January 17th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Peace Now" (ARAB NEWS EDITORIAL

 
TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
 
Transmitted below is the editorial in today's issue of the ARAB NEWS, Saudi Arabia's leading English-language newspaper. (Perhaps President Bush read it with his breakfast. If so, and if he also read yesterday's SAUDI GAZETTE editorial, he may wish to have a stern word or two with King Abdullah about freedom of the press.)
 
For people who actually live in this region, there is something seriously psychedelic about the apparently prevalent belief in American ruling and punditry circles that Gulf Arabs are trembling with fear of the alleged "nuclear ambitions" of Iran and might even be willing to sell out the Palestinian people if the United States were to "take out" Iran on their behalf.
 
In light of Israel's ample nuclear arsenal, I suspect that most of "the street" would, in fact, be thrilled if any Muslim state within reach of Israel (even a non-Arab and Shiite one) were to acquire nuclear weapons and, thereby, establish a "balance of terror" in place of the unilateral terror of the past four decades.
 
To the extent that Gulf Arab rulers are worried about Iran, it surely has far less to do with any potential Iranian military threat to them or their countries than it does to the inconveniently admirable political example set by Iran's courage in proudly and defiantly standing up and talking back to America and Israel and the inconveniently admirable moral example set by the apparent austerity and genuine piety of Iran's leaders. (The shabbily dressed President Ahmedinejad is reputed to carry his lunch from his modest, pre-presidential home in a paper bag, to sleep on the floor of his office when he works late and to have performed Haj last month, at the invitation of King Abdullah, like any other pilgrim, without any security guards.) The contrast with the political and lifestyle choices of local rulers does not go unnoticed.
 
President Bush has done his royal "friends" in this region no favor by descending upon them as he has. From the standpoint of the local populations, the spectacle of their hereditary rulers literally rolling out the red carpet for -- and hanging heavy gold chains representing their countries' highest honors around the neck of -- the man widely viewed as the worst enemy in living memory of Arabs, Muslims and Islam itself, the man who is already responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Arabs and Muslims and who appears eager to kill more, can hardly enhance the respect in which these rulers are held.
 
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Chris Keeley

Static Diplomacy

 
PLO Mission
                        Washington, DC
 

January 15, 2008

 

Subject: Static Diplomacy

From: PLO Mission - Washington, DC

 

 

 

Afif Safieh, the Head of the PLO Mission, has returned to Washington from Palestine.   While in Ramallah, Safieh attended the meetings with visiting President Bush / met with President Abbas/ with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad/ attended the meetings of the Fatah Council which discussed the situation in Gaza and the preparations for the Fatah Conference before Summer 2008/ visited Bili'in where a heroic protracted non-violent struggle is waged against settlement-building and land-confiscation and met with the entire leadership of the village/ attended the exquisite Daniel Barenboim piano concert in Ramallah where the size of audience again demonstrated Palestinian thirst for a life of normality or the semblance of normality...etc.

 

Safieh deplored what he called "Static Diplomacy" in spite of the thousands of hours that are invested in talk about talks, negotiating pre- negotiations and pre- negotiating negotiations.   On the ground the situation continues to deteriorate: the inhuman siege of the Gaza Strip and the daily bombardments, the frequent and repeated Israeli military incursions in the urban centers of the West Bank, settlement expansion mainly in and around occupied East Jerusalem and the number of the check-points that was not reduced strangulating the society and suffocating the economy.

 

Safieh was distressed by the conditions in East Jerusalem, the future Capital of Palestine, a city politically orphaned by the death of the Faisal Husseni and the illegal closure of The Orient House.   Safieh in a meeting with 12 personalities from Jerusalem took a commitment to constantly raise the issue of the necessary reopening of The Orient House as stipulated in the first phase of the Road Map.

 

During his stay in Ramallah, Afif Safieh has asked President Abbas to relieve him, soon, during 2008, of his duties in Washington for health reasons.   Safieh has suffered in 2006-2007 of a herniated disc and has undergone surgery last May.

 

 

PLO Mission

Contact Information
 
phone: (202) 974-6360 
Fax: (202) 974-6278 
Website: www.plomission.us  
Chris Keeley

The Gulf Arab States and US-Iran Relations

The Gulf Arab States and US-Iran Relations

Here is a link to an interesting analysis by a British analyst based in Dubai, Dr. Neil Patrick. It is on the RUSI website (the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies). The title of the piece is "Dire Straits for US Mideast Policy: The Gulf Arab States and US-Iran Relations."

http://www.rusi.org/research/studies/menap/commentary/ref:C4784DF6A9E6B2/
Chris Keeley

law enforcement officials did not, as pictured in the movie, beat Mr. Lucas’s wife or steal hundreds

law enforcement officials did not, as pictured in the movie, beat Mr. Lucas’s wife or steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from him. Nor, the suit claims, did they shoot his dog.

