Some of these are a few days old, but all are worth reading:
* Gary Farber of “Amygdala”:http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com/ has been blogging the transcripts of the 9/11 Commission. Great stuff. I’m hoping Ella has a long nap early next week so I can get a chance to finish reading it all. “Start here”:http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com/2004_03_28_amygdalagf_archive.html#108093941546785519 and work your way up.
* As Slacktivist noted, he took a couple of days before he posted anything about Fallujah, and as a result what he has to say is “balanced and enlightening”:http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2004/04/fallujah.html, particularly on the role of the victims as security contractors:
USAT’s Johnson, following the logic of the term civilian, describes the killing of the four contractors as “Wednesday’s murders.” This too is inaccurate. The killing of these four men was wrong, brutal, cowardly and execrable. And the mob’s behavior after the killings was, as Bremer said, “bestial.” But they were soldiers who died in a war; they were not murdered.
The United States’ increasing reliance on such private military forces muddies the water for those who want to maintain the essential moral significance of the distinction between soldier and civilian, between combatant and noncombatant. (Thousands of U.S. Marines were stationed just outside Fallujah while the bodies of these four contractors were dragged through the streets of the city for hours Wednesday. I wonder if these soldiers would have allowed this to continue unchecked if the four men had been uniformed Marines.)
* Everyone’s talking about PMCs now; I “said my piece”:http://www.polytropos.org/archives/000312.html a while ago, and don’t really have anything to add just yet. Via “Making Light”:http://www.nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/, “Kathryn Cramer”:http://www.kathryncramer.com/wblog/ has been tracking the Pentagon’s use of PMCs in Iraq for a long time now in considerable detail. (“This entry”:http://www.kathryncramer.com/wblog/archives/000485.html in particular is very good.) Like Gary’s stuff, I hope to get time to read it all, because I have a feeling I’ll have some comments and disagreements. Ella’s going to need a _few_ long naps, I guess . . .
* Glen Engel-Cox has been having “trouble with his heart”:http://www.engel-cox.org/iArchives/001451.html#001451, literally, and writes about it with the scary sort of medical detail that makes me squeamish even as I crave more. Glad to hear the outlook is good, Glen!
* Michael Hall’s “media rant”:http://www.puddingbowl.org/archives/media/002287.php is simply glorious. He starts by laying into CNN and keeps going from there. Preach it, mph.
Crossfire and every Sunday morning show where matched teams of ideologues scrum are a toxic result of analysis culture. They turn political issues that will have an effect on millions into a chummy game of one-upsmanship and backslapping bonhomie between members of the analyst class who want to make it very clear that at the end of the day the whole thing is a collegial debating society for the tragically witty.
* Finally, after all the April 1 fun, Jim has some “musings on the ethics of the April Fool’s Joke”:http://www.highclearing.com/archivesuo/week_2004_03_28.html#005211.