Sunday, November 26, 2006

Odds and Ends Quickie: Financing the Insurgency in Iraq; Japanese Governors; Hiranuma, and the Man Who Isn't There

Here's an article on the insurgents' finances. The media have usually called the Sunnis "insurgents" and the Shiites "militia". I assume this article is following this convention. So, if the Sunnis are raking in oil money and the Shiites are sitting on the bulk of Iraqi oil in the first place, then it'll be a long time before they run out of money. It sure looks like a long battle ahead. As if we didn't know.

I'd thought Iran and the gulf oil states were in charege of the finances. Tells you how much imagination I have. (Although it is surprising how little information there has been on the finances of the civil war.)

Last weekend, the media were telling us that the governor of Miyazaki Prefecture would be called in for questioning any time now. By this weekend, the news on hizzonner has trickled to… nothing. My guess is, Mr. Miyazaki Prefecture Number Three is refusing to talk.

Meanwhile, tucked away in a terse single-tier notice a couple of inches wide on page 2 of the Sunday Yomiuri is the news that the DPJ candidate in Wakayama had been withdrawn. The DPJ figured she had too little name recognition. I wrote somewhere that I know the LDP candidate, and that he has his share of assets. (CAVEAT REPEAT: He's a METI guy (METI has no end of these people), and I know him personally.) Interestingly, the head of the DPJ local is a former MOF official who ran unsuccessfully in last year's Lower House election in a Wakayama precinct. He'd better do something quick, or he could be on the outs himself in no time.

Speaking of last year's Upper House Elections, Takeo Hiranuma is looking good these days. In a Takura Ken, Tsuruta Koji (Watanabe Ken, in Last Samurai, for you gaijins who don't know these guys) sort of way. But still good, compared to The Man Who Isn’t There. Unfortunately, the DPJ is not in a shape to take advantage of this situation.

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