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Tuesday, February 7, 2006

StratFor On the Significance of Those Cartoons

Strategic Forecasting sent out their latest, free intelligence report today. This one provides a pretty thorough analysis of the background and results of Those Cartoons.

I've attached the whole article (with permission), but here's my favorite quote:

European states cannot control what private publications publish. That means that, like it or not, they are hostage to Islamic perceptions. The threat, therefore, is not under their control. And thus, even if the actions or policies of the United States did precipitate 9/11, the Europeans are no more immune to the threat than the Americans are.

If you're at all interested in the apparent "collision of civilizations," read this article.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Bush, Iraq, al Qaeda, WMD, Terrorism, etc., etc., etc.

Stratfor sent one of their frequent updates last night. This issue covered the mess Bush finds himself in as a direct result of not telling the public the real reasons for the invasion of Iraq. (He's bounced around from the imminent threat of WMD's to elimination of an evil despot to planting the seeds of democracy.)

They've previously laid out what they firmly believe to be the main line of reasoning behind the invasion. It's not a conspiracy theory, and is in fact a much more plausible and "acceptable" reason (relatively speaking) than spreading democracy... but Bush and his team can't bring themselves to spell it out.

It bugs me that nobody seems to be discussing this view (not the media, not the other sites I read, nobody).

Anyway, their mailing said it was ok to share it, so I'm attaching a copy of the article to this post.

Yes, it's lengthy, but it's worth the time to read it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Arar's Story Makes Me Ask: "Where Am I?"

If this story of Maher Arar is for real, if he really was treated this way, then I don't know where I am. I thought I was living in the U.S.A., but... I can't be. Or maybe I'm in the US but fell through a crack into an alternate dimension.

Or maybe the US has really, really lost its way. Or its mind.

I don't even care if he is a terrorist. The people in the US who treated him that way, especially choosing to send him to Syria, are no better. They've become what they are so afraid of.

Thanks, Jim, for posting those links.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Why Iraq?

A thread over on Joggle's forums (of all places) seems to have set me off, a little.

They were talking about the fact that the US is still searching for WMD's in Iraq, so far without any luck. Someone suggested that this is like trying to find cigarettes in your kid's room, after warning him for six months that you were going to search his room for them.

I'll probably regret posting this here, as someone is bound to sTroll in and take a shot at me, but here's my response. (This is not meant to be pro or anti US, it's just an explanation of how I see the situation.)

Quoting usausa:

Should you refrain from disciplining your child because of what he might do if you do discipline him?

Since when is the USA the parent?

There's no evidence that he had weapons of mass destruction during the last few years before the war. None. Remember, the inspectors were there off and on for years before the war, and never found anything.

People keep saying that it takes a long time to find these weapons in such a big country, but it'll take a lot longer to prove they're not there: how do you prove something isn't there, without literally searching every square foot/meter/yard of the entire country?

Hussein was a bad guy, there's no doubt about that. Probably the worst in the region. The US had very good reasons for going into Iraq and deposing Hussein, but there's no evidence the WMDs were one of those reasons.

One good reason to go into Iraq is that the entire middle east is a hot-bed for state-sponsored terrorism. Again, there's no evidence that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11, nor even that they had any significant connections with Al Qaeda, but Iraq is right in the middle of everything.

Strategically, there's no better country the US could have invaded. Now that they're in place, the military can start putting real pressure on the other nations to stop supporting terrorism or risk paying a price they know they can't afford.

The US needed a base of operations in the Middle East to "project power" into the region. Where else could they have gone? Kuwait's the only country that would have allowed them to increase their presence without an invasion, but it's not strategic enough for the rest of the region, and is way too small.

Consider everything the US government does, especially militarily, through the lense of counter-terrorism. The current "war" in Iraq isn't a war at all, it's just one front in the global war (at least, as the US seems to see it).

Anyway, I'm not making all this stuff up myself. There are lots of intelligence-analysis services (NOT news services) that publish freely-available reports on a regular basis. My favorite is Stratfor.

Friday, February 7, 2003

Linkable Transcript of Colin Powell's Presentation

Steve Ivy said he thought it would be a good idea for someone to post a transcript of Colin Powell's Presentation on Iraq to the Security Council with links for every paragraph so that it could be discussed and debated online. Everyone would have the same source. Without the paragraph-level anchors, the debates would be full of references like, "scroll down to the 53rd paragraph...".

I suggested he do it himself... so he did! Very cool! Now there's a fully linkable, indexed transcription of Colin Powell's presentation to the U.N. Security Council on the U.S. case against Iraq. I hope people use it. They don't have to do the debating *on* Steve's site, of course, but it'll be a handy resource!

(If nothing else, at least Steve can use it for his own comments on the presentation.)

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