"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The most powerful military force in human history

Via Hit and Run:
One Difference Between the United States and Israel
Ynetnews is claiming that Israeli soldiers who play Dungeons & Dragons are considered "detached from reality" and given a low security clearance.

Jeff Patterson, who sent me the story, comments that "this is a far cry from the old Marines ads where a knight slays a magma beast."

Posted by Jesse Walker
Bush Announces Iraq Exit Strategy: 'We'll Go Through Iran'

In reality, Bush is turning down the heat on Iran and its client Hezbollah.

Europe and the U.S. just agreed on a joint carrot-and-stick approach to Iran. As the NYTimes reports:
After years of campaigning against Hezbollah, the radical Shiite Muslim party in Lebanon, as a terrorist pariah, the Bush administration is grudgingly going along with efforts by France and the United Nations to steer the party into the Lebanese political mainstream, administration officials say.

The administration's shift was described by American, European and United Nations officials as a reluctant recognition that Hezbollah, besides having a militia and sponsoring attacks on Israelis, is an enormous political force in Lebanon that could block Western efforts to get Syria to withdraw its troops.
The shift coincides with Syria presenting a timetable for the complete withdrawal of its troops and intelligence services from Lebanon.
JEDEIDET YABOUS, Syria (AP) -- President Bashar Assad reiterated his commitment to withdrawing all Syrian troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon, a U.N. envoy said Saturday, indicating that he had received a timetable for the pullout. Meanwhile, a convoy of Syrian troops returned home to a rousing welcome.

The long convoy of vehicles carrying Syrian soldiers returned home amid a heavy snowfall early Saturday to the cheers of Syrian well-wishers, who chanted "Syria! Syria!" handed out flowers and threw rice.

U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen did not give any details about timing after meeting with Assad in the northern city of Aleppo but said he would discuss the matter at the United Nations next week.