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Iran sanctions as good as 'used tissue' The nuclear standoff on Iran is bound to deepen, aggravated by new United Nations sanctions on the Islamic republic and the United States digging in its heels against an alternative diplomatic plan that was designed to defuse tensions. - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva accused the Security Council of acting out of "obstinacy" in accepting the US-drafted sanctions, "instead of bringing Iran to the table", the official Agencia Brasil news agency quoted Lula as saying. The Security Council had "thrown away a historic opportunity to negotiate calmly over the Iranian nuclear program". (Asia Times)
US's $1bn Islamabad home is its castle The ambitious US$1 billion plan of the United States to expand its presence in Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad underscores Washington's resolve to consolidate its presence in the region, particularly in pursuit of the endgame in the "war on terror". (Asia Times)
A democratic dark spot in Indonesia Unless Yudhoyono plans some dramatic changes for his second term, Jakarta's duplicitous laws and reliance on militarized commerce in West Papua will continue to devastate its largest province (Asia Times)
Nuclear war is Kim Jong-il's game plan "Our military first policy calls for an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, retaliation for retaliation, ultra-hardline for hardline, war for war, total war for total war, nuclear war for nuclear war." - Kim Jong-il (Asia Times)
Afghan opium: License to kill Indeed, in a 2004 interview, Doris Buddenberg, the head of UNODC in Afghanistan, said, "Eradication usually does not bring about a sustainable reduction of poppy crop - it is a one-time, short-term effort. Also eradication usually pushes the prices up. As we have seen from the Taliban period, the one-year ban on opium-poppy cultivation increased prices enormously the following year and it became extremely attractive for farmers to cultivate poppy." (Asia Times)
Letter to Thomas Kean from Sibel Edmonds Your report has omitted any reference to this most serious issue, has forgone any accountability whatsoever, and your recommendations have refrained from addressing this issue, which when left unaddressed will have even more serious consequences. This issue is systemic and departmental. Why did your report choose to exclude this information and this serious issue despite the evidence and briefings you received? How can budget increases address and resolve this misconduct by mid-level bureaucratic management? How can the addition of a new bureaucratic layer, "intelligence czar", in its cocoon removed from the action lines, address and resolve this problem? (Asia Times)
'P2OG' allows Pentagon to fight dirty "Run away from the light": Such might be the motto of a new, covert policy that the Bush administration is considering implementing. According to recent news reports, it would be the largest expansion into the world of black ops and covert action since the end of the Vietnam War in the 1970s (Asia Times)
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