Archive pour janvier 2007

Hamas, One Year Later

Dimanche 28 janvier 2007

Zvi Bar’el, one of my favorite political analyst have a somber evaluation of the situation one year after the election of Hamas.

(…) even if Haniyeh starts wearing a skullcap and Khaled Meshal begins humming Hatikva, and even if Abbas makes it mandatory to teach the heroic story of Masada in Palestinian schools, Israel does not want and is unable to propose a diplomatic alternative that would lead to the establishment of an independent and democratic Palestinian state. It does not want to – because any such proposal would mean a withdrawal from most of the territories and the dismantling of most of the settlements. It is unable to – because there is no government of Israel. After all, even when it appeared that there was a government in Israel, not a single measly illegal outpost was removed; this is a non-government that has transformed the disengagement from Gaza from a national trauma to a housing trauma; and in Hebron, or in Mount Hebron to be more precise, the sovereign provides free protection to a bunch of hooligans.

Zvi Bar’el, As long as we impose sanctions,

It seems to me that the Palestinians are hostage of their political representatives notwithstanding the Israel intransigence and the completely stupid response from the Quartet to the election of Hamas.

It is the first time in history, according to the UN’s John Duggard, that an occupied people have been subject to international sanctions, especially sanctions of this magnitude and rigor.

The result is this: Gaza is gradually declining into anarchy and its entire social, political, and economic fabric is unraveling.

And it is this complete decay of whatever semblance of normalcy they had left that makes Gazans more afraid than ever before.

Order no matter how corrupt or ruthless or artificial it may be, is for the most part predictable and safe. And now it is disorder that is being intentionally fuelled in Gaza’s dusty streets.

It is more than a mere power struggle. It is a fight for both political legitimacy and the pen that will write history. Who will continue the national historical narrative of the Palestinian struggle?

And then there’s that other story: the one about a people forgotten in all of this. Who will relay their narrative?

Laila El-Haddad, Hamas in power: one year on, Raising Yousuf: a diary of a mother under occupation

See also Laila El-Haddad’s interview that narrate the social dislocation in Gaza. (mp3)

Jimmy Carter still amazes me. He gave a conference about his last book (Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid) at an American nondenominational Jewish university and received a standing ovation.

Nathaniel Popper, Carter Wins Over Student Crowd at Brandeis, Receives Ovation,

See also Jimmy Carter defends new book on Middle East for the podcast of this conference (mp3)

Recap on Where the White House is heading in the Middle-East

Lundi 15 janvier 2007 What is New about Bush’s New Strategy?

Sacrificing political stability in Somalia for three al-Qaida operatives is terrible math. Even more troubling is the continued escalation toward Iran. Beefing up Gulf defenses by sending additional battle ships to the region, leaked Israeli plans to use nuclear bunker busters against Iran’s facilities, and promises to provide Patriot missiles to the Arab Gulf states all suggest that Bush is expanding the battle field in the hope that US fortunes in Iraq will be reversed if Washington can claim victory elsewhere. The problem with this strategy is that it builds on the erroneous presumption that the US is in a war against « evil. » Rather than disaggregating struggles in Palestine, the Horn of Africa, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq in order to deal with each separately, Washington is stubbornly gluing them together in one super war on radical Islam. We are pretending they are all directed by al-Qaida and a nebulous enemy of freedom and liberty. This is not the enemy that exists. There is no command central. Moreover, we cannot destroy an idea with firepower. By pursuing this false war with greater determination, the US is ensuring failure with greater determination.

This an excellent recapitulation on all the battle fronts the White House is opening in the Middle-East (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine) and the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia/Somalia). It’s quite scary. You have the feeling that there’s no check and balance from the Congress, and that Bush/Cheney will be able to do as they like.

The drums of war are even more beating here if you believe Zbigniew Brzezinski:

…this is what really worries me. There are hints in the president’s speech and in Rice’s testimony today about the possibility of escalation, not necessarily in the number of troops, but in the range of the military operations, namely perhaps against Syria or Iran.

And the incident with the Iranian consulate, the rhetoric about Iran, the increasing temptation to blame our failure on the Iranians and the Syrians could push us in that direction. And there are a lot of people still around here, particularly the neocons, who would like us to have a crack at Iran.


