Here’s an interesting story about US efforts to aid the Syrian rebels. Especially this bit: A centerpiece of the effort this year focused on getting Iraq to close its airspace to Iran-to-Syria flights that U.S. intelligence concluded were carrying arms for Assad loyalists—contrary to flight manifests saying they held cut flowers… One example of the…Read More O RLY?
Back from MWC. Heavy cold. Browser queue jammed with stuff. I’m going to do a brief succession of link posts to clear up. (Happenings last week; huge Leveson revelations, James Murdoch out, King Mob abolished workfare, horse, Borisbus fiasco, debate on Daniel Morgan, even more Leveson..) This one deals with everyone’s favourite global geo-political region,…Read More Middle Eastern Links
This Ha’aretz piece is interesting for the insight it gives into Israeli policy and especially into process, but also for a couple of other things. Notably, it’s remarkably frank about the Obama administration deliberately trying to stop Netanyahu going to war, and the role of dodgy casino guy Sheldon Adelson in both US and Israeli…Read More Churchill was wrong for most of his career, you know…
Everyone’s linked to Mark Perry (of Conflicts Forum/Alistair Crooke fame)’s piece on Israeli spooks running around Baluchistan posing as the CIA already, but I will too as it’s very interesting indeed. I’m not sure what their bag in this is, other than the notion of “always escalate” and hope to profit from the general confusion.…Read More a short telegram, or a very long tweet
The fact that a majority of this year’s graduates from USAF basic pilot training are assigned to drone squadrons has got quite a bit of play in the blogosphere. Here, via Jamie Kenny, John Robb (who may still be burying money for fear of Obama or may not) argues that the reason they still do…Read More The RQ-170 hack and the drone bubble
In the recent case of Liam Fox and Adam Werritty, there was an issue that the news media spent an enormous amount of time and effort dancing around with innuendo, newspaper code, and carefully lawyered prose. It is a fact that the word “lawyered” is to the word “lawyer” as the word “doctored” is to…Read More Now that’s what I call lobbying
Looking back at Tunisia, and forward at Egypt, I think there’s an important point that this post almost hits but not quite. Specifically, I’m fairly sceptical about “Twitter Revolutions” and such – if your revolution has someone else’s brand name on it, how revolutionary is it? – but I don’t think it’s irrelevant. I’m feeling…Read More in the future, trolls will be a natural resource like oil
If I hadn’t been fiddling with file permissions to get WordPress running last Sunday, I’d probably have been writing about the Haystack saga. I’m a bit gestört by some of the coverage of it – Evgeny Morozov, typically, has been doing good work in the general war on bullshit, but I’m less convinced of his…Read More “Cyberwar” and Iran: the other side of the hill
One outcome of all the MySociety work for this election was the survey administered by DemocracyClub volunteers to all candidates. The results by party are graphed here, with standard deviations and error bars. Some immediate conclusions: Surprising egalitarianism. Look at question 1, which asks if the budget deficit should be reduced by taxing the rich.…Read More a centre-left nation needs what kind of government?
I was needling Spencer Ackerman about this but didn’t get a rise. It’s applicable to Noel Maurer too. No-One Knows About Persian Cats is a cracking little film; it’s a pseudo-documentary about Iran’s music underground, by the Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi and a small who’s who of Iranian music. As a result, it could almost…Read More actual Iranian music news