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April 17, 2004

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Roads closed? Bad couple of days? No, that liberal media, NBC, the one owned by arms maker GE, told me just tonight that the roads were only closed so supplies could be delivered swiftly where needed! oh ye of little faith!

OK, Moe, can you defend this week's decision by the Bush/Sharon axis to basically declare war on all of Muslim-kind?

Because from where I sit, it's looking a wee bit, um, counterproductive.

"OK, Moe, can you defend this week's decision by the Bush/Sharon axis to basically declare war on all of Muslim-kind?"

Not until after I visit the alternate universe where that actually happened.

Fair enough, but even a humorless right-wing stooge like you will laugh at this photo.

And then there's this.

ASDF- why did I never notice the Bush/Jeannie similarities? funny/scary or scary/funny?

And then there's T. Friedman, who has basically been driven insane.

"Fair enough, but even a humorless right-wing stooge like you will laugh at this photo."

Curse my VRWC Ninja eyes.

Moe

PS: ;)

Curse my VRWC Ninja eyes.

Speaking of which, can you believe that thing Clinton said to Hugh Shelton about a bunch of flipped-out Ninjas in black pajamas landing at bin Laden's Tarnak farm?

And speaking of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, what's up with this?

(Shrug) Sometimes you have to outsource.

And then, there's this.

Not a lot of optimism from me tonight.

Actually, that seems like the sane T. Friedman to me. Stupid diplomacy, sure, but a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza (with the associated subduing of the settlers) and a unity govt sound like good outcomes to me. The other route seems likely to be Sharon setting a fairly maximalist route to the wall in the West Bank. Let Arafat or Hamas deal with actual governance for a while, let old age or scandal catch up to Sharon. The US is going to be too busy with Iraq for the next 5 years anyway to help out the region otherwise.

Spent the evening trying to defend the war over at Yglesias. Not been fun or easy. But felt it only fair to open myself to attacks, having stated a pro-war position so often. Wish Bush would have given me better arguments.

Too depressed and discouraged to comment otherwise.

The Jordanians seem involved enough to get into a shooting fight with Americans - nothwithstanding being part of the same UN force in Kosovo.

That should of course be *some* Jordanians and notwithstanding.

That should indeed be "some".

Don't forget that al-Zarqawi is Jordanian by birth, opposed King Abdullah and decided to become a radical Islamacist when his disultory attempts at being a businessman failed.

Zarqawi's affiliation with al Qaeda, his actions in Iraq and this attempt to bring down Abdullah's government in Jordan are all part of the same effort.

The young King has been walking a careful tightrope since he assumed the throne. He is one of the few leaders in the Arab world who is moderate and working hard for the well-being of his people. To associate him and his government with the al-Zarqawi types is not only invalid, it misses the real struggle going on there.

You mean the "al-Zarqawi types" like the Jorndanian UN peacekeeper (!) that started shooting? From what I can find on the incident that seemt to be what happened. An evil deed if so, but I don't think that the guy was an " al-Zarqawi type".

I actually ment it as an illustration that indeed Jordan has a difficult position, and the current polarisation does not help. It tents to drive people to the extremes, not to the moderate middle.

"He is one of the few leaders in the Arab world who is moderate and working hard for the well-being of his people."

More importantly, King Abdullah is one of the few leaders in the Arab world to appear on Star Trek.

It is a little-known fact that al-Zarqawi hates Abdullah and us because the ST was Voyager, and he'd seen the show.

I found "50 political parties, none of which have agendas" very interesting in the Jordan story.
Obviously tribalism, whether deliberately set up so as to fractionalize any possible opposition is another question. My guess is yes.

But it certainly raises questions about Iraq, which has many more factions than the 3-5 we usually hear about. One reason I have been less worried about "civil war". The current worry is about "civil war" between 2 Shia factions. There are actually a lot more Shia factions than 2.

How are consensus parties formed?

Bob, in the Netherlands we have coalition governments. Every party needs to exceed certain limits (sort of like wat Nader needs in the US) before it is "viable". And it needs to get a certain percentage of the votes before it can be represented. The parties that have enough votes divide the seats in the "house" (x number of votes - 1 seat).

Usually extreme parties (rightwing, leftwing and/or religious) don't get many votes. Some have one or two seats and are happy with that, sometimes small parties merge (i.e. the pacificts and the communists ;-)) to have a slightly broader base.

The bigger parties (2 - 5) are more moderate, though the difference between the socialists and the conservatives is still obvious. The queen appoints an "informator" who leads the first negotiations to see which parties can form a majority and reach agreement about the policies for the next 4 years. Biggest party has first say.

In effect it means that sometimes it takes long before we have a new government, but we have a more consistent policy because of it.

Marjolein

Thanks, dutch

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