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"Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει"










November 12th
1:21 PM
July 18th
9:07 AM
April 23rd
4:04 PM
Hollande takes first round of French Elections
Runoff May 6 |  Madame Rage powers National Front
Blemish on French Democracy  | Sarkozy on the brink

“Marine Le Pen appeals to 20 percent of us and fascinates 80 percent. A mannish woman, phallic, we like that. A woman who dominates her father and gets better results.”  - Christine Angot

Sarkozy Adopting ‘Accents of Pétain’  |  Curtains for Sarkozy
Eurozone Pivot?  |  'Not Mercurial'  |  New Start 4 Europe?
photos: Agence France Presse/Etienne Laurent/Xinhua Press/Corbis interpolated

Hollande takes first round of French Elections

Runoff May 6Madame Rage powers National Front

Blemish on French Democracy  | Sarkozy on the brink

“Marine Le Pen appeals to 20 percent of us and fascinates 80 percent. A mannish woman, phallic, we like that. A woman who dominates her father and gets better results.”  - Christine Angot

Sarkozy Adopting ‘Accents of Pétain’  |  Curtains for Sarkozy

Eurozone Pivot? 'Not Mercurial'  |  New Start 4 Europe?

photos: Agence France Presse/Etienne Laurent/Xinhua Press/Corbis interpolated

January 12th
2:59 PM
In the Arab Spring, Watch TurkeyJason Pack, NY Times »

To investigate how these changing dynamics are seen by actors within the region, one of us (Jason Pack) spent his Christmas holidays in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government, or K.R.G., in Iraq. Following the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, K.R.G. officials bemoaned their need of a regional patron to protect them from dominance by Baghdad.Landlocked Iraqi Kurdistan also needs a conduit to export its oil to the West. The only country that can fulfill both roles is Turkey. That is why K.R.G. officials, instead of supporting their ethnic brethren inside Turkey, have often sided with Ankara against the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K.All this explains why the bombing on Dec. 28, in which the Turks killed 35 Kurdish smugglers whom they mistook for terrorists, provoked little outrage in Iraqi Kurdistan. On the streets of Erbil there are no signs of protests against Turkey. Instead, one notices Turkey’s ubiquitous presence in the form of construction, investment, consumer goods and tourists…  >continue<

Just one interesting dimension highlighted in Jason Pack’s piece. Turkish plays to leverage an emerging image as role model in the region may become a big story in 2012.  Erdogon and Davutoglu show all signs of being extremely adroit statesmen. The crucible could well be Syria, where Turkey appears to strain toward a post Assad scenario where Iran is not necessarily cut out of the scene. The situation ostensibly puts Turkey on a collision course with Iran - but more pragmatic dimensions likely swirl below the surface. Already we see Turkey refusing to play the dominant Western line on Iran sanctions. 
Direct military intervention in a Syrian civil war, with Turkey playing a lead role, is likely viewed as a worst case scenario. But don’t be surprised if a neo-Ottoman surge risks the charge of “adventurism”, playing its hand amidst a decaying post-colonial & post-cold-war scene.  See also:
The Sultan of Istancool  |  Turkey’s Rules  |  Triumphant Turkey?
Perry’s Last Gaffe
photo: AFP/Der Spiegel interpolated

In the Arab Spring, Watch Turkey
Jason Pack, NY Times »

To investigate how these changing dynamics are seen by actors within the region, one of us (Jason Pack) spent his Christmas holidays in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government, or K.R.G., in Iraq. Following the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, K.R.G. officials bemoaned their need of a regional patron to protect them from dominance by Baghdad.

Landlocked Iraqi Kurdistan also needs a conduit to export its oil to the West. The only country that can fulfill both roles is Turkey. That is why K.R.G. officials, instead of supporting their ethnic brethren inside Turkey, have often sided with Ankara against the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K.

All this explains why the bombing on Dec. 28, in which the Turks killed 35 Kurdish smugglers whom they mistook for terrorists, provoked little outrage in Iraqi Kurdistan. On the streets of Erbil there are no signs of protests against Turkey. Instead, one notices Turkey’s ubiquitous presence in the form of construction, investment, consumer goods and tourists…  >continue<

Just one interesting dimension highlighted in Jason Pack’s piece. Turkish plays to leverage an emerging image as role model in the region may become a big story in 2012.  Erdogon and Davutoglu show all signs of being extremely adroit statesmen. The crucible could well be Syria, where Turkey appears to strain toward a post Assad scenario where Iran is not necessarily cut out of the scene. The situation ostensibly puts Turkey on a collision course with Iran - but more pragmatic dimensions likely swirl below the surface. Already we see Turkey refusing to play the dominant Western line on Iran sanctions

Direct military intervention in a Syrian civil war, with Turkey playing a lead role, is likely viewed as a worst case scenario. But don’t be surprised if a neo-Ottoman surge risks the charge of “adventurism”, playing its hand amidst a decaying post-colonial & post-cold-war scene.  See also:

The Sultan of Istancool Turkey’s Rules  |  Triumphant Turkey?

