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Showing posts from July 30, 2006

robert kaplan - stooge

The phrase ‘war profiteer’ causes noses to wrinkle among the conventional wisdom set. It is so… angry. And fringe. Not at all the kind of bloodless bloody talk preferred at Georgetown lunches, or Raytheon sponsored golfing trips for congressmen. However, LI is so damn fringe that we spontaneously generate tie dyed shirts (it is a horrible FX, not suitable for children under 16 not accompanied by parent). And so we think that there are indeed war profiteers, and that wars are fought more often for stuff than for principles (which, actually, has turned out to be a good thing – stuff is limiting) and that the combination of fighting for stuff and claiming to be fighting for principles is the worst of both worlds. We think that there is a subculture, dominant in the U.S., that fattens on spilling human blood. We also think that the flaks of war are immensely important to keep the whole corrupt system going. It is these people that make mass murder exciting. Hip. And oh so serious – strateg

realism about iran

At a seminar in Toronto around the start of the war, historian Bernard Lewis, who was instrumental in advising Vice President Dick Cheney and other top U.S. officials on the Iraq invasion, said: "The Iranian regime won't last very long after an overthrow of the regime in Iraq, and many other regimes in the region will feel threatened." – WSJ, Ancient Rift: Rising Academic Sees Sectarian Split Inflaming Mideast --- Vali Nasr Says 'Shiite Revival' Is Met by Sunni Backlash; Resurgent Iran Leads Way --- Can Mullahs be Moderated? By Peter Waldman LI advises our readers to check out the Wall Street Journal story on Vali Nasr, a Teheran born academic who advocates pretty much what LI has been advocating – getting real about Iran. That is, recognizing Iran, establishing relations with the nation, “managing” its entrance into Middle Eastern affairs rather than wishing it would go away, or targeting it. “Mr. Nasr, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Ca

under the harrow - Blair and Uriah Heep

There is something about Tony Blair that arouses the instinct to find some literary counterpart to explain him. How can a man so utterly mealy mouthed, so vacuous, so soft-soapy, an endlessly servile tool to the the Bush clique, an endlessly arrogant tyro to the powers under him, have attained his position? One almost instinctively looks to Dickens, and most of all, to Uriah Heep, to find a key to this rather loathsome soul. This is from the chapter on Uriah’s unmasking in David Copperfield: “I had not seen Uriah Heep since the time of the blow [David Copperfield had struck Heep in an argument]. Our visit astonished him, evidently; not the less, I dare say, because it astonished ourselves. He did not gather his eyebrows together, for he had none worth mentioning; but he frowned to that degree that he almost closed his small eyes, while the hurried raising of his grisly hand to his chin betrayed some trepidation or surprise. This was only when we were in the act of entering his room,

one ray of light, at least

The news is so bad from Lebanon that LI has barely had time to celebrate Fidel Castro’s upcoming embalming. It is funny how communist parties in the final state of their decay leap over the French revolution and begin imitating Louis XIV. The failure to root themselves in anything but the bureaucracies they create is, perhaps, one reason for this, since family is the last trustworthy precinct in the morass of misrule. We do regret that Castro wasn’t either blown to smithereens by an anarchist bomb or otherwise deposed 35 years ago. Even for his sake -- at least that would have been an aesthetically pleasing terminus. Probably have done something good for the left in Latin America, too. Instead, like an island Franco, he reduced Cuba to a nullity, a welfare spot, a whorehouse for progressive tourists. That malign presence will now pass into the hall of fame of Latin American dictators: Duvalier, Pinochet, Vargas, Somoza, Castro. Anyway, we can only hope that Raol, that old rotten homop

the wapo editorial board - operation endless stupidity

“DESPITE THE terrible bloodshed in New York City on the eleventh, including the tragic death of scores of people in the World Trade Center, the United States, Al Qaeda and the Taliban continue to seek the same outcome to the war.” This is only a slight parody of the truly demented editorial put out by the Washington Post today. It actually said – it actually said – “DESPITE THE terrible bloodshed in Lebanon and Israel over the weekend, including the tragic death of scores of women and children in the village of Qana, the United States, Israel and the Lebanese government continue to seek the same outcome to the war.” We are becoming a real fan of the new, Fruit Loops style of WAPO punditry, in which black is no longer just white. No, black is a dozen shades of white. Black is oyster white, cream white, lily white. Keeping up its support for the American downward spiral in the Middle East, the editorial board does us all a favor by reminding us: it is the entire culture of D.C., not ju

Thank you, Senator Hagel

Our relationship with Israel is a special and historic one," Hagel said. "But it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. That is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice." "How do we realistically believe," Hagel said, "that a continuation of the systematic destruction of an American friend, the country and people of Lebanon, is going to enhance America's image and give us the trust and credibility to lead a lasting and sustained peace effort in the Middle East?" He called the showdown in Lebanon between Israel and the Iran-backed Hezbollah guerrillas "sickening slaughter on both sides." "President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire," Hagel said. "This madness must stop." - Dow Jones News Service. One should note that the media approved word about the Middle East is 'solution'. An old, conservative tradition says: there are no solutions in human affairs. LI doesn&

LI's adventures in the world

The writers LI admires most are scourgers of mankind – Swift, Marx in his political mode, Nietzsche, Kraus, etc., etc. Alas, though we nourish misanthropy in our bosom, hoping to become like them, when we are released into a crowd situation we become as unselectively friendly as a beagle. So, I went and moderated this panel last night at the Bob Bullock museum. The crowd was sparse, unfortunately. But I loved it that anybody came out at all. It has been a while since I addressed a number of people, and I was a little nervous. That soon passed. I will not bore you with the play by play of the three panelists and me. One of the panelists, Jim Haley, the historian, is an acquaintance. The unexpected part of the whole thing, for me, was Ms. Denise McVea. She’s written a controversial book (if you are a Texan) about Emily West de Zavala. E.W.d.Z was the wife of the first vice president of the Texas Republic. Her slave, according to legend, amorously dallied with Santa Ana on the morning of


LI is such a putz sometimes. We meant to put this in post form yesterday. We want to give a big shout out of thanks to the Anonymous donor who helped us pay the electric bill. This is a bottom of our heart thank you. You don't know how hair thin our escapes have been this summer. And so... onward towards the Writers' Braggin' panel tonight! Wish me luck.