Media Watch World: US Attorney General, Things Hilary Should Know, Guantano, WSJ is Free, Religious Convergence, Tariq Ali and more...
Kya mer na jaaiN tri is a'da per hum
First the US rums amok as a mad bull in china shop, and then asks naively what happened?
Koi batlai kay hum batlaiN kya?
Mukasey 'surprised' by scope of terrorist threats
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorney General Michael Mukasey has been taken aback by the scope and variety of potential terrorism threats facing the United States, he told reporters Friday at an informal meeting in his office.
Attorney General Michael Mukasey receives terrorism updates during national security briefings. "I'm surprised by how surprised I am," said Mukasey, who as a federal judge presided over terrorism-related trials in New York. "It's surprising how varied [the threat] is, how many directions it comes from, how geographically spread out it is," he said.
Mukasey issued no warnings, made no pronouncements and offered no suggestion of increased danger or newly detected plots. He would not discuss specifics of potential threats, which remain secret. The attorney general said that after meeting with his European law enforcement counterparts last week in Slovenia, he understands their degree of anxiety as well.
Omar Khadr, after a firefight in Afghanistan in July 2002, it was clear that the resumption of Khadr’s pre-trial hearing at Guantánamo last week would once more raise murky issues of torture and untrustworthy intelligence that the administration — desperate to secure a “clean” conviction in its much-reviled Military Commission process — hoped would remain buried.
The photo preceded excerpts from Star reporter Michelle Shephard’s long-awaited biography of Omar Khadr, Guantánamo’s Child, which does the most thorough job to date of humanizing the second youngest son of the generally unsympathetic Khadr family, whose late patriarch, Ahmed Khadr, was close to Osama bin Laden.
HALPERIN’S TAKE: Painful Things Hillary Clinton Knows — Or Should Know
1. She can't win the nomination without overturning the will of the elected delegates, which will alienate many Democrats.
2. She can't win the nomination without a bloody convention battle -- after which, even if she won, history and many Democrats would cast her as a villain.
3. Catching up in the popular vote is not out of the question -- but without re-votes in Florida and Michigan it will be almost as impossible as catching up in elected delegates.
How Will Hillary's Bosnia "Whopper" Play in the Media? RJ Escow
Just this week Sen. Clinton said that she landed in Bosnia under "sniper fire," adding: "There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base." Clinton used to tell Iowa audiences: ""We used to say in the White House that if a place is too dangerous, too small or too poor, send the First Lady."
Is your head spinning these days trying follow what is going on with the economy?
Subprime. Collateralized Debt Obligations. Liquidity.
Every day it seems as if these words -- which nobody you knew was using just a few months ago -- are being thrown around.
The stock market is down. Government officials are scrambling to find ways to help the economy. And a lot of people are talking about a recession.
So what does it all mean? And how did this all begin, especially when just a few years ago the economy was booming thanks to the red-hot real estate market?
Well, that's where the problem starts.
By "every article," I mean all of them -- from the front, inside and back of the paper, from the lengthiest investigative features to the merest news nuggets. And by "free," I mean for not a single dime, and certainly not the site's $79 annual fee.
Sure, there's a trick to get at all these pay articles. But in many cases, the method is drop-dead simple; in some cases, it requires the Firefox browser and add-on software. But in all cases, it's completely legal, and in fact it's hard to see how the Journal could object to it at all.
The heart of this story is the power of search engines like Google and link aggregators like Digg, which drive torrents of Web traffic to newspaper sites. Newspapers want search engines to point at their stories; indeed, last year the New York Times dropped its subscription plan specifically to attract Web surfers at Google, Yahoo, Digg and others.
Compelling though her story was -- an American peace activist killed trying to block the demolition of her Palestinian host family's home, killed by the military of her own government's major regional ally -- Rachel's story might well have faded quickly, subsumed in the weekly news cycle just three days before the "Shock and Awe" of the attack on Iraq. But her family's instinct, even in the first hours of grief and bewilderment, felt imperative: "We must get her words out." Rachel's emails home during her month in the Gazan border town of Rafah, volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement, had stirred and shaken her family and friends. Having traveled from her comfortable life in her hometown of Olympia, Washington, she had sat smoking late into the night, passionately reporting the other-worldly scenes of violence and destruction from the military occupation around her.
