December 09, 2003

I missed this one the first time around . . . from IPS on December 3:

ISLAMABAD, Dec 3 (IPS) - Addressing the Geneva Initiative on Palestine this week, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said something that the world, particularly Muslims, has long believed but which no prominent U.S. public figure dared to say publicly since Sep. 11.

The linkage of U.S. policy in the Middle East, particularly Palestine, with anti-U.S. sentiment and violence has been understood in European capitals and made by Muslim statesmen. But U.S. political and opinion leaders were immune to such commonsensical linkages.

Carter was blunt in saying that courtesy of the Bush Administration's policies, ''the well-being of the Palestinian people has been ignored or relegated to secondary importance'' . . .

Carter said: ''There is no doubt that the lack of real effort to resolve the Palestinian issue is a primary source of anti-U.S. sentiment throughout the Middle East and a major incentive for terrorist activity'' . . .

Khaled Abou el Fadl, a visiting professor at Yale Law School, told the Egyptian weekly 'October' that Bush is ''a Christian religious fundamentalist and that the group around him, of the likes of (deputy Defence Secretary) Paul Wolfowitz and others, hold the same beliefs that accompanied colonialism's entrance to the Muslim countries in the 19th century''.

Y'know, this is all well and good, but it seems to me that JC, an original Trilateralist, has always tried to walk the wire with Midddle East issues. Seems to me I remember he had a little beef with Iran, among other things, which sent him back to Plains to grow peanuts and do a little carpentery.


While I'm at it, I missed this one the first time around, too. It's a Sunday WaPo piece from mid-November - "It's a Little Too Cozy in the Blogosphere" by Jennifer Howard. Excerpts:

It was a cool idea, a fresh kind of media democracy for a new-media world. Thanks to the miracle of blogging technology, any smart kid in Boise or Brooklyn could set up his own Web site and weigh in on everything from regime change in Iraq to snarky book reviews. He didn't need a publisher, a journalism degree or an old-boy network, just a computer, an Internet connection and an opinion (and bloggers have plenty of those). Part reporter, part gadfly, part cheeky upstart, bloggers seemed to scorn the insider mentality of brand-name pundits, and they were often a lot more fun to read -- and more insightful . . .

What began as the ultimate outsider activity -- a way to break the newspaper and TV stranglehold on the gathering and dissemination of information -- is turning into the same insider's game played by the old establishment media the bloggerati love to critique. The more blogs you read and the more often you read them, the more obvious it is: They've fallen in love with themselves, each other and the beauty of what they're creating. The cult of media celebrity hasn't been broken by the Internet's democratic tendencies; it's just found new enabling technology . . .

Maybe the back-scratching started as revolutionary solidarity. Now it's a popularity contest in which the value of information is confused with the cool quotient of the person spreading it . . .

"The bloggerati?????!!!" I hope the folks at LoL are listening.


Quote of the month, from Lt. Colonel Nathan Sassaman in Iraq: "With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them."

And the executions will continue until morale improves.

Be at peace.