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Displaying 171-180 of 25838 results.
ID: 2061
Uid: 29
Author: 0
Category: 43
Title: Cambodia and Laos Revisited?
Source:
Body: <p>I remain reasonably confident that the politicos in the White House, as opposed to the maniacal ideologues, will shy away from an expanded, protracted Middle East conflict, for fear of the tremendous political dangers that would accrue from being seen as authoring&nbsp; a long, costly new foreign military quagmire. Big business may weigh in, too, wary of the impact on the economy and Shrub's pro-corporate domestic agenda.</p><p>There are, nevertheless, some tremendously frightening signs that a wider, multi-front conflict might be rapidly developing. Predictably, our enemies in other countries we have recently invaded or denounced are taking advantage of our preoccupation with Iraq:</p><ul><li> In Afghanistan, where it's obvious that our past liberation efforts were a trifle less complete than we have been led to believe over here, <a href="http://jang.com.pk/thenews/apr2003-daily/01-04-2003/main/main13.htm">attacks on the foreign troops</a> defending the post-Taliban government are escalating.&nbsp;</li><li>In Pakistan, <a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&amp;u=/ap/20030401/ap_on_re_as/war_militant_upsurge&amp;cid=516&amp;ncid=1473">radical Islamist groups are on the comeback trail</a>. and there is little that Gen. Musharraf, one of those friendly, non-rogue dictators, can do about it. He may not even want to, and it seems certain that his Islamist-oriented army doesn't.&nbsp;</li><li>On the East Asian front, <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s821674.htm">North Korea is testing missiles</a> and doubtless planning further provocations while we are tied up elsewhere.</li><li> Incredibly, U.S. leaders have taken this particular moment to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/31/international/worldspecial/31CND-POLI.html">shake their fists at Syria and Iran</a> for some possible minor aid to Iraq. Originally the concern was night-vision goggles, but yesterday suggestions were issued that Syria or Iran might be the home of the grail of U.S. military legitimacy, the fabled Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.</li></ul><p> Having already taken many rapid steps into their own Vietnam-style quagmire, can Rummy, Shrub, and company really be contemplating their own Cambodia and Laos so soon?&nbsp; The claim that Syria and Iran were harboring Iraqi weapons came from an Israeli general, but it was Rumsfeld and Colin Powell who made the threats.&nbsp;</p><p> Based on the arguments used to launch the invasion of Iraq, any real or (to use a favorite administration adjective) &quot;credible&quot; evidence of such harboring would seem to almost demand an expansion or extension of the war, no matter what the politicos say. Then some real dominoes would start falling, the kind that could keep us militarily embroiled for the foreseeable future.</p><p><b>UPDATE</b>: My point just below is echoed by a <i>Working for Change</i> piece by someone called Geov Parrish, &quot;<a href="http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?itemid=14751&amp;CFID=6279776&amp;CFTOKEN=36145268">The six day war: Why America has already lost its war against Iraq</a>&quot;:</p><blockquote><p><br> Historians won't call this The Six Days' War; that name belongs to another Middle Eastern military rout with far-reaching consequences.</p><p>But by last Wednesday, the outcome of George Bush's invasion of Iraq was decided. The only remaining unknowns are how many months or years it will take America and Britain to figure out that they have already lost, and how many people will die in the interim.<br></p></blockquote>
ID: 2062
Uid: 29
Author: 0
Category: 43
Title: Freedom Toast
Source:
Body: <p>I'm back from spring break travels with papers to grade and editors barking at my heels. I thought I would just stop in to marvel at how far downhill things have gone since just before spring break. I'll omit a lengthy dilation on badly American political marketing tactics work when applied to actual foreign populations and armies. Shock and Awe© predictably turned out more like Horrify and Galvanize, referring to its impact on world opinion and Iraqi/Arab resistance respectively. We have managed to turn an egregious despot and his thuggish army apparently into the heroes of the Muslim world.