Feb 19, 2009

Ain' t Dat Be Da' Damnedest Of Thangz (Love this sh*t); We're but IO

Pieces of some puzzle fallin' into place.

It is not the family's first brush with notoriety. One of Mr. Jarrah's cousins, Ziad al-Jarrah, was among the 19 hijackers who carried out the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, though the men were 20 years apart in age and do not appear to have known each other well.

Res ipsa loquitur.

...and now for ramblings as can only be born of arrogance:

While haphazardly still at it: a generic H/T piled upon trap-shruggin' ZenPundit. He be a Sickago-Boy - but he be not as bad as such creature deservedly's cut out to be.

And lest we forget ( per some peversely recondite way) - SMC was metrosexually hyper-lauded by a major Skankinavian radio station. Station's pubatorial chattering vassals had nothing but solid praise to heap upon our pickled arses - and per transitive property of inequality...your sorry voyeuristic arse too.

Anyways: amidst all this coincidental deification of meatballian wisdom - the local pheasant-gazing and, at that, mongoloidian embassy "economic analyst" reported nothing worse/better in his morning briefing to ambassador retardo de jour than that the skanky radio bandits unequivocably labelled us as..."incredibly cool".

Public diplomacy at its Zenith. (Yuck, goddammit - We're all IO).

Core men up front

(Run MountainRunner run.)

Feb 5, 2009

Middle East: Costs of Conflict

The opportunity cost of conflicts in the Middle East since 1991 is 12 trillion dollars, says a new research report [6-page pdf] on the Cost of Conflict in the Middle East by Strategic Foresight Group, a leading Asian think-tank. [related Youtube video. See also agenda for International Workshop on Cost of Conflict in the Middle East - 11-page pdf]

For the first time in 60 years, the report presents a comprehensive assessment of costs of various conflicts in the Middle East on 97 different parameters- from the social to psychological and economic to environmental. Supported by the Governments of Switzerland and Norway, the AK Party of Turkey and Qatar Foundation, the Strategic Foresight Group involved over 50 leading experts and leaders from the region to gather input for the report.

If the conflict in the Middle East had been resolved in 1991 at the time of the Madrid peace process, almost all families in the Arab world as well as Israel would be enjoying double the per capita income they have today. Iraq’s GDP would have been $300 billion instead of $59 that it is expected to be in 2010.

The environmental costs are staggering. The First Gulf War accounts for 10 million barrels of oil spilt into the sea and 45 million barrels spilt in the Kuwait desert. In a future war, if the volume of spilt oil doubles to 100 million barrels per day, it would equal 1 day’s oil supply for the world. Similarly, a future conflict in the Middle East could account for more carbon emissions than of an industrialized country such as the UK.

The Palestinian people have lost over 100 million man hours waiting at the checkpoints between Ramallah and Jerusalem since 2000. At present there are more than 11,000 Palestinians in Israeli Detention Centers. The unemployment in Gaza reached over 50% with the suspension of 95% of the industrial operations even before the December 2008 attack by Israel.

Israel’s costs are also significant in human and psychological terms with the country suffering over than 34000 missile attacks since 2000. Almost 1000 Israeli citizens have lost their lives during the same period and 123 minors have been killed in attacks on cafes, schools and buses. More than 90% of Israelis live in fear.

The report argues that a comprehensive peace agreement would make a number of projects feasible including gas deals, railway lines and the much talked about Red-Dead Sea Canal. It would also provide peace dividends to all the countries in the region, including $4429 per year per Israeli household, $500 per Egyptian household and $1250 per Jordanian family.

The report by Strategic Foresight Group does not suggest solutions for peace. It outlines four scenarios as to what could be the impact of various policy options.

Feb 1, 2009

Davos Dustup


Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey walked off the stage after an angry exchange with the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, during a panel discussion on Gaza at the World Economic Forum on Thursday, vowing never to return to the annual gathering.

Mr. Erdogan apparently became incensed after the moderator curtailed his response to remarks by Mr. Peres on the recent Israeli military campaign.


In a news conference immediately after the panel discussion, Mr. Erdogan said he was particularly upset with Mr. Ignatius, who he said had failed to direct a balanced and impartial panel. ;)