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Showing posts from April 18, 2004
Bollettino On December 14 of last year, after the capture of Saddam, LI “played the combinations”. That is, we looked at the effects that could ensue from the capture as combinations of possible worlds, as Leibnitz might have put it. This is what we said: “With Saddam rendered irrelevant, the third factor in Iraqi politics can now come into play - and come into play in such a way as to disturb Wolfowitz’s dream of Pax Chile on the Euphrates. That third factor is the Shiite demand for elections. Americans have been blocking this demand, because the American backplan is to somehow thrust a Chalabi or Chalabi like figure on Iraq. This thrusting was to be called democracy, not rape. So far, with Chalabi, it has pretty much failed … In our opinion, the combinations now at work in Iraq are about to tumble to a new configuration. And this is not going to make the Pentagon happy. Our bet, right now, is that the following will emerge as the combination of forces in Iraq in the nex
Bollettino Two sites to go to today. One is Juan Cole’s excellent analysis of the current state of play in the Pentagon operation to make Chalabi our Somoza in Iraq. Cole encountered point man for Chalabi -- Perle -- at a Senate hearing, yesterday. As Cole points out, that Perle was testifying there at all is bizarre, since Perle's ignorance of Iraqi culture -- and Middle Eastern culture in general -- should surely bar him from testifying in a forum meant for expert testimony. Yesterday, on NPR, they interviewed the man’s nephew, Salam, who is to be, in a bizarre and self-discrediting move, the official prosecutor of Saddam, and not one question was asked about his background. Also, LI was heartened to read Cole’s note because Cole takes the same position LI took since last year about Sisteni’s insistence on elections, and why they should have been held by now. Second, the IWPR site publishes an excellent battlefield report on Falluja from an Iraqi perspective .
Bollettino Charming little site, crammed with old, rare texts and illustrations . I got this little anecdote from Taine’s The Life and Philosophical opinions of a cat. I thought, somehow, it applied to Iraq. Since we are all applying analogies to that happy country nowadays, I thought I’d apply one of my own. Although I’m still not sure what it means. . “My paws having become solid, I ventured out into the world and soon became fast friends with a goose, an estimable beast, for she had a warm belly. I loved to crush myself under it , and while I was doing so, its philosophic discourses educated me. She said that the fore-court was a republic of allies, and that the most industrious, man, had been chosen for the leader, while even the dogs, although turbulent, were our faithful guards. I cried with tenderness under the belly of my good friend. One morning the cook approached us with a benevolent air, stuck out her hand, and exhibited a whole handful of grain. The goose stuc
Bollettino LI’s friend, R., recently got a job telemarketing a medical software designed to accelerate patientflow to various medical facilities in the Southwest. You can imagine how fun this is. The pay was great too – seven bucks per. Since R. had recently totaled his car, while experiencing an extensive stint of unemployment, he had to peddle to reach his well appointed office – which was a computer on the same table as the community fax machine, and a phone with a cord that didn’t quite reach all the way to his desk (meaning he had to leave the phone on the floor and wheel back in his chair and bend over and press the buttons on the phone to make the calls from the numbers listed on the Excel spread sheets with those same numbers listed before him). Since the bike ride was seven miles – downhill getting there, uphill getting back, R. would get tired going home, so he was always looking for shortcuts. Last Friday, he decided he would peddle to the nearest bus stop and go on the b