Well, that and the economy.
Well, that and the economy.
Given how raw the US's behavior is, this case has gotten remarkably little media: You'd expect reporters to care more about the treatment of a fellow journalist. Perhaps the Pentagon's anti-reporter tactics are getting better?
Reading this rabidly negative deconstruction of Gen. Petraeus's fruit salad (the tabs and medals on an officer's dress uniform), I was struck by the extent to which it remained open to a counter-narrative. It may be that Patraeus is the antithesis of a fighting General, but it may also be that he is a very good administrator (even if he's also a man who married well and is very good at ascending in environments studded with greasy poles).
It is possible to distrust, even despise, the bootlicking of superiors — evident in the General's public and obsequious support of the Bush administration's political objectives — traits alleged in that article to be long-running hallmarks of a career, and yet admire the ability to motivate subordinates and manipulate the media. Even if one discounts for the besotted reporter factor, it seems pretty clear that the areas of Iraq that General Petraeus's troops occupied were more peaceful and stayed bought longer than other non-Kurdish areas under US control. That was an achievement, exactly the sort we hope for from our modern military Proconsuls, although not one that can easily be replicated on a larger scale now that he's starting from a worse position.
A nightmare: a dam built on a foundation of gypsum —which dissolves when it comes into contact with water.
Iraqi Dam Seen In Danger of Deadly Collapse: The largest dam in Iraq is in serious danger of an imminent collapse that could unleash a trillion-gallon wave of water, possibly killing thousands of people and flooding two of the largest cities in the country, according to new assessments by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other U.S. officials.
Even in a country gripped by daily bloodshed, the possibility of a catastrophic failure of the Mosul Dam has alarmed American officials, who have concluded that it could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths by drowning Mosul under 65 feet of water and parts of Baghdad under 15 feet, said Abdulkhalik Thanoon Ayoub, the dam manager. “The Mosul dam is judged to have an unacceptable annual failure probability,” in the dry wording of an Army Corps of Engineers draft report.
At the same time, a U.S. reconstruction project to help shore up the dam in northern Iraq has been marred by incompetence and mismanagement, according to Iraqi officials and a report by a U.S. oversight agency to be released Tuesday.
Right, dictator's stupid decision followed up by US incompetence and mis-management in Iraq. If only it was only a nightmare.
See also The Carpetbagger for the usual good commentary.