September 30, 2006 at 2:31 pm | Posted in Books, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Islam, Research | Leave a comment



Introduction to Shariah and Islamic Jurisprudence The following book details have recently been posted at


Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin

Book Title:

Introduction to Shariah and Islamic Jurisprudence
Publisher: Cert Publications Publication

Year: 2006

Web Ordering:

Category: Shariah Country: Malaysia

ISBN number: 983-42785-2-7

Summary: Topics covered: Shariah, Islamic Law, Islamic Jurisprudence, Development of Fiqh

Language: English


Administration Section London

New book posted

Saturday, September 30 2006


September 30, 2006 at 1:45 pm | Posted in Arabs, Middle East, Research | Leave a comment



Please find attached the latest edition of our weekly business/markets report on<br /> Lebanon

"The Lebanon Brief" –
for the week ended September 30, 2006.

Economic Research Department

Please find attached the latest edition 
of our weekly business/markets report on Lebanon:

- "The Lebanon Brief" - for the week ended September 30, 2006.

The file is in PDF format and should be opened using Adobe Acrobat Reader,
 which can be downloaded from

Best Regards,

Economic Research Department

Nicolas Photiades 01-738938 ext.1580
Dolly Dagher 01-738938 ext.1201
Najla Nakhle 01-738938 ext.1202

The Lebanon Brief

Attachment: Brief-Sept.25-30.pdf
(0.06 MB)

Research Dept

Saturday, September 30, 2006


September 30, 2006 at 12:47 pm | Posted in Books, Literary | Leave a comment





Joseph Roth Online




Currently Available (in USA and UK):

The Collected Shorter Fiction of Joseph Roth, trans. by Michael Hofmann

(Granta Hardback, 2001)

What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920-1933, trans. by Michael Hofmann (Granta

Hardback, 2003)

The White Cities: Reports from France 1925-1939, trans. by Michael Hoffmann

(Granta Paperback, 2005)

The Spider’s Web: and Zipper and his Father, trans. by John Hoare (Overlook

Hardback, 1990)

Rebellion, trans. by Michael Hofmann (Granta Paperback, 2000)

Rebellion, trans. by Michael Hofmann (St. Martin’s Press Hardback, 1999)

Hotel Savoy; Fallmerayer the Stationmaster; The Bust of the Emperor, trans. by John

Hoare (Overlook Hardback, 1986)

Hotel Savoy, trans. by Michael Hofmann (Granta Paperback, 2000)

Flight without End, trans. by David Le Vay (Peter Owen, 2000)

The Wandering Jews, trans. by Michael Hofmann (Norton Hardback, 2000)

The Wandering Jews, trans. by Michael Hoffmann (Granta Hardback/Paperback, 2001)

Right and Left, trans. by Michael Hofmann (Granta Paperback, 1999)

Right and Left and The Legend of the Holy Drinker (Overlook Paperback, 1993)

The Silent Prophet, trans. by David Le Vay (Peter Owen, 2002)

Job, the Story of a Simple Man, trans. by Dorothy Thompson (Granta Paperback, 2000)

The Radetzky March, trans. by Eva Tucker and Geoffrey Dunlop (Overlook Paperback, 1983)

The Radetzky March, trans. by Joachim Neugroschel (Penguin Modern Classics Paperback, 1995)

The Radetzky March, trans. by Joachim Neugroschel (McKay & David Hardback, 1996)

The Radetzky March, trans. by Michael Hofmann (Granta Hardback, 2002)

Tarabas: A Guest on Earth, trans. by Winifred Katzin (Overlook Paperback, 1989)

Confession of a Murderer: Told in One Night, trans. by Desmond I. Vesey (Overlook

Paperback, 1987)

Weights and Measures, trans. by David Le Vay (Peter Owen, 2002)

The Emperor’s Tomb, trans. by John Hoare (Overlook, 1990)

The Emperor’s Tomb, trans. by John Hoare (Granta Paperback, 1999)

The String of Pearls, trans. by Michael Hofmann (Granta Paperback, 1999)

The Tale of the 1002nd Night, trans. by Michael Hofmann (St Martin’s Press Paperback,


The Legend of the Holy Drinker, trans. by Michael Hofmann (Granta Hardback, Oct. 2000)

Further information:

Anyone interested in a more comprehensive historical account of Roth’s reception in the

English-speaking world should consult the following sources:

Rainer-Joachim Siegel, Joseph Roth – Bibliographie (Morsum, Sylt: Cicero, 1995)

Helen Chambers, ‘Die Rezeption Joseph Roths in Grossbritannien’, in Joseph Roth:

Interpretation – Kritik – Rezeption, ed. by Michael Kessler and Fritz Hackert

(Tuebingen: Stauffenburg, 1990), pp. 65-76

Cathe Giffuni, ‘Joseph Roth: an English Bibliography’, in Co-Existent Contradictions:

Joseph Roth in Retrospect, ed. by Helen Chambers (Riverside: Ariadne, 1991), pp. 215-240.

Joseph Roth (1894-1939), though not as famous

internationally as Franz Kafka or Thomas Mann, was amongst the most prolific and talented

German-language authors of the early twentieth century. In a creative lifespan which was

cut short by the ravages of political exile and alcoholism he produced some sixteen

novels, as well as many thousands of articles for numerous newspapers and journals. In

Germany and Austria today his work, much of which was out of print and almost completely

forgotten only thirty years ago, has managed a rare feat, bridging the gap between a

popular readership and academic German Studies, a discipline which has traditionally

favoured intellectually heavyweight or formally experimental literature. Yet he remains a

complex, elusive figure, whose fiction is only now being discovered in all its diversity

by English-speaking readers.

