Blogs are a familiar feature on the internet - where users post content in an accumulating manner, with comments, and search options, etc. They facilitate expression and exploration, and via attached comments, also debate and synthesis.
Reading and Navigating Blogs
Our blogs are quite powerful. Each writer can post, as is typically the case. Sustainers who have the option can also post, however. All Blogs appear in the blog system, and sometimes also in content boxes the top page of ZNet - and always via the left menu of the top page - and can be found via searches, etc.
Commenting on blogs follows the blogs, attached at the bottom, and blog comments, like all others, are also visible in many places that show comments including in the forum system. In addition, the entire blog system gathers content for everyone - but one can look at the accumulating content in many ways.
For example one can look at one writer's efforts - so one is seeing what is effectively a blog system for that one writer, or Sustainer.
One can also look at the content by topic, seeing blogs that are tagged as being about a certain topic - or place, as well. Thus, when doing that, it is a blog system about a topic, or a place, with many contributors.
One can look at only writer blogs, or only sustainer blogs, as well.
One can look at blogs for particular Groups, too.
All this is easily done using the left menu. Searches allow even more variables and refinements.
Creating Blog Posts
If you are a Sustainer with permission, and are logged in, you will see a link in the left menu for you to post a blog - and you can use that to post one, and then tag it various ways (such as with a topic or place, or a group tag), and once you do, it is in the system with you as the author.
You can also use the console button to the left to post a blog - anytime and from anywhere in the site, as long as you are logged in.
Meanwhile, enjoy the blogs - and, by the way, if you are a Free Member or a Sustainer with a ZSpace page, of course you can put one or more content boxes on it, pulling blog links of any sort you may want to filter for, for example, by you or by your friends or by others - and by topic, about places, for groups, etc.
The sharp increase in focus on Iran's alleged threat (nuclear weapons, connections to terror, etc.) is very clear. ...
The same has been true with regard to Syria (including last December's "Syria Accountability Act" passed almost unanimously in Congress, and Bush's implementation of parts of it in May).
Not reported but quite important is the dispatch to Israel of 100 F16-I's, advanced jet bombers, with the very specific announcement that they can reach Iran and return, are updated versions of the F-16s that Israel used to attack the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 (thereby setting off Iraq's nuclear weapons program, though that part of the story, though pretty well confirmed, is avoided), and are equipped with "special weapons" (according to the Israeli Hebrew press).
All of this is presumably intended for the ears of Iranian intelligence, who have to make worst case analyses. Perhaps the purpose of all of these initiatives is to evoke some action by Iran or Syria that can be interpreted by Washington-media as justification for military action, or perhaps just to rattle the leadership to contribute to internal repression, disaffection, disruption.
If the Iraq invasion hadn't been such a remarkable failure, by now the US would probably have gone forward with plans to subordinate the region more fully to its interests, which would mean actions against the more independent states, Iran and Syria. This is not entirely unrelated to the "war on terror": it increases the terrorist threat, just as the invasion of Iraq did. In the case of Syria, that's been very well analyzed by Stephen Zunes.