Monday, May 31, 2004

Ph.D (Piled higher and Deeper)

Ok, so the the mainstream press has reported the "news" that Cheney's office coordinated the Halliburton deal for Iraq. But the media has been quiet about the shocking revelation that Cheney's office was behind the outing of Valerie Plume. Let's hope the grand jury will do the job of getting the publicity up just around the time of the Republican convention in New York.

Meanwhile, in the dirty tricks department, the fraudulent handover of power to an already "outed" CIA operative is in danger of unravelling. And there's more $#!^ hittng the fan in Saudi Arabia.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Dirty Arabs

Only the blind would refuse to acknowledge that Abu Ghraib is the tip of an iceberg of racist attitudes towards Muslim Arabs in the Western world. Robert Fisk recently asked "since when did Arab become a dirty word?," and undoubtedly knows the answer: at least for a century, if not longer.

But is torture restricted to Arabs and, more generally, to persons of color? In Juan Cole's column today and elsewhere Ken Pope has written eloquently about the depressing psychology of torture and how little we can do about it other than vastly transforming institutions and policy.

Where do we start?

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

First unclog

On this dreadful Tuesday morning in late May in Boston, nothing seems more important than getting that first dose of caffeine to clear one's head, especially after George Bush's appalling speech on the future of Iraq .

But it's my first attempt to use the blog as an unclogger and I don't yet know how. Starting at the far end, the day after tomorrow looms largest, and yet I can't think straight about it yet. Much too much has been written on Iraq, but Juan Cole's probably my favorite commentator these days. I have no more to say about that, at least not just yet.

On the region, what more can one say about the Israel army's horrors on people living in that narrow area twice the size of Washington DC?

Tomorrow, I try to start afresh...