Friday, March 30, 2007

Update: US Ready to Attack Iran

As you may remember from previous posts, I have been predicting the invasion of Iran. See USA Attacks Iran!, Iran, anybody?, Update: Iran, anybody?, More on Iran, and US Ready to Attack Iran. The Russian News and Information Agency (RNIA) is reporting that the US will attack Iran in early April. A liberal blog reported that it would be Good Friday (April 6th), but I couldn't find that date in the Russian article. According to the RNIA, they were informed of these events by Russian intelligence. This earlier article says that the last time the US had so many troops in the Gulf was just before the US invaded Iraq. The Russians are also saying that the UAE will "not allow anyone to use its territory for any military, reconnaissance or security operations against Iran." Why do we care? Because while the US has army bases in Qatar, the UAE has traditionally been a big naval stopover. And to add even more to these events, Russia and China will be working together to go to Mars. That may seem like a non sequitur, but those 2 countries also have ties to Iran. And they seem to be getting mighty chummy lately. I feel a Cold War Redux coming on.

Update IV: British Soldiers Captured by Iran

Another British sailor has apologized on Iranian TV. You can read the BBC's analysis of the situation between US/UK and Iran here. The Iranians are still upset that the US has 5 of their guys, the ones picked up in Iraq for allegedly stirring up terrorists. I do agree with the article though, thank goodness it was American soldiers that were captured, or bombs would already be dropping.

No Saudi Dinner or Peace

Bush was going to have a big state dinner for the king of Saudi Arabia on April 17th, but apparently Abdullah has backed out (Wash Post). Our good buddy over there also said the occupation of Iraq is an "illegitimate foreign occupation." The Arab states (except Libya) have been meeting in Riyadh to discuss Palestine, and Saudi Arabia's peace plan. Their plan would have Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders, and allow Palestinian refugees the right to return. Of course, then there would be more Palestinians in Israel than Israelis, so I doubt that will go through.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Update III: British Soldiers Captured by Iran

Things have taken an interesting turn. Great Britain went to great pains to show that according to GPS coordinates, their troops were in Iraqi waters. Iran is saying that Craig Murray is disputing that. For those of you who have not heard of Craig Murray, I have a link to his blog on this page under "Blogs - Misc. Politics." Craig Murray is a British writer who used to be the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, where he spoke out against the Uzbek ruler, who was (is?) being funded by the US. According to him, Iraq and Iran have never agreed on a border in the sea by their countries. So how can Great Britain just make one up? Food for thought.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Update II: British Soldiers Captured by Iran

The capture female soldier has now appeared on Iranian TV (BBC, IRNA), saying that the Brits were in Iranian waters, and they're being treated well. Yada, yada, yada. That's pretty much what happened last time. So far things seem to be progressing normally in that respect. Let's hope it stays that way.

Albright on Colbert

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was on the Colbert Report last night, speaking about Iran. It was gratifying to finally hear someone on TV say that it's not a "clash of civilizations" it's a "battle of ideas." Because that's what it is. There's no giant clash going on between Christianity and Islam. It's just easier to fight Muslims if you think that way. If you want to fight ideas, it takes a lot of work and a lot more time, and involves things like soft power - which of course is not nearly as sexy or as tangible as hard power.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Update: British Soldiers Captured by Iran

IRNA is now reporting that the British soldiers have confessed to being in Iranian waters. The British government is saying they were in Iraqi waters, and demanding that Iran release the soldiers. Something similar happened in 2004, to British troops in Iraqi waters near Iran.

Friday, March 23, 2007

British soldiers captured by Iran

I know, you've seen this on the nightly news. Here's the BBC article on it. I'll try to keep up with this story as it unravels. So far IRNA (the Islamic Republic News Agency - "official" Iranian news) doesn't have anything listed on it's English language website. I don't read Farsi, so I don't know what has showed up on that site.

No Ahmadinejad at UN

Iran is claiming it's because the US wouldn't give his entourage any visas to enter the country. That's nothing new. Since the UN is on US soil, it's a good way to keep people out when you want to - don't give them a visa. Personally, I think it's a little passive aggressive and tacky. The whole purpose of the UN is to give people a chance to fight with words instead of missiles. We're not necessarily going to love every single person who goes to speak at the UN.

UPDATE: The US is saying they did approve the visas, and Ahmadinejad is just weaseling out of the situation.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Update: Armenian Genocide Resolution

If you read my last post on this, the US Congress is considering passing a resolution that the death of several hundred thousand Armenians at Ottoman hands was a genocide. Turkey, of course, is upset by that. You can read an update on the situation here. Basically, they don't want the resolution to pass, and the White House is on their side. Turkey is threatening us economically if this bill passes.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Color Me Cynical: KSM

Alright, I'm sure by now everyone has seen the news about Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (KSM) confessing to something like 31 attempted terrorist attacks. Now, since I am cynical I can't help but wonder a few things:

1) Did the torture he underwent help in his confession? And yes, I count waterboarding as torture.

2) Do all 31 of those terrorism attempts actually exist? Or did KSM make them up because he was tortured?

3) If they do exist, was he involved and the mastermind behind them as he is now claiming?

I just find it convenient that there are a number of Republican and White House scandals in the news over the last few weeks, and hey presto, here comes KSM saying that Bush was right and al-Qaeda was going to kick our ass if not for Bush. I have no problem believing that terrorist are out there and some are targeting us. But the scope of this seems a little high and the timing highly suspicious.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Update: What a Turkey! Redux

I lost the link, but I did see an article about Turkey and YouTube. Apparently the offending clip has been taken down, so Turkey is now allowing people to access YouTube again.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

What a Turkey! Redux

Yet more Turkey information. Now they've banned YouTube! Apparently there are clips on YouTube that insult Ataturk, the result of fighting between Greeks & Turks. Hey - at least the fighting is digital, not physical. So Turkey has gotten YouTube access blocked in Turkey. That'll get them into the European Union!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What a Turkey!

Okay, there is something wrong in Turkey. I've explained before about writers being persecuted for insulting "Turkishness." Well, now it gets even better. Apparently there is a Kurdish rebel in jail, whose last name is Ocalan. A Kurdish politician recently referred to him as "Mr. Ocalan." For shame! How dare you call a rebel "Mr."! The politician was given 6 months in jail for that. And another 18 months for distributing political literature that was written in Kurdish, not Turkish. I'm not making this up, folks. Read it here.