Roth’s Style

His turbulent life during a traumatic period of European history, and his tragic death

in exile in 1939, have ensured an enduring fascination with Joseph Roth, and many of his

texts were rediscovered alongside those of fellow exiled writers by a disaffected younger

generation in the 1960s. However, were it not for his skill as a writer, Roth would

scarcely be worthy of recommendation. Let us begin, then, by considering one or two formal

points, before broadening the scope a little.

Readers of Joseph Roth’s novels and novellas, which include Hotel Savoy

(1924), Flight Without End (1927), Job (1930), The Radetzky March (1932)

and The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1939), are frequently struck by the quality of

the prose. It is characterised by a lightness of touch and deceptive simplicity which is

in marked contrast to the grammatically dense weight of

the prose perceived by many, Germans included, to be typical of German literature.It is a style

which reflects his mastery of the journalistic Feuilleton, the short prose essay

form which had been honed into an art by German and Austrian writers such as Karl Kraus,

Peter Altenberg, and Alfred Polgar. These pieces are less ‘news’ stories than

personal observations, and in most cases hinge on details or occurrences gleaned from

everyday life. ‘Only the small things in life are important’, as Roth observed

in an early article. The ability to focus on detail, to draw the general from the

particular, and to make the familiar seem strange, is a characteristic of Roth’s

writing. Consider the following, from an article (‘A Stroll’) describing a walk

through the busy streets of western Berlin in 1921:

What I see, in the visage of the street and of the day, are only the most laughably

inconspicuous features. A horse harnessed to a carriage is looking into its full nosebag

with its head low, and does not know that horses originally entered the world without

carriages. A child at the edge of a street is playing marbles and watching the functional

chaos of the adults, and […] does not suspect that it already embodies the perfection

of creation, but instead yearns to be grown up.

Precisely the same style is employed in his fiction. It is present in his 1927 novel of

postwar life Flight Without End, whose reputation at the time as a piece of

supposed ‘objective’ or ‘documentary’ literature was in part based on

the unsentimental distance – one might even say alienation – from the world affected

both by the narrator and the central protagonist. Somewhat disingenuously, Roth claimed in

his foreword: ‘I have invented nothing, made up nothing’. What he meant was that

he had striven to grant his fictional story a setting in the real world as he, a writer

and reporter, saw it. Thus the following passage from Flight Without End describing

a train journey in a manner reminiscent of cinematic montage might just as well have found

a place in Roth’s journalism:

He had to change trains once on the way. He did not halt anywhere. Of Germany he saw

only the stations, the sign-boards, the posters, the churches, the hotels by the railway,

the silent grey streets of the suburbs, and the suburban trains looking like tired animals

emerging from their stables.

Hotel Savoy provides evidence of another hallmark of Roth’s writing, namely

the employment of narrative structures and motifs derived from myth, parables or folk

tales. This short novel, his first to be published as a separate volume (as opposed to

newspaper serialisation), is set in a bizarre hotel in the aftermath of the War. Roth was

fond of hotels, and enjoyed the combination of transience and permanence, of distance and

intimacy that they could provide. His fictional hotel, owned by a mysterious millionaire

whose identity emerges only at the end of the story, functions as a topsy-turvy metaphor

of society: the poor reside at the top of the hotel and the wealthy in the floors below.

Only the angelic protagonist Gabriel is able to move between these segregated social

spheres. The juxtaposition of a type of symbolism reminiscent of Kafka with moments of

disarming realism lends this early novel a unique flavour.

A Jewish Writer?

Roth achieves something similar in his reworking of the story of Job (Job,

1930), set amongst the orthodox Jews of Eastern Europe whose shtetl are now long

since vanished. This novel is now studied by countless German schoolchildren every year;

it provided Roth with his commercial breakthrough and also helped cement Roth’s

reputation, in the minds of some, as a ‘Jewish’ writer, and a sentimental one at

that, thanks to the novel’s somewhat implausible happy ending. It is not difficult to

trace the influence of Roth’s Jewishness on his work, both explicit and implicit. It

is discernible, for example, in Roth’s many tales of literal or metaphysical

‘homelessness’, already evident in Hotel Savoy and even more pronounced

in Flight Without End. With this in mind, it is unsurprising to discover that Roth

was hostile to Zionism, believing that the very condition of ‘statelessness’ was

in a profound sense innate or essential to the Jewish people, the lives of whose working

class he had documented in a series of essays, published as The Wandering Jews (1926).

An Austrian Writer?

Yet Roth is an author who defies convenient ‘labelling’. Again and again,

ambivalence of various types seems to sum up his life, attitudes, and work. If, on the one

hand, Flight Without End reflects the stateless condition of the Jewish disapora,

on the other it may be read alongside other documents of the so-called ‘lost’

generation of young men unable to integrate into postwar life. And though it is plausible

to argue that Roth’s Jewish identity is a key to understanding his work, for many,

perhaps even for the majority of his readers, Roth will remain,

above all, an Austrian writer. Indeed, in 1994 the Austrian post office honoured him by

issuing a stamp featuring a rather garish portrait of

him. The fact that Roth was seen as an appropriate figure to grace Austrian postage made

quite clear that he was considered, unambiguously, to be an Austrian writer, perhaps even

an archetypally Austrian one.

The main reason for this is the continued fame of Roth’s most celebrated novel, The

Radetzky March(1932). Few would claim it is anything other than an elegy to the lost

empire of the Habsburgs. The novel tells the story of the three generations of the Trotta

family, whose rise to bourgeois respectability and ultimate demise is mysteriously

entwined with and mirrored by the life of the long-serving emperor Franz Joseph

(1830-1916). The novel’s title refers, of course, to Strauss’s famous march, the

unofficial anthem of the ancien regime, the sentimental recollection of which

accompanies the young protagonist Carl Joseph, an aspiring but inept soldier, through each

stage of a life marked, like the final years of the empire, by decline, decay and death.

