boots on the ground

August 25, 2007

The woman hawking Boston NOWs at Arlington Street Station is the first one I've seen who is friendly and tries to "sell" the paper, mentioning the cover story or other features, and I appreciate that. So I'll take one even though I'm at the end of my commute; I guess it makes for decent enough [insert clever but inoffensive euphemism for "bathroom reading" here].

Site Update of the Moment
I'm gradually updating the Blender of Love starting with a new look for the frontpage. Eventually I'd like to get lots of small improvements in there, from the logins to the long-awaited editing of previous posts. (I also redid the main animated Logo in something that ends up looking like the old Dr. Katz "squigglevision".)

Essay of the Moment
In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are - an army of occupation - and force our withdrawal.

Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities.

--A collection of infantrymen and noncommissioned officers in a recent (and almost unprecedented) NY Times Op-Ed piece, The War as We Saw It. (More analysis from Slate)
Nuance does not seem to be a predominant theme in current American policy. Now, I don't knowtow to the "boots on the ground" view just because it is that (since it might succumb to the forest/trees type problem) but their analysis sounds pretty thoughtful to me.