In the end, Happy Face Yoga practitioners may get 1) a mixed bag of anti-aging weapons; 2) an interesting way to make babies cry; 3) a chance to make a few new friends; or 4) the chance to have a really good laugh at themselves and their vanity.And having that last laugh might just be the best weapon in winning the war that time just doesn't seem to want to let us forget -- the one called aging.
I learned of Raskin's ulterior motives from the Center for Media and Democracy, a group based in Madison, Wis., that monitors the public relations industry. Over several years, CMD has investigated an insidious public relations practice that's neither especially new nor uncommon, but is still relatively unknown beyond the cloistered world of television news production. In the trade, they're called VNRs, or video news releases.
A VNR is a short clip of marketing propaganda produced in the language and style of real news. P.R. firms send news stations thousands of such videos every year, the most sophisticated of which are virtually indistinguishable from honest news, featuring interviews with (paid) experts and voice-overs by (fake) reporters who subtly pitch products during their narratives. Surprisingly often, news channels broadcast these videos as real news; many times, CMD has found, the only edits that a station will make to a paid clip is to cut off the disclosure noting that the video was sponsored by a corporation.
Michael Hofmann' Selected Poems prove that he is a precise poet of desolations and furies, says George Szirtes:
Four books of poetry, stretching from 1983 to the present, selected down to 146 pages. Michael Hofmann has never been prolific and more recently the rate of production has further slowed. A Michael Hofmann poem is now a rare, strange, much valued item. Strange because, at first glance, many of the poems seem no more than frayed notes concerning a mood between depression and despair; but then something in that fraying catches at you, either some odd shift in register, or maybe just a sense that as your eyes are blithely passing over the words suddenly a hole has opened up beneath them and you are falling through the language, into a world of cries. Take this very short new poem, one of only seven since Approximately Nowhere, Hofmann's last book in 1999. It is titled "Poem" and dedicated to Hugo Williams:
At war with the utopia of modernity Pankaj Mishra
Last week many western commentators scrambling to interpret the protests in Lhasa found that they did not need to work especially hard. Surely the Tibetans are the latest of many brave peoples to rebel against communist totalitarianism? The rhetorical templates of the cold war are still close at hand, shaping western discussions of Islam or Asia. Dusting off the hoary oppositions between the free and unfree worlds, the Wall Street Journal declared that religious freedom was the main issue. "On the streets of Lhasa, China has again had a vivid demonstration of the power of conscience to move people to action against a soulless, and brittle, state."
Where has all the rage gone? Tariq Ali
A storm swept the world in 1968. It started in Vietnam, then blew across Asia, crossing the sea and the mountains to Europe and beyond. A brutal war waged by the US against a poor south-east Asian country was seen every night on television. The cumulative impact of watching the bombs drop, villages on fire and a country being doused with napalm and Agent Orange triggered a wave of global revolts not seen on such a scale before or since.
If the Vietnamese were defeating the world's most powerful state, surely we, too, could defeat our own rulers: that was the dominant mood among the more radical of the 60s generation.
GEERT WILDERS’S bleached-blond hair goes to the root of his character.
For more than two decades, Mr. Wilders, the controversial anti-Islam member of the Dutch Parliament, has dyed his hair a provocative — some say extreme — platinum blond.
The color makes him stand out in a crowd, not terribly practical for someone facing periodic death threats from Muslim extremists.
But Mr. Wilders has built a career — and a new political party — on a risky and defiant outlandishness that encompasses everything from his hairstyle to his anti-Islamic rhetoric.
Iraq 'Cooperation agreement': Bush's "Bad Arabic Translation" Story Falls Apart - Jonathan Schwartz
The U.S.-Iraqi Declaration of Principles was signed last November by President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. The official English version laid out the basis for a "long-term relationship of cooperation and friendship" between the United States and Iraq to be finalized by July 31st of this year. This agreement would eventually replace the current U.N. mandate under which coalition troops now operate in Iraq.
The Declaration of Principles has been the subject of hearings in Congress because it appears to make the U.S. responsible for "[p]roviding security assurances and commitments" to Iraq against "foreign aggression" and for "[s]upporting the Republic of Iraq in its efforts to combat all terrorist groups." Such security commitments, as the U.S. has made to members of NATO, have in the past always taken the form of treaties, which require Senate approval.
For its part, the Bush administration has suggested the accord will take the form of a standard status-of-forces agreement (SOFA). SOFAs can be concluded between the executive branches of the relevant countries, without the involvement of the U.S. Congress. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterated this point in recent congressional testimony, stating that, as with other SOFAs, the agreement with Iraq would "not come to Congress."