Archive for February, 2007
Until recently it was assumed that a U.S. attack on Iran, if it came, would be in response to Iran’s nuclear program, which the U.S. insists has military objectives. However, ever since the warning President Bush gave to Iran on January 10, there has been a second possibility.
Helena Cobban’s world affairs blog Just World News has a fascinating interview with Dr. Abdel Monem Abul-Futouh, a member of the Guidance Council of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. “You as Americans need to understand how good our dictatorial regimes are, at using all the issue about the the Islamic ‘threat’ to get support from your government….”
A new documentary will appear on the Discovery Channel next month which claims to have identified the burial boxes of Jesus, his mother Mary, his wife Mary Magdelene, and his son Judah. The bones themselves have been reburied, but microscopic amounts of DNA have been recovered, which means the Jesus family could one day be cloned!
I’m reading The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel Garcìa Màrquez, which describes the last days of Simòn Bolìvar, the South American liberator who now serves as a role model for Hugo Chàvez of Venezuela.
“Anyone can go to Baghdad, real men go to Tehran.” Ever since a senior Bush administration official said this in May 2003, some of us have wondered if they really mean it, and when it might happen. There have been a number of scares, and with each flareup of public discussion, an attack on Iran seems to come closer to reality.
A message about putting collective interest above factional interest in Lebanon, that holds true, I think, for the entire Arab world.
Cat in Rabat has a provocative post about literacy and habits of reading in Morocco. She relates that on a recent visit to Spain with her husband, she was shocked to see that nearly everyone in the subway car was reading either a newspaper or a book. A behavior she had once taken for granted seemed abnormal after months in Morocco….
Tangier’s popular indoor flea market known as Casabarata (“house of good deals”) burned to the ground a few days ago with damages in the millions of dollars. Considering the large number of shop owners who made their livelihoods there, a lot of families must have suffered a sudden plunge in fortune as a result.
For anyone who still cares about the success of the American democratic project, and who thinks it’s important to distinguish reality from psychotic fantasy, this analysis of what drives our President to repeated failure is both insightful and frightening.
One of the flaws of our democratic system is that it concentrates responsibility for foreign policy in one man, the President. Congress does not have the control over foreign policy that it does on questions like health care or the environment. The war in Iraq has shown what is wrong with that approach, and a war with Iran would be even worse.