Sunday, January 29, 2006

Art of Elections

Interesting article "U.S. will push efforts to isolate Hamas, Rice says"

Rice said the landslide had taken many, including Hamas, by surprise, but she also said it was prompting an internal review of sorts within the administration.

''I have asked why nobody saw it coming,'' she said. ''And I hope that we will take a hard look, because it does say something about perhaps not having had a good enough pulse on the Palestinian population, as opposed to elites in Ramallah and the like.''

Basically, had we known we would have lose (that is losing our corrupt friends), we would not have pushed for election. At some point someone can summarize all of these into Art of Election. This rule sounds very similar to a point in Art of War, By Sun Tzu

15. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist
only seeks battle after the victory has been won,
whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights
and afterwards looks for victory.

She goes on to say:

''When that happens, it's the responsibility and the role of - particularly the United States, but the international community more broadly - to stay very firmly planted in principle,'' she said. She also said the United States needed to ''make certain that everything that you are doing relates to that set of principles, so that you don't start flagging one way and another.''

It is more like two set of principals, one for "us" and one for "them".

An intersting prespective....

Israel/US says Hamas must recognize Israel's right to exsit before any negotiation.

Hamas: "If Israel is ready to tell the people what is the official border, after that we are going to answer this question."

Full report:

Pop Quiz

this is a pop quiz to see if anyone is paying attention.

Instruction: Read the question, try to formulate your answer, then try to see if this matches the "correct" answer.

Q: After victory of Hamas in Palestinian election, what would be the most effective way for US and Europeans powers to radicalize the middle east?


"The working assumption... is prudent to assume at the least.... they can have the choice at some stage"

WOW! This is the reason why they want to take Iran to Security Council:

"The working assumption in the international community from all sides is that it is prudent to assume at the least that Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability so that they can have the choice at some stage ... to activate it."

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw


Friday, January 27, 2006

What if the shoe were on the other foot?

The Big Idea
When things go wrong - whether in your personal or professional life - chances are you resort to quick-fix plans, strategies and techniques for altering and improving your environment. Often, the problem is caused by a misalignment of your actions and decisions with the correct principles. To solve it, you need to alter not the external circumstances but your perspective.


Principles are like compasses that point us to our true direction. They are objective, unchanging natural laws that are correct and relevant regardless of the external circumstances. They are timeless, universal behavioral standards that have governed the social values of all the great human societies and civilizations. They apply to all people and all roles at whatever time and place and in whatever situation. Examples are fairness, equality, justice, integrity, honesty and trust. . . .

Principle-Centered Leadership
By Stephen R. Covey

Free Press, 1992
ISBN 0671792806

I was listening the President Bush's press conference on his reaction to Hammas, and his statement on what they have to do to be "partner in peace" or get back on the "roadmap" to peace.

Q Mr. President, is Mideast peacemaking dead with Hamas' big election victory? And do you rule out dealing with the Palestinians if Hamas is the majority party?
On the other hand, I don't see how you can be a partner in peace if you advocate the destruction of a country as part of your platform. And I know you can't be a partner in peace if you have a -- if your party has got an armed wing. The elections just took place. We will watch very carefully about the formation of the government. But I will continue to remind people about what I just said, that if your platform is the destruction of Israel, it means you're not a partner in peace. And we're interested in peace.

This reminded me of a passage I once read on Vietnam War and the US position during the negotiations to end the war. Then the shoe was on the other foot....

The voices from Hanoi, however, continued to insist otherwise. North Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh, in his own New Year's message, proclaimed that "this year the United States aggressors will find themselves less able than ever to take the initiative, and will be more confused than ever, while our armed forces … will certainly win many more and still greater victories." At the same time, though, Ho's foreign minister, Nguyen Duy Trinh, said over Hanoi radio that his government would enter talks if the United States would "first unconditionally cease bombing and all other acts of war" against North Vietnam.

At home, pressures were increasingly building on Johnson to do just that. Robert Kennedy in a speech in San Francisco three days later argued that "it would make some sense to go to the negotiating table and see if we can resolve the conflict. It is possible we can go to the negotiating table and they will not be genuinely interested in finding a solution … [but] we have to at least take the first step."

