Thursday, December 21, 2006


Nothing too much, as it's extremely late. Had a poker game/bullshit session with the guys tonight, was fun as always. Ended up finishing second in the tournament out of 10, so can never complain when you finish in the money. Smoked a good cigar afterwards, so all in all a good night.

First, we have more relevations in the Sandy Berger pants stuffing scandal. Forgot about that, did you? Well, to refresh your memory, ol' Sandy walked out of the National Archives with 4 classified documents stuffed down his socks. In case you were wondering what the documents covered, they were related to the Clinton Administration's handling of Al-Qaeda and Osama, especially with regard to Sudan. The Administration may have had a chance to capture Osama in '96 when the Sudanese government wanted him gone, but turned the offer down. No reason at all for Sandy to want to cover that up. This whole incident makes me sick because of the blatant disregard for classified material that both Mr. Berger and the Archives staff exercised. The staff didn't feel they had enough evidence to confront an official of Mr. Berger's stature. The man walked out of the archives with classified documents, for Christ sakes! Disgusting.

Next, a good piece from Christopher Hitchens about the way forward in Iraq. He brings up some points that I think need to be addressed; namely, what exactly WOULD happen if we don't see things through to a relatively stable federal state. It's fine to advocate a timetable of withdrawal, etc., but these actions have consequences, as he lays out, and too often I think these consequences are overlooked. He says, discussing the federalist solution, that "Quixotic though the third solution may seem, it is the only alternative to the most gruesome mayhem—more gruesome than anything we have seen so far." Again, something else important to remember. Iraq is not a state of civil war today. Civil war would look something more like divisions of the Iraqi Army turning on each other, waging open war in the streets with the full and overt support of regional players like Iran, Syria, and the Saudis, and the Turks getting involved to screw over the Kurds. The bloodshed would be unprecedented in modern history, as would the regional conflagration that would result. Also, I have to like any essay that calls the "realists" for what they really are: "the American friends of the Saudi royal family." Spot on.

Finally, we have the combined brilliance of Scott Ott and Scott Adams double teaming al-Zawahiri. From Adams comes what Zawahiri's day at al-Jazeera must be like. And from Ott comes this video: