at some point (when they fall,...
Posted by baltar at 09:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 10, 2007

Uh, I'm Confused.

OK, I just listened to Bush's "New Strategy in Iraq Speech". I remain confused. We have something like 130,000 US troops in Iraq today. Bush is proposing sending an additional five brigades of troops to Iraq (plus 4,000 to Anbar...
Posted by baltar at 09:27 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

I May Have Erred, But That's Because Its Worse Than I Thought.

I argued a couple of days ago that Negroponte was an asshole for leaving ONI. The office is too new, and too fragile and important, to play with. I continue to feel that.However, armand brought this to my attention: Contrary...
Posted by baltar at 11:48 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 08, 2007

Jonathan Renshon

I think "Why Hawks Win" (co-written with the Nobel winner Daniel Kahneman) has been hyped to death on the IR and IR-related blogs. Some interesting thoughts, but the piece seems to have some notable flaws too. That said, it got...
Posted by armand at 03:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 04, 2007

Negroponte is an asshole.

Via the NYT tonight. WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 - John D. Negroponte, whom President Bush installed less than two years ago as the first director of national intelligence, will soon leave his post to become the State Department’s second-ranking official, administration...
Posted by baltar at 12:57 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

December 19, 2006

At least he wasn't a political scientist or we'd never hear the end...

...about commie professors: A psychology professor at Florida International University, Alvarez faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy to become an unregistered foreign agent. Elsa Alvarez, who also worked at the university, faces up to three years in...
Posted by binky at 11:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 17, 2006

The US Is Loathed in the Arab World - And It's Getting Worse

Those are the only conclusions that one can draw from the latest study of public opinion in the Arab world (from Morocco to Saudi Arabia to Lebanon and Jordan). At a time when we need support in the region, desperately,...
Posted by armand at 07:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 12, 2006

The Aroma of Jesus Christ

Faith, family, then country. That's the way to approach national defense. Jesus fucking christ....
Posted by binky at 12:38 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 09, 2006

Catching Up

Binky pointed out to me that we haven't done much on recent political stories (our bread and butter), concentrating mostly on music, infotainment and other sundries. While this is true, I suspect our excuse is related to the fact that...
Posted by baltar at 11:10 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 08, 2006

This is the blog post I thought about writing today...

...but Farley did a better job than I would have with my lack of focus....
Posted by binky at 06:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 03, 2006

Was the Korean War Hard to Avoid?

Micheal Lind's entry in to the "just how bad is George W. Bush?" discussion rates the current president as the fifth worst ever (after Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Nixon and Madison). A key part of this rating stems from Bush waging...
Posted by armand at 12:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 02, 2006

It's Election Day for Canada's Liberals

They believe they are electing the man who will become prime minister after the (expected) 2007 elections. And after a disappointing first ballot, it's looking more and more like that man might not be front-runner Michael Ignatieff. His 29% of...
Posted by armand at 08:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 28, 2006

Immigrants! And they're dark, too!

Ah yes, Tom Tancredo. Helluva way to solidify the Republican base in Miami. Rep. Tom Tancredo, the leader of the anti-illegal immigration faction in the U.S. House, spent a recent weekend at The Breakers in Palm Beach. Ninety miles to...
Posted by binky at 07:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 27, 2006

The Globe and Mail Endorses Stephane Dion

Next weekend Canada's Liberals will elect their new leader. We can debate the value of newspaper endorsements. But when a non-front runner gets the public backing of the country's #2 newspaper, that would seem to be good news - at...
Posted by armand at 04:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 26, 2006

Elections in Bahrain

Brian Ulrich has the results of the elections in Bahrain, and why discusses why politics in Bahrain matters....
Posted by armand at 09:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 25, 2006

David Welch's Painful Choices

Painful Choices: A Theory of Foreign Policy Change is worth your time if you hope to be able to understand foreign policy, and more to the point, fluctuations in foreign policy. It's almost two books in one as the opening...
Posted by armand at 10:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Can the Dutch Harry Potter Manage This?

Another week, another national election in Europe with no clear winner. In Wednesday's election all centrist parties lost votes, including Balkenende's Christian Democrats and the Liberals, which together had pushed through a number of business-friendly, freemarket measures in recent years....
Posted by armand at 08:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 22, 2006

Israel and Same-Sex Marriage

Interesting. Israel's Supreme Court has decided that the Israeli government has to recognize same-sex marriages of Israelis performed abroad. As Israel doesn't have civil marriages, this would seem to be as far as the state could go in supporting same-sex...
Posted by armand at 05:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 17, 2006

The Twelve Who Said No to Our Nuclear Deal with India

The US Senate has signed on to President Bush's extremely troubling nuclear deal with India by a vote of 85-12. It's sets an extremely problematic precedent if we hope to get the proliferation of nuclear weapons under control. The 12...
Posted by armand at 10:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 15, 2006

What Is It With Losing Speakers and the Ambassadorship to Japan?

In case you've forgotten, former House Speaker Tom Foley (D-WA), who ran the House the last time a party was booted out of power there, went on to serve as the US ambassador to Japan from 1997-2001. Guess who a...
Posted by armand at 09:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 14, 2006

Americans to Be Targeted in the Wake of Beit Hanoun

This sounds bad. It's unusual for Palestinian groups to target Americans. And to think - it's stemming from something 99% of Americans (or more) haven't heard of. The second point is that four Palestinian armed factions issued a statement calling...
Posted by armand at 12:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 08, 2006

China to Aid Egypt's Nuclear Program

So this is what President All Hat and No Cattle's distaste for multilateralism, treaties and enforcing the nonproliferation regime can lead to. We'll be so much safer when he's got a lot more free time to clear brush. Sadly, that's...
Posted by armand at 10:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 30, 2006

Lieberman is In, Pines-Paz is Out

In case all you've heard about Israeli politics lately is the rape charges being made against President Katsav ... Avigodr Lieberman is joining the government. Not only that - he's becoming Deputy Prime Minister and Strategic Threats Minister. While most...
Posted by armand at 01:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 23, 2006

Central America

Glad to see someone else picking up the connection I wrote about a year ago. Silber, via Crooks and Liars....
Posted by binky at 09:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Defining Diplomacy

Yes, it means what Yglesias says it means, not what Mallaby and Team Bush seem to think it means (that behavior is called "talking"). Sadly for the country, Team Bush rarely, if ever, does diplomacy. And of course in more...
Posted by armand at 10:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 17, 2006

Venezuela and Guatemala - The Fight on First Avenue

Hey if it worked in Florida in 2000 ...''In the year 2000, I spent 31 days in Florida,'' Bolton told reporters at one point, referring to the long U.S. presidential election recount. ``This has just begun.''Nonetheless, you'd hope that voting...
Posted by armand at 08:29 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 12, 2006

The Government of Turkey is Having an Awful Week

Between Orhan Pamuk winning the Nobel literature prize, and France's new law (or probable law - it's been approved by the lower house of parliament) making it illegal deny the Armenian genocide you've got to figure a lot of painkillers...
Posted by armand at 09:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 11, 2006

W and the Saudis (or at least Bandar)

Quite a lot of the left-leaning blogs have noted the section of the latest Bob Woodward book were presidential candidate George W. Bush is deeply befuddled about why he should care about North Korea (and, relatedly, his deep disdain for...
Posted by armand at 12:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 10, 2006

Bush on North Korea - "It Takes Time"

"Maybe you know more than I do ..." If you can endure it - deal with the chills that run down your spine as you flash to one of those "we are so fucked" or "we're all gonna die!" moments...
Posted by armand at 11:40 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 09, 2006

Jordan's "Really Great Strides"

Oy. So is this yet another example of 1) Condi lying, 2) Condi being incompetent and not knowing what's going on in the world, or 3) the Bush administration's shockingly low standards for political "evolution"?...
Posted by armand at 12:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Don't Panic, Yet.

Uh, don't look now, but I think we have a fairly significant foreign policy crisis: North Korea said Monday it has performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test and the blast had been successfully set off underground with no radioactive leakage...
Posted by baltar at 12:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 06, 2006

It Didn't Take Long, Part III

"State of Denial," page 254. It was all Bremer's fault. No, seriously. That's the claim that the people Woodward interviews are making. A remarkably large number of people are going on record (again, both directly and indirectly) as saying that...
Posted by baltar at 09:17 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 05, 2006

It Didn't Take Long, Part II.

State of Denial, by Woodward, page 179. This is really a facinating book. It's very different from "Bush at War" and "Plan of Attack" (previous books by Woodward; the first about Afghanistan, the second about Iraq up to the day...
Posted by baltar at 10:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It Didn't Take Long.

I'm on page 71 of "State of Denial" by Woodward. Rumsfeld has managed to be a complete idiot once, and a partial idiot twice. Chronologically, we haven't even gotten to August, 2001. Gonna be a long book. (Oh, Woodward's usual...
Posted by baltar at 06:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 02, 2006

Georgia

No, the other Georgia. Georgia, acting to defuse its worst crisis with Russia for years, said on Monday it would hand over to European mediators four Russian army officers arrested on spying charges. But reports that Moscow had suddenly ordered...
Posted by binky at 08:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 30, 2006

Canada's Liberals Have Their "Super Weekend"

So far the results are largely what was widely expected - former Harvard professor Michael Ignatieff has taken the lead, but it's not a commanding lead. Voting will continue throughout the weekend....
Posted by armand at 11:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Pakistan Has Made the Taliban Stronger (Again)

A U.S. military official said Wednesday that American troops on Afghanistan's eastern border have seen a threefold increase in attacks since a recent truce between Pakistani troops and pro-Taliban tribesmen that was supposed to have stopped cross-border raids by the...
Posted by armand at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2006

Democratization: Nossel's 10 Rules to Remember

They're good ones....
Posted by armand at 02:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Is South Korea Buying the Office of Secretary General?

There's more than a little evidence to suggest that they are.And the South Korean candidate continues to lead in the straw polls. In yesterday's poll Ban received 13 "encourage votes, 1 "discourage" and 1 "no opinion". India's Sashi Tharoor came...
Posted by armand at 11:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 28, 2006

Speechless

And so, it becomes official: The United States Senate voted the "compromise" detainee bill out this evening. The House of Representatives voted it out previously. It will become law within a matter of days. The bill establishes a legal foundation...
Posted by baltar at 11:01 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 26, 2006

NIE online

Excerpts here and a link to the PDF file....
Posted by binky at 08:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 24, 2006

Why The Democrats Will Lose Seats In This November's Elections.*

(* And If They Don't, Why They Deserve To.) Dear Democratic Party, We (the country) recently had an interesting debate about torture. It was called something besides torture (stress positions, "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment", whatever the hell the latest...
Posted by baltar at 12:11 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

September 20, 2006

The Duck Quacks Well.

Over at the Duck of Minerva, PTJ argues that 9/11 didn't really change the world, but 9/20 (2001) did. What happened on 9/20? The President gave a (no famous) speech. In it, he proclaimed that the US would pursue terrorists...
Posted by baltar at 10:56 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

The Next Mubarak Wants Egypt to Go Nuclear?

Oh boy, one of our strongest allies (and by that I mean a military/family/party dictatorship that's received billions from us and has an active and seemingly widely-supported banned Islamist opposition that would do great if free elections were allowed) in...
Posted by armand at 02:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 19, 2006

Is This Good or Bad?

The Thai military has launched a coup to remove the Prime Minister, who has been accused of corruption and abuse of power. The Prime Minister was in New York, for the UN General Assembly. There has been no reported blood...
Posted by baltar at 12:45 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 18, 2006

Why We Should NOT Clarify Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions

Radley Balko gets to the heart of the matter: In any case, the vagueness of the phrase "outrages on personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment" is a real strength of the Convention, not a flaw. Why? Because those...
Posted by armand at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"The Stans" Commit to Being Nuclear-Weapons-Free

Woo-hoo! Some good news in the world of IR, if, like me, you consider the proliferation of nuclear weapons to be a grave threat to national security. The five Stans have agreed to making their countries a nuclear-weapons-free zone. I...
Posted by armand at 12:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 17, 2006

More Movement in the Race to Succeed Annan at the UN

In the wake of a straw poll that seemed to suggest that South Korea's Ban was on an inside track to become the next Secretary-General (depending on exactly who voted against him), the United States has expressed some concern with...
Posted by armand at 09:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2006

The Latest Straw Poll in the Race for Secretary-General

Are we really going to have a South Korean Secretary-General? It's looking more and more like that's going to happen. And I'm surprised Prince Zeid didn't do better (and that the Sri Lankan is still bothering to stay in the...
Posted by armand at 11:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2006

Bias or Bad Day?

The "above the fold" stories in today's (paper versions) New York Times and Washington Post: New York Times: At a Secret Interrogation, Dispute Flared Over Tactics, about the internal debate among the CIA, FBI and other agencies about the legalities...
Posted by baltar at 12:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 07, 2006

Creative Insults

I've just started Fiasco by Tom Ricks, a book I've assigned as extra credit for my "Global Political Issues" class. I'm only a few pages in, but I did find this aside somewhat entertaining: [Wolfowitz's] soft voice and mild manner...
Posted by baltar at 11:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Irrestible (Fun to Watch) Demise of Tony Blair

As Kevin has noted at Political Animal, if you aren't following the escalating intra-party brawl surrounding just exactly when Tony Blair will step down as prime minister, you are missing a highly-entertaining show.On the substance of this, Brown is of...
Posted by armand at 09:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 06, 2006

Who Gets to Choose Zambia's Next Leader?

