Dystopia today

Ain’t life just grand. The top minds in our political class meet, hash and haw over the war in Iraq, and conclude that making nice with Iran and Syria is a viable way out. When you’ve switched from talking about winning wars to talking about managing them, what are you saying? Our political betters don’t want to answer that question. Here’s an interesting possible response to the ISG, but it’s a fantasy. The Bush administration just has no fight left in it. And the whole world can see that.

The whole world can also see that exiting Iraq under current conditions won’t end the war. The violence will go on, and our retreat will firm up convictions that Islam and democracy are incompatible (which may be true). That will force us to re-think our entire approach to the war, if there are any serious minds left in power to do that kind of thinking. But worse than that it will weaken all of our allies in the region. Redeploying from Iraq to, say, Kuwait, will just put those allies in the Islamist crosshairs. And when the terrorists start stirring up an insurgency in Kuwait, do we “redeploy” from there too or do we hang on and fight it out? What’s the value of being a US ally in the Middle East after we have bugged out of Iraq? I’d say, not very high. And that thinking won’t stay in the Middle East. Every single ally we currently have will wonder whether we have the staying power to defend them if they need us. Every single enemy of ours and our allies will wonder the same thing.

Did you know, by the way, that the Iraq war has now gone on longer than World War II? Why the AP and the Boston Globe think this is newsworthy is not obvious, but here’s something to chew on. The Pacific theater of World War II would have gone on a heck of a lot longer if Truman hadn’t made a fateful decision to end it quickly by dropping atomic weapons on two Japanese cities. Just sayin’. Half-measures and all that.

The AP’s scribe could have chosen to report that even though the Iraq war has gone on longer than World War II, we’ve suffered far fewer casualties in Iraq than we suffered in several single battles in World War II. We lost entire battles in World War II, but have yet to lose a battle in Iraq. We have chosen not to finish a couple of battles, notably and regrettably with Moqtada al-Sadr, but we haven’t actually been defeated in any battle in Iraq. But that’s not the angle the AP’s reporter chose to go with. He had those facts available, but left them out.

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Senator Edward M. Kennedy has been exposed yet again as a Soviet agent. More documents from the Soviet archive figure in this story, adding weight to what we’ve already reported here. According to these documents, Kennedy had a bagman, his chief aide Larry Horowitz, who traveled frequently to the USSR to relay messages from Kennedy, to coordinate strategy and even to relay the contents of US ambassadorial instructions and messages. Kennedy’s man in Moscow constantly acted against Presidents Reagan and Carter, but curiously not against Bush 41–whom Kennedy apparently saw as an ally. (It’s Bush 41’s men who are running the Iraq group these days, by the way). By any reasonable definition, Kennedy routinely gave aid and comfort to the supreme US enemy of the time. And by any reasonable understanding of the way the world works these days, Kennedy will pay exactly zero price for his actions.

But read the whole article. It’s a fascinating look at a man whose ego and self-esteem made him believe that he was and is above petty nuisances like honor, duty, country and the law. His brothers would have been appalled at the alliances Teddy forged with Moscow.

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Glamourizing the burka.

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British doctors get in trouble for understanding human anatomy, and for refusing the accomodate the insane.

This link and the two above show us where the left in the West would take us. Or will try to take us, now that the Democrats are in power.

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Jordan’s King Abdullah sees three civil wars erupting in the Middle East in the next few months. These wars are currently stirring in Iraq, where Shias battle Sunnis; in Lebanon, where Hezbollah is trying to overthrow the fragile democratic government; and in Israel, where Orwellian cease-fires remain in force even while rockets slam into Israeli homes.

There are two common elements in all three of these wars: Iran and Islam. Iran is exporting its Islamic revolution to Iraq and Lebanon, and using its proxies to attack Israel from Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. As for Islam, the Baker group mentioned at the top of this post has apparently chosen to ignore its role in the conflicts. And Iran, the Baker group apparently wants to consult to get peace in Iraq.

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Exit question: Was the murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko a Putin hit-job or a Chechen WMD deal gone bad — in a London sushi joint? Which is the more disturbing possibility?

It wouldn’t be the first time the KGB has killed off dangerous critics. It also wouldn’t be the first time Chechens have used radiological weapons.