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January 26, 2007

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Here's one of my little mottos: if you decide to replace the government of another country, think hard about who will take power after you've done so.

I do wonder why you'd need that as a little motto. I never got it in a Christmas cracker: the little mottos I find there tend to be on the lines of "Never get involved in a land war in Asia" "Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line" and "Do not ask about Mrs Cake".

I'm sorry. That's not a very helpful response. But I actually prefer the way my mind runs away and starts thinking from the Princess Bride than what happens to my mind when I insist that I'm going to keep thinking about this.

Or, in shorter terms: Argh.

Did somebody just unmask him/herself as a Pratchett fan? :-)
And my wife is not a big hippo (I am not married)! ;-)

It's not been a secret for, er, years.

Moe Lane used to be a Pratchett fan, until he went over to the Dark Side.

OT, but lacking an open thread, I found this interesting:

The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran's influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort.

For more than a year, U.S. forces in Iraq have secretly detained dozens of suspected Iranian agents, holding them for three to four days at a time. The "catch and release" policy was designed to avoid escalating tensions with Iran and yet intimidate its emissaries. U.S. forces collected DNA samples from some of the Iranians without their knowledge, subjected others to retina scans, and fingerprinted and photographed all of them before letting them go.

I'd say the moral considerations hinge at least in part on the prudential point.

One of the many things that worry me about the administration's plotting against Iran is that, while the Iranian government might not have as much popular consent-of-the-governed legitimacy as a Westerner might like, it has far more than the typical strongman dictatorship does, and certainly enough that overthrowing it would look Very Bad for more than purely nationalistic reasons--especially given that the people of Iran definitely remember the coup against Mossadegh.

I'm trying to figure out why they would announce it. I mean, if they are going to do this, why not just start, cause it would be relatively certain that the message would be gotten out without the announcement.

I'm beginning to think the failed states are a feature, not a bug. Let's examine the list of governments we're screwing with: Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia.

It's not axiomatic that intervention if foreign states makes things worse. But if someone's actions seem to inevitably result in misery, fear, and death, one cannot be faulted for suspecting that misery, fear, and death were the real goals all along, particularly when their stated reasons for said intervention turn out to be false.

Sausage and law, two things we shouldn't see being made. The more important issue is seeing whether al-Maliki stays committed to securitizing Baghdad.

Off topic - NSA wiretapping case update.

Just bizarre and scary:

In ordinary civil suits, the parties’ submissions are sent to their adversaries and are available to the public in open court files. But in several cases challenging the eavesdropping, Justice Department lawyers have been submitting legal papers not by filing them in court but by placing them in a room at the department. They have filed papers, in other words, with themselves.
...
A federal district judge in the case, Garr M. King, invoked another book after a government lawyer refused to disclose whether he had a certain security clearance, saying information about the clearance was itself classified.

“Frankly, your response,” Judge King said, “is kind of an Alice in Wonderland response.”
...
The appellate argument in Cincinnati will almost certainly also concern the effects of the administration announcement last week that it would submit the program to a secret court, ending its eavesdropping without warrants.

In a brief filed on Thursday, the government said the move made the case against the program moot.
...
As Mr. Eisenberg recalled it, the government lawyers said, “The F.B.I. is on its way to the courthouse to take possession of the document from the judge.”

But Judge King, at a hurriedly convened hearing, would not yield it, and asked, “What if I say I will not deliver it to the F.B.I.?”

A Justice Department lawyer, Anthony J. Coppolino, gave a measured response, saying: “Your Honor, we obviously don’t want to have any kind of a confrontation with you. But it has to be secured in a proper fashion.”

I mean, if they are going to do this, why not just start, cause it would be relatively certain that the message would be gotten out without the announcement.

I'd guess it's information disguise as other information, for those who haven't yet twigged to the fact that Iran is an active participant in Iraq.

OT:

Securitizing?

Seems "securing" has been charlesbirded.

That kind of nonsense has been going on far longer than CB has been blogging, Model 62.

My personal favorite: definitizing. Not to be confused with defining.

Eh: "disguised as other information". Update accordingly, if you even care.

They have filed papers, in other words, with themselves.

when president H.R. Clinton's DOJ does this, i imagine we'll see a much different reaction, here in the 'sphere.

Yeah. I was just looking for a reason to type charlesbirded.

I'm looking for a chance to share "Thullenic", too.