I think it reflects, on the one hand, desperation, on the other hand, a kind of fanatical commitment which I think is detached from reality.
Jim Lehrer: From the United States?
Zbigniew Brzezinski: Of the United States and of presidential leadership. And don’t forget that, even the existing policy, short of the widened war with Iran and Syria, does not have the support of the three still-living former presidents, and one who recently died, who went public on record as opposing the current policy.

It’s opposed by more and more Republicans. It’s opposed by public opinion in the United States. And yet these signals, these hints, and some of these actions raise the risk that, if the benchmarks are not met, instead of leaving, we’ll widen the war, because we’ll claim that the Syrians and the Iranians are causing us the difficulties.

And that means a total exclusion of any rational regional effort to get a political process going of the kind that the Baker-Hamilton commission spoke and which I think very rightly advocated.

Online NewsHours: Plan to Increase Troop Numbers Comes Under Broad Scrutiny (mp3)

etherworks Vid

Vendredi 12 janvier 2007

etherworks: 2006 is over, and I won’t miss it.

Milles et une Nuits et le jeu dans la France Moderne

Mardi 9 janvier 2007

Deux récentes émissions en baladodiffusion qui valent le détour. L’une sur la parution des deux derniers tomes de la traduction des Mille et une Nuits en Pléiade, et l’autre sur le jeu dans la France moderne (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle) où l’on peut faire bien des parallèles avec le discours actuel sur le jeu tenu par les sociétés d’État, notamment, Loto-Québec (le jeu comme adjuvant monétaire de l’État, le monopole étatique du jeu comme nécessité contre l’emprise de la pègre).

Cultures d’Islam
Les Mille et une Nuits (mp3)

Concordance des temps
Jouer autrefois : essai sur le jeu dans la France moderne (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle) (mp3)

FreeBSD Network Stack Virtualization Project

Lundi 8 janvier 2007

There is very good news to FreeBSD aficionados like myself. This site is hosted on a FreeBSD VPS (Virtual Private Server) at the excellent JohnCompanies. The FreeBSD VPS is basically a jail. What I miss from the Linux VPS counterpart is the possibility to add more IP addresses, something that is not currently possible with jail. But this will be possible in the future for FreeBSD VPS.

The FreeBSD Foundation has negotiated a joint technology development agreement with NLNet and the University of Zagreb to develop virtualized network stack support for FreeBSD. With the generous sponsorship of NLNet, the FreeBSD Foundation has contracted Marko Zec at the University of Zagreb with the goal of producing a prototype implementation on FreeBSD 7-CURRENT in early 2007. Network stack virtualization allows complete networking independence between jails on a system, including giving each jail their own firewall, virtual network interfaces, rate limiting, routing tables, and IPSEC configurations. This powerful tool extends jails toward full operating system virtualization and addresses many of the known limitations of jails.

Path Finder: Script to Avoid Warning when Closing a Window with Tabs

Vendredi 5 janvier 2007

With Path Finder 4.6.1, when you close a window with tabs, you get an alert that’s asking if you really want to close all the tabs. This is very annoying. On the Path Finder forum, there is a mention of that, its supposed to be on the todo list for the developpers. Mainwhile, you can use this AppleScript if you want to get rid of the warning. Just put the script in your AppleScript Menu, or better, in your FastScripts menu, set a shortcut (mine is control-w) and there you go. Its not ideal, and I rather attach this script to the File menu of Path Finder, but for that, you need PreFab UI Actions because Path Finder is not « AppleScript attachable ». Well, that’s another reason tempting me to buy this app, and also PreFab UI Browser.

tell application "Path Finder"
    set allWindows to every finder window
    set mainWindow to item 1 of allWindows
    set go to true
    repeat while go
        set mainWindowName to name of mainWindow as string
        if mainWindowName is equal to "" then return
        tell application "System Events"
          keystroke "w" using command down
        end tell
      on error
      end try
    end repeat
  on error
  end try
end tell

So the only way I have found is to ask each time for the name of the front window, and if the name doesn’t exist, then it means that there are no more windows to process. Since we took a reference to the main window with set mainWindow to item 1 of allWindows, this made sure that we won’t close a Path Finder window that is behind the main Path Finder window.