Sunday, April 20, 2008

sunday reads

The Pentagon's Hidden Hand: Rent-a-General

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

Zimbabwe's opposition alleged widespread irregularities as the partial recount begun yesterday of votes cast in the presidential and parliamentary elections held three weeks ago, including ballot boxes with seals broken before they were delivered for the count or with no seals at all.

Muqtada al-Sadr, the Iraqi Shia Muslim leader, has threatened to declare "open war" if a security crackdown by Iraqi and US forces against his loyalists is not called off.

Sunday’s elections will mark a watershed in the history of Paraguay, where the "bishop of the poor" is front-runner in the polls and the ruling party is at risk of losing its hold on power for the first time in six decades.

Three music professors have outlined a method called "geometrical music theory" that translates the language of musical theory into that of contemporary geometry.

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