Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Piano Man Song

Index of Global Delirium...    Up from 9.5 to 9.6 following #Rio2016 Opening Ceremony, and breaking of Aleppo siege by Syrian rebels
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The Alliance of Scientists, Artists and Sportsmen: We always win, even when we occasionally don’t. We also make history and write it too.

09:47 pm

Talks on UN-supervised humanitarian access to Aleppo – where reports yesterday suggested that rebels may have broken the siege, at least temporarily – and other stricken areas are staggering on in New York. They must be given top priority by all governments. Discussions are also taking place about resuming the Geneva peace process. They, too, must gain new impetus, not least through a more constructive, non-judgmental engagement between the US and Russia. Countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia must face severe consequences if they continue to use Syria to pursue regional agendas. Most of all, the international community must unite in telling Assad to step down. While he remains in power in Damascus, there can be no peace. His departure could finally break the cycle of violence.

09:28 pm

My Grandfather: Scapegoat for a Century of Middle East Madness. “The Sykes-Picot Agreement, signed 100 years ago, led to disasters in the Mideast. Yet, as Sykes’s grandson and biographer tells us, Sykes himself was a young idealist.” Regardless of what one think of the merits of the arguments made here, it remains clear that our adamant refusal to take ownership of the mess in our neighborhood is the main reason why we cannot dig ourselves out of the hole. The mess that the contemporary Middle East is mostly of our making and not the product of what the British and French did over a century ago. The real question we should be asking ourselves is this: why were the British and the French able to intervene so forcefully in our lives? Why were we so weak?

09:28 pm

08:04 pm

Yes. It really happened.

Fawaz Gerges, who is professor of Middle Eastern Politics at the London School of Economics, told the BBC News Channel that the rebels had certainly made gains… "It has been able to score some major gains in the past 48 hours. The question is not whether the opposition has made some progress or not [but] whether they can really maintain the areas that they occupy and whether they can consolidate it."

07:34 pm

Why the hell not?

05:10 pm

These Greens are seriously "green," or they're in it for the Green.. backs.

05:03 pm

Preparing for an better future, post-conflict: Matterbetter Announces Winners of Syria: Post-War Housing Competition.

Meanwhile, Iran’s leaders continue to live up to their worst impulses: Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri 'executed', Iran executes teenage boy for being gay.

04:53 pm

03:43 pm

Different Perceptions = Different Realities

President Obama may not think that the conflict in Syria is “a proxy war between the United States and Russia,” or “some superpower chessboard contest.” But clearly Putin does. He may not think of the $400 million payment to Iran as “ransom,” but, by preventing takeoff of the plane carrying the hostages until the plane carrying the funds had landed, Iran’s leaders showed that they clearly did think of the payment as ransom. Does Obama not think that this difference in perceptions matter, especially when most people around the globe think that it does? Does he not think that such perceptions will reflect negatively on U.S. interests? Clearly, he does not. He is wrong, and that's why the world has gotten far more dangerous and chaotic on his watch. His penchant for drawing wrong lessons from right analyses is bound to become the stuff of future legends and the butt of many tragic jokes. 

03:23 pm

02:59 pm

02:53 pm

Aleppo: siege reportedly broken 

02:42 pm

In Malaysia, Islamic think tank recommends teaching “civilisation studies instead of religious dogma.” An advice that Saudi Arabia, Iran and all Arab- and Muslim-majority countries need to heed as well. And that will be the day.

02:37 pm

Syrian refugee Ninorta Bahno crowned 'wine queen' in Germany. On a related note, the Bavarian Teetotalers' Association will reportedly crown a Syrian Muslim refugee as their “King” soon.

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