Pretty good show on PBS a couple of nights ago about the war in Afghanistan. An embedded reporting team moved around Helmand province in Afghanistan with Echo Company, a Marine outfit patrolling an area dominated by the Taliban. Spliced into the hour-long show were excerpts from speeches from David Petraeus and lots of think-tank talking heads. I came away with these thoughts:
October 15, 2009
October 13, 2009
I've said it here before: Obama is the new Gorbachev, the smiling face behind the crumbling imperial façade, the personable, non-threatening loser. Gorbachev got his Nobel Consolation Prize in October 1990; a little less than a year later the USSR was no more and he was unemployed.
In awarding him the Peace Prize, the Nobel committee actually did some good: by reaffirming his legitimacy as a leader, it helped to weaken the hand of the conservative forces within Russia, which later staged an unsuccessful coup in an effort to reclaim control of the dissolving empire.
Gorbachev certainly deserves credit for making sure that the USSR disintegrated with a whimper and not a bang. May Barak Obama be just as successful in completing the dissolution of the USA, quietly and without any undue bloodshed. Moving forward, I wish him a long and happy unemployment.
October 12, 2009
Nothwithstanding his Nobel Prize in Economics (and let's face it, the Nobel Committees in Oslo and Stockholm are getting pretty whimsical these days), sometimes I think the problem with Paul Krugman is that he's just not very smart. He's ambitious, obviously, since you can see him opinionating on the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times, on Real Time with Bill Maher, and on George Steph's snoozefest on Sunday mornings, where you can also listen to the Climate Change Deniers' Champion, George Will.