Archive for February, 2007

Prime-Time Torture

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

The effect of Fox TV’s “24″ on the execution of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo:
Although reports of abuses by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have angered much of the world, the response of Americans has been more tepid. Finnegan attributes the fact that “we are generally more comfortable […]

Private Religion and Public Ideology

Friday, February 16th, 2007

There is an important distinction to be made between Islam as religion and Islam as ideology.
The statement “Religion is a private matter” is only applicable in liberal, secular societies in some parts of the west. In muslim societies, religion is almost always made to be a public matter. Islamic religious authority is reasserting itself as […]

Akash Asylum

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

[Update 13Jan2008]
I have retained this post, but have excised the text I wrote about GMB Akash in view of the complaints made by GMB Akash himself in the comments. In fact I got the information from another blog which turned out to be factually incorrect. This is a bad thing. I have broken a blogging […]

The Twelve Billion Dollar Fumble

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

File under Famous Fuck-ups in the Short History of the Iraqi Invasion and Occupation Humanitarian Intervention:
Under Paul Bremer’s stewardship, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq requested $12 billion in cash from the US treasury which the US flew into Iraq in shrink-wrapped $100 bills. The Guardian notes in an article titled How the US […]

Kick a Conspiracy

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. And this time its George Monbiot. George takes a look at Loose Change, and takes a sledge hammer to this sharp, slick production of a conspiracy theory.
People believe Loose Change because it proposes a closed world: comprehensible, controllable, small. Despite the great evil that runs […]

Wealth Of The Poor

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

The practice of giving tiny, unsecured loans in the developing world is being hailed as a breakthrough in the fight against global poverty. Adam Yamaguchi explores the concept of microcredit and its founder, Muhammad Yunus, in Bangladesh.
See the short film on CurrentTV.

The Sensible Neocon

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

Francis Fukuyama is a rare breed: a sensible and reflexive Neocon.
If anybody had been reading carefully what I said about the end of history, it was never that any given society today is capable of going through a democratic revolution … economic development matters, culture matters, and if you’ve got a society with these extremely […]

Ten Feet High and Rising

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

Are the Bangladeshi plains in danger of increased flooding as a result of Western carbon emissions alone?
The Times suggests that Western carbon emissions is one of many factors amongst many, all contributing to a “perfect storm” of environmental forces which will submerge a quarter of Bangladesh by 2100. In population terms, that means 30 to […]

For a Humanistic Islam

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Elham Manea pleads for a Humanistic Islam:
The re-Islamisation of Arab societies gave ground to the belief that there is indeed only one version of Islam, the one exported from the heart of Saudi Arabia: Najdi Wahhabi Islam [2]. People seem to have forgotten how colorful and diverse Islamic traditions were. Islam in Tunisia or Morocco […]

Under the golmal, the serious golmal