The Kensington Review

9 April 2007

Latest Commentary: Volume VI, Number 43
Candidate Richardson Arrives in Pyongyang -- New Mexico’s governor, Bill Richardson, arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea yesterday to hold negotiations with the sociopath regime there. The White House has blessed his delegation's visit, which is not part of the six-party talks aimed at diffusing the mess on the Korean peninsula but which is aimed at saving the deal that exists. As former US ambassador to the UN he has visited North Korea in the 1990s and again in 2005 for a total of six trips there. He is extremely well-placed to make progress in these negotiations. He is also running for president, and one would think this would all be to his benefit. Unfortunately, the American political system doesn’t select for diplomatic genius.

Shi’ite Marchers Demand US Leave Iraq-Nam -- Four years ago, US General Tommy Franks joined Alexander the Great and Tamerlane on the list of men who have conquered Mesopotamia. Indeed, Baghdad fell to US forces four years ago today. To mark the occasion, tens of thousands of Shi’ite Iraq-Namese marched through the holy city of Najaf demanding that foreign troops leave their country. What’s particularly significant is the participation in this march of elected members of the Iraq-Namese parliament. While legislators in Washington debate on whether, when and how to withdraw US forces, many legislators in Baghdad have made up their minds.

Natural Gas Producers Meet to Form Not-a-Cartel -- Members of the somewhat informal Gas Exporting Countries Forum, nations that are major producers and exporters of natural gas, have begun a meeting in Doha, Qatar. From all appearances, they are meeting to establish a producers’ cartel not unlike OPEC. Naturally, the attendees deny that that is their intention. They are merely meeting to “consider” their “interests.” Quite.

World Bank Gives Kazakhstan Loan to Save Aral Sea -- The Aral Sea used to be a big body of fresh water, the fourth largest inland sea on planet Earth. Then, the communist economic planners of the Soviet Union got into the act. By diverting two rivers that fed the Aral to irrigate cotton crops, the Soviets started drying the sea up. By the 1990s, 75% of the sea was gone and fishing villages were miles from the retreating shore. Were it not for Chernobyl, the Aral disaster would be the biggest man-made environmental disaster in the world (and the UN disagrees, saying the Aral is worse). Thanks to a loan from the World Bank, at least part of the Aral Sea is coming back.

© Copyright 2007 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Fedora Linux.


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