Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.

Bridge Rail and Sky wallpaper

Truthdig has an interview up about the Chris Hedges (Chris Hedges and the ‘Other War’) article in The Nation magazine, “The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness,”. They don’t get into as much specifics as the original Nation article, but say there was so much material that they plan to do a book,

Harris: How about the soldiers? Did they have any recommendations for what’s next? Did they give you any indication about what they thought about the war in general now that they were home?

Hedges: Well, I would say the vast majority not only oppose the war, but would want the troops to come home. And that was the motivation for speaking with us. In terms of policy recommendations, beyond that, that really wasn’t, they may have some, we didn’t ask them that; that really wasn’t our focus. Our focus was really tightly controlled. I mean, we wanted to know how convoys were run and checkpoints were set up and how suppressing fire worked, and that was really the focus of the interview. We weren’t writing a policy piece, so those were questions, if they came up, they came up inadvertently.

In a few years it looks as though the right-wing noise machine is going to have its hands full refuting thousands of Scott Beauchamps.

For the rabid Right the case is settled, we’re in Iraq fighting “them”. Case closed. We’re not freeing them from Saddam, we’re not rounding up the the last of the 9-11 conspirators – you know the ones associated with Osama Been Forgotten. Still its my understanding there are a few rational American left and it matters who’s dying and why, Who is the US Fighting in Iraq?

Who exactly is the US fighting in Iraq? Graphed by self-confessed identity of captives, it is largely Sunni Arab Iraqis, often motivated primarily by the opportunity to earn some money from the resistance leaders.

The second largest group is Salafi Takfiris, i.e. fundamentalists who do not consider Shiites to be Muslims and who believe they may be harmed with impunity. The third group is Shiite militiamen (how many of these are non-ideological paid employees is not specified). Self-identified al-Qaeda are only 1800 of the 24000 in captivity, about 7 percent.

And as Professor Cole points out the al-Qaeda in Iraq are for the most part just rabble that are using the name as a way to scare anyone that might get in their way.

Interesting review of Mad Men, Smoking, Drinking, Cheating and Selling

There were seven deadly sins practiced at the dawn of the 1960s: smoking, drinking, adultery, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism and racism. In its first few minutes “Mad Men” on AMC taps into all of them.This new drama set in the golden age of Madison Avenue serves as a bridge to a faded and now forbidden world.

Men wore white shirts, drank Manhattans and harassed compliant secretaries in the elevator. Everybody read Reader’s Digest. Jews worked in Jewish advertising agencies, blacks were waiters and careful not to seem too uppity, and doctors smoked during gynecological exams. Women were called “girls.” Men who loved men kept it to themselves.

The magic of “Mad Men” is that it softly spoofs those cruel, antiquated mores without draining away the romance of that era: the amber-lit bars and indigo nightclubs, soaring skyscrapers, smoky railway cars and the brash confidence that comes with winning a war and owning the world.

Because of my schedule its been difficult to see all of every episode, but I can see where in some ways it might fill the void left by the Sopranos. A series that tried to tackle every facet of what the sixties were like would probably be too expensive and too unwieldy a subject, but by keying in on advertising and the lives of those involved in it they can touch on a lot of trends that were evolving at the time.

GMA casts Gonzales scandals as partisan: “For Democrats, it’s another scalp to hang on the wall” 

On the August 28 edition of ABC’s Good Morning America, during coverage of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’ resignation, ABC News correspondent David Wright asserted that “[w]ere it not for the scandals, [President] Bush had hoped to make Gonzales the first Hispanic justice on the U.S. Supreme Court,” and ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos said that Gonzales had delayed his resignation because “no one wants to be hounded out of office.” However, Good Morning America’s coverage did not describe what the “scandals” surrounding Gonzales were or why he might have been “hounded out of office.” 

Stephanopoulos knows better. My guess is that because he was part of a Democratic administration he bends over backwards to appear nonpartisan. Sometimes the mere facts are partisan. Gonzales was as corrupt a Attorney Gneral as this country has ever had. Its not partisan to point that out its just the truth.

“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” – Jack Handey