1. Leaders who abandon the pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them will find an open path to better relations with the US and other nations.
    — 

    President George W. Bush on Muammar Gaddafi’s decision to abort Libya’s weapons of mass destruction program in 2003. [Source:BBC]

    Here’s a reminder of what that path looked like…

    I’m sure Syria and Iran took notes…

     

  2. Do you know what all this talk about “sending a message by bombing Syria” has done for the world?

    I can’t be sure, but there are reports that North Korea has restarted one of its nuclear reactors.

    I guess North Korea “got the message.”

    There’s a lesson to be learned here.

    Bombing Country A for the sake of sending a message to Country NOT A nearly 5,000 miles away does not sound even remotely rational.

    If the US wants to talk to the North Koreans, then it should talk to the North Koreans.

    If the US wants to talk to the Iranians, then it should talk to the Iranians.

    Otherwise, this “sending a message” stuff could get plenty of us killed…

    song currently stuck in my head: “we all have a star” – wilton felder

     

  3. See how easy it is to spin a story?

     


  4.  

  5. You can read President Assad tell his side of the Syria civil war story – inclusive of chemical weapons charges, his country’s friendship with Russia, possible US intervention and peace talks – to Russian news outlet Izvestia, via Courrier International. Here’s the English translation.

    Big Love to friend, photographer and blogger Juan Carlos Hernandez for the article…

    Song currently stuck in my head: “blow (restless soul peaktime mix)” – fini dolo

     


  6. TANO - MAY 6

    One. I’ll make my point more blunt than I did a few days ago: now that the mainstream media is finally exploring the idea raised by other outlets that the Syrian rebels are using chemical weapons and have effectively crossed the red line President Obama imposed on the Syrian Government almost nine months ago, don’t you think it’s time for the media to discuss the risk of Syria turning into a 1980’s Afghanistan, complete with short-sighted US military assistance?

    Two. “Game changer” is the most overused term of this decade.

    Three. Is it funny or scary that the founder of the euro now thinks the currency should break-up?

    Four. While I understand how a politician’s skin color can boost racial pride and self esteem, where I disagree with Pastor Kevin Johnson is that a Presidential cabinet member’s skin color does not guarantee good times for black folks nor any other race – specific POLICIES matter most to me…

    Five. With that said, I still have to ask: can any African American offer feedback about President Barack Obama other than saying “He’s the greatest President in American History” without risking race membership revocation?

    song currently stuck in my head: “wandering star” - portishead

     

  7. Percent of Arabs who feel that Iran acquiring nuclear weapons would have a more negative outcome for the Middle East region, as reported in the 2011 Arab Public Opinion Poll conducted by Brookings [PDF]. 50 percent responded “More positive” or “Would not matter.”

    As if that splash of cold water needs a drop in temperature, the Arabs who were  surveyed reside in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates — in other words, Arab countries that are considered US allies…

    song currently stuck in my head: “ain’t no running away” - willy washington presents paula ralph

     


  8. No one at this point is surprised that Bush The Second had his mind set about going to war with Iraq long before Colin Powell tried to make America’s case for fighting  to the United Nations in 2003. Therefore, the Huffington Post reporting Powell’s no-debate admission in his new book is not really earth-shattering.

    What much of the press appears to be avoiding is an exploration of the real reason for why the US invaded Iraq.

    The real reason runs runs much deeper than the “It’s all about oil!” accusation.

    The reason has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction.

    It’s the same reason that forced China and Russia to not only oppose the Iraq War, but also have the same two countries worried — if not downright pissed — about the likelihood of a US invasion of Iran.

    The reason has everything to do with protecting the global standing of the US Dollar, and by extension, US interests all over the world. The word “empire” would be a fitting substitute for the last part of that sentence, but using the term distracts some from seeing this reason I keep mentioning.

    On the bright side, Junior Bush didn’t lie to us. He vowed to protect the American way of life through his global War on Terror, and he did just that. For a few more years, at least…

    song currently stuck in my head: “no room for squares” - hank mobley

     

  9. Two thoughts inspired my quick and dirty graphic about the history of US policy in Iran.

    First – I was looking for a different way to view history since I’ve been routinely dissatisfied with the way many “Dumb-it-down” media organizations and other sources present the background of current events. Multiple vectors with tails that extend for decades can shape a current geopolitical situation, which makes attributing a crisis to one event or displaying the background of a crisis in a simple timeline abysmally inadequate.

    Second – like some conflicts in our personal lives, we may blame the other person for why a friendship turned sour, but we should still take the time to examine ourselves and ask “Is there anything I did in the past that contributed to the situation we are in today?”

    As the saying goes “We make our choices, and then our choices…”

    Perhaps you have another way of displaying history. I’d love to see it…

    song currently stuck in my head: “was that all it was” – carleen anderson & full flava