Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: World History  (Read 7868 times)
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Dzimas
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« Reply #735 on: June 17, 2008, 05:04:11 AM »

My copy of The Man Who Loved China (and American Eve) arrived in the mail today,

On a winter evening in 1938, Joseph Needham, one of Cambridge University’s most brilliant scientists — and one of its most avid skirt-chasers — lay in bed with a Chinese microbiologist who was also a colleague of Needham’s extremely tolerant wife. Enjoying a post-coital cigarette, he asked her how its name might be rendered in Chinese. His diary records that she obliged by guiding him through the ideogram for “fragrant smoke.” Charmed, he instantly resolved to learn this fascinating language. It was the first step in a project that would absorb Needham until his death in 1995, turning him into one of the foremost Western authorities on China.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/08/books/review/Becker-t.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

I can't think of a better way to start an obsession.
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Bob
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« Reply #736 on: June 18, 2008, 06:25:32 AM »

Madupont: Thanks for thinking of me. It's interesting that as you were asking how I was doing yesterday, I was in the process of being discharged after being in the hospital exactly 7 1/2 hours, during which they performed an angioplasty which went well. However, in the true tradition of modern medicine (managed care), the surgeon intructed me that I was not to bend, fold, spindle or mutilate myself, and that I was to lay flat on my back with my legs outstretched without a pillow for the rest of the day, rising only to eat and go to the bathroom, and, should I begin to bleed from the artery I was to compress the area with one hand and with the other, dial 911, get an ambulance and go the nearest emergency room. That really reassured me, folks!!!

Well, I've survived the night and am doing well---but can't sit for very long, but will be better able to function over the next two days....so I'll gent back into the book then.
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weezo
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« Reply #737 on: June 18, 2008, 06:48:23 AM »

Bob,

I am glad to hear that your ordeal is over and you came out on the good side of it. Yes, managed care does send people home before they traditionally would be ready. I remember my mother being hospitalized for two weeks for the birth of my younger sisters because the doctor felt she should not take over the running of a large household too quickly and the only way to insure that was to keep her. Now, women drop their babies and go home the same day! But, to compensate, the cost for that one day of delivery and care has risen so tremendously so that the patient never feels any of the savings.

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Dzimas
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« Reply #738 on: June 18, 2008, 07:16:21 AM »

Sorry to hear you had to go through such a hellish ordeal, Robert, and hope that you will be back on your legs soon.  All the best!
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #739 on: June 18, 2008, 10:05:28 AM »

Bob -

Wow - sorry to hear you've had surgery again.  Take it easy - I'd make you a cup of jasmine tea if I could.   Embarrassed
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #740 on: June 18, 2008, 05:18:39 PM »

RW,


A 'Get Well' Angel just for you:



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bosox18d
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« Reply #741 on: June 19, 2008, 03:14:12 AM »

Robert,Do they do IV'S of Quarter Pounders with Cheese?
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"If it keeps going like this,the Zamboni driver is going to be the first star"
madupont
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« Reply #742 on: June 19, 2008, 01:03:50 PM »

Robert,Do they do IV'S of Quarter Pounders with Cheese?


I somehow doubt it; but, I was appalled when I found out that was what they had been feeding my Mom, or at least the hospital version of it while she rested in  hospital.
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #743 on: June 19, 2008, 07:37:26 PM »

The Bin Ladens had their tax and legal woes in the USA: real estate taxes went unpaid and there were claims of harshness to home workers. Lawsuits and countersuits followed.

With Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, the BL's saw it as an opportunity to capitalize on the Saud's infrastructural improvements. OBL warned of the impending invasion and warned that the crisis should be handled domestically without foreign interventionism. Some countries defended Saddam's invasion.  After he was defeated the Saudis took great vengeance upon nationals of those countries who resided in their land by exiling them. OBL responded angrily to this and the BLs decided to take greater care of their monies by sheltering it in foreign banks.

