Monday, September 10, 2007

Notable of late

A bit pressed for time. Sorry.

* Is Petraeus worth taking seriously? Please. He practically has "Westmoreland" tattooed across his forehead. Meanwhile, civilian deaths in Iraq are up to "their second-highest monthly level this year," according to an AP tally, and any claim that violence has dipped or things have measurably improved seems particularly dubious, at best. Have no fear, though: neocons are ready with the propaganda campaign to drive these thoughts to the side.

* Ed Harriman continues his ongoing series in the LRB on the absurd sloshing around of money for Iraq. Also see a related story in Vanity Fair.

* The US embassy in Iraq has been completed. Hopefully, Iraqis won't notice.

* Andrew Tilghman helpfully takes apart the "Al Qaeda in Iraq" bogeyman.

* Is Bush Staging Nukes for Iran?

* The invisible Israel lobby strikes again. As is typical, any attempt to bring context to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict outside the frame of irrational suicide bombers and Jew haters is to be attacked with great vigor. Mentions of settlement construction and ethnic cleansing are, of course, particularly unwelcome.

* On a related front, Finkelstein has stepped down from DePaul. A legacy remains, though.

* The 9/11 anniversary apparently hasn't rendered large numbers of Americans braindead, as one might expect.

* Naomi Klein's book on "disaster capitalism" is almost out. Check some excerpts, then take another look at her seminal Harper's essay, "Baghdad Year Zero."

* Too bad Henry Hudson's not around. He could have navigated that Northwest passage. Increasingly free of polar bears, too!

* Jack Rasmus outlines how to get to a single payer healthcare system.

* AJ Chien takes a deserved smack at the insurgent atheists. Religious texts and beliefs are not the main enemy, despite what they claim.