Justice Department lawyers have been submitting legal papers not by filing them in court but by placing them in a room at the department

This has some personal relevance to me, but I can't quite remember how.

Orientated.

Ewww.

Then there are all the new "pre-X" words, which are ambiguous between "X has already happened" (e.g., 'pre-washed') and "X has not happened yet" (e.g., 'pre-born'.)

al-Maliki stays committed to securitizing Baghdad.

I'd guess Maliki's not going to find anyone to take Iraq as collateral for anything.

Ok, I think we need a pet peeves OT. My favorite, since September of '01: in the wake of, meaning after.

or since.

Hmm. If Maliki's going to securitize Baghdad, where can I get a put option on the deal?

re Slarti's news: I take it as a multi-purpose announcement.

- It reinforces the propaganda being put out about Iran's role in Iraq.

- It sets up potential provocations to Iran, designed to bring a response that will be a casus belli for a larger military assault.

- Killing supposed Iranian spies/combatants/advisors/what have you is also a tidy way of making sure no evidence contradicting the official story on their activities gets out.

We sure wouldn't want any kind of credible interrogation or legal process, would we? We're Team America. When we say they're bad guys, that's it!

When I read securitizing I thought of the Romanian Securitate secret police/GeStaPo.
Given the way the "police"/interior ministry in Baghdad acts, I took it for a fitting allusion.

I used "intensivity" last night before smacking myself upside the head and sending me to bed without supper.

"Lexus Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle". As if there was a risk that the car was new.

Meanwhile, as to hilzoy's motto: Ahmed Chalibi is still tanned and ready.

Anymore, I hear a lot of "anymore" for "lately" or "recently."

Another? Adverbtizing a gerund -- devastingly, irritatingly, smashingly guaranteed to set my on teeth on edge. Interestingly, this seems more common on-line than off. (Adverbtizing, that is. There're plenty of other things offline that set my teeth on edge.)


We are getting do played big-time in Iraq. I no longer even believe what I see, if the Medhi handed their arms over I would believe it was a 4-way triplecross, attempting to turn Hakim against Barzani and discredit SCIRI in Lebanon and increase ties to Myanmar. Or whatever.

Bush/Cheney/Rice plotting with & against Saudi Arabia and Iran. Right. Think I'll go play some basketball with Arenas. How can I know if Maliki is a good leader, since I don't know who he is working for, with, or what his goals are?

How can I know if Maliki is a good leader, since I don't know who he is working for, with, or what his goals are?

I have the same questions about our leadership.

Ms. Manners couldn't have put it any better:

"...if you must go around replacing the governments of other countries, you are likely to find..."

It's a pathetic fact that the Bush team could benefit from advice-columnist grade instruction on foreign policy. (No reflection on the substance of your post, which was very much on target, btw ...)

"charlesbirded"

Didn't a law against this get passed?

Anarch: "insensitivity"

What's wrong with that?

Oh, "intensivity". My reading neurons were trying to protect me.

Anymore, I hear a lot of "anymore" for "lately" or "recently."

That's a big Pittsburgh thing. Been a part of their speech for, like, ever. Must have migrated out to the rest of the country.

One rhetorical move that drove me up the wall for a while was this sort of lead-in: "Let me be very clear: blah blah" or "Make no mistake about it: blah blah". Everyone, even war-critics and academics, for a while there was picking it up from Bush's speeches. It's mostly died away now.

As long as we're talking pet peeves.... The one that drives me crazy is 'try and xxx' instead of 'try to xxx'. Everyone says it and it's totally accepted and it makes no sense whatsoever. When and how did this happen? I'm going to try to remember. See, if I was going to 'try and remember' the trying part would have no relevence. Drives me nuts, I don't know why. Just batsh*t crazy.

Everyone, even war-critics and academics, for a while there was picking it up from Bush's speeches.

I object: I was doing it for at least four years before I heard Bush do it and possible longer. Then again, my experience around bombastic academics is probably greater than the average bears'...

I object: I was doing it for at least four years before I heard Bush do it and possible longer.

Possible not?

(Signed) A Bombastic Academic

Dammit!

Positive "any more" is, indeed, spreading; I've heard it here, in the St. Louis metro area, and I know that it's reached California as well. (There's been some discussion of it on the American Dialect Society mailing list, which, if anyone is interested, is open to non-members of ADS - I'm not a member, for instance. The society's URL is http://www.americandialect.org/.)

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