Log in

Our accreditation is pending [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Our accreditation is pending

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

(no subject) [Feb. 15th, 2007|11:06 pm]
Our accreditation is pending

[Tags|, , , ]
[mood |curiouscurious]

Hi, dead community! I shall attempt to bring you back to life.

Really I just have some questions about this plane hijacking in Mauritania. I couldn't figure out what was going on from the story: it claims that the hijacking seems to have occurred because al-Qaeda issued a statement ordering attacks on Mauritania for its recent recognition of Israel, but then Wikipedia sez that Mauritania is an Islamic republic that abides by sharia law. I guess it's not impossible for an Islamic country under sharia to recognize Israel, but I have no idea how common it is, or what exactly the ramifications are. Anyway, if anyone has more of the political background on this situation, or on what an Islamic country recognizing Israel tends to mean in general, I'd be most grateful. :)
linkpost comment

(no subject) [Sep. 9th, 2006|11:53 pm]
Our accreditation is pending

What's the deal with stem cell research?

I know that it's supposed to cure everything ever.

I know that it's very controversial.

I don't understand how it's supposed to cure everything ever.

What are these stem cells?

What do they do?

Why are they so special?
link4 comments|post comment

(no subject) [Aug. 12th, 2006|09:06 pm]
Our accreditation is pending

I know our lovely hostess said that there are no dumb questions, but nevertheless, I feel like this is a dumb question. So here it is:

What can anyone tell me about the founding of Israel? I know the very basics, but what specifically happened? I guess what I'm really asking is, how did a country founded by genocide survivors end up persecuting people and pissing off an entire region? How did a perfectly valid idea go wrong?
link4 comments|post comment

(no subject) [Aug. 1st, 2006|04:57 pm]
Our accreditation is pending

So, in these turbulent times when the sum total of information that the mass media is distributing regarding Fidel Castro seems to be that he is Not Dead Yet, it occurs to me to wonder: why, exactly, do we Americans hate Castro so much?

In all seriousness. I get that in the fifties, the terms "communist" and "Nazi" were roughly synonymous, and that we still live with the traces of that belief. But here's the thing. When I was a kid, I didn't know much of anything about Fidel Castro, except that he was Evil. I just absorbed this information, in the same wat that I absorbed the information that, like, Stalin was evil, or Saddam Hussein. I didn't know what Stalin and Saddam Hussein had done, but I knew it was bad. In the same way, I knew that whatever Fidel Castro had done, it must have been bad, because his name was the political equivalent of a curse word. As I got older I just naturally assumed that he had all sorts of torture chambers and concentration camps and such going on over there, because Stalin and Saddam Hussein and all those other guys whose names were swear words did.

The problem is that I have tried to do some research in the last few years on *why* Fidel Castro is so evil, and I just do not get it. At all. The most I can get is that he stifles free speech and civil liberties. Which, okay, that's a problem, but I just do not think it is on a level with genocide and torture and the other shit that the rest of the Rly Rly Ev0l Dictators of the world get up to. Far's I can tell, he rose to power bloodlessly and with a good level of popular support, and when the U.S. government tried to take him down because they didn't like communists, he did them the discourtesy of kicking the shit out of them. So I guess that would explain why we hate him - no one likes a communist, especially one who's kicked your ass. But I just have a hard time believing that this is honestly all there is to it. All this roiling hatred of Castro - is that really all it is? Or has he done evil things that I somehow missed finding out about? Your insight is requested.
link12 comments|post comment

(no subject) [Jul. 24th, 2006|12:43 pm]
Our accreditation is pending

[Tags|, , ]

I know no one actually asked this question, but I found this an interesting enough link that I thought I would post it here anyway: Slate has a Middle Eastern Buddy List that purports to decipher all the complex and interconnected relationships between various Middle Eastern countries and political factions. I haven't had much time to look at it, being at work, and hope to give it a much closer examination when I get home. I don't know exactly how it's sourced, and if any of it is wrong, maybe some of you can tell me? But I thought it was a neat primer.

Also. What is the deal with Somalia? Can anyone tell me? Last week when I was scanning through news sites for info on what's going on in the Middle East I registered a little blip, somewhere in my surfing, that seemed to be indicating that Somalia was tied in with the whole mess. That particular link was extremely uninformative and I didn't follow up on it today; now I'm finding a bunch of scattered and mostly equally uninformative links, but they are making it clear that Somalia's in a fair mess too right now, and that al-Qaeda and other Islamic militants are involved. But I have no context for this. Whatsoever. I know next to nothing about the history of Somalia, I have no idea how al-Qaeda got there or what they are doing there, I get that Somalia has a fragile UN-backed government but I don't know how *that* got there, and I don't know why people are executing people. Does anyone have any info at all? I'm sure understanding this is going to require a loooot of research (if "going to Wikipedia and surfing links out from there" can be termed "research"), so anything anyone can offer would be cool.
link9 comments|post comment

(no subject) [Jul. 13th, 2006|11:09 pm]
Our accreditation is pending

[Tags|, , , ]
[mood |confusedconfused]

Well, having started this community, I am going to start it off by posting its first question. This question can be roughly summarized as:

What is the deal with Lebanon?

I seriously tried to Wikipedia this for like two hours today, and I just. don't. get it. Today, obviously, there were all kinds of bombings and bad things going on between Israel and Lebanon. Lebanon abducted some Israeli soldiers; Israel retaliated with bombings, leaving a whole bunch of people in Lebanon dead. I was completely confused. I was like, "But... Israel is at war with Palestine! Lebanon? WTF Lebanon?"

In Wikipedia-ing, I got a very incomplete picture of what's up. I got that decades back a whole bunch of displaced Palestinians moved out of Israel and into the southern part of Lebanon. I get that those displaced Palestinians weren't big fans of Israel, and that the situation worsened in like 1981, when they attacked Israel across the border one too many times, and Israel sent an army in in response. And then there was some messiness with civilian slaughters and things, and things got worse. But I'm missing so very much information.

I'm missing, first of all, what the deal is between Syria and Lebanon, and how it relates to the situation with Israel. I'm gathering that Syria isn't a big fan of Israel, and I'm also gathering that the Syrian government has had a finger in the pie over in the government of Lebanon for awhile. I am not getting whether this means that the Lebanese government is anti-Israel or not. I know that the original kidnapping that sparked this mess today was by Hezbollah, a political party (not the ruling party if I understand this correctly) in Lebanon that I think was founded by those displaced Palestinians from long ago, and that the US and the EU class it as a terrorist organization, though the UN is apparently still on the fence about that. Hezbollah is obviously anti-Israel, but I'm not clear on where the current Lebanese government stands. And I'd like to know what Syria has to do with it. (I also want to know what the heck is up with last year's assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former PM of Lebanon - Syria is apparently implicated in that, but if Syria and Lebanon are buddy-buddy why are they assassinating its former prime minister? But I don't think that's related, really.)

I just... aaargh. As you can see, my knowledge is very, very limited, and I'm sure I have much of the above-listed information wrong. Can anybody help?
link36 comments|post comment

[ viewing | most recent entries ]