January 17, 2008

D.E.A. Agents Say Movie Libeled Them

Three former agents of the New York office of the Drug Enforcement Administration filed a defamation lawsuit on Wednesday against NBC Universal studios, claiming that the movie “American Gangster” libeled D.E.A. agents.

The movie, which was released in November, depicts the life of Frank Lucas, a Harlem drug dealer who earned millions of dollars on the streets before his arrest and successful prosecution in Manhattan in 1975.

The former agents — Jack Toal, Gregory Korniloff and Louis Diaz — accused NBC Universal of including an incorrect postscript at the end of the film stating that Mr. Lucas’s eventual cooperation with the government led to the convictions of “three-quarters” of the agents who served with the New York D.E.A. from 1973 to 1985.

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Chris Keeley

Raquel Welch: Space-Girl Dance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgqTS3XcAuI

Raquel Welch: Space-Girl Dance


Three cheers for the kind soul who posted this video of Raquel Welch in a space girl outfit dancing in front of giant abstract sculptures (where are they?) (Via Eye of the Goof) 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgqTS3XcAuI

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Chris Keeley

The Daydream

The Daydream 

01

http://www.throckmorton-nyc.com/Current/MAESTRO_MAB/MAESTRO_MAB_ExhibFS.html

Manuel Alvarez Bravo: El Maestro de Modernismo at Throckmorton Fine Art. "...He began his career as a young photographer in the 1920’s in post-revolutionary Mexico. With the emergence of Mexico City as an international center, artists and intellectuals, celebrated the avantgarde and their indigenous past. Through association with and recognition by such luminaries as Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, Paul Strand, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Manuel was able to work within a wide range of styles and subject matter including: formalist abstraction, architecture, interiors, landscapes, still lifes, and portraits. Bravo, influenced by the indigenous culture of Mexico, also remained open to the artistic influences outside his native country."
Chris Keeley

The Bridgeman Art Library/Getty Images

The Bridgeman Art Library/Getty Images

AN EARLY FACEBOOK Some question whether a rise in self-awareness is a myth, like Narcissus, right. 



IN each of the following pairs, respondents are asked to choose the statement with which they agree more:

a) “I have a natural talent for influencing people”

b) “I am not good at influencing people”

a) “I can read people like a book”

b) “People are sometimes hard to understand”

a) “I am going to be a great person”

b) “I hope I am going to be successful”

These are some of the 40 questions on a popular version of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. It may seem like a just-for-kicks quiz on par with “Which Superhero Are You?” but the test is commonly used by social scientists to measure narcissistic personality traits. (Choosing the first statement in any of the above pairings would be scored as narcissistic.)

Conventional wisdom, supported by academic studies using the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, maintains that today’s young people — schooled in the church of self-esteem, vying for spots on reality television, promoting themselves on YouTube — are more narcissistic than their predecessors. Heck, they join Facebook groups like the Association for Justified Narcissism. A study released last year by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press dubbed Americans age 18 to 25 as the “Look at Me” generation and reported that this group said that their top goals were fortune and fame. 

Yet despite exhibiting some signs of self-obsession, young Americans are not more self-absorbed than earlier generations, according to new research challenging the prevailing wisdom.

Chris Keeley

This week in the magazine, Lawrence Wright writes about Mike McConnell, the director of National Int

This week in the magazine, Lawrence Wright writes about Mike McConnell, the director of National Intelligence. Here Wright talks with Matt Dellinger about McConnell’s ideas for reform, his views on privacy issues and torture, and the threats the intelligence community may confront in the future.

Listen to the mp3 on the player above, or right-click here to download.

Subscribe to The New Yorker Out Loud for a weekly conversation with contributors to The New Yorker. This and other podcasts are available through iTunes, or through our Feeds page.

Chris Keeley

The Afghanistan Muddle

The Afghanistan Muddle

William Pfaff


Paris, January 15, 2008 – Britain's defense minister, Des Browne, says that the British military contingent in Afghanistan could remain there for "decades" to come. "One can't take the risk of seeing this country again become a training ground for terrorists threatening Great Britain," he recently declared.

There are two inanities in this statement, both common enough when western officials talk about terrorism. The first is that terrorists and guerrillas need a "training ground." Why? The suicide bomber needs motivation and nerve, but training is wasted on him or her. The bomb-maker can learn the techniques of bomb-making and the characteristics of explosives on the internet, and buy the ingredients locally.

Explosives lore, bomb-setting advice, and other counsel useful to the novice can be had from old hands in the game in conversations, informal meetings or classes, for which you don't have to go to Afghanistan.

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This article comes from William PFAFF
http://www.williampfaff.com

The URL for this article is: 
http://www.williampfaff.com/article.php?storyid=284