Sunday, August 20, 2006
19 down - 29 to go
The mini-war in Lebanon has been the dominant news item for the past month, and the consensus opinions are that Hezbollah has won the political war by holding their own against Israel, and that it's a proxy war for Iran vs. USA. The neo-cons aren't happy about the results, but there's no chance the US is going to war with Iran in the foreseeable future (actually i know have 2 wagers that Israel will not go to war with Iran by January 20th, 2013).
Monthly metric updates:
- Given that more troop are moving into Baghdad, my wager on troop strength (>50,000 on January 20th, 2009) is secure. The daily carnage in Iraq makes clear that Iraq is in a low level civil war that will not end for years.
- The Doha Round ended with a whimper. I can't see any hope of it being resuscitated for years, so Bush failed the test on trade. Outside of bi-lateral or regional arrangements "a poor substitute for global progress" there will be no progress on free trade for at least the next 4 years.
- No updates on the deficit. Expect it to be in the $300B range for this fiscal year & the official results won't be long in coming.
Of my wagers (I also added a gimme that Kurdistan would not be recognized by the UN by August 4th, 2011), only my support of Warner is questionable. Not that he's looking bad - I would probably put him in 2nd place now - but his name recognition still isn't that high. Could be that Feingold will garner the Lamont vote, so not sure what constituency that would leave for Warner.
This portion of Bush's presidency does seem like the dog days of summer for the Kansas City Royals - it has to be played out, but provides little satisfaction for fans or players.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Happy to see Lieberman lose
Well best to turn it over to a netrooter who earned the right to a victory lap:
11:03pm: Lieberman has taken the podium. UGH!! He just called it "a much closer race than the pundits were predicting"?!
Oh, fuck this guy. He's bloviating about how this is just the end of the "first half".
He's announcing his independent run. And we're just going to have to kick his ass again. The arrogance! The delusional dickweed!
Shit. Somebody just sloshed beer on my keyboard.
11:08pm: I'm in a room with a bunch of very angry people right now. And my keyboard isn't responding properly now that it's soaked in beer. Someone in the room just said, "This is like watching your old uncle soil himself!"
That was the longest concession speech I've ever heard. I can only hope that someone from the national party will pull the plug on him.
Gotta walk away from the computer. I'm ready to punch somebody.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Too early for history to be written
I came to believe that those in positions of highest responsibility for Iraq showed a carelessness about human life that amounted to criminal negligence. Swaddled in abstract ideas, convinced of their own righteousness, incapable of self-criticism, indifferent to accountability they turned a difficult undertaking into a needlessly deadly one. When things went wrong, they found other people to blame. The Iraq War was always winnable; it still is. For this very reason, the recklessness ofand which the authour of course has since recanted "By now, I'm quite grim, and I would not have written that line in the present tense. The armed militias are running the show. The young and the dispossessed and the angry and the religious have become the wave of the future."
its authours is all the harder to forgive.
But the major flaw of the Assassin's Gate is the same as so many other war books - journalists rarely write good history books. The skill sets are too different. Journalists write short article for immediate & disposable consumption. Good history books need a permanence, a broader vision than journalists possess. There's also the matter of time - for a good book on the current war, we'll have to wait until 2037 for sufficient perspective, so I'll plan skip any tomes written in the interim on the current Iraq War.