Perry’s Last Gaffe

photo: AFP/Der Spiegel interpolated

1:53 PM
Iran sees Sanctions, raises Strait of Hormuz

Iran is preemptively responding to threats of escalating sanctions by conducting a big naval exercise, Vilayat-90, in the Straits of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Iran is making the point that if it wants to, it can close the straits, through which about 17% of the world’s petroleum exports flow. Any interruption in that flow would cause a global energy crisis. An Iranian admiral has said that closing the straits would be as easy as “drinking a glass of water.”&#8230;The problem with imposing an embargo on Iran’s petroleum exports, which the US Senate wants to do by sanctioning Iran’s central bank, is that it is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. It would be South Korea, Japan, India and Italy that would suffer, i.e. US allies (along with China, which wouldn’t be happy and is not without resources to fight back).  &gt;continue&lt;

Oil threats over sanctions row  |  Winners &amp; losers
Arabian Gauntlet  |  Accelerating Spiral | ZeitVox Iran coverage

Iran sees Sanctions, raises Strait of Hormuz

Iran is preemptively responding to threats of escalating sanctions by conducting a big naval exercise, Vilayat-90, in the Straits of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Iran is making the point that if it wants to, it can close the straits, through which about 17% of the world’s petroleum exports flow. Any interruption in that flow would cause a global energy crisis. An Iranian admiral has said that closing the straits would be as easy as “drinking a glass of water.”

…The problem with imposing an embargo on Iran’s petroleum exports, which the US Senate wants to do by sanctioning Iran’s central bank, is that it is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. It would be South Korea, Japan, India and Italy that would suffer, i.e. US allies (along with China, which wouldn’t be happy and is not without resources to fight back).  >continue<

Oil threats over sanctions row  |  Winners & losers

Arabian Gauntlet Accelerating Spiral | ZeitVox Iran coverage

November 28th
2:37 PM
Protesters burn a US flag during a protest in Multan on November 27, 2011 — Photo by AFP
Pakistanis demand end to US alliance

Members of civil society, lawyers, traders and students organised the  rallies, still relatively small, in major cities of the country of 167  million people, where opposition to the US alliance is rampant.
“The government should cut Nato supplies permanently, take back military  bases from the US and plead that this cases violates the borders in the  UN Security Council”  &gt;continue&lt;

Another Hot Flash  |  China backs Pakistan
AFPAK Disarray  |  Coping with a Failing Pakistan
ZeitVox Pakistan curation

Protesters burn a US flag during a protest in Multan on November 27, 2011 — Photo by AFP

Pakistanis demand end to US alliance

Members of civil society, lawyers, traders and students organised the rallies, still relatively small, in major cities of the country of 167 million people, where opposition to the US alliance is rampant.

“The government should cut Nato supplies permanently, take back military bases from the US and plead that this cases violates the borders in the UN Security Council”  >continue<

Another Hot Flash  |  China backs Pakistan

AFPAK Disarray  |  Coping with a Failing Pakistan

ZeitVox Pakistan curation

1:30 PM
Jacob Zuma opens Durban climate talks

Global warming already is causing suffering and conflict in Africa, from drought in Sudan and Somalia to flooding in South Africa,  President Jacob Zuma said on Monday, urging delegates at an  international climate conference to look beyond national interests for  solutions.
"For most people in the developing countries and Africa, climate change is a matter of life and death,&#8221; said the South African leader as he formally opened a two-week conference with participants from more than 190 nations.  &gt;continue&lt;

COP17 Durban 2011  |  Island States &#8216;may disappear&#8217;
Down to Basic in KwaZulu-Natal  | Farmers need 70% more
11 Degree Spike?

Jacob Zuma opens Durban climate talks

Global warming already is causing suffering and conflict in Africa, from drought in Sudan and Somalia to flooding in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday, urging delegates at an international climate conference to look beyond national interests for solutions.

"For most people in the developing countries and Africa, climate change is a matter of life and death,” said the South African leader as he formally opened a two-week conference with participants from more than 190 nations.  >continue<

COP17 Durban 2011  |  Island States ‘may disappear’

Down to Basic in KwaZulu-Natal  | Farmers need 70% more

11 Degree Spike?