Re: virus: A Georgish Kind of Gloom

From: rhinoceros (
Date: Thu Aug 15 2002 - 14:11:49 MDT

[Jane's Intelligence Digest - 12 August 2002]
Hamas will continue attacks
The latest move by Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Yasser Arafat to impose his authority on all the armed groups involved in attacks on Israelis, including the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Islamic Jihad, appears to have ended in failure. Was this Arafat's last chance to stake his claim to the leadership of the wider Palestinian community?

[Joe Dees]
I suspected as much; his choices are to collude with the terrorists or to be ignored. I suspect that he is taking what he considers to be a middle path in order to maintain his position: publicly condemn, privately collude. This is, of course, not acceptable, and renders Arafat unacceptable as well as a negotiator who could guarantee Palestinian compliance in any Mideast settlement.

What I see here is that, as a result of deliberete actions by Sharon, USA, Hamas, Islamists etc, Arafat is really losing the support of the Palestinian people -- terrorists or not. In a western democratic society, such a politician without support might step down or be kicked out of office and someone who had the approval of the people -- terrorists or not -- would take over. Well, Arafat is trying to hold on, no matter whether he believes he is doing the right thing or he is just in a power play.

My argument: If Sharon really wanted Arafat out of the picture as a terrorist, he could have enforced that during the siege of his headquarters or at some other opportunity in "self defense" of Israel, as he has done in several occasions. He didn't, because he didn't want to. What he really was after was to discredit the PA and weaken its international support, even if that meant more violence in Israel. Sharon has proved that he doesn't object to violent "solutions", and I think I can assert that this is a preparatory part of a new effort to push the Palestinian people further back, in a contention for resources.

[Jane's Intelligence Digest - 12 August 2002]
Back to the Balkans

While the attention of the international community has been focused on the continuing crisis in the Middle East, the increasingly tense situation in the southern Balkans has received far less attention, despite the risk of renewed inter-ethnic conflict on the borders of the European Union and the threat to various multi-national peace-keeping missions. This JID report highlights the potential flashpoints.

[Joe Dees]
Yep; we have to keep our eyes focused down there. Until Karadzic and Mladic are apprehended, the possibilities for further trouble remain.

I don't see how Karadzic or Mladic can talk anyone into any inter-ethinic conflict. Besides, there are enough people in the Balkans concerned with the current and future problems, so maybe the USA would be justified in focusing their interest somewhere else.

[Jane's Foreign Report - first posted to - 13 August 2002]
Democracy in Pakistan

HAVING elected himself as president for five years in a referendum on April 30, General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's military ruler, is now busily preparing for a general election on October 10 in which he has appointed himself as judge, jury and umpire. Musharraf boasts that under his tutelage "Pakistan already has democracy, all we need is a label". He presumably believes the election will give him the legitimacy he needs if only to deepen the relations between Pakistan and the US. Will Musharraf succeed?

[Joe Dees]
I think that he will. The majority of Pakistanis are not fundamentalist, deeply resent the troubles that the radicals have brought to their region, and will support Musharraf's continuing efforts to rein them in.

Was that a comment about democracy or about compliance with democratic countries.

[Washington Post 12 August 2002]
Peace in Iraq

Kurdish demands for autonomy and Shiite Muslim resistance to the central government. One defense official told the Washington Post: "I think it is almost a certainty that we'd wind up doing a campaign against the Kurds and Shiites." Wouldn't that be pretty?

[Joe Dees]
Actually, I think that it is more likely that we would be amenable to the Kurds forming their own homeland in northern Iraq, and an Iran-friendly Shiite nation being born in the south. The center would remain Sunni. After all, it's not like the entire thing is a single ancient nation; it was formed awkwardly, by western powers, early this century.

Just a bit of additional information. Many thousands of Iraqi Kurd refugees passed through Greece in the recent years heading to North Europe, and I got to know several. A few of them applied for political asylum here. Regardless of the reasons they gave in their applications, most of them were really fleeing from the two Kurdish warlords ("parties"), Barzani and Talabani, who are in permanent strife, recruiting people from the places they occupy, striving to control oil pipes and get "security" money from the nearby countries, and switching allegiances. I read that USA has come to some kind of agreement with both of them against Saddam; I am not sure where this is going to lead. I agree that Kurds should have their own homeland, but it seems more likely that Turkey will just get a chunk instead.

This message was posted by rhinoceros to the Virus 2002 board on Church of Virus BBS.

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