Today's Blogs

Greece Fire

The U.S. Embassy in Athens was hit with a missile early this morning, causing no injuries and just minor damage to the facade of the building. Though the case is still under investigation, a radical Marxist terror faction known as Revolutionary Struggle has claimed responsibility. But why target a symbol of American power? The answer’s a four-letter word, according to the lefty blogosphere.

From Baghdad to … Athens? Anti-war Middle East affairs blogger Juan Cole at Informed Comment has already cracked this case: “Just as the London underground (subway) bombings of 7/7/2005 were in some large part impelled by anger over the Iraq War, I am sure that when we know more about the Athens Embassy attack, we will find Iraq at the bottom of it.”

Lefty Winter Patriot argues that there’s no surprise here, the new Rome’s been chivying modern Greece for decades: “As William Blum could tell you, the USA has been meddling in Greece ever since World War II, and that’s why two chapters of his book ‘Killing Hope’ are called ‘Greece—1947 to early 1950s: From cradle of democracy to client state’ and ‘Greece—1964-1974: ‘Fuck your Parliament and your Constitution,’ said the President of the United States’. Readers of this space will remember that Greece is in serious turmoil at the moment, with protesters in the streets accusing the government of ‘state terrorism’, among other things.”

Andrew Daniller at social-justice-themed blog MetaDC writes: “So much for, ‘We’re fighting the terrorists there so we don’t have to fight them here.’ A terrorist attack on an American embassy within the borders of a European ally can hardly be brushed aside as something other than an attack on American soil. And don’t try to defend our strategy by describing this as the work of an isolated Greek group. Bush promised a war on terror, a war against violent extremism. The terrorists just hit us. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but they still hit us. Our so-called strategy is not working.”

The Athenian blogger behind Histologion says there are claims that Revolutionary Struggle “called the Private Security company that was guarding the embassy, to claim responsibility for the attack in what must be a world first: not the police, the authorities or the media, but a private security company. As you might imagine I’m not inclined to take the alleged phone-calls seriously. Interestingly, Greek TV channels report that the missile fired was of Eastern European origin—possibly East German … Anyway that’s what the TV reports but I’m not ready to trust them on anything … “

Read more about the Athens embassy attack.

Irbil-ilous relations: U.S. troops raided a facility in the Kurdish town of Irbil Thursday, where six people—thought to be Iranians—were taken into custody. Word from Tehran and Baghdad is that the place was an Iranian “consulate,” and that the siege represents a violation of international law, though a Pentagon spokesman says it was a safe house for enablers of the insurgency.

“Pro-victory” Mark Sprengel at Mark My Words has the world’s smallest violin playing for the inconvenienced Iranians: “Apparently, some are too young, or short of memory to keep in mind how well Iranian radicals respect foreign embassies, that are actually established and officially recognized. Besides that and the technicality, payback is a beotch, isn’t it? We finally have an increase in activity directed at those working to destabilize Iraq. It would appear that we’ve gained some solid intelligence from previous raids and doing well in exploiting that information. It’s about time, I hope we keep the pressure up and break their ability and will to meddle, so that Iraq can achieve stability and peace.”

Lefty Xanthippas at Three Wise Men checks the “ecstatic” right-wing blogosphere: “[O]ne has to wonder whether whatever message was delivered, and whatever short-term tactical gains were made … outweighs the damage incidents like this do to our relationship to the Kurds, who thus far have aided us in our quest to stabilize Iraq (and who in fact will be sending a brigade of their own fighters to help stabilize Baghdad in the new operations.) The confrontation afterwards between Kurdish and American forces makes it quite clear that the Kurds were unaware of the operation in advance and disapprove of it in general … “

And liberal Steve Clemons at The Washington Note worries the raid was an act of provocation to draw Iran into open conflict with the United States: “If this is the case, the debate about adding four brigades to Iraq is pathetic. The situation will get even hotter than it now is, worsening the American position and exposing the fact that to fight Iran both within the borders of Iraq and into Iranian territory, there are not enough troops in the theatre.”

Read more about the Irbil raid.

Cheap circuits: A nonprofit group called One Laptop per Child hopes to eventually offer a $100 portable computer, known as the XO, to children in the developing world. The idea is, you buy two—one for yourself and one for a kid in, say, Cambodia. But the current cost is closer to $150.

JR at tech blog Noded applauds the project but would “like to see you be able to send the second one to someone in your own developed country. There are many underprivileged kids here in deep urban as well as remote rural areas the could be positively affected by one of the laptops. Sure seems like a good way to spend $200 dollars.”

The future of technocratic philanthropy has Bigshinything giving a big thumbs up: “An Apple phone? Whatever. We think that the XO is truly visionary tech.”

Read more about the $100 laptop.