Sunday, March 2, 2008

Apropos of Nothing...

What did he say? "My sole criterion is, whatever we do, it ought to be in the context of success." So said President Bush while explaining that no one should expect troop withdrawals from Iraq any time soon. "Iraq" and "success" aren't typically thought as being within the same context, but there's always a first time. Anyway, the "generals" -- ours -- "ought to be concerned about making sure there's enough of a presence so that the provincial elections [in October] can be carried off in such a way that democracy advances." I don't know about you, but voting with occupying troops looking over my shoulder doesn't exactly make me think of a healthy, democratic body politic.

Fred Kaplan, one of the most prescient, articulate, and persuasive critics of the war and the occupation writes that Bush's successor will face an Iraq in worse condition than at any time during the Bush presidency. For one thing, thanks to internal Iraqi politics, there may not be provincial elections. The supposed reconciliation between factions looks more and more illusory each day. Next, the vaunted "Sunni Awakening," where Sunni tribes and militias combat Al Qaeda in Iraq may have run its course, in part because of insufficient U. S. advocacy for Sunnis with the central government. Kaplan is always good and well worth reading. 

The United States is an increasingly irrelevant presence in the never ending quest for Mideast peace...Is there any doubt about who the real winners in Iraq are?...A terrific letter to the editor here. Keep it in mind the next time someone questions Barack Obama's patriotism because he sometimes doesn't put his hand over his heart during "The Star-Spangled Banner"...Greg Oden, the 20-year old center for the Portland Trailblazers, blogs w(ith more dignity than any of the elders of the Tennessee Republican party in urging other young people to support Barack Obama. More here from the Seattle Times' Garry Washburn...Oden has more dignity than either John McCain or Bill O'Reilly, too. No doubt Michelle Obama feels better knowing that O'Reilly isn't willing to lynch her without "evidence"...Speaking of sweet swings, has anyone ever made hitting a home run look more effortless than Ken Griffey, Jr.? This will be my 47th season attending baseball games and I've yet to see that hitter.

One man's Johnny Winter collection:
The Progressive Blues Experiment (1969)
Johnny Winter (1969)
Second Winter (Legacy Edition) (1969, 2004)
Johnny Winter And (1970)
Johnny Winter And Live (1970)
Still Alive and Well (1973)
Guitar Slinger (1984)
The Winter of '88 (1988)
Live in NYC '97 (1998)
The Best of Johnny Winter (2002)
Live Bootleg Series, Vol. 1 (2007)

If you want a place to start, go with Johnny Winter and Still Alive and Well


Scrumpy's Baker said...

When did we get to a point where intelligence was not a criteria for rulling this country?

K. said...

Around eight years ago, I'm afraid...

Scrumpy's Baker said...

Is there anything worse than throwing a typo into a post that complains about someone's stupidity?

It took me an entire year in second grade to realize that "they" was not spelled "thay".