Zambians or China? Yet another illustration of China's growing influence in the developing world, especially in mineral-rich Africa ......
Posted by armand at 11:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 05, 2006

Is That Blood On The Floor?

Belgravia Dispatch Wow. When the moderates loathe you, it's time to hang it up....
Posted by baltar at 09:51 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Pakistan, Safe Haven to the Bad Guys

Not content with merely housing the world's number 1 nuclear-arms proliferator in palatial luxury, Pakistan has now publicly stated that it is giving Osama Bin Laden free rein to do what he likes in Pakistan without fear of arrest, provided...
Posted by armand at 09:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 01, 2006

The Lebanon War - A Boon for Syria as Israel's Blockade Continues?

Far too much of the press coverage on Lebanon since the cease-fire has seemed to suggest - hey, Lebanon can now get on with rebuilding. Well, no, not yet it can't. The Israeli blockade continues and vital shipments of goods...
Posted by armand at 02:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 30, 2006

Your IR/IO Trivia Question of the Day

OK, everybody knows that there are 5 states that are permanently on the UN Security Council. But the permanent members aren't the only countries that have been on the Council for several years (though, yes, they've been on far, far...
Posted by armand at 01:26 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 29, 2006

UN Security Council Elections

On NPR this morning there was a story on the race between Venezuela and Guatemala for a seat on the UN Security Council. If you want to know more about the processes involved in Security Council elections, and the other...
Posted by armand at 08:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 28, 2006

Gerson Just Doesn't Get It (But He Sure Can Draw Straw Men)

Where can I sign up with the skeptical realists? Where do I get my membership card and toaster? OK, more seriously, that link is to yet another great post by Greg at Belgravia Dispatch. And yeah, I realize that understanding...
Posted by armand at 12:07 PM | TrackBack

August 24, 2006

Politics Trumps Reason

It's getting to the point where the Administration (and supporters) just don't need any intelligence services at all. They already know everything they need to know about the world. Just ask them: Some senior Bush administration officials and top Republican...
Posted by baltar at 11:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 22, 2006

Bush Decides - Another 2 Years and 5 Months in Iraq

Does anyone else find it peculiar that in the coverage (what there's been of it) of the president's statement that he's never going to leave Iraq there doesn't seem to be much of a focus on the fact that he's...
Posted by armand at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2006

Will Peretz Lose the Labor Party Leadership in Israel?

Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz appears to be facing a strong challenge for the party leadership, in the wake of the war in Lebanon....
Posted by armand at 01:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Did Hezbollah Win? Does It Want to Win?

James Wimberley has some interesting thoughts on the wants, motivations and goals of Hezbollah. To me, the key lines are these - "Like the Knights Templars or the arms industry in different contexts, Hezbollah needs its conflict with Israel to...
Posted by armand at 11:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 20, 2006

Let's Declare Victory

This morning James Fallows was interviewed on NPR. If you haven't read his cover story ("Declaring Victory") in the current issue of The Atlantic, I recommend it. There's not a lot new in it exactly. For example, some of it...
Posted by armand at 10:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Iran and Hizbollah Victorious

Olivier Roy is right, as he often is - the "winners" of the fighting in Lebanon are Hizbollah and Iran, and if they can actually get some "old" Europeans tied down in Southern Lebanon it will be that much more...
Posted by armand at 09:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 19, 2006

Early Islamic Principles of Governance

Perhaps President Bush might want to think about importing some traditional principles of governance from the Islamic world, instead of being focused so exclusively on exporting a few political notions that he personally favors....
Posted by armand at 11:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 16, 2006

Greatest Paragraph Ever Written About Thomas Friedman

The World is Flat is a book by Thomas Friedman. As I refuse to recognize Thomas Friedman's right to exist, I decided to read Cobra II by Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor instead. Found at Lawyers, Guns, and Money....
Posted by baltar at 10:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yes, He's Really That Dumb.

The New York Times had a headline this morning: Bush Said to Be Frustrated by Level of Public Support in Iraq. The article goes on to describe a meeting Bush had with advisors last week, where the President seem annoyed...
Posted by baltar at 09:00 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

August 10, 2006

Woodrow Wilson 2.0: Now With Full Action Flight Suit!

By now everyone and his brother (well, maybe not my brother) seems to have adopted the view that the Bush administartion is basically an series of effective sales pitches masking a series of unworkable, dangerous or incoherent policies. And yes,...
Posted by armand at 04:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

All I have to say about this is that...

...it's a good thing the British aren't taking a law enforcement approach to terror. British police acted urgently overnight, arresting 21 people in what U.S. government officials said privately could have been the biggest terrorist attack since 9/11. Goodness. I...
Posted by binky at 02:41 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 07, 2006

Force and Politics

I'm disturbed by the continued arguments (most, though not exclusively, right wing) that the use of force solves problems for states. I'm not going to bother with a laundry list of sites who argue this, but it's inherent in the...
Posted by baltar at 08:03 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Does the US Really Want Democracy in Egypt?

Praktike thinks the recent actions of the Egyptian opposition (in response to the war in Lebanon and Israel) show it can't be trusted with power.That's something you'd think the White House would have considered before they wedded themselves to the...
Posted by armand at 08:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 06, 2006

An Iran/Hezbollah Link Regarding the July 12 Attack?

Greg Sargent notes an oddly under-reported revelation regarding the war raging in Lebanon and Israel. Officials also say that available intelligence does not offer proof that Iran inspired or directed the Hezbollah kidnappings and rocket launchings that set off the...
Posted by armand at 10:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 04, 2006

Keeping an Eye on Egypt

In this morning's links Juan Cole provides updates on the horrors in Lebanon (the bombings and destruction of course, but also the effects of Israel shutting off fuel shipments to Lebanon), but he also keeps an eye on Gaza (big...
Posted by armand at 08:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 03, 2006

Peretz v. Olmert on Expanded Operations in Lebanon

Interesting - the head of Labor is apparently pushing for a major military offensive on the ground in Lebanon, and the head of Likud (oh, sorry Kadima - most of what used to be Likud) is reluctant to push that....
Posted by armand at 08:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cavanaugh, Pape and Hezbollah as an Organization

C'mon, how can you not love this? If I may channel my inner Raphael Patai for one generalization ... Really though, Cavanaugh raises a very interesting point. I'm not sure if he's right or if Pape is (my first response...
Posted by armand at 07:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 01, 2006

Maybe it's really hot there too

The DMZ got a little warm today. Border guards of the two Koreas briefly traded fire Monday but there were no South Korean casualties, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Tuesday. The shootout occurred around 7:35 p.m. in Yanggu...
Posted by binky at 06:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 31, 2006

Haass on Bush on Lebanon

The Cunning Realist picks up this pithy comment by Richard Haass (the director of policy planning at State during President Bush's first term), on President Bush's statement that the disaster in Lebanon is an "opportunity":"An opportunity?" Haass said with an...
Posted by armand at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Updates on the War in Lebanon and Israel

Marc Lynch notes how the war is gravely weakening (killing off entirely?) the domestic political position of moderating and liberalizing forces in the Arab world. Since 9/11 this has been a constant refrain among many Arab reformers and liberals: Bush's...
Posted by armand at 07:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 30, 2006

Yet More Secrecy.

Does anyone remember the debates about the numbers of "Level 1" versus "Level 2" Iraqi battalions? You remember, a "Level 1" battalion can stand and fight without US assistance, while a "Level 2" could fight with US support (logistics, air,...
Posted by baltar at 08:56 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The Australians in 2003 - Limiting the US Attack in Iraq

I found this story off a link on Juan Cole's site - does anyone know about this? It's the first I'd heard of the practice.In one instance, Major General McNarn vetoed a US plan to drop a range of huge...
Posted by armand at 09:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The British Cabinet Strikes the Bush/Blair Tweedleedum/Tweedledee Routine

Mr Blair said he would carry on backing Mr Bush to the hilt. "I will never apologise for Britain being a strong ally of the United States," he told the BBC. Ummmm, ok Mr. Prime Minister - but if you...
Posted by armand at 12:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 29, 2006

Bourdain in Beirut

Watching Beirut Die. Hat tip to Feministe....
Posted by binky at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 27, 2006

The More Things Don't Change

Remember how back in 2002 the Bush administration waited until a few days after Congress voted on the Iraq War resolution to bother to disclose the extent of North Korea's nuclear activity? Well, in 2006 they've gotten even less subtle....
Posted by armand at 05:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 26, 2006

Israel, Turkey and US Double Standards

So the president isn't raising a word of concern while the Israelis kill hundreds of Lebanese civilians in response to a few dozen Israelis being killed by Hezbollah troops based in Lebanon. He urges strong action to deal with the...
Posted by armand at 12:19 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

July 25, 2006

The 1st Straw Poll in the Race to Succeed Annan

Who Will Be the Next UN Secretary-General? has posted the results of the first Security Council straw poll in the race to succeed Kofi Annan. The members of the Security Council voted on the four individuals who have been formally...
Posted by armand at 02:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Did the Bush Administration Kill the Doha Trade Talks?

Everyone else seems to think so.This is really pathetic, awful and destabilizing all roled up in one. Yet more big-government lovin'/corporate welfare (subsidies) from Team Bush (though yeah this version is kind of retro and whatnot with the beneficiaries including...
Posted by armand at 02:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Huntington, NATO and Lebanon

Why this is a scary combination. Go. Read....
Posted by binky at 12:39 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

July 24, 2006

Pakistan Is Trying to Go REALLY Nuclear

This strikes me as a gigantic threat to global stability, the kind of thing that in times of a competent presidency you'd think we'd prioritize stopping. But given the presidency that we have, and the president's current plan to legitimize...
Posted by armand at 03:48 PM | Comments (49) | TrackBack

July 23, 2006

Sunday Afternoon Newspaper Roundup

I read the Sunday papers so you don't have to: Most Interesting Story: The US is reducing our military spending in Africa. Why is this interesting? Al Qaeda (short term) and raw materials (long term). Follow me here. The Republican...
Posted by baltar at 01:56 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Cursed is the Peacemaker by John Boykin

If any of you are interested in a good, fast read on Lebanon during an Israeli invasion, and US/Israeli interactions during such an event, I recomend John Boykin's Cursed is the Peacemaker. It's primarily the tale of Phil Habib, when...
Posted by armand at 01:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2006

The UK Calls Out the US Over Israeli Attacks

Tony Blair stands doesn't disagree with his minister's comments criticizing Israel, and implicitly criticizing the US for not doing more to bring an end to the conflict"I very much hope that the Americans understand what's happening to Lebanon. The destruction...
Posted by armand at 01:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Condi Fiddles While Lebanon Burns

"What I won't do is go to some place and try to get a cease-fire that I know isn't going to last," she said.OK, so how about going to a war zone where innocent lives are being snuffed out every...
Posted by armand at 10:41 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 21, 2006

A Good Iraq Post, and Some Inside Baseball for IR Geeks

Duck of Minerva has a retrospective on the buildup and execution of the Iraq War (2003 - 200?): The overall assumption evident throughout the political appointees of the Administration (and among Neo-con talking heads) was that inside each little Iraqi...
Posted by baltar at 11:02 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Mahmoud Al-Zheimers

The War on Terrorble Diseases....
Posted by binky at 01:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

The Funships and Warships of Beirut

It's a complicated place with many possibilities, but I still never expected to see this sentence, not even there: "There are so many warships and cruiseliners in the sea in front of Beirut that it looks like a cross between...
Posted by armand at 08:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 19, 2006

The Dangers of Believing in "Hidden Hand" Foreign Policy

This post by William Arkin is rather interesting. You might want to read the whole thing. In this version of the tale, Hamas and Hezbollah are reduced to almost unimportant dupes of Iran and Syria, Lebanon is just a victimized...
Posted by armand at 03:07 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 18, 2006

Dead Iraqis as a Sign of Progress

As Lawyers, Guns, and Money notes, some 3100 Iraqi civilians died in June alone. Of course, this is either good news or bad news - depending on your ideological position. The Right Wing will argue that this result is good...
Posted by baltar at 11:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

An Evacuation to Rival Dunkirk

I'm often not much of a Tony Blair fan, but I'll approvingly note that the British government is going to the rescue of Britons stranded in Lebanon in grand style, sending the fleet flagship and five other warships to do...
Posted by armand at 05:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

George Will Has Left the Reservation

He seems to have lost faith in the administration's faith in democracy, and finds how they prove "success" to be disturbing. Rice called it "shortsighted" to judge the success of the administration's transformational ambitions by a "snapshot" of progress "some...
Posted by armand at 09:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 17, 2006

The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

Yay! For seemingly the first time in weeks there's some good news to report in foreign policy. However just how good this news really is remains to be seen since this accord has "no central organization or headquarters, and little...
Posted by armand at 01:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Right-Wing Nutosphere

I try not to feed the right-wing loonies that exist in the world wide internet webby thing. There are sufficient blogs to play that game. However, Hugh Hewitt took a dive off the very, very deep end into solid concrete...
Posted by baltar at 11:52 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Our Prez, At It Again (Part 293,494)

Yeah, some of you will write this off as yet-another "Baltar raving about Bush" post, but I think there is an important point here. According to multiple news sources (I'm using the New York Times), Bush said some interesting things...
Posted by baltar at 11:11 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Farley on Hezbollah, Iran and the "Resolve" Argument

Robert Farley makes some key, basic points about the connections between Iran and Hezbollah here. It's only three paragraphs, but these are key points that we should keep in mind during this crisis. And among the implications of them are...
Posted by armand at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 14, 2006

John McDonnell for PM?

