“Paradise Isn’t Too Strong a Word”

For Romania?

That’s what some in the military are saying, as Rummy and co. ponder putting bases there. From the NYT:

July 16, 2003
U.S. Eyes a Willing Romania as a New Comrade in Arms

CONSTANTA, Romania — Kurt Sanger is only a captain and so he will leave to higher-ups the question of whether Romania would make a good ally as the United States sets about a historic reordering of its military, relying less on its old friends in Western Europe and more on new ones in the east. He does, however, have some thoughts about Romania as a place where American soldiers like him may find a new home, perhaps soon.

“Paradise isn’t too strong a word,” said Captain Sanger, 31, a Marine reservist on leave from his job as a lawyer in Manhattan.

It is cheap, he said, and the food is excellent. So are the beaches near this Romanian port on the Black Sea. But more important, he said, Romanians really like Americans, and his worries, as an officer in charge of protecting United States soldiers on an exercise here, are not the ones he might have elsewhere.

I know a coupla things about my girlfriend’s home country. Pretty places, pretty women, an admirable disdain for puritanism. That’s the good part. It’s cheap because the locals are poor, hence their apparent desire for U.S. handouts. But maybe they should look at Okinawa and Aviano before selling out for an ephemeral boost to their economy.

Whose intelligence?

Jason Leopold reveals that the Office of Special Plans (OSP), which “probe[d] links between Iraq and the terrorist organization al-Qaeda and whether the country was stockpiling a cache of weapons of mass destruction,” also advised the President to include the uranium claim in his State of the Union speech. “Staffed mainly by ideological amateurs,” the OSP,

The Romance of Empire

If you have not read Thomas de Zengotita’s essay “The Romance of Empire” in the July issue of Harper’s, check it out. Truly subversive. (Sorry, not available online.) Also great articles by Paul William Roberts and Peter (The Good) Hitchens– enough to get you kicked out of the bookstore if you try to “visually shoplift” it all in one sitting.

The Road to Hell…

New to Antiwar.com: ‘The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions’: Jason Leopold:

    Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator who repressed, murdered and tortured his own people. That and that alone was a good enough reason enough to go to war, according to Bush and his cabal of neoconservatives.

    But that’s only true if Iraq proved to be an “imminent” threat. As the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Bush may have meant well, but he lied and lied and lied.

Read more…

Oldie but goodie

How They Lie: Journalism and the Art of Fiction: Justin Raimondo:

    The growing tendency of so much of the “news” – especially international reporting – to be pure fiction designed to arouse emotions rather than impart information, is a development that may not be recent, but certainly it has gotten more brazen. I don’t know whether that represents a growing carelessness on the part of the War Party, or else an assumption that their readers have been so dumbed down that it hardly matters.

Read more…