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a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

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Worth reading

Posted by Thomas Nephew on March 4th, 2008

  • The true cost of war (Aida Edemariam, The Guardian, 2/28/08) — After 3 years of research, Nobel prize economist Joseph Stiglitz puts it at three *trillion* dollars, so far, to the U.S. alone.
  • The Myth of the Surge (Nir Rosen, Rolling Stone, 3/08) —

    Hoping to turn enemies into allies, U.S. forces are arming Iraqis who fought with the insurgents. But it’s already starting to backfire. A report from the front lines of the new Iraq. […]As the Awakening gains power, Al Qaeda lies dormant throughout Baghdad, the Mahdi Army and other Shiite forces prepare for the next battle, and political assassinations and suicide bombings are an almost daily occurrence. The violence, Arkan says, is getting worse again.

  • Chicken Doves (Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 2/21/08) — [C]ongressional superduo Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have completed one of the most awesome political collapses since Neville Chamberlain. At long last, the Democratic leaders of Congress have publicly surrendered on the Iraq War, just one year after being swept into power with a firm mandate to end it.

  • Security Gains from “Surge” Backsliding (Spencer Ackerman, Washington Independent, 1/31/08) —

    It used to be that surge enthusiasts would at least hint at the unachieved strategic objective of the surge. As Bush himself put it, the surge was meant to provide the Iraqi government “the breathing space it needs to make progress” on sectarian reconciliation. But reconciliation hasn’t happened, and, in important respects, sectarianism has deepened over the past year. So surgeniks are now simply declaring victory by the sheer fact of reduced violence itself, unmoored to any strategic goal.

  • The Greatest Threat to Us All (Joseph Cirincione, New York Review of Books, 3/6/08) — Cirincione reviews Richard Rhodes’s excellent third book chronicling the nuclear arms race, “Arsenals of Folly.” Not only did the Iraq WMD myth similar to prior ones about the relative strength of the USSR’s arsenal — some of the same people were involved in selling it. Put differently, it’s prudent to assume most of what Richard Perle says is either stupid or a lie.
  • The Dean Legacy (Ari Berman, The Nation, 2/28/08) — Top Dean supporters “believe the Clinton-Obama contest has become a referendum on the kind of grassroots party building and citizen empowerment Dean pioneered as a presidential candidate and continued as DNC chair.”

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