Here is Joseph Cotton's take on what is going on in the Middle East. Quite a good song and some of you might recall that record release party of his to which we went 6 (?) years ago, actually who was there with me anyway? Christoph went someplace else, Jones? Martin? Anyone else?
How deep a hole (German/English) did the US dig itself into with the Iraq war that, during the same time that they try to get Iran punished by the Security Council and demonize the country further in their newest security report, they actually want to hold talks with that regime on helping out in Iraq (or rather not making it worse probably).
Maybe the most discouraging sign of the situation in the after-Saddam Iraq is the fact that even in the supposedly quiet areas democracy seems to be a myth only. But then maybe that is a good thing...
Stephen Biddle in Foreign Affairs argues that democracy actually would be a hindrance on Iraq's path into the future. The premise of his article is that the Iraq-Vietnam comparison - to which admittedly I am prone myself - is not valid. This would be the case because the conflict in Vietnam was a maoist uprising while what is occuring in Iraq is an ethnic civil war. While in a maoist revolution it is helpful to democratize and vietnamize (iraqize if you want) because these actions takes away from the totalitarian and colonial charges made by the revolutionaries (meaning the Vietcong in this case). In an ethnic civil war on the other hand these two elements (both of which the US - more or less successfully - tries to utilize in order to quell the Iraqi uprisings) actually are counterproductive as they lead to an ethnic authoritarian regime (even though possibly democratically elected they do not grant minority rights) and armed forces dominated by the ethnic majority (in both cases Shiites and Kurds). Both of these elements fuel the conflict even further instead of helping to end it.
While this does make sense to me I wonder about the added aspects of Shiite militias (Al Sadr) and terrorist tourists (Sarkawi) which Biddle does not take into account all that much. What a fuck-up by the administration in general then even the New York Times publishes op-eds as hard-hitting as this one now.
Some of you will know that I am trying to boycott certain companies and brands. For the most part this simply applies to any company that I either consider to big and powerful or that I know indulges in exploitary production practises. These companies include (in no particular order and with no apparent logic or thought process involved) McDonald's (and all these other American fast food joints), Coca Cola, Becks (when I can) and so on and forth, you get the drift I hope. This goes back to my belief that probably the biggest political power we (the people as corny as it sounds, sorry) have nowadays is our control of what we buy (more so than voting most likely and as sad as it is).
I will undoubtly write more on this at a later date the point today is quite simple, check this article (you only have to read the beginning). In the fourth paragraph it talks about who donated a massive amount of money to NPR. I just wish things could be more one-sided and simple sometimes. You know what I mean? Good here, bad there. That kind of thing.
Trade and Manufacturing Jobs (Wonkish)
2 hours ago