Monday, May 31, 2004  [!]
I've been reading John Robb's Global Guerrillas weblog without a mention besides a link in the blogroll. It's very smart, avoids a partisan us-them, I always learn something, and in the coupla months that it's been going (started in March 2004), he's attracted quite a following, both in terms of hits and highly-placed readers.

Today he writes:

Global Guerrillas has proven to be an invaluable analytical resource on the fast moving world of international terrorism. To wit: the recent attacks in Saudi Arabia should have come as no surprise to the site's readers. Thanks again to the thousands of current readers who have made this effort worthwhile.

5/31/04; 2:39:48 PM | Current Events | Discuss | # | |

I may have mentioned it before-- the blog from inside Saudi Arabia: The Religous Policeman, but it's worth mentioning again. It's brilliant, brilliant.

He wants to sell advertising on the national 404 page ("you can't go to whatever page you requested because we won't let you") and retire.

He wants to start a new lottery:

Every week, Saudi citizens could buy a 10-Riyal ticket with a number from 0 to 20. Then, following the weekly terrorist "surrounding" and shoot-out, those whose number matches the number of escaping terrorists, win a cash prize. It's topical, it's exciting, and no other country could imitate it.

It's a must-read. (but it updates more often than realizes, so it doesn't rise up to the top of my blogroll as often as it should)

5/31/04; 2:22:55 PM | Current Events | Discuss | # | |

From the print version of the May 29-June 4 issue, a coupla excerpts from an article reviewing America's role in the middle east; these excerpts come from the "gee I didn't know that but once stated, why, it makes a lotta sense" department.

On brokering peace in the Israel-Palestine conflict. In 2002, Bush proposed a forum to promote Palestinian peace. After the war, he settled down to work, "to urge progress."

A year on, there has been none, and the appearance of failure on both flanks of the Middle East has become self-reinforcing. In just the way that many Americans see no distinction between the terrorirms of al Qaeda and the terrorism of the Palestinian intifada, so many Arabs see no distinction beteen Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and America's occupation of Iraq. Both conflicts are portrayed on Arabic satellite channels as similar dramas of national or Islamic resistance.

And from the conclusion of the article,

America could do more in Palestine. After Iraq, it needs to more than ever. Note, though, how many of the people who believe that it is impotent in Iraq also assume that it is all-powerful when it comes to ending a conflict that has perplexed the great powers for a century.

(We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog-drivel; this Memorial Day weekend attempt at seriousness now draws to an end.)

5/31/04; 1:34:10 PM | Iraq | Discuss | # | |