The race is on. One candidate has stepped forward and formally announced he will be running for the Labour leadership when Tony Blair steps down. And he's not named Gordon Brown. I don't think anyone thinks McDonnell has any chance...
Posted by armand at 02:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 13, 2006

Acts of War

UPDATE: Now Israel is bombing bridges and highways. END UPDATE That's what the Israeli Prime Minister and Lebanese Minister of the Interior are calling it now. Israeli forces struck Beirut's international airport for the second time Thursday, hitting fuel tanks...
Posted by binky at 04:56 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Israel?

In response to Hezbollah seizing two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, Israel has bombed the Beirut airport, blockaded the Lebanese coast, closed Lebanese airspace, and sent armored columns across the border. What the hell? I'm sorry two Israeli soldiers...
Posted by baltar at 09:53 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

July 12, 2006

Ignorance of the Law is no Excuse

Once again, more evidence for my perpetual lament about the necessity of crafting good laws that are consistent with the Constitution because the stupidity of those who implement them knows no bounds. This time, it's Tucker Carlson who shows us...
Posted by binky at 04:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

On Reagan, Lebanon and Honoring Sacrifice

One of the things that annoys me no end with our political system is that we elect someone to be the leader of the free world, give them a level of power that's pretty close to beyond imagination - and...
Posted by armand at 10:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 11, 2006

Major, major change in US Detainee Policy

It's all over the news, and I'm sure we're not the first blog to put it up, but the US government (specifically, the White House via a DoD memo) announced that all detainees worldwide will be treated according to the...
Posted by baltar at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 10, 2006

Good news from Iraq!

Our knickers would be even more twisty if we had half a clue what was going on over there. Including blacklisting reporters who don't toe the government's line on what's happening in Iraq: But the military has started censoring many...
Posted by binky at 08:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

George W. Bush's Presideny, Shameless and Dangerous (Yes, Again)

Oh, puh-leeze, how can anyone - even Tony Snow - suggest that this presidency's approach to North Korea isn't a debacle, and that President Clinton's was somehow worse (and why would that be remotely relevant in the first place, even...
Posted by armand at 04:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 06, 2006

Team Bush's Positively Kissingerian "Support" for Democracy Continues

When it comes to HAMAS it seems this is the rule - If the Palestinians aren't going to elect the people that we want them to elect, why should we support their choice? In fact, we should actively support efforts...
Posted by armand at 10:07 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 03, 2006

More Iran Stuff

New Seymore Hersh article from the New Yorker is online (here). While it's long, the most interesting stuff is in the first half: the military is really pushing back against Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld and their idea of bombing the Iranian nuclear program....
Posted by baltar at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 29, 2006

Donate Money to Charity, Get Compared to Mengele

Emphasis mine: Warren Buffett's new philanthropic alliance with fellow billionaire Bill Gates won widespread praise this week, but anti-abortion activists did not join in, instead assailing the two donors for their longtime support of Planned Parenthood and international birth-control programs....
Posted by binky at 08:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 25, 2006

Defeatism by the Iraqi Embassy

Still catching up on all the fun stuff I missed. Via The Cunning Realist, I read this (warning: pdf) cable/message from Khalilzad to the State Department Headquarters sent last week. It's depressing stuff: among the Iraqi employees of the embassy,...
Posted by baltar at 10:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 24, 2006

Tantrums by North Korea

While I've been away, things do not seem to have changed a great deal (Bad: Iraq, US Soccer, Afghanistan, inflation, heat waves; Good: Bush's approval rating inching up, no actual all-out civil war in Iraq, not much else). However, that...
Posted by baltar at 01:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 19, 2006

The Race to Lead the UN: A Contest of Individuals or Nations?

If you haven't been following the contest that's afoot over who will succeed Kofi Annan, Chapter 15 is your best source for information. Today they have this interesting post on the degree to which this race is about the qualities...
Posted by armand at 09:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 18, 2006

The Bush Administration and Iran: When to Negotiate

What Kevin says. That demonstrates some savvy foreign policy insight, doesn't it? Turn down an unprecedented offer from Iran when they're weak and we're strong, and then three years later reluctantly agree to much narrower talks when they're stronger and...
Posted by armand at 04:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 15, 2006

Hmmm...Amnesty?

Via today's WaPo, we see that Maliki (the new Iraqi Prime Minister) is making a serious attempt at fixing the security situation by both increasing troops (Baghdad is filled with Iraqi police and military) and by political strategy - he...
Posted by baltar at 10:22 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

June 12, 2006

The Referendum is Set, While the Palestine Authority Feuds

In case you haven't noticed it amid the coverage of the World Cup, the French Open, the start of hurricane season, and the Steelers' QB's motorcycle accident - it looks like the Palestine Authority is collapsing into civil war, or...
Posted by armand at 10:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

(Some) US House Members Demand Reforms from Mubarak

The Bushadministration/GOP Congress continues to talk-up "democratic reforms" while taking no firm actions against a number of major non-democratic states - in fact, firmly arguing against punishing these opponents of democratic reforms. This is the story again in again in...
Posted by armand at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 11, 2006

The New UN General Assembly President

The last time a woman was elected to lead the UN General Assembly (1969), Bahrain wasn't even an independent state - but last week a Bahraini diplomat and legal pioneer was elected to lead that body. Haya Rashed al Khalifah...
Posted by armand at 09:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 27, 2006

Putin's Not the Only Leader Blocking Freedom in Russia

For our readers interested in Russian politics - 70 people were arrested in Moscow for trying to hold the city's first gay-rights rally.Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said he had banned the march because he believed homosexuality was not natural and...
Posted by armand at 11:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Pakistan and the Taliban - A Friendship Renewed?

The markedly high level of this month's violence in Afghanistan suggests that the power of the Taliban is increasing. Is one reason for this increasing support for the Taliban from Pakistan?...
Posted by armand at 02:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 21, 2006

Volokh on Iran's Jewish Parlimentarian

Who knew? Uh, anyone who's taken my class on the region's politics, anyone who's read most basic, introductory reports or chapters on the nature, workings and composition of the Iranian government ... This post serves as a reminder that when...
Posted by armand at 01:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 15, 2006

Libya - Now Just Like Any Other State

While it's far (very, very far) from being a paradise or all one would hope to find in a state, today's move to normalize relations between the US and Libya makes sense. I don't care for Libya's leader, but we...
Posted by armand at 02:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 13, 2006

No, That's Not The Way It Works

I may have missed a previous occurance of this, but as far as I know this is the first recorded instance of Iraqi Army units fighting each other. This is bad news. It is, in fact, very bad news. It...
Posted by baltar at 01:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 11, 2006

And while the party in power spends its time worrying about sluts and homos...

...Russia is engaging in a little signalling: The main themes of Putin's speech were the importance of the Russian army and the need to increase the country's birthrate, calling the persistent population decline one of the most serious problems facing...
Posted by binky at 01:22 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

May 08, 2006

Tony Blair's Horrible Reshuffle

I didn't like it, but this (unusually cleverly written) analysis of Tony Blair's reshuffling of his cabinet is devastating. It's well worth your time if you are interested in British politics. And it really makes one wonder - has Blair...
Posted by armand at 05:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 06, 2006

Is Our Iraqi Government Set to Allow an Anti-Gay Genocide?

I don't use that word lightly - but since "Grand Ayatollah Sistani recently issued a fatwa on his website calling for the execution of gays in the 'worst, most severe way'" - the Shiite militias (which to all intents and...
Posted by armand at 11:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 05, 2006

Tony Blair's Cabinet Reshuffle

A lot of Labourites (and especially Gordon Brown fans) must be pissed today (I mean the American version of "pissed" though maybe that'll lead to them becoming the British version of "pissed"). Prime Minister Tony Blair has carried out the...
Posted by armand at 05:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 30, 2006

The Bad Gets Worse for Reformists in Egypt

Of course the attacks on what judicial independence exists were ugly. But this really puts the nail in the coffin of reform. Egypt's parliament complied with a request from President Hosni Mubarak to extend the country's 25-year old emergency laws...
Posted by armand at 06:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 25, 2006

The Latest Bin Laden Tape & The Clash of Civilizations

Marc Lynch has an excellent run-down on the latest incitement from Usama Bin Laden. It's not about Iraq, HAMAS, or Darfur - Bin Laden's focus is much wider. He still seeks to be a "constructivist" actor, fomenting opposition to a...
Posted by armand at 09:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 23, 2006

Robert D. Kaplan, Obtuse and Misleading

Oy. What should we make of this column? Borders may be eroding and stateless terrorist groups like al-Qaeda proliferating, but don't be fooled: The traditional state remains the most dangerous force on the international scene. Perhaps the greatest security threat...
Posted by armand at 10:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 22, 2006

Who DIDN'T Get Confirmed for Karzai's Government

Getting 80% of his nominees confirmed shows that the leader of Afghanistan has some strength in parliament and an ability to lead his country. But the nominees who were blocked show the power that extremely conservative religious leaders retain over...
Posted by armand at 01:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 21, 2006

Update on Dr. Madhu

More messages have been coming in about the situation of the protesters arrested in Nepal. Because at least one of them, Madhu, is a friend of a friend, and has been a long standing friend to the U.S. through his...
Posted by binky at 04:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 20, 2006

Free Madhu

For those who haven't been following the situation in Nepal, the government imposed a curfew designed to further restrict the freedoms of its opposition. The ongoing strife has been painted by the government as largely controlled by Maoist guerillas, however...
Posted by binky at 04:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 15, 2006

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Or not. Ahmadinejad represents Satan Hmmm...there's a point at which rallying your base becomes counter-productive at the international level. This I can buy, actually, though the "madman" bit isn't going to open too many doors: History knew how to denounce...
Posted by binky at 08:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 03, 2006

The Death of Traditional Foreign Policy As We Know It

Sometime over the last three years, Realism died. Realism is the most-widely-accepted (which doesn't make it right, just accepted by more people) theory of international politics. It argues that states are self-interested actors (no matter what their position, power, religion,...
Posted by baltar at 11:24 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 02, 2006

The UK: A Target of Terrorism Because of Their War on Terrorism

On Juan Cole's site I found these two links. It's entirely predictable that this would happen. But that doesn't make it any less troubling....
Posted by armand at 01:54 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 01, 2006

The Bill Napolis of Hostage Criticism

Rarely do I take an interest in blog-versus-blog throwdowns, especially when it involves calling out intolerant gasbags on their stupidity. Especially when I'm busy. However, reading Steve Gilliard's post criticizing some of the wingnutosphere's response to Jill Carroll's release reminded...
Posted by binky at 06:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 30, 2006

Two Sperm Meet and Talk in an Airport

And people think Israeli politics is all about bombs and violence. Hardly. I imagine it'll be some time before campaign ads in the US look like this....
Posted by armand at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 28, 2006

Caspar Weinberger Died Today

Not my most favorite SecDef, but he seemed somehow better than most of the rest of the cast of characters that Reagan surrounded himself with.He was 88. WaPo obituary. Of course, his greatest moment was this: And the reply, of...
Posted by baltar at 11:55 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 26, 2006

Madeleine Albright's Largely Realist Plan for Iran

Given the post on Realism from a few days ago, I thought I'd link to this Steve Clemons post. In it he discusses Secretary Albright's current views on what's going on in the Middle East, and what the US should...
Posted by armand at 08:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Two Days to Go

Jonathan's got a nice, concise post on the politics and mechanics of the national election that Israeli is (finally) having on Tuesday. And for those of you who are into election systems, the first comment is from Matthew Shugat on...
Posted by armand at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 24, 2006

Iran Willing to Publicly Talk to the Great Satan

This is big, and potentially a great thing. We've had back-channel communications quite frequently (and Iraq might well be a much more dangerous place right now if we hadn't), but publicly-recognized discussions, no. Iran offered Thursday to enter into talks...
Posted by armand at 01:07 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 22, 2006

Realism and Israel

I have really attempted to avoid getting stuck in the silliness that is the debate over the Mearsheimer & Walt article (full pdf version here). The whole debate seems useless to me. Mearsheimer and Walt are both "realists", which is...
Posted by baltar at 09:18 PM | Comments (40) | TrackBack

March 20, 2006

The "New" Afghanistan - Where They Execute Christians

WTF!?!?! An Afghan man is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death on a charge of converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime under this country's Islamic laws, a judge said Sunday....
Posted by armand at 01:49 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Iraqi Civil War

Is there a civil war in Iraq? Yes, though it does not immediately threaten the Iraqi Government. Interesting post, and lots of good information....
Posted by baltar at 11:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2006

Tomorrow's Security Threats

The latest issue of The Atlantic includes an interesting poll. They asked a large, bipartisan group of experts (practitioners, academics and people who've worked as both) which states they thought would pose the greatest threat to the United States over...
Posted by armand at 01:21 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

March 10, 2006

Somebody Write This Down: I Agree With Bush

This doesn't happen very often (and when it does, I usually need to think twice to make sure I'm not doing something stupid), but I agree fully with President Bush's position on this whole Dubai port ownership business. President Bush...
Posted by baltar at 03:38 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

March 04, 2006

Bush's Unilateralism Continues: The Proposed Indian Nuke Deal

Fred Kaplan isn't happy with the president's nuclear proposals with India - and it sees it as a continuation of a distressing pattern.The pattern is hair-raising. In Iraq, Bush & Co. crashed the gates with no plan for what to...
Posted by armand at 05:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 01, 2006

William Arkin: Fed Up With Pakistan, and Bush's Support for It

Gosh, tell us how you really feel.President Bush and Osama bin Laden are visiting the same country this week ... If ever there were an unreliable partner, one who says one thing and does another, it is Pakistan ...Pakistan on...
Posted by armand at 11:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 19, 2006

So You Want Elections, But Your Side Might Lose ...

