December 03, 2001

Here's another new weblog with informative links about the current situation overseas:
America Strikes Back - The Dumb War.
(Thanks John)

December 02, 2001

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a new edition of its "Effector" newsletter. This issue is a great way to catch up on many of the recent developments in the Dmitry Sklyarov, Ed Felten and DeCSS cases:
EFFector, Vol. 14, No. 37; Nov. 28, 2001.

Eric S. Margolis wrote a nice piece for the L.A. Times that explains some of the history behind Russia's shrewd Oil strategy (as enabled by the "War On Terrorism" ):
Russia Checkmated Its New Best Friend .

He who controls energy, controls the globe.
Russia, the world's second-largest oil exporter, wants Central Asian resources to be transported across its territory. Iran, also an oil producer, wants the energy pipelines to debouch at its ports, the shortest route. But America's powerful Israel lobby has blocked Washington's efforts to deal with Iran.
Pakistan and the U.S. have long sought to build pipelines running due south from Termez, Uzbekistan, to Kabul, Afghanistan, then down to Pakistan's Arabian Sea ports, Karachi and Gwadar.
Oilmen call this route "the new Silk Road," after the fabled path used to export China's riches.
This route, however, would require a stable, pro-Western Afghanistan.
Since 1989, Iran has strived to keep Afghanistan in disorder, thus preventing Pakistan from building its long-sought Termez-Karachi pipeline.
When Pakistan ditched its ally, the Taliban, in September, and sided with the U.S., Islamabad and Washington fully expected to implant a pro-American regime in Kabul and open the way for the Pakistani-American pipeline.
But, while the Bush administration was busy tearing apart Afghanistan to find Bin Laden, it failed to notice that the Russians were taking over half the country.

Here's a moving piece by Ted Rall, a cartoonist and writer covering the war in Afghanistan for The Village Voice and KFI Radio in Los Angeles:
Running the Odds When Nobody Cares.

No one gave a damn about our security. The Northern Alliance never assigned guards for our houses or for journalist convoys, which were constantly getting ambushed. And neither the U.S. nor the Alliance would send a chopper for you if you got shot.
The next morning, Nov. 27, I ran into Pedro, a Portugese radio correspondent who lived a few houses away. I asked him if anyone had pounded on his door the night before. "As a matter of fact, yes," he replied.
A few hours later, the news spread that Ulf Stromberg, a 42-year-old Swedish cameraman who'd been living three doors away from me, had answered the door that night to find three or four young men pointing Kalishnikovs at him. When he shouted to alert his roommates, they shot him. The killers robbed the others and fled into the night.
Forty-five journalists had come to Taloqan in my convoy. Stromberg was the third one killed for his money.
I conducted an informal poll of the writers and TV people gathering at the tiny Foreign Ministry. All had been awakened the night before by knocks at their doors. Only Stromberg had answered. The killers had known where all of us lived. If we had all answered our doors, we all would have been killed for our carefully concealed $100 bills and whatever possessions intrigued them.
"I don't mind dying in battle to get a story," a writer for the French daily Le Monde told me. "Getting killed in a stupid street crime is something else altogether."

Here's a new weblog that provides "A Skewed View of the War on Terrorism" with content that's right on target: