Friday, December 15, 2006

ILC Roadshow heads to Duluth

The ceaseless, random travels by road of this blogger are not making for many good posts, but at least I get lots of opportunities to put up ads for the blog in every little roadside cafe and service station on I-35 from Duluth to Wichita. I am headed to Duluth this afternoon.

When and if I get the opportunity to post it will likely be about something that I suspect, rather than something I certainly know. Which is a shame, because I am pretty good at knowing things, I am just not able to verify the things that I suspect and am most interested in knowing, like what does this all mean:

Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization has won a court battle in the European Union: TIME magazine has an online article, from which the following excerpt is taken:

Yet while the French were investigating Rajavi's group in France, the more than 3,000 MEK adherents at Camp Ashraf have been under the benevolent protection of the U.S. military since early 2003. With this ruling, Rajavi hopes, they and what she claims are their far more numerous supporters in Iran will be freed to answer a call from the homeland. "I say to the mullahs that they're finished," said Rajavi in Strasbourg. "A new era will open with the installation of liberty and democracy in Iran."

European Union officials tell TIME that Madame Rajavi is celebrating prematurely, because they have no intention of taking the MEK off the terror list, despite the growing number of European Parliamentarians who view the group as a force that could somehow supplant the mullahs' regime. "The next list will come out in early 2007, and we're going to comply with the court and publicly state the reasons for any group or individual on it," says Jesus Carmona, spokesman for the European Union's anti-terrorism authority. "But it wasn't an arbitrary decision to put this group on that list."

Nor is there any evidence that the U.S. is in any rush to clarify its ambiguous stance on the shadowy group. Sure, Ahmedinejad is a worrying threat to the international community, and he proved this week that enriching plutonium isn't the only way he has to thumb his nose at it. But the debacle of U.S. policy in Iraq and elsewhere in the region may have put paid to the notion that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

What does the Iran Freedom Support Act get us into? Is there a better route to peace than covert ops, threats, sanctions and hostility? Is there a way to get it through to the American public that the actions of our foreign policy often appear to be exploitative, neo-colonial, and undemocratic, as well as flighty and corrupt?

I think we need good experiments on how to pursue constructive engagement with people in post conflict environments: trade, information and connectivity, access to capital and not necessarily wander into the testosterone-enhanced, nuclear missile tipped world of my global hegemony vs. your local assertions of free will, cultural identity, and locally informed economic behaviour and planning.

Another thing I deeply suspect and would like to know more about is the Enron wet dream of U.S. taxpayer subsidized nuclear energy in India. How much was this discussed in Cheney's energy task force? It is just as dsangerous and treasonous as lying our way into controlling Iraqi oil by war against [placeholder for saleable argument].

The legal/economic fears of a nuclear Bhopal/Union Carbide disaster have been put to bed by the lawyers and diplomats, but the American government will be blamed in the eyes of the politicians and the court of popular opinion if anything disasterous happens with any new nuclear plants enabled by this deal, and it generates electrical power that could be put to use in non-peaceful pursuits of nuclear power, as well as creates a vulnerable supply chain of nuclear fuel and nuclear wastes for reproprocessing, to and from America, that creates an opportunity for accidents, a target for terror and a bunch of profits for politically well-connected monopolistic industry. The alternative of exporting renewable fuels technology and know how would benefit more American small business.

Experiments and observation is how we know. It is worth trying to know. It is probably not as worthwhile claiming authority and expertise and spouting off on the internet, or blindly linking to the shiniest argument of the hour just to increase my post count and generate incoming links and adwords revenue...


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