"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

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Dreaded MSM

My favorite music video of the year.

Lindsay Beyerstein writes about the Stupak amendment for Newsweek. Newsweek also publishes Matthew Yglesias's thoughts on the Republicans' chronic cock-blocking.

I would give anything for Gwen Stefani to be my Muse/green goddess.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

(KSM is very hungover.)

The big news is that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed will be tried in a Federal Court in New York City.

As Pakistanis in Kuwait, his relatives would have been considered second-class citizens, but they had the means to send him to the United States for his education. After attending secondary school in Kuwait, Mr. Mohammed was accepted at Chowan College, a Baptist college in rural North Carolina where many foreign students came to improve their English. He later transferred to North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, where he earned a mechanical engineering degree in 1986.

Not long after graduation, he traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to join the mujahedeen fighters, who at the time were the beneficiaries of millions of dollars from the C.I.A. in the fight against Soviet troops.

The purpose of the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Mohammed told his captors years later, was to "wake the American people up." By hitting civilian targets, he said, he would shock Americans into recognizing the impact of their government’s actions abroad, including supporting Israel in its fight against Palestinian militants.
Yet for all his professed wisdom about the United States, Mr. Mohammed later admitted that he had completely misjudged what the American response to the Sept. 11 attacks would be. He did not expect the American military campaign in Afghanistan, and he did not anticipate the relentless hunt for Al Qaeda leaders throughout South Asia and the Middle East.

In other words, he probably wouldn't have done it had he known the consquenses ahead of time. The "antiwar" left pathetically likes to argue Al Qaeda planned to draw the US into a Middle Eastern quagmire, that military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan would just "create new terrorists." On the contrary, it looks like "adventurous" US foreign policy has dissuaded them.

I will admit to being wrong about one thing. In the past I assumed the main grievance of Al Qaeda was US troops in the holy land of Saudi Arabia - stationed there after the first Persian Gulf war, something bin Laden always made a point to discuss. But for the "man with the plan" KSM, it was Israel's conflict with the Palestinians and America's support of Israel.

Question: The fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan was a radicalizing moment for many Muslims world-wide. Same with Bosnia, where many free-lance holy warriors travelled to fight. Why not the Palestinian occuped territories? Was it that rich Saudis and/or the Pakistani intelligence services were much more effective in recruiting for the first two causes? I mean for the so-called "antiwar" left, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is much more significant than Afghanistan or Bosnia.

And it should be pointed out that 9/11 was a complete disaster for the already put-upon Palestinians. In the aftermath Israeli hawks were given free reign by the Bush administration and they took full advantage of it.

Heckuva job KSM.