Helena Cobban notes strategies employed by those who want elections - but not a situation in which the people and policies of supported by most of a country's population actually rule....
Posted by armand at 03:03 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

What's going on with Italy?

First the Prime Minister takes a vow of celibacy, and now this: Critics of Roberto Calderoli, the reforms minister who showed off his T-shirt on television earlier this week, blamed him for the violence and even his own political...
Posted by binky at 01:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 17, 2006

Guantanamo Evidence False

Here's a snip, but check out the whole thing: DIGGING INTO GUANTANAMO....I'm quite late getting to last week's National Journal cover story about the prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay, but thanks to Jon Henke at QandO I've now figured...
Posted by binky at 06:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2006

Quote of the Day (and a reading suggestion)

Not that this is new news, but winning the (smaller) war in Iraq and the (larger) war against fundamentalist Islam will be harder than we thought, and take longer than we want: ...the number of books translated by the whole...
Posted by baltar at 12:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 10, 2006

Surprising Turns in Israel and the UK

The head of Shin Bet says that the Israelis may miss Saddam Hussein. I repeat, that was said by the head of SHIN BET - in public! Whatever will George Bush and Joe Lieberman say in response? The Liberal Democrats,...
Posted by armand at 11:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 09, 2006

The Danish Cartoons: More Evidence Samuel Huntington's Wrong

As if more were needed ...That's the implication of this Olivier Roy column, and of course Roy knows vastly more about Islamic politics than Huntington. Roy notes that what we are seeing isn't a "Clash of Civilizations" between the West...
Posted by armand at 01:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 07, 2006

When the Iranians and Israelis Were "Thick as Thieves"

Michael O'Hare remembers a different age - not one necessarily full of cute kittens and snuggly bunnies, but relatively ......
Posted by armand at 03:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Who is left?

From the WaPo: Grenier's departure comes at a time when the agency is bleeding top talent, robbing the CIA of institutional memory and damaging morale among case officers and analysts. Since Porter J. Goss became director in September 2004, well...
Posted by binky at 09:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 03, 2006

The Next "S-G"

Richard Holbrooke updates readers on the race to succeed Kofi Annan as Secretary-General of the United Nations. Annan's second (and final) term will end on December 31st....
Posted by armand at 04:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 02, 2006

Live long...

...and build nukes? Sometimes I wonder about the picture selection at CNN....
Posted by binky at 08:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 01, 2006

The Bush Administration Falls Madly in (Hetero) Love With Iranian Foriegn Policy

When, you know, it comes to oppressing the gays. I guess there are some times when the president is damn happy it's "held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and oppressing its people" (to use the president's...
Posted by armand at 04:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 31, 2006

Further Evidence that Condi's Inept or a Huge Liar (so, from the Files of Duh)

I mean if neither I nor my graduate students is that suprised, we are in a seriously fucked-up mess if our Secretary of State was taken by surprise by HAMAS's victory. Sadly (for the lives and interests of Americans), it's...
Posted by armand at 12:07 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 30, 2006

The Other Side of the Pond

While it's always good to now that foreign heads of state have taken abstinence pledges, it's also nice to move away from the celebutainmet of CNN now and again to see what the grownups consider to be the pressing news...
Posted by binky at 12:17 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 29, 2006

So far from God...

This article is about Haiti, not Mexico, but the old phrase applies. The multi-page (I've linked you to the single page version, not the 11 page version) article dissects the U.S. involvement in Haiti, and how official foreign policy was...
Posted by binky at 09:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 28, 2006

Remember North Korea?

Jeffrey Stacey asks a good question - "Why is the U.S. devoting so much time to an Iran that is ten years away from producing nuclear weapons compared with a rocket-proliferating regime that is now actively producing nuclear bombs?" You...
Posted by armand at 04:13 PM | Comments (37) | TrackBack

January 26, 2006

New Bloggy Stuff

Discovered on the web: Blue Force, a "blue" state national security blog. Interesting stuff (from whatever direction you come from). For those interested in the subject, Arms and Influence is also good, as well as Armchair Generalist. Also, Crooked Timber...
Posted by baltar at 11:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yet Another Gay Revelation in the Lib Dem Leadership Race

WTF!?! I have nothing against gays in high office, but you'd think some people would have a better sense of timing about when to be honest about their sexuality. The Liberal Democrats, the UK's third largest party, are in the...
Posted by armand at 04:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2006

How the Israeli Bombing of Osirak Made Saddam a Bigger Threat

I hope the people who are charged with making Iran policy in the Bush administration read this piece by Joseph Cirincione. The popular legend about the Israeli bombing isn't accurate - and the facts of that incident are among the...
Posted by armand at 05:56 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 22, 2006

Bush Spending Millions of US Dollars to Favor the Palestinian Authority in This Week's Elections

Throwing around lots of cash and trying to manipulate election results - would we expect anything else of the Bush administration? It's not that I'm necessarily opposed to this operation. But it makes it abundantly clear that it's not the...
Posted by armand at 11:44 AM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

January 19, 2006

IR Theory According to Condi Rice, Ph.D.

"The fundamental character of regimes now matters more than the international distribution of power."So this is my question to the other members of the Coup (and anyone else who'd like to chime in) - do you think she'd still pass...
Posted by armand at 09:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 18, 2006

Bush, Cheney and Gonzalez - Secretly French?

Or at least desperately wishing to emulate the Jerry Lewis-lovers (who, the report notes, have what are arguably the most aggressive and successful anti-terrorism policies in Europe)?...
Posted by armand at 04:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Who Does Krauthammer Hate More - Iran or Europe?

Now Charles Krauthammer is well known for columns that border somewhere between the inane and nonsensical - but even for him, this is a doozy. He thinks Europeans are weak-willed whiners who ... well, what exactly? He spends the whole...
Posted by armand at 09:15 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 14, 2006

Vice President Cheney - Bin Laden's Best Ally in 2001?

And as long as I'm linking to posts that have deeply depressing final paragraphs, it seems appropriate to link to this one too. It's not exactly a new thought, but it is one worth remembering. These guys did a miserable...
Posted by armand at 10:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 13, 2006

Did you watch Star Trek?

The original series? Remember the guys with the red suits? And how you'd think, "dude! when they hand you the red suit? run away!" It's getting to be that way with Bin Laden's number three man. Could it be starting...
Posted by binky at 10:47 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A picture tells of a thousand tragedies

Via LiberalServing...
Posted by binky at 12:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 11, 2006

Justice in Afghanistan in 2006

I supported the war. And actually I might well have supported an operation to remove the Taliban from power prior to 9/11. But news like this should remind us all that "regime change" can only solve so much. And just...
Posted by armand at 09:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 08, 2006

You don't mind the government reading your love letters , do you?

Hope not. I had no idea (Homeland Security) would open personal letters, Goodman told MSNBC.com in a phone interview. Thats why I alerted the media. I thought it should be known publicly that this is going on, he said. Goodman...
Posted by binky at 04:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 06, 2006

Chad. Yes, Chad.

Chad is a country in central-north Africa. It is also the butt of many jokes in the classes I teach: it has no port, it's poor, it's been invaded by Libya a few times, and it's filled with sand. In...
Posted by baltar at 11:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 29, 2005

New commenter, cool site, scary link

Via Mikevotes at Born at the Crest of the Empire, a link to this story: Known Islamic militants should be electronically tagged so their movements can be tracked, a regional German interior minister proposed on Wednesday. "This would allow us...
Posted by binky at 07:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pamuk Trial to Continue

If you were part of the EU, and you valued freedom and liberty, would you really want Turkey to join the group while this continues?...
Posted by armand at 02:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 21, 2005

Good News about Foreign Aid

Dan Drezner points us to this survey showing that the public opinion about the US in Pakistan is dramatically better, and linked to earthquake relief. For the first time since 9/11, more Pakistanis are now favorable to the United States...
Posted by binky at 10:07 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 18, 2005

Ivo Daalder on the (Extremely) Fuzzy Logic of Condi Rice

All week I've hoped to have time to write a post rebuking the silly piece of illogical sloganeering that Condi Rice put in last Sunday's Washington Post. Sadly, I've never had the time given how busy things have been at...
Posted by armand at 03:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Roy Moore, Strom Thurmond and President Ahmadinejad

Publius proposes that the recent anti-Israeli tirades by the president of Iran are essentially a Middle Eastern variation on the race-baiting and Ten Commandments thumping tirades of American politicians practicing the "Southern strategy"....
Posted by armand at 02:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Oh Dear

Sharon hospitalized....
Posted by binky at 02:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 14, 2005

Sharon's Happy Dance (Mofaz Variation)

Ariel Sharon must be doing the happy dance in his office (hard to picture, but...) C'mon, how could I not link to a bit of Israeli political analysis containing that line? Yes, it's very hard to picture. But you've...
Posted by armand at 02:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 10, 2005

Egypt: Ugly "Elections", Troubling Results

So just how is that spreadin' democracy in the Middle East thing goin'? In particular, how's it going in the country we give more foreign aid to than all but one other country in the entire world? Throughout the three...
Posted by armand at 11:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2005

David Cameron Wins

The Conservative Party in the UK has a new leader, David Cameron. He crushed David Davis in the balloting. If I was a Labour Party political strategist I'd be very worried....
Posted by armand at 05:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 03, 2005

Israel's Political Divisions - Moving Forward to the Past

Yossi Verter has this interesting observation - Israel's "new" political alignment is really a return to its old political alignment.The political "bang" whose shock waves are still rocking the foundations of the system, has created a new party: Kadima. But...
Posted by armand at 01:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Israelis Want to Stick With Assad?

This funny bit of sarcasm by Josh Marshall is wrapped around an interesting foreign policy point that is rarely discussed - many of the so-called neocons in the Bush administration who are supposedly so pro-Israli are also pushing for a...
Posted by armand at 01:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 01, 2005

South Africa to Have Same-Sex Marriages

South Africa, which was the first country on Earth to explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orienation in its constitution, will soon become the first country in Africa to allow same-sex marriages. The country's highest court has given...
Posted by armand at 04:53 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

How the Labor Party Benefits from Peres Leaving It

I agree with everything Jonathan Zasloff writes here. The Labor party is better off without Shimon Peres - Peres' considerable accomplishments notwithstanding....
Posted by armand at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 29, 2005

Forget Nixon, Fast Forward to Reagan

I know that many people are obsessed with Fitzmas and who knew what when and how could Karl Rove and Scooter and Novak and whether Woodward has come full circle from outsider to insider with matching bookend presidential scandals and...
Posted by binky at 04:50 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 28, 2005

Governor General Michaelle Jean

So I was reading about the (possible) impending end of the Paul Martin's government in Canada when I noticed something unexpected. Apparently Canada got a new Governor General in September. She appears to be, judging by her biography, much more...
Posted by armand at 04:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 25, 2005

State Sen. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) Analyzes French Politics

When last we touched on the hilarious and terrifying political career of Michele Bachmann she was lurking in the bushes, with bodyguards nearby, afraid of the gays. Now, as she runs for Congress (heaven help us), she is taking on...
Posted by armand at 11:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 23, 2005

Yet Another Pick for Iran's Oil Minister Defeated

The intense brawl political brawl between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the conservative establishment in Iran continues. While he has successful dumped hundreds of insiders from key posts and even managed to restructure personnel at ministries as influential as Foreign Affairs,...
Posted by armand at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 22, 2005

Convenient Revisionism on White Phosphorous?

OK, so given this US government document from 1995 - do we have to send more US troops into Iraq to kick out our troops who are already there? I mean if one of our justifications for the war was...
Posted by armand at 09:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 21, 2005

Sharon Leaves the Likud

It's finally happened. Jonathan provides a concise analysis of the implications of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon leaving the Likud here. The key thing I think we need to watch for at this point is whether or not Sharon can...
Posted by armand at 09:19 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 16, 2005

Military Misses 2005 Recruiting Goals

As this has been a topic at Bloodless before, I thought it worth finally noting the official end-of-2005 tallies: The Department of Defense this week announced the Army missed its fiscal 2005 recruiting goal by more than 6,600 soldiers, bringing...
Posted by baltar at 10:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another Iraqi Regime of Torturers

Plus a change ..."... others had some of the skin peeled off their bodies by their abusers"Thousands of Americans (and vastly more Iraqis) are dead - and this is what we get? These are the people we've spent hundreds of...
Posted by armand at 11:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 14, 2005

The Lessons of History

In addition to being big on IR around here, we are also big on history. It seems like the last couple of years have given us ample opportunity to quote Santayana: "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to...
Posted by binky at 09:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 08, 2005

Article 16?

