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United States

Submission + - Iran's nuclear program: A false dilemma (

Webious writes: "Cyrus Safdari, an independent Iran analyst, writes on how the New York Times and other US media are deliberately ignoring peaceful solutions to the nuclear standoff with Iran and presenting either war or sanctions as the only possible solutions to the issue. The author writes: "[...] Now, why do you suppose all the other options which would amount to a peaceful resolution of the standoff whilst respecting Iran's absolute and inalienable sovereign right to nuclear enrichment, are being so deliberately ignored? Answer: presicely because it would amount to a peaceful resolution. You see, the NY Times is serving its function as a government propaganda mouthpiece by agenda-setting and framing: it is asserting that Iran's nuclear program is a "threat" and providing a deliberately limited range of options to deal with Iran. Other pefectly reasonable and gracious Iranian compromise offers (even a comprehensive peace offer) are deliberately ignored or lied about. ""

Microsoft Releases Pre-2007 Binary File Format Specs 269

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has released the specifications for the binary file formats used by pre-2007 Microsoft Office applications. They're accurate this time! Honest! While the documents are enormous (Word alone requires 533 pages; Excel runs over 1000 plus another 850 pages for the Office 2007 binary format), they hopefully will be useful to developers trying to create or extract information from Microsoft Office files (which despite their flaws, have been the de facto standard in many fields for some time now)."
The Military

Submission + - US Has Spent 400 Million on Iranian War Already

copponex writes: Looks like we're at it again: the New Yorker reports that President Bush sought and received 400 million dollars for covert operations against Iran last year. And if that's not enough deja vu for you, they have rejected the findings from US intelligence that claims Iran has halted their nuclear weapons programs. The last commander of CENTCOM, Admiral William Fallon, resigned under pressure after publicly denouncing a possible attack on Iran, and it looks like the only group of people dumb enough to continue with a full scale assault are within the White House itself — against the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the intelligence community, and even their new Secretary of Defense.
United States

Submission + - The World: An Apology for American Leadership

An anonymous reader writes: As I write this, I am reading that our leadership in Washington D.C. has made the decision to "launch a significant escalation" of covert operations in Iran. This operation has been authorized by congress with a "credit limit" of $400 million dollars. Apparently, "President" George W. Bush isn't done aggravating the Middle East and it's surrounding nations.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that our great country has the ability to protect and promote freedom to the impoverished and persecuted. I also believe that we have the right AND responsibility to intervene when necessary to protect humanity and our own security. However, I believe in the democratic process to decide when such intervention is necessary.

Did you or I give authorization for such military operation to take place? Did the people whom I elected to make decisions for me make thisdecision? Or did George W. Bush's "goons" make this decision. Perhaps they've been misled, again...

My fellow Americans, world citizens, world governments, and world leaders; I want to deeply express my apologies for my President's and Vice-President's ignorant attempt to fight fire with iron and for my own allowance of them to do so. Though, some of you I greatly dislike, I cannot express how much my fellow citizens and I dissent with our leadership's disrespect to you.

To those who would consider Americans fat, lazy, or just plain dumb — please understand that the President does not accurately describe my own personality and beliefs. To those who would consider Americans disrespectful or hostile — we are a people who have distanced ourselves from our founding beliefs. To those who would consider us "heathens" — as citizens, we actually do respect your beliefs and value your expressions of religion.

The President and Vice President have resiliently and erroneously developed their own agendas for worldwide leadership and proliferation while they have forgotten about those whom they are supposed to represent. You'll find that many Americans dislike our leadership as much as you might.

In our world of open source software, free communication, and ever-proliferating democracy there are times when the true voices of a nation are not vividly represented; These are times when people like George Bush and Richard Cheney gain a voice that shouldn't have been. For this I am sorry...

Anonymous 19-year-old American Citizen

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.