My Weekly Thoughts
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12/12 Morning Report

The headline was encouraging. The NY Times is reporting that Iraqis are trying to cut al-Sadr’s power.

The talks are taking place among the two main Kurdish groups, the most influential Sunni Arab party and an Iranian-backed Shiite party that has long sought to lead the government.

Maliki has consistently refused to reign in the cleric. Maybe these talks will accomplish something.
(…I hate to say it, because of the bloodshed it would entail…but maybe armed conflict will cause the Iraqis to turn away from al-Sadr…hopefully it won’t come to that, though…)

And, continuing on from yesterday’s post, even though they claimed to be un-involved in the recent shootings and attacks on Fatah officials, Hamas gunmen fired on a Fatah protest in Gaza. Reuters filed this report on it as well. This latest escalation came about because President Abbas wanted new election in hopes of stabilizing the country.
(…why would Hamas want to keep the area destabilized…couldn’t be about power, could it?…)

Then, according to this AP report, North Korea is saying, basically, ”pay me, and I’ll be nice”. South Korean negotiators report that, given the right economic incentives, the North Koreans might disarm. While I admit that would be wonderful, someone please name one time in history a dictator has done such a thing? Then, given Kim Il Jung’s history, tell me why I should believe he would do this?

Speaking of power, there was a lot of hope for capitalism, and free enterprise in Russia. But, shell, and a lot of other companies, is learning that the state is still in control. The Russian culture has always been about state power and control and wealth. It was true of the Tsars. It was true under the communists. And, it is true now.
(…I wonder what will happen among foreign investors now…)

Then there was this report from the BBC. It seems new born babies are being killed in the Ukraine to feed a growing international trade in stem cells. It is important to remember that, while successful treatments for a couple dozen diseases have been developed through adult stem cell research, not one cure has been found using embryonic stem cells.

Closer to home, could this really be good news for the US? Mexico is sending troops to fight the drug cartels. Given the level of corruption in Mexico, it is doubtful. But…

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