&nbsp;</p><p>The messianic political aims of the war are already so much freedom toast, going the way of most war aims that do not involve seizing territory or defeating armies. Is there really no history major or sensible person in the administration who could have told them how these &quot;liberating&quot; invasions and &quot;friendly&quot; occupations <i>always</i> work out? (How did the low-key military occupation of Boston before the American Revolution work out? How about the efforts of the early British commanders, the Howe brothers, to defeat the revolutionary armies in a way that did not alienate American opinion?) Just when and where did any nation ever get goodwill and gratitude to grow from the barrel of gun?</p><p>Defining a war in the highly political and ideological terms that we have used in this case in effect places us at a tremendous disadvantage. Saddam Hussein will doubtless lose control of his country, but the very structure of the situation makes it almost impossible for the U.S. and Britain to truly win, in the terms they have set of capturing the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people and remaking the Middle East. Fighting for survival, Saddam and his army can and probably will do almost anything they can imagine without significant loss in their political standing, while, as loudly high-minded invaders, almost anything that our forces do wrong, no matter how accidental or isolated, has the potential to irrevocably shatter our political standing in Iraq and its region.&nbsp;</p><p>It doesn't matter if the invaders avoid 99.99% of all possible depredations against civilians and their property. They are still an army wielding actual weapons, and inevitably innocent people are going to get in harm's way -- crowded markets will get bombed and cars full of children will get blasted -- when that happens all the brownie points supposedly earned for kind, considerate, careful military operations get wiped from the slate. American politicians and journalists can spin/excuse these incidents for a receptive American public by invoking some newly popular cliché like the &quot;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61229-2003Mar31.html">fog of war</a>.&quot; They might even be right, but try explaining that to the hearts and minds of people who (unlike the vast majority of Americans) can actually identify with dead Iraqi civilians as fellow countrymen, co-religionists, or regional neighbors. We may know that our motives are noble and our intentions, but somehow that just doesn't do much to soften the feelings of Arabs and Muslims reading about bullet-riddled Arab Muslim children.&nbsp;</p>
ID: 2063
Uid: 30
Author: 0
Category: 45
Title: Hitchens goes too far.
Source:
Body: <p>I can forgive the illogical but impassioned arguments for war last winter. I can generally forgive the usual militant contrariness. But I cannot forgive Christopher Hitchens's merciless lambasting of <a href="http://slate.msn.com/id/2086499/">Bob Hope</a> the very week the man dies. <p>Say I met Christopher in an elevator, casually remarked on the passing of the great entertainer, and heard in response,"Well, I never actually found him that funny." That's fine. Comedy is one of the most subjective parts of entertainment. But to write a thousand word diatribe against a universally beloved entertainer (unlike Bing, Hope has no abuse allegations hanging over his legacy) a handful of days after than man dies is utterly tasteless. <p>Hitchens calls Hope,"paralyzingly, painfully, hopelessly unfunny." I could not agree less. Surely Hope was not the freshest comedian on the menu after hitting 80 (Hitchens attacks him over a bad joke made in 1984; we'll see if Hitchens is even getting published in 2030). The post-Lenny Bruce stand-up era surely left him by. But in his prime, Hope's timing and delivery were impeccable. Woody Allen, to whom Hitchens unfavorably compares Hope, says: <blockquote>There are a number a films where's he's allowed to show his brilliant gift of delivery, his brilliant gift of comic speech. He had a very breezy attitude, he was a great man with a quip. Those one-liners and witticisms, they're just like air. He does them so lightly. When someone else tries to do them, they're so leaden. It's hard to counterfeit his work and describe it. At times I even prefer him to Groucho.</blockquote><p>You probably can't beat praise from a fellow comedian, but I would have liked to have quoted from Steinbeck's WWII era dispatch about Hope's remarkable resilience and talent which was included in <i>Once There Was a War</i>, but I seem to have misplaced my copy. It, and the volume, a collection of Steinbeck's wartime writings, as a whole, are definitely recommended. Also recommended, for Hope's performance at the very least, are: <i>My Favorite Brunette</i>, <i>Son of Paleface</i>, <i>Fancy Pants</i>, <i>The Lemon Drop Kid</i>, and <i>Monsieur Beaucaire</i>.
ID: 2064
Uid: 30
Author: 0
Category: 45
Title: It really is 1991 all over again.