There is, we should be clear, little sentimentality in Roth’s evocation of a dying

regime, whose fate is portrayed as inevitable and in a sense as deserved, but the

prevailing melancholy tone, and the evident belief in the potential benefits of empire,

make clear that this is no Marxist dissection of imperialism. Some later texts, including

the ‘sequel’ to The Radetzky March, The Emperor’s Tomb (1938),

the completion of which was unwisely fast-tracked in response to Germany’s annexation

of Austria in March 1938, contributed further to a widespread assumption that Roth was,

more than anything, an ‘Austrian’ writer.

Yet it is precisely this which provides an irony, for Roth would never have recognized

the small country we now know as Austria as his homeland, despite spending several years

in Vienna. Roth was ‘Austrian’ in precisely the same way that, for most of his

life, the Prague resident Franz Kafka was. True, Roth was able to claim Austrian

citizenship after the War, but for Roth, as is made plain in his novels, Austria was not

so much a nationality as a supra-national idea, an ideal to be striven for. In the

disintegrating Europe of the 1930s, divided into aggressively nationalistic, splintering

states, and with the ever-present threat of fascism, Joseph Roth felt lost, and chose to

spend his final years in cosmopolitan Paris rather than Vienna.

A Mythologised Biography

Roth’s peculiarly ambivalent identity, which managed to encompass an intense

feeling of Jewishness and an identification with the Catholicism of the Habsburgs, has its

origins in his upbringing. For many years the details of his family, schooling, war

service and early career were the subject of much debate, and a good deal of false

information has, over the years, been published. Chief instigator of this was Roth

himself, who was dubbed by his biographer David Bronsen, thanks to whose painstaking

research in the 1960s and 1970s we now know most of the facts, a ‘mythomaniac’.

By the end of his life it may even have been the case that he himself believed in certain

of the ‘myths’ he had created for himself – for example, in his claim that

he was born in the village of ‘Schwabendorf’, that his father had been a gentile

officer in the Austrian army, or that he had himself served as an officer during the War,

and had been a prisoner of war in Siberia. None of these assertions was true, but all

were, for a time, believed, and found their way into encyclopaedia entries and into

paperback editions of his books. He was

born in 1894 to Jewish parents in the small town of Brody in Galicia, which was then

located at the easternmost edge of the Austro-Hungarian empire, close to the border with Russia. His father, apparently prone to mental illness, absconded soon after Roth’s birth and he was raised, an only child, by his mother. He received a middle-class German-speaking education, and went on to study
in Lemberg (now L’vov) and Vienna before the First World War intervened. The
religious, ethnic, cultural and linguistic make-up of his hometown left a lasting
impression upon the young Roth. He grew up in a community dominated by Yiddish-speaking
Hasidic Jews, whose rituals, dress and devotion to their faith fascinated him. This was
the world he was to evoke so memorably in The Wandering Jews, Job, passages
of The Radetzky March¸ and later short stories such as The Leviathan (first
published in 1941). But he would have been equally accustomed to German-speaking
bureaucrats and soldiers, and to the many Slavic farmers and tradespeople speaking Polish,
Russian and Ukrainian.
Brody, truly a liminal place of blurred borders and boundaries,
became a part of Poland in 1919, and of the USSR after 1945, and is today in the Ukraine.
At the time of Roth’s birth 15,000 of the town’s 25,000 inhabitants were Jewish,
but today Brody, with its rich heritage and strong Jewish, Polish, Austrian and German
connections, is home only to Christian Ukrainians. The diversity which Joseph Roth so
loved is truly gone, and indeed had started to disappear at the end of the First World
War. Roth, having served two years in the army, had left by that stage to begin his
successful career, first in Vienna, and for most of the 1920s in Berlin. He returned to
Galicia only infrequently
. Joseph Roth’s formative
experiences of life, then, had taken place in a particular context, in which
multiculturalism and tolerance of difference played an important part. Roth, in later
life, tended to exaggerate the extent of this tolerance, casting the area and the period
almost as a sort of lost utopia. But for the town to have existed for so long with such a
mix of population a degree of tolerance, surely, must have been essential.

This leads to a second observation. For many middle-class European Jews in the late

nineteenth and early twentieth centuries there existed a tension between their loyalty to

and desire to feel part of, on the one hand, the Jewish community and its traditions,

which could provide a concrete identity, ethical values and a sense of certainty, and, on

the other, the secular host society. For Kafka, some ten years older than Roth, the

tension between religious and secular identity, between his sense of himself as a Jew and

his desire to assimilate, was acute. But in a community as diverse as Brody, just how

would one go about ‘assimilating’? To which ‘host’ culture in a town

dominated by Jews is one to assimilate, and to which of the five languages spoken? The

Jewish community was of course heterogeneous, with considerable differences in the

lifestyles of the working class, the orthodox, and the middle-class trades and business

people, and between those who spoke Yiddish, those who favoured Polish, and those, like

Roth, who spoke German. It must have

seemed to the young Joseph Roth, in contrast to Kafka’s experiences growing up as a

member of a minority in urban Prague, that in Galicia there was in fact no need to

assimilate, that with so many different communities

living cheek by jowl one could, so to speak, custom-build one’s identity, one’s

allegiances, and truly have the best of both worlds. Reading Roth’s oeuvre in

retrospect, with its unique mixture of cosmopolitan wit and sophistication, left-wing

politics, conservative nostalgia, and religiosity, it seems as if this is what he was

attempting. In a very real sense Joseph Roth devoted his life to repeated attempts to

recapture something of the atmosphere of his youth.