Article 16 [State of Emergency] (1) When the institutions of the Republic, the independence of the nation, the integrity of its territory, or the fulfillment of its international commitments are under grave and immediate threat and when the proper functioning...
Posted by binky at 10:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 07, 2005

Paris is Burning

I realize this isn't really new news to anyone who reads the papers, but it looks like twenty plus years of French immigration policy is, literally, going up in smoke. At the moment, this is merely interesting (though, of course,...
Posted by baltar at 08:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Zarqawi Is Playing Two-Level Games?

Presuming for a moment that Ayman al-Zawahiri really does want Zarqawi to decrease his attacks on Muslims (quite possible, but I don't want to act as if I'm certain of either what Zawahiri is thinking, or of the nature of...
Posted by armand at 03:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 04, 2005

Cognitive Dissonance for an American Drug Warrior

Gosh, who should a patriotic "conservative" American pull for in this debate - the popular MP who's likely to soon lead the Conservative Party who wants to make Ecstasy somewhat less illegal, or the Labourite Home Secretary who's defending stringent...
Posted by armand at 02:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 03, 2005

The Ongoing War on Terror

While the article is 24 hour old, it remains important. Yesterday the Washington Post reported: The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S....
Posted by baltar at 08:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 02, 2005

Iran Purges Its Diplomatic Corps

This is a very troubling move, and perhaps the biggest sign yet that Iran's foreigng policy may be turning sharply to a more confrontational tack under its new president....
Posted by armand at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 27, 2005

Well, this ought to calm things down in the Middle East

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad quoted a remark from Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, that Israel "must be wiped out from the map of the world." The president then said: "And God willing, with the force of God behind it,...
Posted by binky at 10:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 24, 2005

The US's Best Relationship in the War on Terror

The last sentences that are included in this review, by Dan Drezner, of former State Department offical Lawrence Wilkerson's recent broadside against the Bush admininstration would likely raise a lot of eyebrows among those who watch cable TV news. And...
Posted by armand at 12:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 23, 2005

Ideology, Use of Force and Political Party

Digby excerpts from the Scowcroft piece everyone is talking about: "I'm not a pacifist," he said. "I believe in the use of force. But there has to be a good reason for using force. And you have to know when...
Posted by binky at 05:52 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The Election of a Taliban Governor in Afghanistan

I hate to tear you away from all the attention that's going to that current national crisis - are Nick and Jessica really going to divorce!?! - but since we at Bloodless Coup think matters of international politics and war...
Posted by armand at 12:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 20, 2005

The Tories Have Their Candidates

In the wake of the last vote by MPs on the matter, David Cameron and David Davis have emerged as the final pair who will fight for the leadership of the United Kingdom's Conservative Party. Party members will get their...
Posted by armand at 02:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 18, 2005

The Tory Leadership Vote, Round 1

And then there were three. The Conservative MPs have shortened the list of men who are competing for their party's leadership from four to three. The results: David Davis 62, David Cameron 56, Liam Fox 42, Kenneth Clarke 38. The...
Posted by armand at 12:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 17, 2005

The Tory Leadership Election

I'll probably discuss this topic a number of times this week since the four remaining candidates will be reduced to two by Thursday. Personally, I think that if the Conservatives want a leader who will take the party forward, maintain...
Posted by armand at 12:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 16, 2005

Rushdie on Pamuk and Turkey's Application to the EU

Salman Rushdie has written an essay asking how Turkey can send its greatest writer to jail and still be considered for membership in the EU. If you don't know what's going on, it involves public remarks made by the widely...
Posted by armand at 02:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A New Prince in Denmark

Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary have had a son. He'll likely be named Christian. Apparently Australian butchers and bakers are very excited. And if this news isn't thrilling enough for those of you who can't get enough news...
Posted by armand at 10:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 15, 2005

American Troops Fighting Syrian Troops

I'm guessing that this will get a fair bit of attention in the news next week. It could be leading up to a US war against another country, and that's not exactly a minor matter. But then again with Rove,...
Posted by armand at 01:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 14, 2005

Is the Zawahiri-Zarqawi Letter a Forgery?

Since I posted on it earlier, I think I would be remiss if I didn't note that there several posts on the web questioning it's authenticity. Here's Juan Cole's take on this question (He says that his intuition, the language,...
Posted by armand at 01:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 13, 2005

There are "Suicides" and Then There are "Suicides"

Given that we are at war in the region, and that there is often discussion of the US directly confronting Syria itself, you'd think this would be getting more news coverage. Helena Cobban discusses what Kanaan's death might mean here.UPDATE:...
Posted by armand at 11:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 12, 2005

Is Al Qaeda Afraid of Iran?

Justin Logan notes that the Zawahiri-Zarqawi letter seems to imply that Zawahiri isn't in league with the Iranians. I'd go further than that and say that his excerpt implies a considerable fear of Iran. Read the whole letter here....
Posted by armand at 10:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 10, 2005

Amending the (Proposed) Iraqi Constitution

From Sunday's Washington Post: "Saudi Arabian and Jordanian officials, at the urging of U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, have called on Sunni politicians in Iraq to stick with negotiations until Monday, Iraqi and U.S. officials said. Iraqi lawmakers say Monday is...
Posted by armand at 11:01 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

October 07, 2005

Can Afghanistan Really Sustain Democracy?

Caught this a few days ago at Intel Dump: The elections were a huge financial and logistical challenge which Afghanistan could not have done by itself. The total cost was upwards of $149 million dollars, and it required 1,247 donkeys,...
Posted by baltar at 05:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 06, 2005

For the Seriously Geeky

More recommended reading, on constructivism in IR theory. I recommended part of this debate to Baltar a while ago, but continue to follow the discussion about constructivist theory (especially as I am engaged in some myself). For the uninitiated, constructivism...
Posted by binky at 12:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 05, 2005

I Feel Safer!

Via War and Piece, and posted without comment: WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Relations between the Department of Homeland Security and some key big-city and state police forces have sunk to a new low, CQ Weekly reports. The magazine's "Spy...
Posted by baltar at 09:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2005

What is the Pentagon Doing?

Via War and Piece, comes this little nugget of bureaucratic craziness: Republican members of Congress say there are signs that the Defense Department may be carrying out new intelligence activities through programs intended to escape oversight from Congress and the...
Posted by baltar at 11:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 25, 2005

Which failed intervention?

Comparing Iraq to Viet Nam has become common, and I imagine after yesterday's protest marches in Washington and around the world we'll be hearing it more and more (as in "not since Viet Nam has the nation seen as many...
Posted by binky at 12:08 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 22, 2005

And the new agreement with North Korea is different because...?

What, Madeline Albright wasn't there? We've talked about it before but this time Billmon beat me to it. This time last year I had a conversation with a hard-line Bush supporter about this issue, and I suggested that this administration...
Posted by binky at 12:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 21, 2005

Further Iraq Discussion

I realize Katrina and Rita have eaten up most of the bandwidth in the politicowebblogosphere, but there remains an Iraqi problem. While I don't have anything new to say (situation: bad), there are some interesting posts at IntelDump and Belgravia...
Posted by baltar at 07:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 19, 2005

Over 1.5 Billion Dollars Stolen in Iraq

I look forward to Sen. Norm Coleman and the others who've been calling for stricter oversight of UN finances in light of financial impropieties in Iraq seriously investigating this bit of stunning mismanagement....
Posted by armand at 11:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 18, 2005

The Israeli Supreme Court, the ICJ, and the West Bank Security Fence

Jonathan Edelstein has this discussion of a fascinating decision by the Israeli Supreme Court. The Court has set down new guidelines for the buidling of the West Bank security fence, guidelines that will require changes from the government's original plans,...
Posted by armand at 05:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Before He Disappears Behind the Veil of Subscription

Kristof asks what we should call these countries: The United States, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Iran, Syria and Venezuela The Axis of Medieval, of course. It was our own Axis of Medieval, and it reflected the feckless response of President Bush to...
Posted by binky at 05:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Helen Clark and Angela Merkel Lead Parties to Victory

Or so it appears at the moment. Whether or not they can create coalitions to govern their country, given their very small margins of victory, remains to be seen.New Zealand's national elections appear to have set the stage for another...
Posted by armand at 12:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 15, 2005

The Latest Bad News from Iraq

Juan Cole has this post on an extremely deadly day in Iraq. Eric Martin wonders here if this is a result of a change of heart by Bin Laden and/or Zarqawi about targeting Shiites in Iraq....
Posted by armand at 01:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 13, 2005

The Left Wins in Norway

Oil-rich Norway will soon see a change in government as the center-right government has been defeated in national elections by a "red-green" alliance. Jens Stoltenberg will be the new prime minister. His priorities? - "We will use Norway's great opportunities...
Posted by armand at 12:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 09, 2005

They Are Still Writing the Iraqi Constitution?

I had no idea that this was still going on. But I guess since the parliament still hasn't voted on it ......
Posted by armand at 11:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

Statistical Support for the Need to Push for Change in Algeria and Jordan

Over at Abu Aardvark we get this discussion of a recent study done by Marc Tessler:The only independent variables significantly correlated with support for terrorism were "negative views of U.S. foreign policy" and - and here's the interesting part -...
Posted by armand at 02:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 30, 2005

Barak Endorse Peres

Didn't see this coming. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has endorsed former Prime Minister Shimon Peres for the Labor party leadership. Peres is facing a number of challengers in his bid to remain head of the party. Those challengers...
Posted by armand at 01:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 29, 2005

Basra Goes from Bad to Worse

George Bush's plan to make Iraq into an authoritarian, theocratic Islamic state in which people (especially secular professionals and, among others, Christians) live in constant fear of being tortured and killed by murderous government agents continues to meet with great...
Posted by armand at 04:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 27, 2005

Don Brash, Too Sexist to Win

Ampersand alerts us to a deliciously scathing piece in The Guardian. It seems that the challenger to New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark is blaming his poor performance in an election debate on the fact that he had to debate...
Posted by armand at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 26, 2005

Onze Vezes

The Guardian tells us the number of shots fired at Jean Charles de Menezes is now "correctly" stated at eleven. Eleven....
Posted by binky at 02:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 25, 2005

Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Pervez confirms that Khan helped out North Korea. How do you suppose Dear Leader feels about Khan? How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can...
Posted by binky at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Believe I Hear the Faint Sound of Civil War...

Via the New York Times, we get the initial rumblings of the avalanche that is to come: BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 25 - The National Assembly today called off a meeting that was scheduled to decide on the draft constitution, the...
Posted by baltar at 11:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 24, 2005

Cool enough yet?

Everyone else has been on this bandwagon for awhile now, but I couldn't touch it for fear of boiling over: Womens social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope theyre there, I think they will be...
Posted by binky at 09:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 23, 2005

This Is Not Democracy

I realize that democracy may not be necessay to achieve the minimal set of goals for the US in Iraq, but I'm not sure we're making out job any easier by not even pretending to be democratic: The head of...
Posted by baltar at 10:51 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Just Take 'Em Out

You know, it's easier that way: You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if [Hugo Chavez] thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a...
Posted by binky at 09:44 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 21, 2005

The Militias in Iraq

"Shiite and Kurdish militias, often operating as part of Iraqi government security forces, have carried out a wave of abductions, assassinations and other acts of intimidation, consolidating their control over territory across northern and southern Iraq and deepening the country's...
Posted by armand at 01:54 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The Bush Administration: Pro-Theocracy?

No, not here (or not just here). I mean in Iraq. Perhaps they are just trying to get a constitution - any constitution - agreed to. Or perhaps they just want a bigger role for religion (any religion) in government....
Posted by armand at 01:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

What To Do About Iraq

The public opinion polls on Iraq have shrunk to all-time lows, and the American Public is getting antsy about how, when, and where this whole Iraq adventure will come to some sort of conclusion. Kevin Drum, over at Washington Monthly,...
Posted by baltar at 01:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 19, 2005

Pope Endorses Reelection of President Mubarak

When we hear of religious leaders staking out public positions in the politics of Arab countries, most people think of leading Islamic figures pushing for the support of certain policies or political leaders - but of course Christian leaders do...
Posted by armand at 01:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 18, 2005

Lord Adonis

When Tony Blair created the latest batch of life peers I overlooked the fact that Andrew Adonis was among them. I'm certainly not disparaging his title, but could any man really live up to being known as "Lord Adonis". Well,...
Posted by armand at 12:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2005

Who says there's no progress in Afghanistan?

Not the first Mr. Afghanistan!...
Posted by binky at 12:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 13, 2005

Do you smell what the Prez is cooking?

