Monday, August 07, 2006

Middle East, etc:

Some Iran stuff. Here are Seymour Hersh’s two excellent (and rather frightening) articles for the New Yorker on the prospect of an American military action in Iran, one on the planning and another on the military chain of command’s resistance to the prospect. Neither are exactly brand new, but are extremely insightful. Anyone who hasn’t read ‘em should. Here’s a listing of Iranian and Iranian diaspora blogs. Also, some neat-o Iranian graffiti. Lastly, for anyone wanting to make travel plans, may I suggest the following: the Wikitravel article and a service for procuring an Iranian visa.

Back in Canada, something else I’ve let slide a bit. Michael Ignatieff’s reading of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict has gotten a bit uglier since I last wrote on it. Or maybe it always was—its hard to tell with him, frankly. Here’s a blog entry that quotes him extensively and criticizes well (if a bit harshly), and here’s Bob Rae and some others responding a few days ago. More recent analysis in the Ottawa Citizen and background to Canadian foreign policy in the region in the Toronto Star. A previous post of mine and the blog entry linked above both have access to a Star piece on the other 10 candidates views.

Lastly, rather a long way from the Middle East, the deputy leader of the Maoist insurgents in Nepal has announced that peace talks there are at the verge of collapse. The issue seems to be the fate of the Monarchy (whether it will recede to figurehead status or vanish entirely). On the other hand, they seem to be moving along nicely on the question of arms, on both sides. The Maoist announcement itself is probably not surprising exactly—there were bound to difficult patches on issues like this, and it might well just be a way to pressure the provisional government. A more interesting question might be what Maoists are doing making public statements to meetings of business leaders (see the first link). Doesn’t exactly suggest canonical communist values at work.

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