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April 21, 2004
Mostly War

Wolfowitz says Iraq and Iraqis are a lot better off without Hussein.

In Basra, 68 people are dead, including a possible 20 school schildren. Victims of a car bombing

Reports that the Administration diverted $700 million allocated for the war in Afghanistan and used the money to plan the as-then-unnanounced invasion of Iraq, continue to surface.

How significant is it that Spain, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic are pulling out of the "coalition of the willing" and leaving Iraq? The second two had less than 700 troops on the ground, combined. Spain had about 1,500.

Psychologically it may be very significant.

Poland, our largest "ally" in the country, may be hinting at pulling out their 2,400 troops.

Thailand is suggesting they might pull out their 451 troops.

I dunno what he meant by it, but Rumsfeld's declaration that soldiers are "fungible" strikes me as perilously close to calling them cannon fodder and I think that's a pretty offensive attitude toward the troops.

That's not a wise way to talk about soldiers, no. It's even less wise in a time when repeated suggestions of reinstating the draft are floated by various politicians.

"There's not an American ... that doesn't understand what we are engaged in today and what the prospects are for the future," Senator Chuck Hagel told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on post-occupation Iraq.

"Why shouldn't we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price?" Hagel said, arguing that restoring compulsory military service would force "our citizens to understand the intensity and depth of challenges we face."

We've paid several billion dollars and been subject to some arguably obnoxious 'security' measures. We've paid the price of watching the Bush Administration use 9/11 to excuse everything from tax cuts for the wealthy to budget slashing in environmental protections to violating the spirit, at the least, of the constitution. We've suffered through years of economic downturns and are now watching jobs go overseas and body bags return.

What is it with these people that only death and destruction registers with them?

The Nebraska Republican added that a draft, which was ended in the early 1970s, would spread the burden of military service in Iraq more equitably among various social strata.

"Those who are serving today and dying today are the middle class and lower middle class," he observed.

The man's hallucinating. All you have to do is take a look at Bush's record to see that a draft isn't necessarily going to put anyone else in danger.

And what about Al Jazeera - is it propaganda or news?

Moving on to a few other topic:

I really don't think Afghanistan is going so well that Germany should be bragging about using it as a model for Iraq.

You have to ask yourself - what's more important? Democracy or economic prosperity? Is democracy too much work?

Ex-Pentagon Official Admits Job Deal

A former senior Air Force official pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy, admitting that she negotiated an executive job at Boeing Co. with her daughter's help while still overseeing a controversial $23 billion deal between the company and the Pentagon.

To end on a musical note, let me say that anyone who thinks these are some of the "worst songs of all times" isn't listening to enough music.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:08 AM


Worst Songs: These are all pretty good songs, some of them much better than average, though some of them are in genres I don't like. What they all share is overexposure. They're not the worst songs of all time. They're the "most overplayed songs because everything else coming out at the same time was really, really bad, but we didn't notice because the radio stations protected us."

Basically, pop culture bashing. Very contemporary, too: anyone who's heard, oh, "There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere" from WWII would have put that on the list. There's so much bad music out there, I hardly know where to start. Sometimes it never gets published: I was at an open-mike night in Cambridge once and heard this folk trio do a song, the chorus of which (played incessantly, there were very few other lyrics) was, and I kid you not, "The head is wide and the feet are broken." It took three people, to do this in harmony.

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at April 21, 2004 12:27 PM

I agree. I really like some of those songs.

And there's been much, much worse. There was one Neil Diamond song I heard when I was young...the title escapes me but I remember a bit of the lyrics. "You're so sweet, horseflies keep hangin' round your face."

And if the list was just about songs that have been hideously over-played, then "Evergreen" and "People" and "Wind Beneath My Wings" should have been tied for #1. Those songs fall into the "play that again and I'll jump" category.

Posted by: Anne at April 21, 2004 01:46 PM