The hawks would have none of it. Chairman L. Mendel Rivers of the House Armed Services Committee urged Johnson "to consider no cessation of bombing unless Hanoi agrees immediately to exchange of American prisoners, or at very least inspection of prisoners by the International Red Cross." And William P. Bundy, the assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs, threw cold water on the idea. "I am not sure that they are anywhere near the point of being ready to yield," he said in a television interview. In the Hanoi statement, he said, there was "no mention of whether they themselves would exercise any kind of restraint." The danger, he warned, was that the enemy could "take advantage of things and pour down more divisions, and play the thing as what they call … fighting while negotiating."

And so there was no bombing halt. Instead, LBJ sent his ambassador to India, Chester Bowles, to Phnom Penh to discuss with the Cambodian chief of state, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, the possibility of American "hot pursuit" over the Cambodian border. Vietcong and North Vietnamese forces were suspected of using Cambodia as a sanctuary. Sihanouk in an earlier interview had indicated he would permit such raids under certain circumstances. But in his conversations with Bowles he resisted the idea and instead joined the call for a halt in bombing North Vietnam.

The Year the dream died

Selling fear

Fear Works:
57% Americans support military action in Iran

Fear is good for the bottom line:
Lockheed Profit Up 53%, but Aircraft Business Was Flat

Must watch

Why we fight?

The Neocons....

You simply can't say it any better:

At a time when the rush to war seems now to have been engineered at least in part by unelected operatives working in the shadows of power at Think Tanks and other interest groups, Eisenhower warns of "the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power" arising from the "unwarranted influence" of such forces.

Eugene Jarecki, Director of "Why we fight"

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What we should do now.

As Sharon sent an armoured column to reinvade Nablus, still ignoring Bush's demand to withdraw his troops from the West Bank, Colin Powell turned on Arafat, warning him that it was his "last chance" to show his leadership. There was no mention of the illegal Jewish settlements. There was to be no "last chance" threat for Sharon. The Americans even allowed him to refuse a UN fact-finding team in the occupied territories. Sharon was meeting with President George W Bush in Washington when a suicide bomber killed at least 15 Israeli civilians in a Tel Aviv nightclub; he broke off his visit and returned at once to Israel. Prominent American Jewish leaders, including Elie Wiesel and Alan Dershowitz, immediately called upon the White House not to put pressure on Sharon to join new Middle East peace talks. "This is a tough time," Wiesel announced. "This is not a time to pressure Israel. Any prime minister would do what Sharon is doing. He is doing his best. They should trust him." Wiesel need hardly have worried.


Extracted from The Great War For Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East, by Robert Fisk. Published by Fourth Estate on 3 October 2005

Fast forward to Jan 2006:

"Hamas won," said Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. "Hamas is
surely not a democratic movement. Its ideas are surely not humanistic
ideas. "What do we do now?"


What do we do now? Well as a starter, we should not listen to your advice any more!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Lost in Translation!

In Persian you can say I will cut of the hand of person(s) to mean you are going to stop the influence or interference of the person(s) in your affair. At one point a visibly shaken American friend asked me "Why are they cutting the hands of foreigners in Iran?" Upon further inquiry it became obvious that the reporter either maliciously or out of ignorance did a literal translation and along the way the expression lost its meaning.

Today President Bush said: ...
I also want the Iranian people to hear loud and clear, and that is, we have no beef with you.

It would be interesting to see how this gets translated to Persian, as there is no equivalent expression in Persian. President Bush wants to put a sanction on import of beef to Iran?

Bad Intelligence?

I wonder if President Bush realizes that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shares his views on nuclear weapons also.

  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa forbidding the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons on August 9, 2005. The full text of the fatwa was released in an official statement at the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. [2]


January 23, 2006

President Discusses Global War on Terror at Kansas State University
Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas


Q What is your position, or would you comment on a long-term strategy with respect to the geopolitical ambitions of China and Iran?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, great question. First, let me start with Iran. I'm deeply concerned about Iran, as should a lot of people be concerned about Iran. I'm concerned, when the country of Iran, their president announces his desire to see that Israel gets destroyed. Israel is our ally. We're committed to the safety of Israel, and it's a commitment we will keep.

