Samuel Huntington, one of the most influental  American conservative pundits and foreign policy advisers of our time, known for books such as  Political Order in Changing Societies (1968), The Crisis of Democracy: On the Governability of Democracies (1976), the essay Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order(1993) and for coining the phrase coining the phrase Davos Man, died at Christmas eve.

Huntington was a controversial man and no one was neutral towards towards his work. He has been dubbed the greatest political scientists since Plato by some. Others label the essentialist platitudes in e.g. Clash of Civilizations quasi science at best and manufacturing of a self fulfilling prophesy at worst. Yet others have called him a CIA “asset”, arguing that he used to work for a CIA consultant, producing documents paid for and censored by them. Whatever the case and whether we agree with his products or not he was a smart and very influential guy.

in 1985 “the former director
of Harvard’s Center for International Affairs, Samuel P. Huntington, was…uncloaked as a
CIA ‘asset’ working secretly with a CIA consultant and publishing documents that
were…paid for…by the Agency” (CIA Off Campus by Ami Chen Mills)
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Israel stood defiant last night in the face of mounting international condemnation, as it vowed to continue a massive bombing offensive against key targets in the Gaza Strip that left 205 dead and 700 others injured.

Guardian 1

It is hard to gauge Hamas’s popularity, but first signs were that the raids will rally support. “This is nothing short of a massacre, an outrage,” the Palestinian independent Hanan Ashrawi told the BBC from Ramallah. “The cycle of violence is generated by the occupation and by the ongoing state of siege that is attempting to collectively punish a whole people.

“This will enhance the standing of Hamas. People are sympathising with Hamas as the people who are being ruthlessly targeted by Israel. They are seen as victims of ongoing Israeli aggression.”

“This will enhance the standing of Hamas. People are sympathising with Hamas as the people who are being ruthlessly targeted by Israel. They are seen as victims of ongoing Israeli aggression.”

Guardian 2

Gazans cowered in their homes Sunday as Israeli warplanes pressing one of Israel’s deadliest assaults ever on Palestinian militants unleashed missiles on weapons warehouses, a police station, the homes of militant field commanders and dozens of other targets across the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip… [T]he U.N. Security Council expressed serious concern about the escalating situation in Gaza and called on Israel and the Palestinians to immediately halt all violence and military activities. The U.N.’s most powerful body called for a new cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and for the opening of border crossings into Gaza to enable humanitarian supplies to reach the territory.

AP

Meanwhile

Israeli far right gains ground as Gaza rockets fuel tensions

Guardian 3



On the telly, the news is even bleaker than the weather as we hear of shutdown after shutdown, and a recession that has been made official. Gallagher says it reminds him of his childhood days of three-day weeks, followed by industrial carnage and Thatcher.

“I remember the 70s constantly being winter in Manchester and the Irish community in Manchester closing ranks because of the IRA bombings in Birmingham and Manchester, and you know the bin-workers’ strike, all wrapped up in it… They were violent times. Violence at home and violence at football matches.” (Noel Gallagher)

Jewish terrorists shot two Palestinians at close range after the Israeli occupant forces neglected to put down a settler riot in Hebron yesterday.

The Pakistan state (meaning primarily its Army, its Inter-Services Intelligence and secondly the PM and the president) is increasingly pushed against the wall. Its handling of the investigation on the Mumbai attack may become decisive for its future.

Obama often “talked tough on Pakistan” during the election campaign. In August 2008 USA unusually decided to publicly implicate Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul in July 2008. Musharraf did publicly banned various terrorist groups based in Pakistan in January 2002. However, apparently Washington knows that Pakistan has continued to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy and it is no longer silent about such matters in deference to Pakistan’s strategic role in the “war on terror”. [url="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/world/asia/01pstan.html?hp"]NYT[/url]

Following the Mumbai attacks India implicated Pakistan as usual. Moreover a US counter-terrorist official said that “signatures of the attack” were consistent with the work of Pakistani militant groups such as [url="http://www.cfr.org/publication/17882/"]LeT[/url] or JeT with links to both ISI and alQaida (and operating in Kashmir and elsewhere). [url="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/29/world/main4637744.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_4637744"]CBS[/url]

A US congressional investigation into weapons of mass destruction presented today predicts terrorist attack with biological or nuclear weapons within the next five years. The report believe that Pakistan will be the most likely source. [url="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/03/terrorism-nuclear-biological-obama-white-house"]Guardian[/url]

What can Pakistan do in order to calm down an increasingly hairy situation?

Shaun Gregory head of the Pakistan Security Research Unit at the University of Bradford hopes that the Pakistan army and ISI are now willing to seriously subordinate themselves to the democratically elected civilian leadership of Pakistan. A leadership that want to cooperate in the Mumbai attack investigation and want to normalize the relation to India.

Then let’s see what USA, China, Russia and others may do.

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Kool Keith on the Auto situation:

Realistically expect my gross is twenty times your checks
Triple that diamond around your necks, besides I hate cars
You feel the turbulence, fasten seatbelts, close your vents
Rugged horsepower, M-20-F, executive manifestin you a lesson
False representation’ll leave y’all sweatin in the train station
Remember I’m blacker than your used Acura
That’s why I laugh at ya
like a anorexic model on the crack bottle
Y’all play Frankie Beverly I’m in the future with a phaser network
I bet ya I’ll make your beck hurt
Endorsements from the universities can’t stop my abilities
Financial trainin on the campus
Sock ya like ? did Kurt Rambis
Fax you that flight number, stand by frequency
Don’t mess with me
(Keith Turbo) Pontiac, GTO
(Keith Turbo) Pontiac, GTO
(Keith Turbo) Pontiac, GTO
(Keith Turbo) Pontiac, GTO

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‘Bamas’ appointment of Clinton as secretary of state may become problematic. Some commentators fear that it opens up for palace wars and moreover that she is more hawkish and generally less tolerant than Obama. But Obama will make sure that everyone knows who’s the president and expectations of what he actually can and want to do foreign policy wise — for instance in regard Palestine and Israel — should perhaps not be too high anyway, with or without Clinton. The appointment however may be seen as a sign that Obama will do what he has promised and take diplomacy and the revival of US soft power seriously. Clinton may not have substantial foreign policy experience but she is known figure, she allegedly has charisma (something which I haven’t noticed) and has a lot of contacts around the world. So if the two can work together and also cooperate with Pentagon this might help the return of soft power, and a decrease of hard power abuse.

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