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2008 May 23 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Definitely Not Good News

Dr. Cole looks that the rumors circulating in Iraq and addresses the question: Will Sistani Declare Jihad on US?

The thing to remember is that if the Grand Ayatollah Sistani officially issues a fatwa that Shi’ites have a religious duty to oppose the US forces in Iraq, even the current Iraqi army will feel compelled to respond. Iraq becomes untenable.

Sistani is the major reason that the situation hasn’t been a lot worse than it is. If he issues an opinion against the US presence, the “insurrection” will become all out war.

May 23, 2008   Comments Off on Definitely Not Good News

Good News?

Jonathan Head, South East Asia correspondent, BBC News wonders – Will Burma keep its word on aid?

For nearly three weeks the Burmese government has insisted that, while it will take relief supplies from overseas, foreign personnel are not welcome.

Hundreds of disaster experts have been left stranded outside the country, waiting for visas, and most of those foreigners already inside have been confined to Rangoon – military checkpoints preventing them from reaching the stricken Irrawaddy Delta.

So the offer by senior General Than Shwe to UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon to allow in “all foreign aid workers, regardless of nationality”, appears to be a breakthrough.

My guess is that this is the standard stall by the junta, something they have done many times before. When it comes time for people to get to work, they will find out that they are so restricted by the military that accomplishing anything significant is impossible. The Burmese military fails to understand the giant boost the Chinese government received internationally and domestically with its reaction to the earthquake.

May 23, 2008   Comments Off on Good News?

More Problems for China

The BBC publishes an update on the casualties figures for the earthquake and highlights yet another problem in the region: China earthquake toll jumps again

The death toll from the massive earthquake in south-west China rose again, as an official said more than five million buildings had collapsed.

Vice-Governor of Sichuan province Li Chengyun said 55,239 people were now know to have died in the 12 May quake.

He appealed for more tents and set a three-year goal to rebuild towns and infrastructure in the region.

Meanwhile, concern is growing over a number of new lakes formed by the force of the earthquake.

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May 23, 2008   2 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Dirty Picture

Friday Cat Blogging

Want to see my scar?

[Editor: Actually it has been in the upper 80s lately, and I avoid turning on the AC until the computer starts kicking in the main fan, so Property was just trying to cool off. She was so distracted she forgot to close her eyes.]

Friday Ark

May 23, 2008   16 Comments