Employing Iraqis

Fred Kaplan continues his insightful reporting on the occupation of Iraq with "More Dinars Please" — a look at the invaluable Commanders' Emergency Response Program: The program started in May, shortly after President Bush declared the war over, when American soldiers in Baghdad unearthed mounds of cash that Saddam Hussein and his two sons had [Read More...]

A trip to the airport

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank has the best article I've seen on the meaning and the ramifications of President Bush's surprise Thanksgiving visit to an airport outside of Baghdad. … it is too soon to know whether the image of Bush in his Army jacket yesterday will become a symbol of strong leadership or a [Read More...]

Case Closed

Thanks to sensitive CIA reporting dating back to the Clinton administration, as revealed in a classified memo labeled "Top Secret" and also "For Immediate Release," I am able to report the following. 1. An Arabic student from Hamburg, Germany, who may or may not have been al-Qaida terrorist Mohammad Atta, may or may not have [Read More...]

Conspiracy theory

Slate's Jack Shafer wonders why the mainstream press has been dismissive of Stephen F. Hayes' report in The Weekly Standard on alleged links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. Hayes' article largely summarizes a memo by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith, which may account for some of the skepticism. Feith does not enjoy a reputation [Read More...]

Mot juste

"U.S. agrees to international control of its troops in Iraq." That's the headline of an article in yesterday's (UK) Independent in which Leonard Doyle and Stephen Castle report on comments from Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief. "Everybody has moved, including the United States, because the United States has a real problem and when [Read More...]

EPCOT on the Euphrates

Ariana Eunjung Cha continues to report on the cost-effective and, under the circumstances, heroic efforts of ordinary Iraqis in rebuilding their country (see "Half a bridge" earlier). This time it's a cement factory. One of the reasons President Bush's $87 billion (for now) pricetag for rebuilding Iraq is so high is that that country has [Read More...]

Kill all the bad people

In Newsweek, we read this disturbing account of an Army chaplain's prayer: Then the battalion's chaplain asks the men to join him in a short prayer. "Lord, there are bad guys out there," he says, bowing his head. "Just help us kill 'em." This, in short, seems to be the Bush Plan for World Peace. [Read More...]

Moving statistics

Winston Churchill noted that one mark of an educated person is the ability to be moved by statistics. I would add that a mark of an over-educated person is the inability to be moved without them. Via Cursor, I find this BBC report on this study by the British medical charity Medact, which "estimates that [Read More...]