The Kensington Review

26 October 2007

Latest Commentary: Volume VI, Number 129
US Slaps More Sanctions on Iran -- The US State and Treasury Departments yesterday announced new and improved sanctions against Iran, and especially its Revolutionary Guards and its elite Quds Force. The actions of the Guards and Quds, which the US contends is a terrorist organization, in next-door Iraq-Nam “are inconsistent with the Iranian government’s obligations and stated commitment to support the Iraqi government,” to quote Secretary of State neoCondoleezza Rice. There is also the continuing worry about a nuclear Iran. Note to the White House: sanctions never work, unless the idea is to ratchet up the other side’s resistance.

Lord Ashdown says Afghanistan is Lost -- As a former member of Britain’s Special Boat Services (their version of America’s Navy SEALs), ex-Liberal Democrat Leader Paddy Ashdown is the only British leader of his generation to have been trained to kill (Mrs. Thatcher learned on the job). As former international envoy to Bosnia Hercegovina from 2002 to 2005, Lord Ashdown also knows more than a little about intractable conflicts. So, when he stated yesterday, “We have lost, I think, and success is now unlikely,” and “I believe losing in Afghanistan is worse than losing in Iraq,” some of the more alert members of the press took notice.

Congressman Rangel Offers $1 Trillion in Tax Changes -- House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) has offered the US voters what he calls "the mother of all tax reforms." He wants to move $1 trillion of the American tax burden. The bill he has offered isn't going to get out of committee without changes, and it probably won't get passed until 2008 if at all. But it does frame the tax policy debate for the Democrats and steals some of the Republicans' clothes as the party of lower taxes.

Iran Cracks Down on Book Shops That Sell Coffee -- Frankly, the smell of coffee in book shops overwhelms the more delicate and delightful aroma of freshly printed literature, but the trend is for book stores to offer coffee to their patrons. Reading, of course, is a solitary endeavor, and drinking coffee tends to be done in groups. Inevitably when books and coffee meet, people talk about reading, authors, books, and even ideas. Such has happened in Iran, and this has upset the local authorities. A bookshop in Tehran has been forced to close for the crime of selling coffee and books. May Allah this Merciful forgive such bad policy.

© 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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