September 20th, 2004


Unpopular opinion.

A poll was taken in August by the Iraq Research Center (a group of Iraqi academics). 1000 citizens of Baghdad of different locales and demographic levels were asked:

"Who is Iraq's #1 enemy?"

Israel 32%
USA 23.2%
Extremist Islamic groups 12.3%
Saddam and his supporters 11.4%
Iran 8.8%
Al-Qa'ida 8%
Al-Zarqawi 4.3%

Could be worse, perhaps, but... no sir, not good at all. What's more, it seems to indicate that not only do Iraqis view their own leadership as puppets, the US is viewed as a puppet as well, with Israel at the strings.

It also indicates an obvious way to gain the trust of Iraqis -- be tough on Israel. Force them to negotiate and accept a real peace treaty that will establish fair and reasonable Palestinian state with real territorial integrity, and not something that looks like a slice of swiss cheese, with many of the good bits -- and most of the fresh water -- taken away.

How very Japanese.

One of the things that I love getting in San Jose's Japantown are the fresh onigiri (rice balls -- also known as omusubi and nigirimeshi) that they have in stock over at Dobashi Market. Although I like making onigiri myself, it's really nice being able to buy more traditional ones, with attention to detail and a flair for the fillings. Besides, at $1.50 each, it's a great deal!

I was curious about who made the onigiri, so I did a bit of Googling. Turns out it's a very Japanese establishment in Cupertino that also runs a Karaoke establishment.

Many new, unexplored varieties of onigiri to try. Mmmm!