Posts from December 2003

Iran relations

Iran relations
: The Guardian says the U.S. is softening on Iran.

: But at the same time, the Telegraph says:

President George W Bush was sent a public manifesto yesterday by Washington’s hawks, demanding regime change in Syria and Iran and a Cuba-style military blockade of North Korea backed by planning for a pre-emptive strike on its nuclear sites.

The manifesto, presented as a “manual for victory” in the war on terror, also calls for Saudi Arabia and France to be treated not as allies but as rivals and possibly enemies.

Good cop of the world, bad cop of the world.

Something is cooking

Something is cooking
: TV news just showed a jam getting into Newark airport as every car goes through a security check. Something is up.

: UPDATES: Italy bans flights over Rome, for fear of attacks.

: Hamburg reportedly heads off a car-bomb attack.

: “Republican Rep. Christopher Shays, however, said people ought to avoid places like Times Square, calling it irresponsible for officials to make people think they don’t need to take precautions.

‘Secretary Ridge says just do what you normally do,’ Shays said. ‘If normally you go to Times Square, I wouldn’t do what you normally do. I wouldn’t go into places when you’re packed and where if there was panic, a lot of injuries would take place.'”

What Iraqis think

What Iraqis think
: Zeyad translates and posts the results of a fascinating poll of Iraqis conducted all over the country by the Iraqi Center for Research and Strategic Studies. Go see all the results. Some highlights:

1)What was your reaction to Saddam Hussein’s capture?

Overwhelming joy 59%

Shock and confusion 20%

Sadness 16%

None of my concern 5%…

3)Do you think that Saddam deserves a fair trial?

Yes 84%

No 16%

4)Do you prefer that Saddam be tried by:

An Iraqi court? 60%

An Iraqi court with International advisors? 15%

An International court of justice? 25%

5)What is the fair judgement you believe Saddam deserves?

Execution 56%

Imprisonment 25%

Clemency 19%

6)What do you think a speedy trial of Saddam would achieve?

It would prevent an internal schism or conflict 45%

It would ensure security and stability 30%

It would increase chaos 14%

It would help end the occupation 10%

Others 1%

7)How do you think Saddam’s capture would affect the resistance?

Decrease resistance activities 53%

Increase resistance activities 27%

Cessation of resistance 20%…

9)Which is more important to you?

Providing security 54.9%

Providing fuel 35.8%

Saddam’s capture 34.4%

Providing electricity 28.8%

Improving the economic situation 5.3%

10)Do you agree that those who suffered from the regime should be compensated?

Yes 12%

No 88%

And then they were asked whether a series of Saddam’s actions were crimes or were justified. They thought they all were crimes… except fighting Israel.

: MORE: Al-MuaJaha has a report from a visitor to Baghdad about life there:

The restaurant business in Iraq is booming, wherever you go, restaurants are full. Some of them even charge by U.S. dollars. Prices are high for local people and reasonable for foreigners who have dollars. An average price for any Iraqi or western dish is between 6000 ID, which is equivalent to $3 U.S. and 10000 ID or $5 U.S. Quality is getting better after the war: drinks are served in a very limited way, mainly imported beers. When I asked about our good beer, which we used to produce, I was surprised to learn that even the beer factories were looted, in addition to all the other factories….

Foreign restaurants, like Indian Chinese French, Italian English and American restaurants, are not yet there….

It is not likely foreign investors will open restaurants in Iraq at the present time and it may takes a long time.

However, when I asked about the giant American fast-food chain, MacDonald

Naked blogging

Naked blogging
: Jason Calacanis reports that Pud of F’d company has a new venture: anonymous instant photo-phone moblogging. Send your photo to and it will appear within a minute; ready for audience comments. No name, nothing fancy, naked moblogging. Oh, and yes, some of the photos will be sure to be of naked bloggers.


: Happened by the TV today when FoxNews was getting ready for Tommy Thompson’s press conference on the ephedra ban. The screen said: “FoxNews Alert: Waiting for newser on ephedra ban…”


I’m not sure whether that was an intentional use of news jargon; the line changed a minute later to “news conference.”

But I think we’ll see more sharing of new biz jargon; it’s a way to make everyone feel like insiders.