Source:
Body: <p>Bush in the White House, a war in Iraq, an economy going south, and now an <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/07/29/police.video.trial/index.html">equivalent</a> to the Rodney King case. <p>As some have <a href="http://slate.msn.com/id/105117/">pointed out</a>, this parallel is a good omen for popular music, but bad for the country as a whole.
ID: 2065
Uid: 30
Author: 0
Category: 45
Title: Me and Lorenzo/rolling in a Benzo.
Source:
Body: <p>It seems the Chicago police have long <a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=16&u=/ap/20030723/ap_on_en_mu/people_ice_cube_5">memories</a>, none-too-subtly describing in a community alert a suspected sexual predator as resembling the highly-successful anti-establishment-rapper-turned-mainstream-actor, <a href="http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll">Ice Cube</a>. The Chicago police were no doubt quick to think of Ice Cube's face because they never quite got over his primary authorship of the hit 1989 song,"F--- Tha Police." <p>Though there may have been legitimate gripes at the time about the song provoking anti-police violence in impressionable listeners, the behavior by Chicago's finest 14 years later is, of course, quite irresponsible.
ID: 2066
Uid: 30
Author: 0
Category: 45
Title: Those durned Makhmalbafs!
Source:
Body: <p>Like the Pitt's, the Makhmalbaf's keep producing younger and younger <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3089697.stm">talent</a>, and thus shaming your 22-year old humble blogger. 20 I can handle, but 14!? <p>Sigh.
ID: 2067
Uid: 30
Author: 0
Category: 45
Title: The good doctor lays it on the line.
Source:
Body: <p>Woe be to our country if Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is correct in his <a href="http://espn.go.com/page2/s/thompson/030722.html">prognosis</a>. A little taste: <p><blockquote>The Stock Market will never come back, our Armies will never again be No. 1, and our children will drink filthy water for the rest of our lives.</blockquote><p>Dangerous stuff, eh?
ID: 2068
Uid: 30
Author: 0
Category: 45
Title: The Phantom Menace?
Source:
Body: <p>With the press and Democrats regaining their backbone as stability in Iraq seems farther on the horizon with each passing day, is the real danger to Bush's re-election the Federal Reserve? So says Robert Novak, and he's <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/output/novak/cst-edt-novak03.html">got a point</a>. <p>If Bush can limit the casualties--pulling the 3rd Infantry and inserting some unnamed foreign division will definitely help--who's to say the American public really cares if there's a political and humanitarian disaster in Iraq. No one seems to mind about Afghanistan. The only damage I see the administration taking from Iraq (unless the allegations of WMD evidence falsification lead somewhere) is if Saddam somehow regains some visible position of power, even if only regional warlordship. <p>Oh, and Bill Safire has established a direct telephone <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/07/opinion/07SAFI.html">link</a> to hell somehow.
ID: 2069
Uid: 30
Author: 0
Category: 45
Title: Yes, "bring them on."
Source:
Body: <p>Assuming that the mission is to be well-thought out (not always a given, as we've seen), I applaud the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/africa/07/02/us.liberia/index.html">reported</a> intention of the White House to send 500-1,000 Marines to Liberia as peacekeepers. Should the mission be successful, the stigma against American intervention in Africa might be broken and a lot of good might be possible in the near future. I do not endorse American military involvement in every single African conflict, but rather the selective and humane use of it when clearly necessary. Such actions might also do much to encourage more peacekeeping commitments by other powers (like the recent British intervention in Sierra Leone and the current, but small, French force in the Congo). <p>Of course, it ought to be mentioned that this is reported on the same day that the president issued a ridiculous <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63296-2003Jul2.html">challenge</a> to Iraqi militants, needlessly antagonizing an Iraqi populace that is quickly souring on U.S. occupation. I think that we could not bring in Pakistani or Indonesian (as has been rumored) peacekeepers too soon.
ID: 2070
Uid: 30
Author: 0
Category: 45
Title: Does my title make sense anymore?
Source:
Body: <p>Having just graduated with my BA in history and now onto another challenge (film school), the"Student of History" moniker doesn't really fit. I could call myself"Draft-age historian," but I'm not sure if a BA gives me the right to call myself a historian, especially since I'm pursuing my love of the topic somewhat obliquely now. <p>Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.