March 20, 2005

AQ = 1384 = ???

Finally returned home and fully online.

Still 6 hours to the Persian New Year but anyway, Happy Norooz to all.

(Personal commentary: hate that line about awakening the good)

PS. I will try to post a boring article very soon.
PPS. There is a v. interesting draft post in MT control panel; Mark is that yours? If your answer is positive, I have some archeological materials and minor corrections for you.

PPPS. Someone awakens Dread from its untimely slumber.

Posted by hyperstition at March 20, 2005 04:26 AM




Yeh, was me. See below. Interested in yr corrections and archaeology stuff obv.
Happy norooz to you too...

Posted by: mark k-p at March 20, 2005 09:46 AM



reza - happy newbie you wiley dust demon. do you happen to have an AQ value of 1384 already, or are you just fishing?

Posted by: northanger at March 20, 2005 01:13 PM



Thanks very much ... no, i'm just looking for the prey. ;)

Posted by: Reza at March 20, 2005 02:00 PM



argh. found a 1374 & a 1394. so i made one up!



Posted by: northanger at March 20, 2005 04:55 PM



Great to have you back!

Norooz seems to intriguingly coincide with Lovecraft's period of annual Cthulhu agitation.

Nothing on 1384 (yet), but 1390 could be very stimulating ...

Posted by: nick at March 21, 2005 06:54 AM



back too, a little earlier than planned

Amir Taheri: Pests in freedom's way
March 15, 2005
THROUGHOUT the debate that preceded the liberation of Iraq two years ago, supporters of Saddam Hussein claimed that any attempt at removing him from power by force would trigger an explosion in "the Arab street". As it turned out, the explosion they had predicted did take place, but only in Western streets, where anti-Americans of all denominations, their numbers inflated by the usual "useful idiots", marched to keep the Baathist butcher in power.
More than two years later, however, the Arab street seems to be heading for an explosion. From North Africa to the Persian Gulf and passing by the Levant, people have been coming together in various "Arab streets" to make their feelings and opinions known. These demonstrations, some big, some small, have several features in common.
Unlike the rent-a-mob marches concocted by the Mukhabarat secret services, this latest spate of demonstrations was largely spontaneous. Nor are the demonstrations controlled by the traditional elites, including established opposition groups and personalities.
In almost every case, we are witnessing a new kind of citizens' movement, an Arab version of people power in action. But the most important feature of these demonstrations is that they are concerned not with imagined external enemies – be they Israel or the US – but with the real deficiencies of contemporary Arab societies. In almost every case the key demand is for a greater say for the people in deciding the affairs of the nation.
It is, of course, far too early to speak of an "Arab spring".