Secondly, I'm concerned about a non-transparent society's desire to develop a nuclear weapon. The world cannot be put in a position where we can be blackmailed by a nuclear weapon. I believe it is very important for the Iranian government to hear loud and clear from not only the United States, but also from other nations around the world. I also want the Iranian people to hear loud and clear, and that is, we have no beef with you. We are worried about a government that is not transparent whose aims and objectives are not peaceful. And, therefore, we don't think that you should have the capacity to make a nuclear weapon.

The diplomatic strategy is being led right now by what's called the EU3 -- France, Germany and Great Britain -- and they're doing a good job of keeping together a common message to say to the Iranians that we expect you to adhere to international norm. The next logical step if the Iranians continue not to adhere to international norm or the demands of the free world is to go to the United Nations Security Council.

At the same time, the development of an Iraqi democracy is an important message to people inside of Iran. I told you what I believe. I believe everybody desires to be free. I believe women want to be treated equally. And I think that a message of democracy and freedom in that part of the world will embolden reformers. But this is a serious issue.
China is --....


Saturday, January 21, 2006

RNC logic

"Do Nancy Pelosi [(D-Calif.) is the House minority leader] and Howard Dean really think that when the NSA is listening in on terrorists planning attacks on America, they need to hang up when those terrorists dial their sleeper cells in the United States?"

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman

Friday, January 20, 2006

Follow the money

Good point John Do follow the money... Here is where you end up: The War In Iraq Costs . There is no evidence that Iran is working on any nuclear weapons, but folks like yourself are determined to make a buck selling fear. "Because you are really determined to get the dough".

That's My Word.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


"To forestall the need for nuclear force, we need tough action now, including economic sanctions, cultural sanctions, cutting off their supply of gasoline, (arms) sales, those kind of things, to convince the radical leaders of Iran that nuclear weapons are something they just cannot have," Bayh said on Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends" morning program.

"Getting a worldwide agreement to ban the export of gasoline to Iran could have a major impact on their thinking," Bayh said


Anther word, he condones the use of nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state. Further more by banning sale of gasoline to iron, it justifies the Iranian claim that they can't rely on foreign sources for their energy supply.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What Noncompliance?

Interesting: What Noncompliance?

We deserve better media

When reading news coverage of the Iranian "crisis", it is very difficult to know where media starts and where the government propaganda ends. Everything from the article title, to its pictures, to its content seem to have been designed to condemn Iranian position.

Readers are suppose to read the articles and learn about the events and make up their mind. Just as a judge would have done so. In the media, the coverage is similar to a court room where only the state prosecutor can speak, and the defended is not able to air his defense. Take for example this article: Iran's Rogue Rage.

The article title speaks for itself. It also republishes what must be at least 6 month old picture (if not more) of a few technicians moving a barrel of "Yellow cake" and posing for a picture with it. It is interesting that this article, just like many of the other articles covering the issue, have either anonymous sources, US and IAEA officials. You would be hard press to get the response of the Iranian officials on the matter. There are Iranian negotiators that are involved in these, most likely no one has heard any of their arguments.

The articles generally has a statement like: "....even the atomic weapons the Iranian government officially says it doesn't want...". Followed by a defiant message like: "If they want to destroy the Iranian nation's rights by that course," he said, "they will not succeed.".

It rarely covers the issue from the Iranian perspectives. They negotiated for two years with Europens to come up with a agreement that solves their concerns yet recognizes Iranian right to have nuclear energy as it sees fit. Instead you have "anonymous" comments such as:

Thus far, "the tactic of the Iranians is to give you half of what you need, then when you ask for more, half of the half, then, again, half of that," says a Western diplomat familiar with the inspection process, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter.

After what we know from the run up to the Iraq war, the Iranian side can say that "the US tactic is to ask for Iranians to provide them documents, then after they hand in the documents, double the requirements."

Where is the real meat of the negotiation? What was offered, what was the counter offer?

The ending is rather interesting:

The mullahs see this fight as one to ensure the survival of their regime—with American assurances. Would Washington cut that deal? A lot of bargaining remains. But Rice was right; the Iranian people deserve better.

