September 22nd, 2004

Avenging Angel

Everyone should read Juan Cole.

He's one of the leading academic authorities on the history and culture of the Middle East. Here's what he has to say about how things look in Iraq right now:

It's worth noting that the current unemployment number for Iraq, according to a survey which I saw earlier today but am now unable to locate, is 53%, because the administration sat on its hands in terms of getting reconstruction going (spending something like 5% of the money allocated by Congress -- and now of course they want to reallocate that money for more military actions), and then awarded what no-bid contracts they gave out at all without having any sort of provision requiring the use of any local labor, instead allowing the gov't to be billed for the costs of flying in Americans -- and paying them exorbitantly -- to dig ditches, drive trucks, and so on.

In other news, Slate continues to be the single best source of news and analysis that I'm aware of. Will Saletan -- a moderate Republican, whose writings I've respected for years -- has repeatedly reality-checked the administration (in much the manner that a hockey player might "check" an opponent) over the last week, including laying out the case for why his National Guard service (or lack thereof), and the lies about Kerry that he's propagated through the Swift Vets, matter. I get the impression he's more than a little PO-ed about the hijacking of the party.
  • Current Mood
    pissed off pissed off