Wednesday, June 20, 2007

 

Reality Check of the Day

We believe it's reached the point of no return. We have recommended — based on studies done every six months since the U.S. invasion — that the administration face up to the reality that the only choices for Iraq are how and how violently it will break up. —Pauline Baker, president of Fund for Peace, as quoted by Robin Wright in"Iraq, 'Sinking Fast,' Is Ranked No. 2 on List of Unstable States"

The ultimate breakup of Iraq really isn't news—except to the media, which seldom even mention the possibility. As for the administration "facing up to reality," the administration's interest is in getting the "oil agreement" signed so the multinationals can have their share of the plunder. Any entity that can sign the documents will do, though a united Iraqi government would be preferable since it would forestall questions about the legitimacy of the contracts.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell laid it out recently on "Face the Nation" —

On the Iraqi political front ... the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been "a big disappointment. They have not done the things that they know they need to do to hold their country together -- things like the new oil law, things like local elections, things like finishing the de-Baathification process."

You can forget the fluff about local elections or de-Baathification.

Related posts
Israeli troops in "Iraq" (3/6/06)
The Bush plan for Iraq: What you should expect (1/11/07)
A different view of the Sunni-Shia conflict in Iraq (5/9/07)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

 

Self-Serving Advice of the Day

If Republicans in the U.S. hope to win the presidency next year, they had better find a candidate who, like Mr. Sarkozy, is prepared to stand for very bold, very dramatic and very systematic change. Not only that, but they had better make the case that the leftwing Democrat likely to be nominated represents the failed status quo: the bureaucracies that are failing, the social policies that are failing, the high tax policies that are failing and the weakness around the world that has failed so badly in protecting the U.S. —Former Speaker of the House and presidential wannabe Newt Gingrich, writing in "A French Lesson for America's Grand Old Party"

It sounds like Gingrich's "Contract for America" revisited, a plan that revealed what some of the nation's nastiest people can come up with once they get organized. Bill Clinton dubbed it the "Contract on America."

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

 

Poem of the Day

THE TICKET TAKER

Let's go! Let's go!
Squeeze in!
Let's go! Let's go!
Okay, squeeze in!
There are too many travelers—
Too many travelers.
Squeeze in! Squeeze in!
There are people in line.
Everywhere there are
Lots
Along the loading dock
Or else in the lanes of their mothers' bellies.
Let's go! Let's go! Squeeze in!
Squeeze the trigger.
Everybody must live
So kill yourself a little.
Let's go! Let's go!
Come on!
Be serious!
Give way!
You know quite well you can't stay there
Too long.
There has to be space for everyone
A little trip, they told you—
A little trip round the world—
A little trip in the world
A little trip—and you go.
Let's go! Let's go!
Squeeze in! Squeeze in!
Be polite!
Don't push!

A Simply Appalling translation of—

LE CONTRÔLEUR

Allons allons
Pressons
Allons allons
Voyons pressons
Il y a trop de voyageurs
Trop de voyageurs
Pressons pressons
Il y en a qui font la queue
Il y en a partout
Beaucoup
Le long du débarcadère
Ou bien dans les couloirs du ventre de leur mère
Allons allons pressons
Pressons sur la gâchette
Il faut bien que tout le monde vive
Alors tuez-vous un peu
Allons allons
Voyons
Soyons sérieux
Laissez la place
Vous savez bien que vous ne pouvez pas rester là
Trop longtemps
Il faut qu'il y en ait pour tout le monde
Un petit tour on vous l'a dit
Un petit tour du monde
Un petit tour dans le monde
Un petit tour et on s'en va
Allons allons
Pressons pressons
Soyez polis
Ne poussez pas.

     —Jacques Prévert, Paroles (1945)


6/19/07 - 3:45 pm — For some notes on the translation, please see the Comments.

Related post
Poem of the Day (5/6/07)

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