While craning my neck to see the wreckage as I drove by, I mean, while reading CNN this afternoon, I saw this headline: "Bush: Force last resort on Iran" and thought, huh, maybe he will be sensible about this after...
Posted by binky at 01:37 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 11, 2005

Pakistan Ups the Ante

Why is no one talking about this? I guess Pakistan test firing cruise missiles, and giving India a big "fuck you" isn't big news (it's buried in the international section on the NYT, and I couldn't find it on CNN)....
Posted by binky at 02:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Iraq Roundup

In case you weren't already depressed about the end of summer, here's some more good news from Iraq. First, the mayor of Baghdad has been ousted in a "municipal coup d'etat" and replaced by a member of a Shiite militia....
Posted by binky at 12:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 09, 2005

Turn of Phrase

Some of it has to with translation, of course, but Hugo Chavez continues the tradition of Communists have the best (read: strange) propaganda. From these statements at a world youth conference in Venezuela: ...Chavez said late Monday that the U.S....
Posted by binky at 08:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 08, 2005

Osama bin Laden and "Definitive Intelligence"

Damn those book-writing career CIA officers! [I]n a forthcoming book, the CIA field commander for the agency's Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, says he and other U.S. commanders did know that bin Laden was among the hundreds of...
Posted by binky at 06:22 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

You Might Learn Something

Regular readers know I have a love/hate relationship with CNN. I ridicule their infotainment style, but can't resist checking in to see what new frivolity vies for headline space with important world events. It's not to "Bat Boy" levels yet,...
Posted by binky at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 03, 2005

In case you haven't checked the stats in awhile

There are many stories today about the 14 marines killed by a "huge bomb" in Iraq. If you haven't been here, they keep the most accessible running tally of casualties for the US and other actors, including for Iraqi police...
Posted by binky at 11:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 02, 2005

The New Matsui Trade Position

Daniel Weintraub gets at some of the fundamentals of the current political climate affecting international trade in this column. He starts off noting that the widow of Rep. Bob Matsui, long the leading champion of free trade among the Democrats...
Posted by armand at 11:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 01, 2005

Potayto Potahto

Have you heard that the United States is no longer engaged in a global War on Terror? No, really! We have a new and improved product for sale, limited time only: the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism. G-SAVE bargain price,...
Posted by binky at 09:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 31, 2005

Back When Americans Liked the French ...

I suppose that by many historical standards perhaps the biggest event to ever happen on July 31 was the Mamluk victory at Acre that ended the Crusades in 1291. After 6 formal crusades, and a number of informal ones, the...
Posted by armand at 12:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 25, 2005

We Have a Winner in the War on Terror!

But it's not who you think. Apropos of Baltar's post below, Marc Lynch brings us this discussion of the present state of things in the Constructivist/Realist "debate" that has been a prominent part of discussions of international relations theory for...
Posted by armand at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Update on the London Shooting

The man shot five times at point blank range on the subway in London turns out to be a Brazilian electrician. O Globo (registration required, in Portuguese) reports that the electrician had overstayed his visa. In addition the police are...
Posted by binky at 10:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 24, 2005

Can You Say "Bipolar"?

One of the debates among international affairs scholars relates to the "polarity" of the world; how the number of big, important states with global reach affects the politics of the globe. We're right now in a "unipolar" world (only the...
Posted by baltar at 09:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Very Articulate Iraqi Twins

Via CNN, we get two interesting statements. The first one: "'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today...
Posted by baltar at 09:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Why Bomb Egyptians?

Matt Davis has the obvious answer. And yeah, I realize it's in poor taste to joke about this - but's it's also rather horrifying that the president of the United States spreads a line like that to a citizenry that,...
Posted by armand at 08:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Instability in Yemen, But No Changes in Treatment of Al Jazeera

Massive riots with deadly results hit Yemen this week. Marc Lynch notes one entirely predictable result: "Yemeni authorities yesterday demonstrated that one of the new but already timeless laws of Arab politics still applies: when trouble hits your country... arrest...
Posted by armand at 10:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2005

Two Gay Teens Hanged in Iran

I'm rather at a loss for words about this. Of course Iran isn't the only place on Earth where you can be killed for being gay. Far from it. But it's still rather striking to see the killings formally carried...
Posted by armand at 01:44 PM | Comments (12)

Egyptian Elections?

"Five months after Mubarak announced that Egypt would introduce multi-party presidential elections, it's looking less like a race than ever."So begins Jonathan's latest coverage of the wave of democracy sweeping (or not) across the Middle East....
Posted by armand at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Shooting in London

This morning, police in London shot and killed a man on the subway. This is the first time ever that I've read about a police shooting or death in London, or in all of England for that matter. The article...
Posted by binky at 09:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2005

London Bombings

It looks less severe so far, but there were more bombings in London today. This time the explosions seemed minor, only one injury has been reported so far, and the authorities are not treating it as "a major incident yet."...
Posted by binky at 09:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

And the Bricks Will Fall Out of the Bell Tower

While we twitter around analyzing every possible aspect of the Roberts nomination and worry what it will mean for the rights of women in the U.S., a couple of items from abroad on the position of women: First, from Uganda,...
Posted by binky at 10:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 09, 2005

Death by Stoning in Nigeria

Given the fact that several states in Nigeria have adopted horrifying, reactionary religious legal codes I'd advise you not to go there and engage in sodomy, or, if you are a woman, sex outside of marriage. If you do -...
Posted by armand at 01:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 08, 2005

Iran to Give Iraq $1 Billion in Aid

Do you think this is the sort of ally the Bush team wanted to be taking a lead role in assisting in the reconstruction of Iraq?...
Posted by armand at 10:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 07, 2005

The New Lebanese Cabinet

Jonathan has the details - it's dominated by members of the Hariri faction, and for the first time in history Hizbollah is part of the government....
Posted by armand at 10:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

End of the Free Trade Democrats?

I think Dan Drezner is being too hyperbolic in this generally quite insightful post on the Democratic Party and CAFTA. Is it troubling for trade-supporting Democrats like me that only 5 members of the Democratic caucus in the US House...
Posted by armand at 10:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 06, 2005

The Dead in the SEAL Rescue Attempts Include Afghanis Too

Armchair Generalist makes a good point in this post that addresses the heavy losses that have been suffered by both Americans and Afghanis in the operations that have been carried out in an attempt to rescue a missing SEAL reconnaissance...
Posted by armand at 10:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 26, 2005

How the New Iranian President is Like GW

OK, the fact that this post is by Juan Cole means that everyone who's remotely sympathetic to the president won't take it seriously - but Cole raises some fair points, whether or not the Go Bush Go! chorus chooses to...
Posted by armand at 02:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Anti-American Aussies

This is not the best of times to be an American student studying abroad. And remember that Australia is among our closest allies on Iraq and other issues. In other countries the anti-US abuse is worse....
Posted by armand at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 21, 2005

The Road Ahead in Lebanon

The Christian Science Monitor has this article which makes some predictions about what will happen now that the final round of elections in Lebanon has come to an end. They persist in viewing politics there in pro-Syrian and anti-Syrian terms,...
Posted by armand at 11:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 20, 2005

The Good and the Not So Good in Condi's Comments

Abu Aardvark discusses Secretary Rice's recent comments on democratization in Egypt and Jordan here. While he's largely pleased about what she said in Egypt, he's concerned that she's letting Jordan off too lightly. Steven R. Weisman has an article on...
Posted by armand at 10:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 18, 2005

Yet More (Unfunny) Saudi Funny Business

The Cunning Realist has a good (if distressing) post on our (apparent) inaction in the face of the latest disturbing move by the Saudi government....
Posted by armand at 02:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

There Will Be a Run-Off in Iran

No one came close to getting 50% in the 7 candidate race for president, so there will be a run-off between the top two finishers on Friday June 24. It will be the first run-off of its kind in Iran....
Posted by armand at 01:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 17, 2005

Election Day in Iran

Millions of women and men are going to the polls today to vote for that country's new president. While we have many substantive problems with that country's policy preferences, and while we (and the vast majority of Iranians) wish they...
Posted by armand at 09:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Changing Face of Israel's Labor Party

Jonathan notes a fascinating piece of news from Israel. As a result of the recruitment drives that have been held in the run-up to the leadership election scheduled for the 28th of this month, Arabs now make up 22% of...
Posted by armand at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 15, 2005

Tradecraft and Public Perception

It's surprising that neither Baltar nor Armand has jumped on this wagon yet, but in the brief moment that I am connected to a computer on what has become a longer than planned summer hiatus, I will shoot off a...
Posted by binky at 04:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 14, 2005

The Latest Egregious Behavior by Pakistan

Nick Kristof makes a proposal to President Bush that I think a lot of Americans would support: "Mr. Bush, how about asking Mr. Musharraf to focus on finding Osama, instead of kidnapping rape victims who speak out?"But of course if...
Posted by armand at 12:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 12, 2005

From The Latest Downing Street Memo

...Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier. The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blairs...
Posted by armand at 11:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 10, 2005

Bolivian Parties Are Dynamite - Literally

Your president has resigned and the head of your Supreme Court has taken over in a caretaker capacity - what do you do? "Demonstrators in La Paz have been celebrating by setting off thunderous charges of dynamite."...
Posted by armand at 01:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 07, 2005

Bush and Aid to Africa

$674 million is nice and all, but it's obviously a complete and rather sick joke if the idea is to actually solve anything in the long term. I'm quite impressed by Blair's actions on issues like this, and have been...
Posted by armand at 12:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 06, 2005

Civil Unions in Switzerland

The Swiss have approved civil partnerships for gays and lesbians. In and of itself that's still a pretty unusually occurrence on this planet. But what's particularly remarkable is that they approved this in a national referendum, and that the proposal's...
Posted by armand at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hizbollah Wins Elections in South Lebanon

So if President Bush is responsible for the supposed big wave of democracy sweeping the Middle East (not really there of course - but I guess I'm in too much of a "reality based" mindset), does that mean he's also...
Posted by armand at 11:34 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

May 29, 2005

Secretary Rice: Lowering the "Success" Bar Even Further, and Attacking the Founders in the Process!

So while she implies things could be going better, she's pleased that at least the Iraqis haven't written slavery into their constitution like we did. Of course they don't even have a constitution yet. But presuming they get around to...
Posted by armand at 05:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 27, 2005

Al-Jazeera Lauds President Bush's Statements on Egyptian Reform

Yup. Honest. It's true. And really not all that surprising. While a lot of Americans, particularly those on the right, see much of the Arab press as hopelessly anti-American, it's more complicated than that. If there's one thing that many...
Posted by armand at 03:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sobek on Machiavelli and Imperial Regimes

Since it's published in a purely academic journal and almost certainly would escape the attention of most of you, I thought I would take a moment to mention a new article by David Sobek in the June 2005 issue of...
Posted by armand at 02:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Newsweek Didn't Do It

Of course assuming you're not a shill for the Bush administration, you already knew that. This piece by Sarah Chayes from Thursday is well worth reading. One basic point it contains is something many bloggers have noted this week. Given...
Posted by armand at 01:07 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 24, 2005

Iran Allows More Reformists to Run for President

Just I heard Secretary Rice calling them the biggest impediment to democracy in the region. I look forward to her next speech in which she'll no doubt praise the mullahs for this move. I mean c'mon she was just praising...
Posted by armand at 12:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2005

North Rhine-Westphalia the Springboard for Angela Merkel?

Well, that didn't take long. The CDU wins in North Rhine-Westphalia, the German Chancellor is suddenly planning early elections, and profiles of Angela Merkel (Chancellor Schroeder's likely opponent) are quickly updated. Meet the woman who may be the next Chancellor....
Posted by armand at 10:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 22, 2005

Karzai Not Aggressive Enough on Poppy Eradication

It seems appropriate that someone named "gall" is in the by-line on this story. US officials don't think Hamid Karzai (the guy we put in power after the Russians and Iranians signed off on him) isn't doing enough to eradicate...
Posted by armand at 02:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 20, 2005

US Torturing People to Death in Afghanistan

It's not that this kind of report should be viewed as all that new or surprising, but I'm linking to this because I think it's extremely important that we don't forget 1) what Americans are complicit in (or at least...
Posted by armand at 01:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 19, 2005

The Surge of Bombings in Iraq

It's getting bloodier. Much bloodier. The senior officer who met with reporters in Baghdad said there had been 21 car bombings in the capital in May, and 126 in the past 80 days. All last year, he said, there were...
Posted by armand at 11:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 18, 2005

Lamboley Challenges Bainbridge Over Yalta

Yeah, the whole controversy about the president's bizarre remarks dealing with the Yalta Conference has largely died down, but that doesn't mean that the disagreements over whether much was "lost" at Yalta have. Those fights have been going on for...
Posted by armand at 06:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 17, 2005

Belinda Stronach Saves Canada's Liberal Party?

Indeed, the 30-something former President and CEO of Magna International may very well have. This is a shock. Just last year she was competing against Stephen Harper for leadership of the Conservative Party. Now she's in the Liberal cabinet....
Posted by armand at 06:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A New South Korean Initiative; North Korean Trade

South Korea has made a new, secret proposal to North Korea in an attempt to get negotiations to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program back on track. This is potentially important news, all the more so coming on the heels of...
Posted by armand at 10:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2005

Women Get the Vote in Kuwait

Sort of. And of course it remains entirely possible that that lovely regime we protect could just suspend the elected parliament entirely. But hey, women can now vote in certain elections for some somewhat unstable representative (well, kind of) institutions....
Posted by armand at 05:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 15, 2005

Bush Gets Chalabi Pardoned?

Well, how about that. I wonder how many other Iranian spies that steal from little old ladies the president will personally lobby to have pardoned? Gee, and I was thinking that after executing all those Texans he was a tough...
Posted by armand at 03:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2005

Michael Howard Reshuffles the Shadow Cabinet

He's put together an awfully appealing team, or at least a team with a lot of potential. We'll see if whomever will soon replace him as party leader can equal this feat. George Osborne, 33, is the new Shadow Chancellor...
Posted by armand at 01:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The President on Yalta and the Conclusion of World War II

Jennifer Loven reports here on a speech made by President Bush over the weekend in Latvia. Looking beyond obvious lines that I imagine would lead many Americans to cringe - say, that the US is willing to commit the lives...
Posted by armand at 11:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 09, 2005

Has Blair Done Grievous Harm to the Special Relationship?