Political Ambivalence

The sheer diversity Roth managed in these attempts is remarkable, and, at the same

time, the signal of a degree of uncertainty and ambivalence. This ambivalence is perhaps

most notoriously evident in Roth’s politics, which in a span of less than twenty

years seemed, on the face of it, to have performed a complete U-turn. In his early years

Roth had professed to be a socialist, and wrote for numerous liberal and left-wing

journals, even signing many of his articles with the nom de plume ‘Der rote

Joseph’ (‘Red Joseph’). Though this latter detail should probably be

understood more as punning reference to his surname (Rot(h) = red) than a serious

political statement, it nevertheless came as something of a shock to many of Roth’s

liberal friends to find him, by the mid-1930s, adopting an anti-modernist and politically

conservative stance. It should be noted that the intervening years of restless work and

travel, and the increasingly hostile and fractious climate in Germany, prior to 1933, had

taken their toll on Roth. In addition to this, his wife Friedl’s development of

schizophrenia and permanent hospitalisation in 1929 were heavy blows, and certainly

contributed to Roth’s view of the contemporary world in purely negative terms.

Whereas for much of the 1920s Roth had engaged with postwar politics and society, his

final years were preoccupied with the past. During these years of exile from Hitler’s

Germany Roth, whose works had been blacklisted by the Nazis and consigned to the funeral

pyres of ‘degenerate’ books, was of course a vocal anti-fascist, but rather than

espouse a broadly left-wing, republican and democratic stance, Roth aligned himself with

the Catholic Habsburg Legitimists, that is with the exiled Austrian monarchists favouring

the reinstatement of the emperor. This eccentric and entirely unrealistic goal alienated a

number of Roth’s friends, though it should be emphasised that his belief in the value

of human life, of a positive sense of community, and of tolerance was consistent and

unwavering throughout his career. Moreover, he seldom allowed either his political views

or his ultimately suicidal daily consumption of vast quantities of alcohol in various

Parisian cafés to affect the content or quality of his work. His final works of fiction,

at their best, display a crystalline, polished prose, a simplicity of form, and a

preoccupation with morality and the difficulty of leading a just life.

I shall conclude with a reference to a late text which combines, formally and in its

central concerns, Roth’s most recognisable and admirable qualities. Weights and Measures, a novella published in

1937 (and recently reissued in David Le Vay’s translation by Peter Owen), tells the

story of an inspector of weights and measures, stationed in a remote eastern outpost of

the old empire. This simple tale hinges on the ironic contrast between the inflexible

bureaucratic system, bent on applying the letter of the law, and a community which values

tradition, difference, and individuality. The inspector, sworn to uphold, literally, the

‘balance’ of society, becomes infatuated with a woman and dependent on drink. As

is common in Roth’s final, melancholy fables, it is only in death that insight is

granted to the inspector. In a dying vision he is told: ‘All your weights are false,

and yet they are all correct’ (it’s perhaps worth mentioning that the original

title, with Proverbs 11:1 in mind, is Das falsche Gewicht, literally ‘The

False Weight’). This, far from being a paradox, reflects a fundamental, spiritual

truth in the world presented to us in Joseph Roth’s fiction. Those things of true

value often seem to have no place in the rational modern age, and may not be valid when

scrutinized by a sceptic, but are precious nonetheless: faith, tolerance, instinct,

community, love. This old-fashioned and timeless message has seldom been conveyed as

movingly and memorably as in the work of Joseph Roth, whose work will, I am certain,

continue to find many new admirers in the years to come.

Joseph Roth

Joseph Roth (September 2, 1894 in BrodyMay

27, 1939 in Paris) was an Austrian novelist, best known for his family saga Radetzky March (1932),

and for his novel of Jewish life, Job (1930).

Roth grew up in Brody, a small town near Lviv

in Galicia, part of the easternmost reaches

of the Habsburg Empire. Jewish culture played an important

role in the life of the town.

Roth fought in the Imperial Habsburg army during the First World War, which had a major

and long-lasting influence on his life. So, too, did the collapse of the Habsburg Empire

in 1918. In 1916, Roth quit his university course and volunteered to serve in the Austrian

army. This period marked the beginning of a pronounced sense of ‘homelessness’, which was

to feature regularly in his work. In 1920 he moved to Berlin, where he worked as a highly successful journalist for the Neue

Berliner Zeitung, then from 1921 for the Berliner

Börsen-Courier. Later he became a features correspondent for the well-known liberal Frankfurter Zeitung, travelling widely throughout Europe. In 1925 he spent an influential

period working in France and never again resided permanently in Berlin. In the late 1920s,

his wife Friederike had become schizophrenic, which

threw Roth into a deep crisis both emotionally and financially.

In 1923 Roth’s first novel, The Spider’s Web, was serialized in an Austrian

newspaper and he achieved moderate success as a writer throughout the 1920s with a series

of novels documenting life in post-War Europe. Only upon publication of Job and Radetzky

March did he achieve real acclaim as a novelist.

From 1930, Roth’s fiction became less concerned with contemporary society, with which

he had become increasingly disillusioned, and during this

period his work frequently evoked a melancholic nostalgia for life in imperial Central

Europeprior to 1914. He often portrayed the fate of homeless wanderers looking for a

place to live, in particular Jews and former citizens of the old

Austria-Hungary, who, with the downfall of the monarchy, had lost their only possible Heimat

or true home. In his later works in particular, Roth appeared to wish that the monarchy

could be restored in all its old glamour, even though at the start of his career he had

written under the codename of “Red Joseph”. His longing for a more tolerant past

may be partly explained as a reaction against the nationalism

of the time which finally culminated in National Socialism.

The novel The Radetzky March (1932)

and the story Die Büste des Kaisers (The Bust of the Emperor) (1935) are typical of this late phase. In the novel The Emperor’s Tomb Roth describes the fate, up until Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938, of a

cousin of the hero of The Radetzky March. Of his works which deal with Judaism, the novel “Job” is the


Upon Hitler‘s rise to power in 1933

Roth, as a prominent liberal Jewish journalist, was forced to leave Austria, and spent

most of the next decade in Paris, a city he loved. Without

intending to deny his Jewish origins, Roth considered his relationship to Catholicism very important, and in the final years of his life, he may even have converted; his translator Michael

Hofmann states in the collection of essays “”Report from a Parisian

Paradise” ” that Roth “was said to have had two funerals, one Jewish, one

Catholic.” Despite suffering from chronic alcoholism

and becoming increasingly eccentric politically, Roth remained prolific until his

premature death in Paris in 1939. His final novella, The

Legend of the Holy Drinker(1939), is amongst his finest, and

chronicles the attempts made by an alcoholic vagrant to regain his dignity and honour a debt.

