John McCain isn’t boasting about a new endorsement, one of the very, very few he has received from overseas. It came a few days ago:
“Al Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election,” read a commentary on a password-protected Islamist Web site that is closely linked to Al Qaeda and often disseminates the group’s propaganda.
The endorsement left the McCain campaign sputtering, and noting helplessly that Hamas appears to prefer Barack Obama. Al Qaeda’s apparent enthusiasm for Mr. McCain is manifestly not reciprocated.
Yet the endorsement of Mr. McCain by a Qaeda-affiliated Web site isn’t a surprise to security specialists. Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism director, and Joseph Nye, the former chairman of the National Intelligence Council, have both suggested that Al Qaeda prefers Mr. McCain and might even try to use terror attacks in the coming days to tip the election to him.
“From their perspective, a continuation of Bush policies is best for recruiting,” said Professor Nye, adding that Mr. McCain is far more likely to continue those policies.
In the same way today, an exaggerated fear of “Islamofascism” elides a complex reality and leads us to overreact and damage our own interests. Perhaps the best example is one of the least-known failures in Bush administration foreign policy: Somalia.
As a beautiful dawn breaks over the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, lighting up the tiny Ohio town of Waverly — where black people were once not allowed to live — David Risner stands puffing on a hand-rolled cigarette, one hand thrust into his camouflage hunting jacket.
“I ain’t gonna lie to you,” he said. “A lot of people around here don’t want Obama because of his colour. And it’s his name that bothers me. It’s Muslim.”
The 44-year-old truck driver took a sip of coffee and added: “Despite all that, I’m pushing more toward him because of the economy. Fuel prices are killing us. To me, McCain is just for the rich people. A lot of us are reconsidering Obama because we like what he’s saying on the economy.”
On the stump and in interviews, McCain took Bush-bashing to a new level by charging that an Obama presidency would be a replay of the last eight years of Republican rule.
Barbara West will never work in European media..
Belgian ISP Scarlet has scored its first victory in an important case that has been dragging on for years. This case is the first real test of how European copyright law can be applied to peer-to-peer networks.
To give you a quick recap:
The Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (Sabam, the Belgian version of the RIAA) started a case against Tiscali, one of the largest ISP’s in Belgium. In it, they argue that ISP’s are responsible when their customers transfer copyrighted files via their network. In 2004, Sabam (in their own words) ”obtained an intermediary judgement by virtue of which the court acknowledged that copyright infringements (regarding the reproduction right and right of communication to the public) were being committed by TISCALI customers. ”
The court then ordered a study into whether Tiscali (now called Scarlet) could be forced to block the transfer of copyrighted material through their network. This was finished last year, and in june 2007 Scarlet was ordered to implement technical measures to block the transfer of copyrighted works via P2P networks within six months. The fine for not following these instructions was set to €2500 per day.
This year, Scarlet asked the court to cancel this order because the systems Sabam proposed for filtering traffic didn’t work as advertised; Sabam has already apologized to the judge about providing incorrect information. The court has now ruled in favor of Scarlet, staying the fine until the final ruling in this case which is expected about a year from now.