It is not at all certain that the ruling elites will have the intelligence to manage the difficult transition from autocracy to pluralism. Nor is it certain that the budding democratic movement would produce a leadership capable of mixing resolve with moderation. The deep-rooted Arab tradition of political extremism may prove harder to dissipate than one imagines.
What is interesting is that there are, as yet, no signs that the "Western street" may, at some point, come out in support of the new "Arab street".
Over the past two weeks several Western capitals, including London and Paris, have witnessed feverish activity by more than two dozen groups organising meetings and marches to mark the second anniversary of the liberation of Iraq. The aim is not to celebrate the event and express solidarity with the emerging Iraqi democracy, but to vilify George W. Bush and Tony Blair, thus lamenting the demise of Saddam Hussein.
I spent part of last week ringing up the organisers of the anti-war events with a couple of questions. The first: Would they allow anyone from the newly elected Iraqi parliament to address the gatherings? The second: Would the marches include expressions of support for the democracy movements in Arab and other Muslim countries, notably Iraq, Lebanon and Syria?
In both cases the answer was a categorical no, accompanied by a torrent of abuse about "all those who try to justify American aggression against Iraq".
But was it not possible to condemn "American aggression" and then express support for the democratic movement in Iraq and the rest of the Arab world? In most cases we were not even allowed to ask the question. In one or two cases we received mini-lectures on how democracy cannot be imposed by force. The answer to that, of course, is that in Iraq no one tried to impose democracy by force. In Iraq force was used to remove the enemies of democracy from power so as to allow its friends to come to the fore.
That remnants of the totalitarian Left and various brands of fascism should march to condemn the liberation of Iraq is no surprise. What is surprising is that some mainstream groups, such as the British Liberal-Democrat Party and even some former members of Tony Blair's Labour Government, should join these marches of shame.
The Lib-Dems at their spring conference last week found enough time to reiterate their shameful opposition to the liberation of Iraq at some length. But they had no time to take note of what looks like a historic turning point in favour of democracy in the Middle East. As for those Labour ministers who resigned from Blair's cabinet in protest against the toppling of Saddam Hussein, there is as yet no sign that they might express any support for freedom marches in various Arab capitals.
The situation is no better in continental Europe. Joschka Fischer, the German foreign minister, has yet to show the same degree of activism in support of the Arab democratic movement as he did in 2003, when he fought desperately to prevent the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. For his part, France's President Jacques Chirac, who in February 2003 proposed an emergency summit to save Saddam Hussein, and appeared almost daily on television opposing the liberation of Iraq, is yet to give the slightest hint that he might favour the demise of any more tyrannies in the region.
Why are so many Westerners, living in mature democracies, ready to march against the toppling of a despot in Iraq but unwilling to take to the streets in support of the democratic movement in the Middle East?
Is it because many of those who will be marching in support of Saddam Hussein this month are the remnants of totalitarian groups in the West plus a variety of misinformed idealists and others blinded by anti-Americanism? Or is it because they secretly believe that the Arabs do not deserve anything better than Saddam Hussein?
Those interested in the health of Western democracies would do well to ponder those questions.
Amir Taheri is an Iranian author of 10 books on the Middle East and Islam. He can be reached through

all the above via

Posted by: peskypiet at March 24, 2005 07:52 PM



oops, that's direland

Posted by: peskypiet at March 24, 2005 07:53 PM

London Independent | March 21, 2005
By Paul Kelbie

Posted by: poudrierepiet at March 24, 2005 08:29 PM



poudrierepiet - poudrière? (welcome back).

Posted by: northanger at March 24, 2005 09:49 PM



so .. . .don't forget to swing by the seercentre next time you're in scotland

Posted by: poudreurpiet at March 25, 2005 04:51 AM

Posted by: poudreurpiet at March 25, 2005 05:59 AM



I am actually not very pleased with them trademarking a word like rockdust without a qualifier, . .. .nor do I like that the Independent article isn't linked on their site .. .which has been revamped but offers only a fraction of the amount of info it did before .. .. .and only 2 links so far . . . needless to say mine not among them. .. . . getting a grand's worth of gov grants hasn't done their digital doings any good .. . .so far

Posted by: poudreurpiet at March 25, 2005 06:12 AM



this one's gorgeous (always wanted to live in scotland):

Posted by: northanger at March 25, 2005 07:23 AM



here's a few (two) spare t(h)rees you could take to scotland widthya (nearly all used up in past wars; it's down to the bare bone; what better place to see ROCKDUST trademarked?). +33 comments on smegma, a dirty word for the most peacepotentialpacked fluid in the world (haven't looked to see if they mention that there yet yet; as all writs are post or pre only the big, active and especially mobile pens matter .. .but since I am probably not able to generate another 300 two will have to do); please circulate ..

Posted by: poudreurpiet at March 25, 2005 08:57 AM



poudreurpiet - non sequitur = smegma. at least on this blog. now on my blog smegma is a-ok cos SMEGMA = ZODIAC. go figure.

Posted by: northanger at March 25, 2005 09:18 AM



from right around that same time (promising too but seems a little flat or was my look to quicksilvery?):

Are you melancholic, phlegmatic, sanguine, or choleric? Are you a salamander, gnome, nymph or sylph? Earth, water, air or fire? Elf, Ninja, Pirate or Dwarf? (arrrr! buckets of blood! flagons of phlegm and barrels of black bile!) +16 c's

recent: 88 comments on a Gore Vidal article:

Posted by: poudreurpiet at March 25, 2005 09:31 AM



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