Joseph Roth is interred in the Thiais cemetery to the south of Paris.


  • Das Spinnennetz (The Spider’s Web) (1923)

Hotel Savoy (1924)

JRO- Joseph Roth Online


September 30, 2006 at 4:37 am | Posted in Earth, Globalization, Research, Science & Technology, World-system | Leave a comment




World Ocean

Yuly Shokalsky

The term World Ocean refers to the interconnected system of the planet Earth‘s marine waters. The
term was coined by the Russian oceanographer
Yuly Shokalsky in the early 20th century. The words Ocean and also Sea can be used synonymously. The
world ocean is subdivided into the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean,
the Arctic Ocean, and the Southern Ocean.

The Arctic Ocean, the smallest of the five, is spread around the North Pole, touching North
in the Western hemisphere and Scandinavia and Asia in the Eastern hemisphere. the Southern Ocean, the second
smallest, encircles the Antarctic and its peripheral
islands. Both, particularly the former, are partially covered in sea
, the extent of which varies according to the season. The Atlantic Ocean, the
second largest, extends from the Arctic Ocean to the Southern Ocean between North America,
Europe and Africa. The Pacific, the
largest of all, also reaches from one polar ocean to the other, spanning the gap between
Asia, North America, Australia and Oceania.
These two oceans have a short common border south of Cape Horn.
The Indian Ocean connects the southeast end of the Atlantic to the southwest end of the
Pacific, a connection to the Arctic Ocean is prevented by the presence of Asia.

The World Ocean’s approximate shape can, for most
purposes, be assumed constant, although in fact it is not. Continental drift has influenced its structure ever
since its existence.

See also

Retrieved from “


September 30, 2006 at 2:31 am | Posted in Arabs, Iraq, Middle East, Military | Leave a comment




Multi-National Corps – Iraq

Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory

APO AE 09342


RELEASE No. 20060929-01

Sept. 29, 2006

NPs, MND-B Soldiers kill 4 terrorists, detain 7, confiscate weapons

Multi-National Corps – Iraq PAO

BAGHDAD Iraqi National Police and Multi-National Division – Baghdad
Soldiers killed four terrorists, detained seven and confiscated six AK-47 assault rifles
Wednesday after the MND-B Soldiers
responded to a small-arms fire attack at a sewage treatment plant in

The Soldiers arrived at the treatment plant and observed the policemen exchanging
small-arms fire with terrorists located in a nearby palm grove.

The policemen and MND-B Soldiers cordoned off the palm grove and cleared the area,
killing four terrorists, detaining seven and confiscating six AK-47 assault rifles.

While clearing the palm grove, a MND-B Soldier died from wounds received during the
small-arms fire attack.



Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
If this e-mail is marked FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY it may be exempt from mandatory disclosure
under FOIA. DoD 5400.7R, “DoD Freedom of Information Act Program”, DoD Directive
5230.9, “Clearance of DoD Information for Public Release”, and DoD Instruction
5230.29, “Security and Policy Review of DoD Information for Public Release”


September 30, 2006 at 2:16 am | Posted in Development, Economics, Globalization, Research, Uncategorized, World-system | Leave a comment









Global Demographic Change:

Economic Impacts and Policy Challenges

A symposium sponsored by the:

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

August 26 – 28, 2004

Conference papers are best viewed with Adobe
Acrobat Reader.

  • Foreword
    President, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

  • Symposium Introduction
    Vice President and Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

  • Opening

    Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Global Demographic Change: Dimensions and Economic Significance

    Professor, Harvard University
    Professor, Harvard University
  • Commentary
    Professor, Northwestern University


Cross-Border Macroeconomic Implications of Demographic Change

The Impact of Population Aging on Financial Markets

    Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Commentary
    Vice Chairman, Merrill Lynch Europe

  • General

in Old Age: How the IFIs Can Help Prepare for Demographic Change

    First Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

The Fiscal Challenges of Population Aging: International


Changes and International Factor Mobility

    Professor, University of British Columbia
  • Commentary
    Professor, University of California, Davis

  • General

Overview Panel


September 30, 2006 at 12:30 am | Posted in Globalization, Research, Science & Technology, World-system | Leave a comment




Fission track dating

Volcanoes & Global Climate System

Fission track dating is a radiometric
technique based on analyses of the damage
trails, or tracks, left by fission fragments in
certain uranium bearing minerals
and glasses. Uranium-238
undergoes spontaneous fission decay at a known
rate. The fragments emitted by this fission process leave trails of damage in the crystal structure of the minerals enclosing the
uranium. Etching of polished surfaces of these minerals reveals the spontaneous fission
for counting by optical microscopic means. The number of tracks correlates
directly with the age of the sample and the uranium content. To determine the uranium
content the sample is annealed by heating and exposed to a barrage of thermal neutrons. The neutron bombardment produces an
induced fission of the uranium-235 in the sample and the
resulting new induced tracks are used to determine the uranium content of the
sample as the U-235:U-238 ratio is well known. Alternatively, a uranium-free piece of
mica, the external detector, is attached to the sample and both sample and mica are
exposed to a barrage of thermal neutrons. The
resulting induced fission of the uranium-235 in the sample
creates new induced track in the external detector, which are revealed by etching.
The ratio of spontaneous tracks to induced tracks is proportional to the

Apatite, sphene, zircon, micas and volcanic glass typically contain enough uranium to be useful in
dating samples of relatively young age (Mesozoic and Cenozoic) and are the materials most useful for this technique.
Additionally low-uranium epidotes and garnets
may be used for very old samples (Paleozoic to Precambrian). Because heating of the sample above about 70 to
120 °C (for apatite – higher temperatures for other minerals) causes the fission damage
tracks to heal over or anneal, the technique is useful for dating the most recent cooling
event in the history of the sample. This most recent cooling event obviously may
not coincide with the actual formation age of the mineral involved. This resetting
of the clock can be used to investigate the thermal history of basin sediments,
kilometer-scale exhumation caused by tectonism and erosion, low temperature metamorphic
events, and geothermal vein formation.