The conclusion might be right, this is really about Iranians ("regime" and its people) being worried about possible US intervention in internal Iranian affairs. Regardless, what Iranian people deserve or don't deserve is really up to Iranians to decide. One thing is certain, we deserve better media than what we are getting.

Monday, January 16, 2006

"Joe Isuzu in the News and How to Listen to Him (Her) (it)".

I can't forget the deception campaign of the British government and its foreign Minister, Jack Straw, in the run up to the Iraq war. Reading his world remind me of the Joe Isuzi

"The onus is on Iran to act to give the international community
confidence that its nuclear programme has exclusive peaceful purposes
-- confidence, I'm afraid, that has been sorely undermined by its
history of concealement and deception."


Does he really believe he is trustworthy himself?

I found this while looking for Joe Isuzu on the web Joe Isuzu on the Witness Stand and How to Examine Him (Her) (it) . We need the "Joe Isuzu in the News and How to Listen to Him (Her) (it)".

Diffrent strokes for different people

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: The government of President Ahmadinejad has done nothing but confront the international system ever since he came into power, confront the international system and their behavior on the nuclear issue, confront the international issue with outrageous statements that I don't think have been made in polite company in many, many, many years.

And so this is about the Iranian regime, and it is the Iranian regime that is isolating Iran.

Online NewsHour Focus

Such a contrast to her view of Ronald Reagan's "undiplomatic" message.

Propaganda Supply Chain

An interesting article on shifting US tactics in the Iraq war. US tries to loosen Shiite grip in Iraq

I find the last paragraph particularly interesting:

In the past, the US tended to refer to Iraq's armed groups as holdouts and terrorists. Now, that rhetoric is changing. After meeting with US officials and officers in Baghdad, columnist Roger Cohen concluded in The New York Times that the Iraqi resistance is "composed for the most part of people who want jobs and a stake in the new Iraq."

In the past, it was the oppression and marginalization of Shiites lamented by columnists such as Mr. Cohen. Not so today.

Today's businesses require supply chain to "adjust as conditions and business goals shift". Out goes Zarqawi, and in comes the Iran.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Why Multiculturalism Matters in America

Why Multiculturalism Matters in America
Dr. Ronald Takaki, professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, brings
his distinctive viewpoint to this discussion on multiculturalism.
Takaki's mission is to demonstrate that multiculturalism is not only a
social reality, but also an intellectually stimulating approach to an
array of academic disciplines.

Watch the presnetatio

Thursday, January 12, 2006

She said, He said.

Now, I can't judge the motives of the Iranian regime in picking this particular time to pick a fight with the international community. They've been on this path for some time.

I'd go back to March of last year, when our -- yes, of last year, when the United States made the decision to try and give new impetus to the EU-3 negotiations by agreeing, for instance, that the Iranians should be allowed to apply for WTO membership, for removing our objections to that. I talked about potentially spare parts for Iranian aircraft. This was a time when Iran, I think, could see the international community coming together around the strategy that, while recognizing that this was not an issue about their rights to peaceful nuclear energy, would have given them access to peaceful nuclear energy.
We have been on a course, ever since then, where they've not taken repeated opportunities to take the world up on that, so I can't speak to the timing, but I'll say they've been on this course for a good time.

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
January 12, 2006


And some of the Iranian proposals from the same time perid:

  • Although Mr. Rohani gave no specific details of Iran's proposed compromise ideas, but diplomats told Iran Press Service on condition of not being named that Tehran is ready for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to install monitoring devices in its uranium enriching facilities making sure that the material is not enriched more than 3.5 per cent, a degree enough for civilian purposes.

  • Another Iranian plan is to transform the underground Natanz uranium enrichment plant into an international joint-venture under multinational ownership; Reuters quoted EU diplomats as having indicated.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Email, Efficency for the honest.

This is an interesting story:

Email increases productivity of the honest and the criminals. The evildoers have learned that the email trace would come back to hunt them. At some point they would completely give this up and go back to the old, inefficient methods. One would hope the increased productivity of the honest people would make the outlaws (the big fish at least) as an endanger species.