Boat People

Syria has so far accepted (at least) 1.5 million Iraqi refugees. Beginning today, that country is placing limits on the number and type of future refugees it will accept. As CBS News reports: With the massive influx of refugees, Syria is starting to feel the strain. “There’s a huge impact for a country of 20 [Read More...]

Attacking Iran would be Bad

Attacking Iran would be Bad So Sarah Baxter of The Sunday Times (“Pentagon ‘three-day blitz’ plan for Iran“), George Packer in The New Yorker (“Test Marketing“) and Lance Mannion (“Oh what the heck, let’s start a third war!“) all say that the Bush administration may be considering a major strike against Iran.* That is a [Read More...]

Glory, glory hallelujah

If you want an acerbic taste of what might be called Niebuhrian irony, see the gallows humor of American soldiers in Chris Collins’ front-line* McClatchy report from Iraq, “South of Baghdad, U.S. troops find fatigue, frustration“: Standing in a small room in the Iraqi home they’d raided an hour earlier, a dozen soldiers from the [Read More...]

Expecto Petraeus

Frank Rich writes about the magic spell that President Bush is invoking in the hope it will protect him from his dementor-ish approval ratings: It was The Washington Post that first quantified General Petraeus’s remarkable ascension. President Bush, who mentioned his new Iraq commander’s name only six times as the surge rolled out in January, [Read More...]


"They say this is a different kind of war," Tony Lagouranis says. "Different rules for terrorists. Total crap." Lagouranis was a military intelligence specialist in Iraq until he was honorably discharged due to "adjustment disorder." That seems to be a military psychologist's euphemism for still having his conscience and humanity mostly intact. I've written before [Read More...]

Memorial Day

These are not just numbers. 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 50; [Read More...]

Sweet deals

Imagine this happens to you: Some big Manhattan publisher gives you a $100,000 advance to write the Great American Novel. Then you look at the fine print and you realize that your deal gives you $100,000 every year until you finish the book. You call to double check. "Does this mean I get $100,000/year forever?" [Read More...]

One in seven

Will Rogers suggested a simple standard for evaluating any country or community: Are people trying to get in? Or are they trying to get out? By that standard, as Dahr Jamail reports on TomDispatch, Iraq is a massive failure: Let's start with the numbers, inadequate as they are. The latest UN figures concerning the refugee [Read More...]