OBL's exile during the 90s convinced him of the righteousness of his cause. He condemned Fahd as a USA puppet and assisted Bosnian Muslims while he resided in Sudan. BL family requested that he return to Saudi Arabia but he refused.   His money was used to finance acts of terrorism and spreading of his ideas. After the WTC attack in 1993 he was denounced by the BLs.

Islamists moved to London since they were wanted as criminals in Muslim countries.

BLs invest heavily in Washington, DC but the full whereabouts of their assets remain largely unknown.

Sauds now spend huge amounts of money in their land to appease orthodox Muslims. Naturally, the BLs profit handsomely. The Hajjs increases in popularity every year and the BLs work to improve accomodations.

OBL writes even more condemnatory words about Fahd. Perhaps his alienation from his family stimulated much of his frustration and contempt.

His hatred grew more intensely.



pp 356-452
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #744 on: June 21, 2008, 11:03:45 PM »

Telephonic communications connect the increasingly globalized world with the BLs investing heavily in the industry. Officially, they disown OBL by asserting that he "has been ex-communicated".  Somehow their communication organization was centered in Afghanistan (the writer does not indicate how this was possible) and it helps solidify the Taliban's repressive government there.

OBL plays on Muslims' sympathies by proclaiming himself a martyr who like Mohammed had been forced into exile. He writes poetry (note from me =  his writings were  the most pathetic excuse for poetry I have ever seen in my life). It reveals inner torment who is isolated from family, declares hatred for the USA, and endorsed violence. He then meets  Mullah Omar who governed the Taliban regime and who harbored him and al-Qaeda prior to 9/11.  OBL continues to rail against the west, especially regarding Chechnya, Bosnia, and its exploitation of oil.   He re-unites with Egyptian Ayman Al-Zawahiri and makes many calls to publicize his plans.

The calls are tracked by CIA agent Michael Scheuer (this is the man who interviewed Coll on C-Span) but OBL could not be accurately traced.  The latter makes his first attack on the USA by way of African embassy bombings.  Clinton retaliates but does not capture him.  Some of OBL's funds are frozen by the president.

The BLs are heavily involved with charities and international banking. Despite that, the CIA has enormous difficulty tracing the funds and their sources.  FBI attempts to make very polite and diplomatic discussions with BLs. But the latters hire attorneys who stifle the Feds. Swiss accounts are shielded from Scheuer who suggests sabotage of the BL businesses might be in order.

Bakr speaks for the BL family who fear losing money via government freezes or lawsuits. Luckily for them, they enjoy diplomatic immunity. Scheuer concludes that the BL family did give money to OBL but did not find concrete proof. Interestingly, OBL's half sisters appeared to be most helpful to him.   Later on, the 9/11 Commission also determined that the family did NOT assist OBL. Richard Clarke attempts to find OBL's  $$$ sources but is frustrated by both the CIA and FBI.

All investigators agree that OBL did not have $ 300 million as had been alleged. But no one could trace his actual resources.


pp 453-496
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madupont
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« Reply #745 on: June 22, 2008, 12:33:01 PM »

thanatopsy,

I have my own guesses on ObL resources but I cannot make my own case to even myself!

Love the part about the  half-sisters though.   It's one of the great overlooked potential  themes of literature that reflects a human truth.

What could be more exciting in a society that suppresses extroverted activities for women than the vicarious thrill of supporting a revolutionary brother?
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nytempsperdu
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« Reply #746 on: June 22, 2008, 05:00:33 PM »

Hearty (get it?) if belated recovery wishes, Bob! 

Thanks to than for pre- or overview of financial entanglements, which part I'm just getting into.  Interesting to see how carefully everyone seems be avoiding saying that CIA machinations weren't directly with OBL, but it's obvious funding (and arming) in support of "my enemy's enemy" in Afghanistan benefitted same. So, while the "godless Communists" were being opposed, the very godly Islamists were being empowered.   

I'm sure it's because of reading Coll's book that I found this article in today's paper of interest (and suspect others might as well):
 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/22/MNVF11D755.DTL&hw=questioning&sn=005&sc=745

   
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #747 on: June 24, 2008, 10:51:59 AM »

Thanks for the link, nytemps.


Bob -

You doing okay this week?
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