U-turn in Iraq?

Ever since it became clear that no WMDs would be found in Iraq, building democracy in Iraq has been the declared goal of the occupation, and its post facto justification. Is this about to change?

A bipartisan working group under former Secretary of State James Baker has been looking at the options. (Big surprise: none of them are good.) Baker has dropped hints, some less subtle than others, that this whole idea of democracy is just a distraction from stability in Iraq. According to a piece in today's Sun, the commission -- or at least Baker -- buys the canard that Iraq is essentially a sectarian conflict, a product of multi-ethnicity, which is of course the most popular "explanation" of what's happening there. The implications are clear: dictators are alright as long as they hail from majority groups (Bashar, move over).

On PBS's "Charlie Rose Show," Mr. Baker was careful to say he believed the jury was still out on whether Iraq was a success or a failure. But he also hastened to distinguish between a Middle East that was "democratic" and one that was merely "representative."

"If we are able to promote representative, representative government, not necessarily democracy, in a number of nations in the Middle East and bring more freedom to the people of that part of the world, it will have been a success," he said.

That distinction is crucial, according to one member of the expert working groups. "Baker wants to believe that Sunni dictators in Sunni majority states are representative," the group member, who requested anonymity, said.

100% Pamuk

Congratulations to the brilliant Orhan Pamuk, who has been awarded the Nobel prize for lterature.

Vic dana iz Danas-a

Gost u restoranu naručuje doručak:
- Želim dva kuvana jaja, jedno gotovo sirovo, a drugo tako tvrdo kuvano da se jedva može jesti, dve kriške tosta, jednu jedva malo pečenu, drugu prepečenu, jedan komadić maslaca da bude otopljen, a drugi ravno iz zamrzivača, šoljica kafe neka bude slaba i mlaka, a sok od narandže podgrejan.
- Ali, gospodine, to je vrlo komplikovana narudžba. Biće je teško ispuniti.
- Ne bi trebalo da vam bude teško, to ste mi juče servirali.

Maznuto od Danas-a, 12. oktobar 2006


A dal se to pita na slavi?

Repeatedly asked by reporters to clarify the status of the ministers from the G17+ party who have resigned their positions but continue to occupy them, prime minister Vojislav Koštunica replied:
"All these questions you are asking, I will gladly answer them some other time. Allow me, the question we are discussing today at the Academy is much, much more meaningful, regardless of any type of journalistic curiosity, than the questions you are asking. That question is absolutely secondary both in its essence and formally, compared to the fact that Serbia has finally received a new, democratic Europan constitution and that afterward democratic elections will be called. That is the only thing that matters."
"Four legs good," continued the prime minister, "two legs bad."