The fission track method has also been used to date archaeological
sites and artefacts. It was used to confirm the potassium-argon
dates for the deposits at Olduvai Gorge.



September 30, 2006 at 12:06 am | Posted in History, Military, USA | Leave a comment



Cofer Black

CIA Director’s Special Assistant for Counterterrorism as well as the National
Intelligence Officer for Counterterrorism.

J. Cofer Black was the United States Department of State
Coordinator for Counterterrorism with the rank of Ambassador at Large from December 2002 to November 2004. The point man for
international counterterrorism policy in the first
term of the Bush administration, he resigned shortly
after George W. Bush was re-elected to office.

He was born in 1950 in Stamford,
Connecticut. His father was an airline pilot for Pan American Airways, where he flew Boeing 747s on international
routes. Black’s father would bring him along to Accra, Ghana or Lagos, Nigeria
during school breaks for Cofer to explore the African countryside. Black attended an
all-boys preparatory school in Connecticut called

Prior to his assignment at the State Department, Black had a distinguished 28-year
career in the Directorate of Operations at the Central
Intelligence Agency
Prior to joining the State
Department, Black was the Director of the CIA Counterterrorist Center.
[1] In this capacity he served as the CIA Director’s Special
Assistant for Counterterrorism as well as the National Intelligence Officer for

During his CIA career, Ambassador Black served six foreign tours in field management
positions. He joined the CIA in 1974, while working on a
doctorate at University of Southern
, where he had previously earned a Master’s degree in international
relations in that year. One year prior in 1973 he had completed
his BA there as well. He trained for the clandestine service and volunteered for Africa due to his childhood experiences there. Initially, he
worked as a case officer in Lusaka, Zambia
during the Rhodesian War.

Black transferred from London, England
to Khartoum, Sudan in 1993. There he was the CIA’s station chief in a hostile country,
that the United States had imposed economic sanctions
upon due to their sponsorship of terrorism until 1995. This was a
dangerous posting, where the main mission was collection of Human Intelligence (HUMINT) on terrorist cells and
support structure. Near the end of his posting Osama bin
‘s men planned to assassinate him near the US embassy. Apparently, Osama bin Laden‘s group detected the CIA surveillance and
traced it back to Black. In 1994, Black was responsible for the
collection of intelligence that led directly to the capture of the terrorist known as Carlos (the Jackal).

Black helped carry out Bush’s hard-line anti-terror policy and was often the public
face of the war the president declared on terrorism after the September
, 2001 attacks. In September 2004,
Black drew criticism from Democrats for suggesting that the mastermind of those attacks,
Osama bin Laden, could be captured soon. That followed a botched State Department report
Black oversaw on terrorism around the world in 2003 that was used
to argue the United States was winning the war on terrorism. In June 2004,
the administration had to correct the report to more than double the count of people
killed and injured by international terrorism.

In 1995, Black was named the Task Force Chief in the Near East
and South Asia Division. From June 1998 through June 1999 he served as the Deputy Chief of the Latin America Division.

In addition to numerous exceptional performance awards and meritorious citations, Black
received the Distinguished
Intelligence Medal
, the George H.
Bush Medal for Excellence
, and the Exceptional
Collector Award
for 1994.

Most recently, Black and his Blackwater USA company
have provided private security as well as training and personnel for stability operations


External Link


September 29, 2006 at 11:21 pm | Posted in Arabs, History, Israel, Judaica, Middle East, Zionism | Leave a comment




September 2006

BESA Center Israel


Perspectives Paper No. 22,
September 28, 2006

The Second Lebanon War

Avi Kober

Executive Summary:
This preliminary assessment of the summer 2006 war in Lebanon discusses five central
problems in Israel’s management of that war: adherence to the rules of
“post-heroic” warfare despite its limitations, playing into the enemy’s
hands, operation on the basis of false assumptions and beliefs, violation of basic
military principles, and hesitancy on the part of Israel’s leadership. The article then
examines the outcomes of the war on the battlefield, on the grand-strategic level, in
terms of victory,
and in longer-term perspective.

Part One – Conduct of the War
Five main problems were revealed in the way Israel conducted the war: Israel adhered to
post-heroic warfare despite its limitations, played into the enemy’s hands, operated
on the basis of false assumptions and beliefs and violated basic military principles,
while the country’s political leadership acted with hesitancy.

Adherence to “Post-Heroic” Warfare
Since the 1978 Litani Operation, Israel has conducted its low-intensity conflicts in
post-heroic fashion. “Post-heroic” warfare is characteristic of non-existential
wars fought by Western democracies. It has two main rules: (a) avoid casualties to your
own troops, and (b) avoid killing enemy civilians. Such warfare has enabled Israel to
combine operational effectiveness and moral standards in combat with enemies fighting in
“heroic” fashion, ready to sacrifice their own fighters and determined to kill
as many enemy civilians as possible. After a long period during which Israel has conducted
post-heroic warfare, quite successfully against the Palestinians and with partial success
against Hizballah, the recent war has revealed its limitations. Israel found itself caught
in a dilemma. On one hand, in order to achieve the ambitious political and military war
objectives, it was necessary to sacrifice both troops and civilians. On the other hand,
deviation from the rules of post-heroic warfare might have limited Israel’s freedom of
action. This indeed occurred when the pursuit of Israeli goals caused many Israeli
casualties and much collateral damage in Lebanon.

