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The Big Trifecta

In geopolitical terms – the big trifecta is Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (that’s the yellow, dark-yellow, and the grey band just to the right of Iran).

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On Unilateral Action

I’ve been digging into some of the legal foundations concerning the Iran nuclear facility question over the last couple of days. In this process I should point out that getting the facts has not been at all easy. I can say that what is clear is that recent events have been either overplayed, under-documented, or more probably a combination of both.

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September 25, 2009


Pittsburgh Convention Center
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Game, Set, Match?

The drama over the August break was largely predictable and for the most part has burnt itself out. The death of Ted Kennedy disrupted the news feed and it’s only in the last 24 hours that the talking heads have managed to refocus on the downside to throwing grandma off the train (or a Republican if that’s your preferred option).
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Back a few days ago Jon Stewart did an interview with Betsy McCaughey. While Jon did a good job of entertaining, I don’t think he did a good job of debunking the issues. In fact, I think he may have missed the point.

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I have just been reading Karl Popper’s famous work, The Open Society and Its Enemies. I highly recommend both volumes, particularly Volume One, ‘The Spell of Plato’. But I am going to discuss an issue raised in Volume Two, titled ‘Hegel and Marx’. This volume is basically an attack on fascism, nationalism, Marxism and Communism.

How does this relate to conspiracy theorism?

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A Tale of Two Cities

On the 12 June 2009 a presidential election was held that would mark the beginning of an unravelling of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Just sixteen days later events were unfolding that would trigger a constitutional crisis in Honduras. As events unfolded in Iran, the world discovered a nation of people, educated, smart, brave, scared, and perhaps most of all – human. Across an ocean a South American head of state was removed from office in what has been cited as a democratic coup involving a supreme court, a congress, and a standing army.

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Honduras, South America leaps to the front page of the New York Times with the headline “Honduran President Is Ousted in Coup”, and to be fair to the NYT – the events of the last 48 hours do in fact bear all of the hallmarks of a classic coup d’état.

However, the story demands a little more investigation …

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Lessons in democracy …

Iran held presidential elections on the 12 June with four names on the ballot but only two that mattered: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (the incumbent), and Mir-Hossein Mousavi. With high turnout paralleled only by the growing anticipation for change – the official results were announced – a landslide win to Ahmadinejad. As the news broke tensions flared followed by broad public dissent, protests, accusations of fraud, and according to unverified reports the Grand Ayatollah Yousof Sanei has declared the elections unlawful and Mehdi Karroubi has stated that he does not recognise the election result. There are also suggestions that the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may be under threat. If there is something to learn here – it’s that even in a limited democracy, the people have a voice – one way or another.

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Swings and Roundabouts

Over the last several weeks Dick Cheney has been doing the political talk-show circuit. A couple of weeks ago on Face the Nation Cheney took what appeared to be a cheap shot at Colin Powell by suggesting Powell is no longer a member of the Republican party. As night follows day, Rush Limbaugh was quoted as saying that “Colin Powell represents the stale, the old, the worn-out GOP that never won anything” (source CNN). Even Bill Clinton jumped in with a brief comment linking Cheney and a need for target practice in the same sentence. Enter stage left – one General Colin Powell.

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