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Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Tolstoy in Baghdad 

Yglesias notes that while Iraq is not like Vietnam, "all happy military interventions are alike, all unhappy interventions are unhappy in their own way". That's about right, too.

Iraq is a hard place 

This Calpundit post basically sums up how I feel about the war on Iraq these days- that if someone with a three-digit IQ was running the show, it would have been a good idea. Right now, America is paying a billion dollars a week for the occupation. They did topple an evil regime, and that's worth a lot. But it's pretty clear Iraq was never a threat to the US, and more Americans wil die because of the invasion than would have without it. America is paying a billion dollars a week so Iraq will maybe have a democracy someday. It's nice of the Americans to do that, but I wouldn't want my country doing it. How does this war benefit Americans? (It benefits CheneyHalliburtonPNACIsraelWolfowitzblahblahblah! -ed. Everything seeems to benefit those guys. How does it benefit the average American?)

Three is the magic number 

Here is an entertaining article about why Dre, Eminem, and 50 Cent are the holy trinity of hip-hop. Eminem is, as he raps on 'Renegade', "Jesus Christ King of the Latter Day Saints". Dr. Dre, as anyone who has listened to The Chronic has suspected, is God. And 50 is the Holy Ghost, because he's been shot nine times, so it's like he's seen his own death and can live forever or something. It's the new 'Tupac is alive' rumor: 50 Cent is undead.
For a non-superficial discussion of this very good article, go here.

America: Supporting Middle Eastern Democracy since 1953 

50 years ago, the CIA covertly overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected leftist president of Iran, and replaced him with the brutal (though very witty) Shah Reza Palahvi. Apparently, Iranians haven't forgotten (they're like elephants). Mossadegh's cook: When Mossadegh died, people felt their father had died.
In (ahem) the CIA's defence, it did look at the time like Mossadegh was mentally unstable, and was about to join the Soviets team. And a coup is a much more painless way of fighting communism than actually going to war against it, as America did at about the same time in Korea. The coup definitely had nothing to do with Iran having just nationalized its oil industry. You know America don't play like that, baby.
The Shah's authoritarian rule lead to an Islamic revolt. The new super-Muslim Iran dictatorship was even nastier than the one preceding it (and it was also being armed by America; Reagan sold the Ayatollah weapons to protect America from the Nicaraguan menace, or something). This whole idea that countries could be ruled by ultra-Islamic dictatorships caught on across the Middle East, Osama blew up the WTC, and America now has a 51st state in Iraq. Without that coup (the first of many for the CIA), none of this shit would be happening. It's an anniversary to mourn.

Hindus are gay 

Not literally, though. Volokh on why Jerry Falwell should be working to ban the practice of worshiping Ganesh here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Canadian pot is like weed...on crack! 

US drug czar John Walters: Dude, that Canadian bud is so potent it's dangerous. It will fuck you up. You gotta try it, man.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Great moments in the history of newspaper editing 

Just a few weeks later, on Aug. 1, the Globe was faced with a Doonesbury strip in which one character, on a tour of duty in Iraq, refers to the death of another soldier as "sucking." The Globe changed it to "wacked."
Apparently some newspapers do not allow the word 'suck' in their paper. Who knew?
This is the argument for its inclusion: But I understand that to many in the under-20 crowd the word has shed its sexual connotation and become a simple, if slightly more edgy, synonym for stinks.
The under-what crowd? That's one misleading headline, too.

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