Playing into the Enemy’s Hands
A non-state player such as Hizballah seeks to attack its militarily and technologically
stronger opponent’s weak points. On a tactical level
it engages in guerilla-type warfare against small units of the enemy army, while on a
grand-strategic level it uses various forms of terror against the enemy population and
economy. In the recent war, Hizballah fighters used their defensive capabilities (advanced
but easy to operate weapons, effective evasion tactics, a network of bunkers, and
familiarity with the territory and population) to engage small Israeli combat teams in battle under advantageous conditions. By firing
Katyusha rockets, they also managed to paralyze social and economic life in northern
Israel, bring about mass desertion of populated
areas, cause casualties and damage property. Israel’s failure to send in large ground
forces with massive firepower and maneuverability at an earlier stage, with the mission of
occupying the areas from which the Katyushas were being fired, harmed its ability to
achieve the war objectives (see below).

False Assumptions and Beliefs
Reliance on Airpower. Many years of airpower advocates preaching in favor of
investing the bulk of available defense resources in airpower developed high expectations
on the part of the Israeli leadership and public, which were only partially fulfilled.
While the IAF successfully destroyed Hizballah’s long-range rocket launchers from the air,
it was unable to destroy short-range rocket launchers, which caused most of the damage in
northern Israel.

Particularly flawed was the tacit assumption that airpower could decide the outcome of the
war. Battlefield decision at the strategic level has never been achieved from the air
(only at the tactical level). Kosovo was a grand-strategic decision, achieved by denying
the Serbian society the ability to carry on the war (not that of the Serbian army,
which remained almost unharmed). Lebanon differed from Kosovo: the Americans would not let
Israel damage Lebanese infrastructure, and the Israeli civilian rear, unlike that of the
countries attacking Kosovo, was under attack throughout the war.

Small High-quality Special Forces. Increased reliance on airpower was accompanied
by cultivation of special units. Instead of conquering territory – the traditional
role of ground forces – the special units were expected to operate as small,
independent units, in cooperation with the IAF. By applying network-centric joint warfare
they were supposed to shorten the sensor-to-shooter loop to near-real time, destroy
Hizballah targets and control the south Lebanese battlefield via fire – tasks which
were only partially fulfilled. Hizballah, on the other hand, operated grand-strategically
and tactically in a manner compatible with the battlefield conditions. The organization’s
combination of determination and tactical skills and use of advanced but simple technology
proved to be effective and sophisticated.

Cult of Technology and Belief in Near-perfect Real Time Intelligence. The IDF has
been inspired for many years by the technology-oriented American “Revolution in Military Affairs” (RMA), which emphasizes
information dominance, “dominant maneuver,” precision strikes, “focused
logistics,” etc. The cult of technology has already had a weakening effect on
traditional military capabilities such as close combat or combat intelligence. The
assumption that thanks to the IDF’s “Ground Forces Digitalization” program
(ZAYAD, in Hebrew), ground forces would have access
to much more precise intelligence, proved problematic, whether due to gaps in intelligence
(which will always exist), outdated intelligence, or failure to distribute intelligence to
troops on the battlefield in general or in real time. Forces often operated blindly, were
occasionally surprised by enemy munitions (advanced anti-tank or ground-to-sea missiles),
and fell victim to Hizballah’s tactics. To the credit of the ground forces it must be said
that their transformation into a digital army has yet to be completed, but doubts
regarding the expected effectiveness of this development are already present.
“Controlling” Instead of Conquering Territory. With the increased
emphasis on firepower, as opposed to maneuver, new concepts began to permeate Israeli
military thought, among them that of “control” – a concept reserved until
recently for air and sea contexts in which conquering territory is irrelevant. Control,
however, is insufficient for purposes of destroying infrastructure or achieving
battlefield decision

Reorganization of the Logistic System. With the increased emphasis on
firepower as opposed to maneuver, the IDF decided to reorganize logistically. The current
system, based on modularly structured area logistic units, is meant to allow the
allocation of logistic resources to the combat units in accordance with operational
planning and developments on the battlefield in real time, while their modular structure
is meant to provide availability, flexibility, and efficiency. However, the centralized
nature of the new system, which comes at the expense of the combat units’ autonomy,
already seems to have created logistical constraints. It is unclear whether the new
logistic system would have met operational requirements if the war had involved
large-scale ground maneuvers.

Reserves Units. The emphasis on air power and on small high-quality forces, the
assumption that the era of traditional ground war is over and that “control” can
replace conquering territory, the reliance on the new logistical system to meet
operational requirements, the IDF’s emphasis on “current security” activities in
the territories, and budgetary constraints, seem to have resulted in the creation of two
armies: the regular army, which is more professional, better equipped, and better –
although not always sufficiently – trained; and the reserve units, which are less
professional, less well trained and inadequately equipped. The events of the recent war
re-open the debate regarding the IDF’s force structure.

Protection of the Home Front. Israel still lacks the ability to defend its
home front from short and medium-range rockets and missiles. Development of a protection
system has been delayed due to operational and budgetary problems as well as a sense that
the threat would be tolerable. Those who opposed such projects could now claim that the
rockets proved to be imprecise, and that since civilians remained in protected spaces,
only 40 people were killed as a result of approximately 4,000 known rockets falling in
Israeli territory. On the other hand, it could be argued that this low rate resulted to a
large extent from the fact that hundreds of thousands of residents of northern Israel
sought refuge elsewhere in the country, something that Israel would not be able to
tolerate in the future.

Investing funds in the development and production of active defense systems is an issue
for further investigation. Active defense would decrease the likelihood of civilian
casualties and significantly increase social resilience, but its contribution to Israeli
deterrence is debatable.

