Axis of Weevil: Iran Imprisons Freelance Journalist

According to NPR, Iran has imprisoned freelance reporter Roxana Saberi.  Apparently, she was arrested when she tried to buy wine, but that was probably just a pretext.  Iran has arrested several other journalists and researchers in recent years for various reasons, generally on suspicion that they were American spies.  Most of those arrested, like Saberi, held dual Iranian and American citizenship.

I’m not going to overreact and spout drivel about Iran being an existential threat to the United States.  For frack’s sake, we don’t need any help threatening our continued existence.  Even so.  This is Not Cool.  According to the non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists, Iran was, as of December 1, 2008:

the world’s sixth-leading jailer of journalists.

The countries that are worse than Iran?  China, Cuba, Burma, Eritrea and Uzbekistan.  Yes, Iran is in some very savory company there, eh?

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Feinstein Followup

Simple followup, really, to the other day’s disclosure by Sen. Diane Feinstein that U.S. drones may or may not operate from bases in Pakistan.

I’m so, so shocked that Pakistan was railing against American intrusion, while secretly giving a wink and a nudge.  Really, I’m so shocked that I’m…not shocked.  I figured they had to approve, in a subrosa fashion, of these operations.  If they didn’t approve of them in some fashion, they would have actually taken substantive action, despite their supposed puppet status.

Even if it had been Bush and Co. keeping the Pakistanis from objecting in some fashion, the attacks have continued under Obama.  So if the only factor preventing the Pakistanis from actually doing something had been Bush (and I seriously doubt that he’s been keeping them down this past year; did he or anyone else in his adminstration cause fear in the hearts of anyone in the past year?), that has been removed; wouldn’t the drones have stopped by now?

However, I do think that their protest after the ground operation last year was genuine.  I don’t have any specific evidence, but I have a gut feeling that it just went too far for them to even privately approve of.  Drones shooting missiles are one thing; they aren’t physically on the ground.  Despite how much the Pakistani government has bent over backwards to perform for the US government, they do still have a sense of national pride.

Honestly, I’d figured out that the Pakistanis knew several months ago.  I didn’t expect that they might actually be operating from Pakistan.  Let’s wait and see how the story pans out before we really rush to judgment.

(If this doesn’t make much sense, it’s because I haven’t had enough sleep.  I will be getting more momentarily.  Any comments are welcome, and any improvements to my logic and thought would be greatly appreciated.)

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right

Okay, I’ve dished out some criticism some of the anti-Israeli people out there.  So, just to be fair, it’s time for some pwnage of pro-Israeli Americans, and it’s not like this is really hard.  Honestly, it’s like shooting goldfish in a bowl.  Their analogies are the worst ever.  For instance, there’s George Will, saying, “All Americans know what we would be doing if rockets were landing in San Diego from Tijuana.”  (I like Jon Stewart’s response: “Yeah!  We’d open them up and pull out the tequila and hookers!  Am I right, people?  It’s a frickin’ Tijuana rocket!  If you can’t go to spring break, they’ll just fire it to you!”)  Let’s flip these analogies (the rest are pretty much the same).  What if you and your family, along with 1.5 million other souls, have been forced to live, for the past several years, in a very densely populated area.  The economy is virtually nonexistent, and there are some yahoos in the area lighting off rockets at the country keeping you hemmed in.  You’d rather just get on with your life, without all the douchebaggery from both the neighborhood yahoos and the (de facto) occupying power.  Then one day, the people surrounding you get tired of those pesky little rockets (they are, by the by, pretty much all bark and no bite), and start a massive air, ground and naval assault.  They put on a smiley face and say, “We are doing everything we can to minimze civilian casualties.”  And yet you and your family are in the thick of it.  People defending the actions of the occupiers say, “But they warned people to get away before they started bombing.”  The only problem, of course, is that everywhere is a target, and so all the messages do is, in effect, is scare you.  For several weeks, bombs and artillery shells rain down all around you.  Nowhere is safe, and if you go out, you’re liable to get caught in the crossfire.  So do you think you would feel warm and fuzzy things towards the people who are bombing the shit out of your home?  My guess…no.  That is the Palestinians’ perspective.  Before you start barfing out uncritical support of Israel, let’s have some perspective, and see it another way.  And that’s the way it is.

P.S. This is the Daily Show clip about Gaza.  It is excellent.