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Archive for March, 2007

Laughed out loud when I saw this at Maxspeak.

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GEN Barry McCaffrey on Iraq. I’ll have more reaction later, but McCaffrey asserts that (1) Iraq is a disaster (2) however, things are perking up (3) but we only have 12 months at best before we’re out of here (4) by the way, we’re destroying the Army and Marine Corps.

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For the perfect example of why libertarianism is a fundamentally unserious philosophy of government, please check out this discussion thread on my favorite libertarian blog, Jim Henley’s Unqualified Offerings. Or is it just that it needs better defenders?

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The Butcher’s Bill

 execution.jpg

Two Iraq polls out. One done by UK-based Opinion Research Bureau, one by ABC/BBC News.

There’s a lot of interesting data here, but the biggest takeaway for me was the stunning level of personal violence experienced by the Iraqi people.

From the BBC/ABC News poll: “More than half of Iraqis surveyed said a friend or relative has been hurt or killed in the violence, while almost nine in 10 worried that a loved one will be hurt.”

From the OBR poll: “One in four (26%) Iraqi adults have had a family relative murdered in the last three years, while 23% of those living in Baghdad have had a family/relative kidnapped in the last three years.”

The United States Government has spent $410 billion and 3,200 American lives to recreate Sierra Leone in the Middle East.

I wonder how the people who created this thing look themselves in the mirror — beyond the moral horrors, there is the sheer blinding incompetence of it all.

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Lawrence Kaplan at TNR replays the old David Petraeus = Creighton Abrams tune here. It’s not as egregious as some others, but the idea that the United States snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Vietnam must be staked Buffy-style each and every time it rises from the grave.

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Never thought that what would get me out of my posting doldrums would be a post defending Rudy Giuliani, but Jonathan Chait really crosses the line here.

The post shows Rudy Giuliani in a pose vaguely similar to a shot of Vito Corleone in The Godfather, and has the tagline “Who says Giuliani lacks family values?”

Beyond the failed attempt at humor, the joke only works because it plays on Giuliani’s ethnicity. I thought The New Republic tried to maintain an intellectual level above C-grade Don Rickles (excepting, of course, anything by Marty Peretz), but apparently not.

The joke makes even less sense since Giuliani did as much as anyone in the 1980s to destroy the New York City Mafia.

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