Thursday, November 13, 2008

1. Does NIAC stand for National Iranian American Council or National Israeli American Council? Why does NIAC promote and disseminate articles with the title Why US-Iran Talks Are Good for Israel? I suggest that NIAC either leave it to Israel to worry about what is and isn't good for it or take the "iranian" out of its name all together. After all, virtually every statement regarding US-Iran relations that comes from NIAC or its President Trita Parsi frames issues in terms of US or Israeli interests. The former, of course, at least makes sense (though I don't find it particularly ethically justifiable) given that the organization is US based and it is trying to appeal to US policy makers.

Anyway, this article argues that the US should not oppose European gas purchases from Iran. Why? Not because the article calls on any legal or ethical principles, no, not all; rather, the author sums up his claims by saying that standing in the way of such purchases will "give Russia further opportunity to exploit European-American differences, and do nothing to moderate Iranian behavior toward Israel."

It appears that in the world of the National Iranian American Council, policy is primarily assessed in terms of what is bad for Russia and good for Israel. How cold-war of them.

2. I finally saw Caveh Zahedi's I'm A Sex Addict, and surprisingly I liked it very much. I even cried in the last scene. Zahedi's I Don't Hate Las Vegas Anymore aggravated me, and I thought that he came through as highly self-indulgent both as a person and a director. There were elements of this self-indulgence in this film as well, but it somehow worked, and I found myself cheer-leading for him in the end. There was also the added bonus of spotting the cameo of my friend's husband, who is an accomplished artist in his own right. Anyway, if you are in the mood for a different kind of film, check it out.

3. This item was announced at least half a day ago, old news in other words. Still, in case you missed it, Obama appointed Madeleine "we think the price is worth it" Alright as his representative at the global economic forum this weekend.

4. Judith Butler is quite readable when she is writing for a general audience. Her article Uncritical Exuberance?, raises a number of great points, though predictably, it is annoying die-hard Obamaniacs who get a hernia if one dares to even hint at a criticism of the man.