Oil interests preserved with Wolfowitz at WB

With Wolfowitz at the World Bank, Cheney’s oil schemes are in safe hands. Check out this interesting article in order to know why.

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Chauvinism, the Lebanese way

An interesting article was issued by Reuters which made it in several newspapers on the fate of those syrian workers who ran to their home country or got killed, harrassed, etc.
But beyond these stupid acts, lies an interesting economic observation.
Although

analysts say that as much as the Lebanese resent the Syrians, they perform a much needed role in the Lebanese economy by filling menial jobs at low wages that most Lebanese are unwilling to do

Lebanese continue putting the blame on the Syrian workers for their economic problems.
But if Syrians do not work for miserable salaries (which they should not do in an ideal world), we would have a rise in cost of input, whether they are replaced by Lebanese, or if suddenly Syrians start asking for more. Due to the impossibility of the second alternative as it violates basic laws of Demand and Supply (Syrians are here because they are ready to be paid less), then Lebanese would put the state of the economy in an worse state by increasing prices.
The real econmic problem in Lebanon, if any one cares, comes from the cash vultures i.e. banks that paralyzes credit circulation for more incestuous profits with paralyzed Central Bank. there are no Syrians there. It is Lebanese racket, pure blend.

The difference between good and bad Lebanese journalist

Joseph Samaha in the Lebanese daily Al Safir (Arabic) basically develops the idea that Bin Laden and Jean Paul II are two offshoots of the cold war situation that could have helped towards the fall of the Soviet Union, in the name of “freedom”. Bin Laden in Afghanistan, and Jean Paul in Poland. His remarks on the actions of the catholic churches in Latin America against the ‘leftist’ churchs are particularly incisive.

Meanwhile Ziad Makhoul of the (to the extent of some exception) useless francophone Newspaper L’Orient le Jour did a miserable comparison today between the events of May 1968 in France and a possible May 2005 revolution in Lebanon… this is so out of touch with basic understandings of reality that I don’t know if I should cry or laugh. Due to current political circumstances I think I’m going to cry because this will follow in history books who knows. How the hell is a social and intellectual movement that challenges the status quo of the French public system has to do with blind, illiterate, and primitive nationalistic herd “bousculade”?
I’m not going to link the passage because you may not find it the next day so here’s the interesting passage:

À moins que ce mai beyrouthin 2005, à l’image de celui, en France il y a 27 ans – qui aura nécessairement les défauts de ces qualités – ne puisse être évité par un compromis.

Can somebody explain this passage? Maybe he was trying to tell us that he knows about May 68 in France…

I know I chose the best and the worst. It was easy this time.

Attaturk and Putin

An article in the Moscow Times finds great similarities between the two men. I don’t know to which extent I disagree (reforms, “westernization”, nationalism, etc.) but one thing is for sure, Putin is not ashamed of his country’s culture and past, something that Attaturk has proven assiduously. Hell, anyone’s up for changing the alphabet of a country? Oh yes, Said Akl…

Mounting Sunnis against Shias (update)

Well just open newspapers daily and you’ll always find articles that indirectly contribute to the growing resentment between both sects. For example, check this article in the “Australian” (from a journalist in Jerusalem) that points to Iran (via Hezbollah) as the number one contributor to palestinian violence, when even Fath has back off. Also, this article in Asharq Al Awsat leaks supposedly American intelligence (retrieved from a right-wing newspaper in Spain), describing clashes between Bin Laden and Zarqawi over Iraqi Shiites. Basically, Zarqawi did not want to cooperate with the Shiites (whereas Bin Laden supposedly did) and so he became the head of “Al Qaeda”.

So the propaganda argument goes something like this:
If you’re a Sunni then, look! the Shias are the source of violence [Palestian example to get at Iran]. If you’re a Shia then, look! The Sunnis refused to cooperate with you [Iraqi example to dismember Sunni/Shia national coalitions].

All this is so politically loaded that one should really educate journalists to behave. Or Intelligence to turn their tongue in their mouth seven times before uttering such non sense. I know.. they did it on purpose.

Israel and US defense establishment

After some skirmishes over the Chinese Arms deals it’s all being worked:

Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz will meet senior Bush administration officials in Washington today. In meetings with US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, Mofaz will try to resolve disagreements between the US and Israeli defense establishments over Israel’s military ties with China.

but

Israeli sources in Washington want to keep Mofaz’s talks about China in the background of his busy agenda. “In the talks, Mofaz will mainly focus on the disengagement plan. He will outline the anticipated problems in carrying out the plan, and the preparations being made for it,” an Israeli source told “Globes” “Mofaz’s message will be that this is a long and complicated operation.

Still, something is not clear:

[F]ormer Israel Air Force chief maj.-gen. Herzl Bodinger, who is the liaison with the Pentagon for Israel-China military relations, is a member of Mofaz’s entourage. However, Ministry of Defense director general Amos Yaron, who usually participates in all important ministry delegations to the Pentagon, is not.
Relations between Yaron and US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith broke down several months ago.