Cheetohs of Mass Destruction

Kevin Drum has a nice rundown of the Bush administration's incredible shrinking claims about Iraq's alleged weapons and the lack thereof: March 2003: Weapons of mass destruction. June 2003: Weapons of mass destruction programs. October 2003: Weapons of mass destruction-related programs. January 2004: Weapons of mass destruction-related program activities. I've mentioned this before, but this [Read More…]

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19 more words

"For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible, and no one can now doubt the word of America." — George W. Bush, Jan. 20, 2004, State of the Union address [Read more…]

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Counting the cost

Wednesday before work I hear this report from NPR's Daniel Zwerdling on "All Things Considered" (link is audio only). Zwerdling talks about how little is heard about those wounded in Iraq and does a series of MOTS interviews where passersby consistently underestimate the number of troops injured. Zwerdling estimates the number at around 9,000. He [Read More…]

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“Embarrassing,” a “fiasco”

"For those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them." — George W. Bush, May 30, 2003. That was President Bush's statement touting what he said were two mobile "weapons labs" discovered by U.S. troops in Iraq. Subsequent reports — none of which received a fraction [Read More…]

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Revolution and reform, part 1

Reinhold Niebuhr is considered one of the greatest theologians and moral philosophers of the 20th century. In other words, nobody pays him any attention any more. That's a shame, since much of his writing remains uncannily timely — particularly Moral Man and Immoral Society, The Nature and Destiny of Man, and The Irony of American [Read More…]

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Once more with feeling

The (over-)extended metaphor in the previous post may obscure the links to two worthy articles that I wanted to highlight. Those would be: "Rumsfeld and his 'old friend' Saddam," by Jim Lobe in the Asia Times; and "Winning and Losing," by Philip Gourevitch in The New Yorker. [Read more…]

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I know an old lady

I know an old lady who swallowed a cow I don't know how she swallowed that cow … I'm fascinated by stories of exotic invasives — those surprisingly adaptable foreign species like kudzu or the cane toad whose proliferation in a new ecosystem can have devastating consequences. … She swallowed the cow to catch the [Read More…]

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Liars and honest fools

The word "alleged" is used far more frequently in newspapers that it is in most aspects of daily life. This is due partly to a commitment to the principle of "innocent until proven guilty." If, for example, a man is arrested after going to a local mall with a video camera attached to his shoe [Read More…]

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