Looks like blogger surrendered and restored the old blog to its awesome glory.
I transferred all the relevant posts over there, though of course the comments won't transfer.See you there.
One thing I've tried very hard to do on this blog is never presume to speak for the soldiers who are serving in Iraq. An obvious reason for this is that they of course don't speak with one voice or one mind. Still, how credulous can a reporter be who writes this up without pointing out the obvious:
FRONT-LINE TROOPS WANT REINFORCEMENTS
Gates had breakfast with U.S. soldiers to hear their views.
"Sir, I think we need to just keep doing what we're doing," Specialist Jason Glenn told Gates.
"I really think we need more troops here. With more presence on the ground, more troops might hold them (the insurgents) off long enough to where we can get the Iraqi army trained up."
None of the soldiers present said U.S. forces should be brought home, and none said current troop levels were adequate.
A senior defense official in Baghdad said U.S. commanders were concerned a surge in the number of troops would make the Iraqis feel less under pressure to take full responsibility for security.
"Look, the Iraqis are smart. They see what we do, and if we surge, they can step back," the official said.
Gates said it was not surprising troops wanted reinforcements. "We have to take into account the views of the Iraqi government the views of our own leadership, the views of our own military leadership in taking that into account."
I wouldn't be surprised if plenty of the people on the front lines felt this way. Hell, maybe most of them. How would I know? But implicit in this news report is the idea that this hand-picked small group of soldiers was somehow just some random representative group of soldiers instead of, you know, a hand-picked group chosen for there... oh, I don't know, maybe for their views on the situation in Iraq.
I'm not impugning the integrity of these people. They may believe these things sincerely. That isn't the issue. The issue is pretending that when the new Secretary of Defense shows up to talk "to the troops" that those people chosen for that talk are a representative random group.
The "liberal" Brookings is hosting a debate between those who think we need to keep hunting for ponies
, and those who think we need to kill a few more ponies
before we find the One True Pony. Or something.
Left out of the Serious Debate in this country is, of course, the views of the majority of the country.
...adding, the self-parody quote:
Although it has been said before about previous new years, it seems very likely that 2007 will be make or break time in Iraq.
Fine. AND THEN WHAT? Two more Friedmans from now, I expect to read:
Although it has been said before about previous new years, it seems very likely that 2008 will be make or break time in Iraq.
Turkee for Digby
Since blogger at my blog right after I posted this last night, here's a repeat. Go give lots of money to Digby,
who, unlike George Will
, is smart, writes well, has something unique to contribute to the discourse, and thankfully rarely if ever resorts to awful baseball metaphors to make a point.
Heroes of the Revolution
Since my blogging days began we've been treated to various rounds of "WHY AREN'T LIBERAL BLOGGERS SUPPORTING IRANIAN STUDENT PROTESTERS." The first reason is obvious - furiously typing away at my keyboard about events and people does not in fact make me a hero of the revolution
and more than that has absolutely zero impact on the events over there. Second, I don't know much about internal Iranian politics but I know enough to know that the issues are a bit more nuanced than the warbloggers, who see everything as a referendum on Glorious Leader Bush, seem to think. Third, to the extent that such a things have an impact, American support in whatever form doesn't exactly help the cause of reform movements in the Middle East. And, finally, while I appreciate it when the dirty fucking hippies of any country take to the streets, I also remember quite well the last time there was as major student uprising in an authoritarian country. That didn't end so well.
Well, spread the word that we're here for now. Blogger kept tempting me to switch to their new version, telling me it would only take a couple of minutes or maybe a little bit longer...that was 16 hours ago.