“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

various

Atlanta. LI successfully made it past the e-ticket, the woman who tells you to get into the big line that wends around just like it used to pre e-ticket, the man telling his wife that he thinks they should go home and call up American airlines and get their money back, the harried smiles from the multiple service monster snorting up information and baggage, the doffed shoes, the metal detector and involved search of the old Mexican guy in the wheelchair including his stretched out socks, the niceness of tvs not hanging everywhere unlike Dallas, the airport where tvs are as thick as passenger pigeons used to be in the autumn skies of Ohio, the tracking of hurricane Dean through holiday resorts, the Delta plane with barely any passengers within which one could settle back and enjoy the two count em two packets of peanuts to make this trip an enjoyable one since the pilot and the Delta organization he represents know (regretfully) that we have a choice when buying tickets showing that old institutional memories of 1910 when we didn’t have a choice die hard, and then my brother, with a bit more gray to him and me and both of us casting those surreptitious measuring glances of siblings who haven’t seen each other in a while and getting our footing and we are off…

So there is going to be less from LI. I planned to do a little more concentrated research while here for my happiness essay. Gonna mostly try to hike. Eat. Drink. Be merry.

In the meantime … do look at the whole festschrift of inanity pouring out of Gideon Rose’s defense of the foreign policy clerisy. Glenn Greenwald is on quite a roll, dismantling the various pretences. Oddly, over at Lawyers Guns and Money one of the bloggers is defending the idea that invading Iraq was at least a defensible idea back in the day. LI begs to differ. There were two parameters that the promoters of the war had to deal with: cost and manpower. Cost was figured by Glenn Hubbard at 100-200 billion dollars. Manpower was figured by Shinseki at 400,000 men or over. Both figures referred to the whole process, for the invasion and the occupation were one process. I discount any argument that compartmentalized those things. I only count those arguments for the war which absorbed the fact that it would take the resources projected by Shinseki and Hubbard. And any supporter who did that – I can’t think of one – would have, honestly, not been able to support the invasion. The testimony of Wolfowitz and of the Rumsfeld Defense department in the months leading up to the war undercut any serious case for the war. In the same way that advocating building a dam across a river conscientiously means advocating using the resources it takes to build a dam across a river. A bad engineer will build an insufficiently supported bridge and cause a catastrophe. A bad foreign policy analyst will build a case detached from the project realities of resourcing it and create a guerilla war, a falling state, four million refugees and some not small change in deaths – we’ve reached five hundred thousand or so last year in Iraq. In both cases, the irresponsibility is shameful. And that’s that.

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