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Friday, October 09, 2009

Pepe Escobar, Iran, Syria-Ssudi, Obama,

THE ROVING EYE : Stuck in Kabul, with Saigon blues again - What is now being performed for Washington galleries is the dance of the generals by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, National Security Adviser retired General Jim Jones and top man in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal. The Pentagon and its experts argue the US should "Afghanize" the war - but the staggering financial black hole is just getting bigger as the US slouches towards "Chaos-istan". - Pepe Escobar

Herta Müller takes Nobel prize for literature - By Alison Flood - The 2009 Nobel prize has been awarded to Herta Müller, for depicting the 'landscape of the dispossessed' with 'the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose' . German novelist Herta Müller, who received death threats in her native Romania after she refused to become an informant for the secret police during Ceausescu's totalitarian regime, has become only the 12th woman in 108 years to win the Nobel prize for literature.

What's your favourite poem? - y Carol Rumens on Books -
Let's celebrate National Poetry Day by confessing to our fondest poetical loves. But here's the tricky part – just one poem each

Poetry workshop: heroes and heroines - Glyn Maxwell is impressed by the praise poems submitted for his National Poetry Day-themed workshop. These are the seven most praiseworthy praise poems: they celebrate prime minister Balfour, J Robert Oppenheimer, a henchman, a baby, green leaves, depression, and someone called E.D., which is just the sort of barking motley crew I was hoping for. Each of them is thoughtful and generous - two qualities absent from much contemporary verse - and each displays a keen sensitivity to appropriate form: when to rhyme or not; when to break the line or not; when to leap up; when to shut up. In other words, to paraphrase the poet Fatboy Slim, they are praising like they should.

Two Pounds of Beef Produce the Greenhouse Gas Emissions of a Three-Hour Drive By Joshua Holland - While leaving all the lights on at home while you're gone.

When 5+1 = 1+1 in the Iran equation - Despite accusations from the right-wing in the United States that Iran duped the Barack Obama administration into serious concessions at last week's nuclear talks, bilateral Iran-US dialogue, unencumbered by the influence of third parties, remains the clearest path to easing nuclear tensions. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi

Syria, Saudi Arabia plot peace path - Saudi King Abdullah's first visit to Damascus since assuming the throne in 2005 signals a rebirth of the historic friendship between Syria and Saudi Arabia. A mutual dislike for Iraq's prime minister and Syria's warming ties with the United States have helped bring the countries together, and to position them to map out the future of the Middle East. - Sami Moubayed

Heads or tails, Obama loses - Proponents in the United States of an increased counter-insurgency (COIN) in Afghanistan want more troops. Those favoring a focus on counter-terrorism want to maintain force levels while stepping up special operations. President Barack Obama will be damned whichever option he chooses; perhaps he'd best flip a coin. - Jim Lobe


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