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Best of 2007: Politics II
by noteworthy at 2:57 pm EST, Dec 24, 2007

In a private session with lawmakers, ... Mr. Bush conceded the war is "sapping our soul," but he said he intended to pursue his plan to send more troops to Iraq.

America will be a more secure country once it discards the notion that secrecy is equal to strength.

If you consider the motivation and methods behind the attacks of September 11th to be mainly a puzzle, for instance, then the logical response is to increase the collection of intelligence, recruit more spies, add to the volume of information we have about Al Qaeda. If you consider September 11th a mystery, though, you’d have to wonder whether adding to the volume of information will only make things worse. You’d want to improve the analysis within the intelligence community; you’d want more thoughtful and skeptical people with the skills to look more closely at what we already know about Al Qaeda. You’d want to send the counterterrorism team from the CIA on a golfing trip twice a month with the counterterrorism teams from the FBI and the NSA and the Defense Department, so they could get to know one another and compare notes.

Dive into the sea, or stay away.
-- Nizar Qabbani

This is no less than a clash of civilizations -- the perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both. It is crucially important that we on our side should not be provoked into an equally historic but also equally irrational reaction against that rival.

“We’re all flabbergasted,” one European diplomat said of the report generally.

The country is drifting "towards a warlord state, along a Basra model, with power devolved to local militias, gangs, tribes, and power-brokers, with a purely nominal central state."

No one can stop it,” Abu Ali said. “Corruption runs from top to bottom.”

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