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August 17, 2004
Soldiers and Schools and Stuff

I don't understand. Joe is a hero.

The Conscience of Joe Darby

When he saw the horrific abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, Joe Darby knew he had to blow the whistle. But coming forward would change his life—as well as his family's—forever, and for the worse. Because back in his own community and in the small towns of America, handing over those photos didn't make Joe Darby a hero. It made him a traitor.

Not to everyone.

(Via Digby)

Re-deployment, again.

President Bush's plan to withdraw up to 70,000 troops from overseas bases contained few specifics, particularly about Asia. Some experts think the United States may leave much of its Asia force intact.

Although Pentagon officials have said the troop realignment plan includes pulling about 30,000 soldiers from Germany, they have said nothing about Asia.

In spite of the fact (as we learned from the expertise of Col Steve in a previous comment) that this plan has been under development for many years, I think expecting the first draft to come out complete with details is a bit optimistic.

Especially considering that any plan formulated for a pre 9/11 world is likely to need some adjusting.

President Bush on Monday said he wanted to move 60,000 to 70,000 foreign-based troops back to the United States over the next decade. The move, he said, would help make the U.S. military more flexible and would reduce costs. He gave no other details about the plan, and officials in Washington told reporters that most of the specifics would be ironed out in the coming years in talks with U.S. allies.

That's actually very sensible. Certainly those areas we're leaving are going to need some time to adjust if we intend that our allies should remain allies.

Rumsfeld has been talking to the Russians about the re-deployment and The People's Daily has opinions.

I should imagine that almost every story (or opinion piece) on the subject is going to look just like every other story for a while. It's a big event, but very little seems to have been set in stone about it.

It's very interesting, though.

Nation's Charter Schools Lagging Behind, U.S. Test Scores Reveal.*

The first national comparison of test scores among children in charter schools and regular public schools shows charter school students often doing worse than comparable students in regular public schools.

The findings, buried in mountains of data the Education Department released without public announcement, dealt a blow to supporters of the charter school movement, including the Bush administration.

(* Am I one of those being chastised for transient links? I suspect I am. From this day forth, I promise to make an effort to learn to use the NYTimes time-friendly links system. This story was my first try, so if I did it wrong, be kind.)

Posted by AnneZook at 01:17 PM