Good Monday, everyone. Michael Stickings of The Reaction here, filling in for Mike this week. Here -- for your amusement, edification, and/or distraction -- are some worthy links upon which to click. Go ahead and show some love.
The warmongering right was kneeling down and puckering up over a seemingly friendly WaPo editorial that defended "Gen. Petraeus's credibility" and called his critics "wrong" for claiming "there was no letup in Iraq's bloodshed." (And WaPo's credibility, of which there seems to be nothing left? Ah, well...)
Ron Beasley of Middle Earth Journal responds with the blistering truth: "the ethnic cleaning in Baghdad is nearly complete." Indeed. Whom do you kill when there is no one left to kill?
Zeno of Halfway There argues that the apparent decline in civilian violence is a result of the abandonment of U.S. policy: "Instead of insisting on a strong coalition central government in Baghdad, the administration is now allowing local militia groups to take over in different regions. Once these militia 'win,' the violence declines." Meanwhile, U.S. troop deaths are up in 2007 relative to 2006.
Speaking of the troops, Sensen No Sen's PBI examines recent recruiting trends and finds that the Iraq War and Occupation (my term) is being waged primarily on "the backs of the poor and the uneducated, supplemented by mercenaries."
Speaking of those mercenaries, what more can be said about the Blackwaters of the world? Well, see The Unapologetic Mexican. (And I would add, thinking back to my Straussian studies in political philosophy, that Machiavelli wasn't terribly enthusiastic about the use of mercenaries either, and he was awfully realistic about the dangers associated with occupying foreign territories. Maybe he was onto something. Too bad the neocons, who claim links to Strauss, never got the message.)
Speaking of history, political thought, and the warmongering right, it seems that yet another cheerleader has gone over to Iraq and come back with delusions confirmed. This time it's crazy "historian" V.D. Hanson, and Indiana University's Ed Burmila lets him have it at Gin and Tacos.
Over at The Duck of Minerva, Rodger Payne of the University of Louisville addresses Obama advisor, former Pentagon official, and Harvard human rights scholar Sarah Sewall's defense of "the new counterinsurgency".
Finally, my good friend and Reaction co-blogger Carol Gee has a wonderful post up at her site South by Southwest on women and leadership. Hillary Clinton, like her or not, has been taking a sexist beating from many of her more loathsome detractors, but the U.S., like it or not, is well behind much of the rest of the world when it comes to women in politics.
For tips, recommendations, and comments, contact me at mjwstickings [at] yahoo [dot] ca.