I think sometimes people my age or a bit older put too much faith in the "special relationship". After all the personal relationships between Clinton and Blair and Thatcher and Reagan were unusually strong, and that no doubt had an...
Posted by armand at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fighting Rebels Near Syria

More than 1,000 American troops supported by fighter jets and helicopter gunships attacked villages on Sunday in and around Obeidi, a city near the Euphrates not far from the Syrian border, an embedded correspondent of The Chicago Tribune reported today....
Posted by armand at 09:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 07, 2005

Blair's New Cabinet

Looks a lot like his old cabinet. The holders of the big 3 posts kept their jobs. But deeper down the list of ministers it is apparent that many of the allies of Chancellor (and presumed next Prime Minister) Gordon...
Posted by armand at 11:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 04, 2005

Today's Friedmanism

It's soooo easy to knock him about, how can you resist? In today's latest bit of wasted column inches in the nation's supposedly most august newspaper he concludes: The bad guys won't win, but neither will the good guys, and...
Posted by armand at 10:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 02, 2005

The Dominant Divides in British Politics

The Guardian links to an interesting power point presentation on the issue dimensions that are most powerful in the UK at the moment. Don't forget - their national elections are coming up on Thursday....
Posted by armand at 01:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bush's Favorite Author Resigns from the Israeli Cabinet

Think the president will have anything to say about Sharansky's resignation?...
Posted by armand at 11:44 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 30, 2005

Saudis, Texans - Can You Tell the Difference?

Ugh. There are days when I am disgusted by close to everything relating to the Saudi government and how the Bush administration deals with them. Those are the days that end in "d-a-y"....
Posted by armand at 10:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2005

400 Attacks a Week, Sixty Casualties a Day

I'm not sure where things stand in Iraq, but if these are the numbers put out by the Pentagon (which you would think would be the source most likely to be cautious in their reporting) it doesn't look to me...
Posted by armand at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 17, 2005

Iran's Mullahs: More Supportive of Abortion Rights than the GOP

So does this make the Republicans in DC more or less supportive of bombing them? It's an interesting story, and of course it points out how off-base many people's perceptions of Iran are. And of course it also goes to...
Posted by armand at 09:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 16, 2005

Bush Administration Hides War on Terror Statistics from the Public

It's bad enough that they hide their own heads in the sand, but apparently they want to force our heads down there to. I suppose they just want us happily exist in the dark singing tra-la-la to ourselves and avoid...
Posted by armand at 01:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 14, 2005

A Pointless Brooks Column on Bolton, Part II

I see that Armand has, with vim and vigor, torn Brooks a new one. Brooks succeeded in irritating me with his column as well, and I thought I'd elevate my comments to a new post rather than tag on Armand....
Posted by baltar at 12:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Pointless Brooks Column on Bolton

Ugh. For something that wants to be the paper of record, The New York Times sure does print a lot of columns that are more useful at the bottom of a birdcage than they are at seriously considering the issues...
Posted by armand at 09:45 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 11, 2005

Turks Hate the USA More Than They Hate Greece!

Via Laura Rozen I found this report by Karl Vick in The Washington Post. This is simply astounding. Turkey is a NATO ally. Traditionally we've had pretty good ties (though the 1990-1991 Gulf War and its aftermath put a strain...
Posted by armand at 10:43 AM | Comments (10)

April 09, 2005

About All Those Schools We Are Building in Iraq ...

Apparently there's at least one less than we thought. I don't know which is sadder though - that the Army does such lousy PR work, or that the reporter was happy to be used as a shill for a would-be...
Posted by armand at 01:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 08, 2005

Jeanne Gets "Gobsmacked by History"

Jeanne d'Arc has an enlightening post building upon a piece in the WSJ. It's clear that our expectations of what constituted abusive treatment of prisoners were different - stunningly, gigtanticly, titanicly different - back during an era when it was...
Posted by armand at 02:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 07, 2005

Breaking Down Provincial Politics in Iraq

This article by Edmund Sanders in the Los Angeles Times covers the maelstrom that is local politics in Iraq. This is an interesting report for several reasons, but one of its deeply unsettling moments involves Basra:One of the most surprising...
Posted by armand at 01:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 06, 2005

The Future of the House of Grimaldi

With the death of Prince Rainier, Monaco has a new leader for the first time in 55 years. Since I was wondering if the old rules still applied and that Monaco would revert to France if the new ruler, Prince...
Posted by armand at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 29, 2005

This Continues to Not Bode Well

Iraq, close to two months since the election, continues to muddle along without any form of government. I realize this isn't really news to anyone, but I did think it worth pointing out. Some highlights: Prominent politicians also said in...
Posted by baltar at 12:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 28, 2005

Iraq: 60 Attacks a Day and More Foreign Jihadis

Since we haven't put up any links to the current situation in Iraq just recently I thought I'd link to Juan Cole's daily review of news in the region. There are links to many more stories embedded in this post.Cole...
Posted by armand at 09:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 27, 2005

The Ford Administration and Iranian Nukes

This is interesting. Lacking direct evidence, Bush administration officials argue that Iran's nuclear program must be a cover for bomb-making. Vice President Cheney recently said, "They're already sitting on an awful lot of oil and gas. Nobody can figure why...
Posted by armand at 02:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Our Ally Pakistan: Not Just Buying Our High-Tech Weaponry but Breaking US Law and Smuggling Nuclear Technology!

Less than 24 hours after I wrote this post on my general disgust at the decision by the Bush administration to sell advanced military technology to a nuclear weapons-proliferating military dictatorship that has many terrorists inside its borders comes this...
Posted by armand at 01:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 26, 2005

Bush to Sell F-16 Fighter Jets to Pakistan

"The president's decision reversed 15 years of policy begun during the administration of his father. The United States barred the sale of F-16s to Pakistan in 1990 out of concern over its then-undeclared nuclear arms program ..." But now that...
Posted by armand at 11:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 24, 2005

Intra-Coalition Disputes in Iraq: The US Versus the Spanish

Via Juan Cole I noticed this story from El Pais: The U.S. high command ordered the closing of the Sharia courts set up by the Shiite clergy in Najaf to run the city in accordance with Islamic law.The U.S. Provisional...
Posted by armand at 01:11 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

March 21, 2005

A.Q. Khan - Worse Than We Thought?

You wouldn't think it's possible. And you don't want it to be possible. But apparently, yes, he is/was. From an article by William J. Broad and David Sanger in the New York Times today: Nuclear investigators from the United States...
Posted by armand at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 20, 2005

Team Bush Lies to Our Allies (Dog Bites Man)

Between this, the multitude of misinformation they spread about Iraq, the spying, the insulting people he appoints to high diplomatic offices ... if you were the leader of a country, would you want to work with the Bush administration? Would...
Posted by armand at 02:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 16, 2005

Bush Not Pushing for Political Reform in Jordan

Abu Aardvark updates us on King Abdullah's trip to the United States. Sadly, President Bush, supposed friend of freedom and democracy, did an appalling, truly abysmal, job of putting any public pressure on the king to support reforms. I'm not...
Posted by armand at 07:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Today's Prisoner Deaths Story

Comes via John Lumpkin of the AP. If things hold to form we'll learn that these numbers, the highest released yet, include notably fewer deaths than the total number of prisoners that have actually died violently while in US custody....
Posted by armand at 11:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wolfowitz for World Bank President

Kemal Dervis would have been an excellent choice. Bono was already out of the running. Angelina Jolie's recommendation of Colin Powell apparently didn't carry much weight at the White House. The White House had already decided to quash current World...
Posted by armand at 11:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 12, 2005

The Anniversary of the Tokyo Fire Bombing

Kenneth Gregg reminds us of the anniversary of one of the darkest moments of the twentieth century, and, it could be argued, American history.I presume there will be at least a feature or two on the anniversary of the atomic...
Posted by armand at 03:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 11, 2005

Jonathan's Course on Lebanese Politics

For a self-professed novice on the subject, Jonathan Edelstein has put together a fine introduction to Lebanese politics. If you want to know the system, a bit of the history, and the current players you should check it out. Lebanese...
Posted by armand at 03:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Congress Conditions Aid to the Palestinians

Via Josh Marshall I learn of this. Now it's not that I am completely opposed to Congress having a role in setting US foreign policy. But at this particular moment when the administration is supposedly working to change the relationship...
Posted by armand at 02:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 08, 2005

The Lib Dems Prioritize Civil Liberties

Yet another difference between the US and the UK (there might be a "special relationship", but in terms of government and politics there are oh so many differences) - a major political party places the defense of civil liberties at...
Posted by armand at 05:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hizbollah Rallies in Beirut

Abu Aardvark and Jonathan have some interesting thoughts on today's protests organized by Hizbollah in Lebanon. While change is certainly coming to that country, the direction it will take is far from clear, and actions like today's show that in...
Posted by armand at 05:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 07, 2005

Ambassador Bolton

The president is naming John Bolton to be our new ambassador to the UN? Is this some kind of sick joke? I mean if he doesn't like the UN, or doesn't think it works well or that we should be...
Posted by armand at 01:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 03, 2005

Is This What Democracy Looks Like?

Per the Washington Post (today), we see (perhaps) the true cost of Abu Ghraib and other associated "problems" in the wars on terror and Iraq: China accused the United States on Thursday of using double standards to judge human rights...
Posted by baltar at 11:40 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 01, 2005

The Lebanese Government Falls

While it is really hard to predict where these events will take us, it's clear that exciting changes are taking place in Lebanon. That said, I'm still very curious about killed Hariri and the others. If we knew that, we...
Posted by armand at 12:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 26, 2005

Egyptian Democracy?

President Mubarak's call to open up this year's presidential elections in Egypt is quite a surprise, and, if you like the idea of spreading democracy in the Middle East, you've got to give the Bush administration credit for the pressure...
Posted by armand at 01:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 25, 2005

Television Networks in the Middle East

If you are interested in press freedom and/or the content of television coverage in the Middle East you should check out this piece in The Economist. It gets at two constants that greatly limit the impact of the media in...
Posted by armand at 12:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2005

Those Helpful Arms Dealers

Douglas Farrah notes the unexpected people who win contracts to bring humanitarian aid to Darfur....
Posted by armand at 12:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 21, 2005

This Year's Ashoura Attacks

Helena Cobban notes the commendable self-restraint shown by Shiites in the wake of the Ashoura attacks in Iraq. Given the highly unstable nature of what's going on in Iraq right now, it really is remarkable - and perhaps something for...
Posted by armand at 12:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 18, 2005

The Iraqi Revolving Door

Perhaps John Negroponte is the best man for the "Intelligence Czar" job. I won't hold my breath (he has no background in creating and managing intelligence, though he is clearly a consumer of it). It should also be noted that...
Posted by baltar at 11:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 17, 2005

Rice on Syrian Responsibility

While acknowledging that the United States does not know who was behind the Monday bombing that killed the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri, Ms. Rice said Syria should be held at least indirectly responsible, "given their continued interference in...
Posted by armand at 09:54 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 15, 2005

Rafiq Hariri

Tim Cavanaugh offers this praise of the Lebanese leader who was killed, along with a dozen others, in a car bomb attack yesterday. If anyone wants to offer theories on the causes or effects of this assassination, here's a thread...
Posted by armand at 11:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 14, 2005

The Winners in Iraq: Pro-Iran and Pro-Hezbollah!

Hmmm. Is this exactly what Team Bush had in mind? Hundreds of billions spent, all the deaths, injuries and destruction, anatgonism against the United States at record levels in many places of the world, and we get a government controlled...
Posted by armand at 11:19 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

February 13, 2005

Crown Prince Abdullah - A "Reformer" Who Gets to Keep Absolute Power

While I hadn't thought of it in terms of exactly the string of connections Matt Yglesias brings up here - he's largerly spot on. These elections do make Abdullah look good in US eyes, while also making clear that the...
Posted by armand at 02:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 12, 2005

An Update on Iraq's Kurds

If you are interested in a succinct review of the likely behavior of Iraq's Kurds in the wake of the January 30 elections, Forbes.com has a good update. As the article notes, the Kirkuk issue is key, and it will...
Posted by armand at 03:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 10, 2005

Duchess of Cornwall

OK, for any of you who might know more about the royal family and titles than I do ... If Camilla is going to eventually become the Princess Consort, and if she's going to already get the HRH moniker as...
Posted by armand at 01:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 08, 2005

Saudi's Elections

Can't you just feel the winds of democracy and freedom blowing across the Middle East! Wasn't it great when we installed democracy in Kuwait? Oh, what? We didn't? We put an oil-rich autocrat back on the throne? Huh. Odd that....
Posted by armand at 01:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 02, 2005

A Thought Experiment on Iraq

Read the following paragragh. As you are reading, replace the words in the original text with words referring to our actions in Iraq: Replace "Kennedy Administration" with "George W. Bush Administration" Replace "Eisenhower" with "Clinton" Replace "Asia" with "the Middle...
Posted by baltar at 03:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2005

Continued Military Personnel Problems

As I've argued before, the continued fighting in Iraq is making it harder and harder for the US military to recruit and retain the numbers needed to fight this war. USA Today ran some numbers today (two separate stories: here,...
Posted by baltar at 04:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 18, 2005

The New State Department?