Ill-prepared public shelters raised the question of who is responsible for preparing
shelters and ensuring their readiness at all times. Is it reasonable to demand the
government to take on this responsibility, which should naturally be that of local
authorities or perhaps, of the civilians themselves? Similarly, the question of whether
the home front command should remain in the hands of the army arose once again.

Violation of Basic Military Principles
The ground operations, if indeed they were necessary, should have opened with quick
flanking and encircling operations and by taking over the northern parts of Southern
Lebanon. Modern strategy prefers to avoid sysiphean accumulation of achievements at the
tactical level and their translation into operational and strategic gains, and emphasizes
instead the creation of optimal conditions for entry into combat by operation at higher
levels. Harming Hizballah’s political and ideological leadership would have helped to
crush its war effort, but given Israel’s failure in this area, and on the assumption that
ground operations were inevitable in light of the objectives of the war, the air campaign
should have been followed by a large scale ground operation. An indirect approach a la Sun
Tzu or Liddell Hart would have caused confusion in the enemy ranks and brought about their
psychological collapse much better than the Clausewitzian direct approach, which helped
Hizballah recover and stand strong.

The debatable performance of the IDF during the war also stresses the need for renewed
thought regarding the infiltration of post-modern approaches into the officer corps
training processes at the expense of classic military theory. Some believe that delving
into non-military post-modern philosophical theories will equip senior officers with good
tools for dealing with the complex and changing realities of war. Classic military
thinkers have become no more than names, whose sayings are cited occasionally, but whose
writings are no longer read or learned in depth.
Hesitancy on the Part of the Political Leadership

While there is a measure of justice in complaints about the lack of clear instructions and
regarding missions and objectives in the recent war, partially directed at the political
leadership, its hesitancy is also understandable. The political leadership was led to
understand that the majority of the work could be done by the IAF, accompanied by small
special forces, which also meant that the war could be fought with a minimum of
casualties. When these assumptions were proven false, consideration of the
cost/effectiveness of a large-scale operation began, with the ceasefire drawing closer.
Pressure to display clear-cut military results during the UNSC discussions tipped the
scales in favor of a large-scale ground operation in the hope of affecting the impending
resolution in Israel’s favor. If at the beginning of the war the politicians had
known what difficulty the IDF would have on the ground and how limited the IAF would prove
in responding to the threat posed by the Katyushas, they would probably have refrained
entirely from a ground operation, or clearly stated, “We are at war and in order to
put an end to the threat posed to the civilian rear by the Katyushas and end the war in
unequivocal victory, signaling Israel’s determination and military capability, a
large-scale land operation that might entail quite a heavy cost is necessary.”

Clausewitz noted the need for political leaders to base their instructions to the military
on military assessments and the need for the military leadership to understand the wider
political picture. The tension between the broad political considerations and the
“narrower” military perspective is built into civil-military relations and its
existence is no novelty.

Part Two – Outcomes and Achievements

The sense of missed opportunity after the war was sharpened by the fact that the war began
and was mostly fought under almost optimal conditions: internal consensus, broad
international support – including tacit support on the part of moderate Arab states, and a
sense of having almost unlimited time to achieve the war objectives. While it is still too
early to assess the war’s long-term repercussions, the short-term achievements can be
examined according to the following criteria: battlefield decision, grand-strategic
decision, victory, and long term outcomes.

Battlefield Decision
There are those who claim that battlefield decision (more popularly known as military
victory), which is about denying the enemy the ability to fight, is irrelevant when
fighting a guerilla organization, except at the tactical level. The battlefield decision
achieved by the IDF against the PLO in 1982 disproves this claim. In 2006 however, despite
tactical achievements, the IDF did not achieve a battlefield decision against Hizballah.

Grand-Strategic Decision
A grand-strategic decision is achieved by denying the enemy the ability to carry on the
war by attacking counter-value (population and economy) targets. Such an outcome could not
be achieved due to limitations on attacking infrastructure targets in Lebanon, whose
government is considered one of the great achievements of the US quest for democratization
in the Middle East.

Victory is about the correlation between political or military objectives and their
achievement. Unlike battlefield decision it is subjective and can be manipulated by
changing the objectives. It is therefore possible to have more than one side presenting
itself as victorious.

The unrealistic Israeli war objectives (e.g. destruction of Hizballah’s infrastructure in
South Lebanon, its disarmament and return of the hostages) raised the level of
expectations, and, when they were not achieved, deepened the sense of failure. Also, the
realization of some of Israel’s objectives depended on foreign players – the Lebanese
government (for deployment of the Lebanese army in South Lebanon) and the UN and other
countries (for deployment of an effective international force).

Long-term Outcomes
We still lack the perspective required to estimate the long-term implications of the war.
These will have to be examined in various contexts: Israel-Hizballah, Israel-Syria,
Israel-Iran, the Muslim world, Israel-US relations, internal dynamics in Lebanon, Israel’s
response to the threat posed by rockets and missiles, preparedness of the civilian rear,
Israeli military doctrine, etc.

It seems that one consequence with positive significance is deterrence-by-punishment. The
IDF’s debatable performance notwithstanding, Israel’s strong response to Hizballah’s
provocation which triggered the war, and the extent of the damage in Beirut and South
Lebanon have broken Israel’s pattern of restrained response, raising the price of
provocation in the foreseeable future.

Dr. Avi Kober is Senior Lecturer in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and Senior
Research Associate at the BESA Center.

For the BESA Center website, go to

To subscribe to BESA Perspectives please
send your first and last name to,
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BESA Perspectives No. 22 – The Second Lebanon War – Avi Kober

Perspectives 22 – Second Lebanon War – Avi Kober.pdf
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Sep 28, 2006


September 29, 2006 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Arabs, Israel, Judaica, Middle East, Zionism | Leave a comment



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