Drezner has an interesting post commenting on a Financial Times article about Rice's reshaping of the State Department. He generally approves (less neo-cons, more realists, in his opinion). What is interesting, for us IR people, is that Stephen Krasner (that...
Posted by baltar at 09:51 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 10, 2005

Stratfor - It's Time to Leave

Andrew Sullivan alerts us to the fact that Stratfor deems the war over - and lost....
Posted by armand at 04:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Ambassador Death Squad

What Matt says: "Put a man with lots of death squad experience in charge of your counterinsurgency, and you tend to wind up with death squads."...
Posted by armand at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2005

Next Head of the Bank of Israel - Stanley Fischer

Stanley Fischer, Vice Chairman of Citigroup, former chief economist at the World Bank, and possibly best known in international economic circles from his years at the IMF, has been on the short-lists for a host of major economic posts in...
Posted by armand at 03:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 02, 2005

Kuwait - Land of Censorship

Kuwait's Information Minister is resigning because of complaints that he's not doing enough to enforce censorship - against Western ideas. Don't you just love the kind of people Americans have to risk their lives to keep in power just because...
Posted by armand at 11:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 28, 2004

The Damage Inflicted by A.Q. Khan

This article in The New York Times reminds us that when it comes to spreading WMD Iraq had nothing on our close friend and ally, Pakistan. We still don't know how deep the damage is - and we are getting...
Posted by armand at 05:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 23, 2004

General Myers Loses Touch With Reality

Josh Marshall notes a bizarre statement by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Those same insurgents sure get around....
Posted by armand at 10:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 21, 2004

Mark Palmer and George Shultz's Iran Policy

Via Helena Cobban. She calls it the Serbia "smart sanctions" policy. It looks to me like it has much to recommend it. Military options, even if they were a good idea (they are not), aren't possible given current circumstances. Still,...
Posted by armand at 01:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Israel's 31st Government

Jonathan has these thoughts on what the new coalition means for politics and policy in Israel....
Posted by armand at 12:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Battle-Trained Insurgents Headed to Saudi?

This piece in The Financial Times reminds us that many warriors are learning all manner of battle-related skills in Iraq, and even if Iraq suddenly becomes quiet and safe, many of those people will likely remain in the region. What...
Posted by armand at 12:51 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 20, 2004

India Has Had It With the United States

That was the message a congressional delegation got there recently. Many of these concerns are shared by governments around the world, and the "if you don't want to work with us, why should we work with you?" response our policy...
Posted by armand at 10:48 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

December 14, 2004

Brzezinski and Scowcroft on Middle Eastern Issues

Helena Cobban brings us this shockingly honest exchange involving the comments of two titans of the foreign policy establishment....
Posted by armand at 12:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 10, 2004

Fallujah Photos

This Helena Cobban post has a link to photos of some of the dead. I'm linking to this post instead of the photos directly so you'll have a little context on their origins....
Posted by armand at 12:50 PM | Comments (27) | TrackBack

December 08, 2004

The Use of Settlements as a Political Tool

Jonathan has this enlightening post on the use of settlers to achieve political gains....
Posted by armand at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2004

Forced Labor Camps in Fallujah

One of the things that I've found interesting about the attacks by the insurgents is that even in the face of massive levels of killings of Iraqis by Iraqis, the US is still seen by many (especially in central Iraq)...
Posted by armand at 09:29 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

December 03, 2004

Succession in Jordan

King Abdullah has sacked his half-brother Hamza as Crown Prince. Abu Aardvark has the story and thoughts on its meaning here, here and here.Why should Jordanian royals matter to the US? This matters given US interest in Israeli politics and...
Posted by armand at 11:34 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 01, 2004

Red Ribbon

Today is world AIDS day. It's not on the home page of the New York Times, or CNN, but you can find a post at Crooked Timber with links to several stories in the international press. Normally it's hard to...
Posted by binky at 12:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 27, 2004

Disenfranchising Voters in Jordan

I hope that democracy wins the day in Ukraine, and I think it's great to see the interest from around the world (especially Europe) in supporting that cause. Now, if only the recent backwards moves (following a good deacde of...
Posted by armand at 11:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 26, 2004

WTO Blow Against the Byrd Amendment

The appeals are done, the US has lost, and the WTO has authorized initial penalities against the US of $150 million for the "Byrd Amendment" (fathered by the West Virginia senator who's one of the country's most outspoken opponents of...
Posted by armand at 03:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 24, 2004

Trying to Build Unions in Colombia

The more I think about it, the more I think that Juan Forero's New York Times story (in the November 18, 2004 edition) on union leaders in Colombia may have been the most important story in the last week to...
Posted by armand at 04:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2004

Mosques, Marines, and Press Censorship

While I certainly have no knowledge of whether the Mosque shooting was valid or not, I can comment more accurately on the hew and cry of the videotape in this country. While there seems to be mostly good debate over...
Posted by baltar at 05:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 15, 2004

A Central Problem With a Workable Iraqi Democracy

Matt Yglesias reminds us that it's hard to combine Iraq's multiethnic situation and its vast oil reserves into a functioning democratic political system....
Posted by armand at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 12, 2004

Bavaria Bans Muslim Headscarves

In a shocking turn of events (as if) Bavaria has become the latest German state to ban school teachers from wearing Muslim headscarves. Christian and Jewish symbols in the classroom? Those are fine.You know if governments are going to follow...
Posted by armand at 11:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 09, 2004

After Fallujah - Then What?

You should usually read Fred Kaplan's articles - but you should really make a point to read this one. Calling this "a shot in the dark" might be extreme, but given the level of the rebellion (or insurgency or whatever...
Posted by armand at 01:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The War on Terrorism, Hamdan and the Gitmo Tribunals

Yesterday Phil Carter made an important point when he noted that he (and others) believe that the Bush White House is fighting a war on terrorism - but is committing a terrible error in that they are judging progress in...
Posted by armand at 10:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 07, 2004

Headlines You Don't Expect to Find in an Israeli Paper

"The re-election of Israel's enemy." Yeah, that made me do a double-take too. But given that's a column by Gideon Levy in Ha'artez it's understandable. Basically, he's saddened that the US reelected someone who's going to continue to give Prime...
Posted by armand at 02:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

4,000 Shoulder-Launched Missiles Lost in Iraq

So hot on the heels of the news of the massive looting of explosives from Al Qaqaa, and the news that the explosives looted from there comprise just a tiny fraction of the explosives missing in Iraq, comes this story....
Posted by armand at 02:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 06, 2004

The Coalition Shrinks - Yes, Again

Apparently the Dutch are going to pull their troops out of Iraq by the spring. That means that in just the last few weeks we've lost the military support of 3 NATO allies - the Netherlands, Poland and Hungary....
Posted by armand at 03:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 04, 2004

Will the Bush Win Strengthen the EU?

That is a question that's likely to be debated a great deal in some circles. Blood and Treasure links to a story noting that long-time hold-out Norway is now more likely to join the European Union....
Posted by armand at 01:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jack Straw: We Will Not Back an Invasion of Iran

While the Blair government has firmly supported US action in Iraq, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said that he doesn't see "any circumstance in which military action would be justified against Iran"....
Posted by armand at 01:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Black Watch Soldiers Killed

Following a US request that would allow it to free up some of its own troops in central Iraq, the British moved 850 Black Watch soldiers to Camp Dogwood. They arrived last Friday. Already 3 have been killed, and there...
Posted by armand at 01:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 03, 2004

The Coalition of the Willing Shrinks Again

Following on the heels of Poland, fellow NATO member Hungary announces it is going to pull its troops out of Iraq....
Posted by armand at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 31, 2004

The French Government Funding Mosques?

Yes, that would be quite a change of pace in deeply secular France. But French Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, soon to take over the ruling party of French President Jacques Chirac, is advocating such a change in an effort to...
Posted by armand at 02:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Target Audience for the Bin Laden Tape: The Muslim World

Publius makes that case here....
Posted by armand at 02:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 30, 2004

The Bin Laden Tape

Is anyone else a little taken aback at the content of the tape? I mean much of it is predictable - Americans: stop backing Israel and killing Muslims or we're going to fill your streets with blood no matter who...
Posted by armand at 04:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 27, 2004

The EUP Blocks Commission Nominees

Flexing its ever-growing political muscle the European Parliament has refused to approve the European Commission proposed by incoming EU Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso. While this fight was originally over the conservative Italian who had been proposed to take...
Posted by armand at 03:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 26, 2004

Netanyahu's Not-So-Secret Plots and Ploys

Well, that failed miserably. Am I the only one who sometimes wonders how Netanyahu continues to be Likud's bright light of the future (yes, again) when as the article states he has such a long record of demeaning himself and...
Posted by armand at 10:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 21, 2004

The British Save Bush on Iraq - Again

Following a request by the Bush administration, the British have agreed to redeploy 850 of their troops in central Iraq. The troops will remain under a British general, though they will be under tactical American command. They will be there...
Posted by armand at 11:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Team Bush: Committed to Giving Your Money to Cotton Farmers

It's stories like this one that leave me flabbergasted when people try to make the argument that Kerry will be worse for trade than Bush will. I suppose it's possible. But President Bush has set such a low bar over...
Posted by armand at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 20, 2004

Is the EU an Independent Actor?

Talk about your topics that will be IR specialists in an uproar - I have yet to see fisticuffs break out, but the disagreements between those who think it is and those who think it just represents the interests of...
Posted by armand at 08:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 14, 2004

Cambodian Succession

For those who care, the 81 year old king of Cambodia is stepping down (for real this time, as he has flirted with it in the recent past). According to CNN, "The monarchy, for its part, is seen as a...
Posted by binky at 11:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 13, 2004

Can Kerry Form a Broader Coalition?

This move by Germany looks promising....
Posted by armand at 11:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 12, 2004

Even more helpful!

Perhaps you've seen the Human Rights Watch report or the media coverage of it that describes the Al Qaeda "ghost detainees" as "disappeared" people. This language is not chosen lightly, and was borne of the repressive military regimes that perpetrated...
Posted by binky at 03:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Now this is helpful!

India doesn't seem to be getting its knickers in a twist, so who is the intended recipient of this signal? ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistan said Tuesday that it has successfully test-fired a medium-range, nuclear-capable missile that could hit many...
Posted by binky at 01:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

You are not alone: aka foreign policy scholars speak!

Just as the Brooks column had me thinking about Hobbes, I wandered over to Crooked Timber and found this post. Seems I am not the only one with Hobbes on the brain. Below the discussion of Hobbes and bribery however,...
Posted by binky at 11:53 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 01, 2004

Can Islam Change?

This article in The New Statesman looks at the fight within Islam, and attempts by a variety of Muslim groups in South Asia to take it in a more "humanistic" direction. Putting on my "Westerner" hat for a moment I...
Posted by armand at 05:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 30, 2004

Christian Peacemakers Attacked by Israeli Settlers

Helena Cobban has the details. This is sort of a dog-bites-man story, but it's probably useful to be reminded occasionally of the kinds of things the settlers often get away with....
Posted by armand at 02:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2004

Sentenced to be Raped

No, I'm not talking about our country's shocking indifferrence to what happens in our prisons, I'm referring to the title of this troubling Nick Kristof column. I wish we were doing more to try and stop this kind of thing,...
Posted by armand at 12:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 28, 2004

CIA Money for Pro-Washington Iraqi Candidates!

Well, as if getting the Pentagon to fly Chalabi's private army into the area and picking the IGC and the new Prime Minister weren't enough (and of course there are plenty of other examples of us affecting the "choice" of...
Posted by armand at 11:32 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 26, 2004

Everything's Going So Well!

Well, as long as you ignore little tidbits like this: "On Wednesday, there were 28 separate hostile incidents in Baghdad, including five rocket-propelled grenade attacks, six roadside bombings and a suicide bombing in which a car exploded at a National...
Posted by armand at 11:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 25, 2004

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

"Operations by U.S. and multinational forces and Iraqi police are killing twice as many Iraqis - most of them civilians - as attacks by insurgents, according to statistics compiled by the Iraqi Health Ministry and obtained exclusively by Knight Ridder....
Posted by armand at 02:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Al-Qaeda's Area of Operations in Late 2001

This map is both amusing and highly troubling. People who have followed foreign policy decision making in this administration know that the autumn of 2001 is when planning for a war against Iraq really heated up. Given that, and the...
Posted by armand at 01:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 23, 2004

Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam

Well, this clears things up: "Celebrity or unknown, our job is to act on information that others have given us," Ridge said. Can I be one of the others? Because I would really like to pass on the information that...
Posted by binky at 11:47 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

September 22, 2004

Comparing Iraq to the US

Juan Cole has a thought provoking post comparing what the US would look like if it had the level of violence and insurgency that Iraq has today. Basically, he takes all of the figures for violence and multiplies everything by...
Posted by baltar at 02:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2004

Nukes in North Korea, Iran and Brazil?

Well, this isn't encouraging. And Brazil? Who knew? How will we deal with these threats? Well according to the article, this is our approach: "This administration's nonproliferation strategy consists of flailing around with a two-by-four," says one disgusted Republican elder...
Posted by armand at 04:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

George Will on Allawi

Matt Yglesias rightly notes that George Will's latest column shows that not even all fervent Republicans can continually lie about the charade that Iraq is not, at this time, "sovereign". But I think there are two other parts of that...
Posted by armand at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 19, 2004

What's Needed to Form Multilateral Coalitions in IR?

Generally, bad ideas that potential allies think are doomed to fail aren't a good place to start. Read this Matt Yglesias post. It gets at a key point dealing with situations in which coalitions are NOT likely to form, and...
Posted by armand at 02:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Do We Want These Troops In Iraq?

Phil Carter analyzes a story b