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Month: May 2008

Number 12

News And Comment That Probably Did Not Reach You To put it bluntly and just a bit too simply: the USA is winning. Of course whether that’s good news or bad depends on what hopes you have for mankind — or what hopes you have for your personal political career. Fact: no one outside the Islamofascist camp will be hit harder by the unfolding military realities of Iraq than the Democratic US presidential candidates. They are both heavily invested in defeat, and that commitment may prove fatal. Given their smug “we can’t win” prophesies and “we should stop trying” proposals, can the Democratic contenders sincerely congratulate the military for its brilliant successes? How do you publicly call a four-star general a liar, and then not fire him and his staff as soon as you unpack your bags in the White House? Can you move gracefully from suggesting we gift bin Laden with a default victory to implying that you just knew our all-volunteer military would adapt and triumph? The mere possibility that such transparent cynicism might be attempted could prove damning. How many voters will take kindly to prospective leaders who automatically sell the US military short? The great majority of the US electorate wants to be proud of its sons and daughters who are willing to stand in harm’s way…which is where they must stand, so they can...

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Number 11

News And Comment Most people have little idea of what is going on in Iraq. Here’s a small but useful reminder that it’s not the quagmire it never was: a slide show of soldiers on patrol, with text commentary by the photographer. Some of the shots are delightful, intriguing. The day will come sooner than most people expect: Baghdad, popular tourist attraction.   News of the struggle with the Mahdi Army in Sadr City is spotty, but at least one account is available. Not many newspapers are all that interested, of course. Which makes one wonder where in the world the AP got its information for this report. No, no cease-fire, it appears. We may know more in a week or two….   Lebanon. Again. The cyclical tragedy, an insane carnival of mayhem and ruined dreams. Perhaps the best testament to the essential incompatibility of a modern, cosmopolitan culture and the Islamic social system. From Commentary: We have heard for many years from an array of journalists, scholars, and pundits that Hamas and Hezbollah are complicated social movements that employ violence in the service of their political goals, and that they are therefore susceptible to diplomatic engagement. Such tropes about Hamas have become standard … the magic elixir of political integration will dissuade Hezbollah from its traditional behavior, which is to terrorize and dominate any system in which it...

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Number 10

Introductory Notice Rapid developments in US politics have prompted the publication of this somewhat slim number of The Penguin Post. Disappointed subscribers may look forward to the next issue, which is planned as a longer, more intellectually nourishing serving of reason and truth. Five Links To News And Comment You May Have Missed 1. Professional policing, Arkansas style — but outrages like this are not limited to Arkansas, unfortunately. Some police officials belong in prison. 2. The PenPo has warned you about mobile “phones,” compact fluorescent bulbs, and life-shortening vitamin pills. Next: smoking. Yes, you have heard it all, and you say you have the right to smoke. You are correct. That has to be remembered and honored — along with newevidence that your smoke is more harmful to others than was previously realized. 3. The search for and exploitation of energy sources are becoming increasingly painful. Nuclear energy, specifically fusion, is the fond hope of many, but the USA is not sufficiently devoted to its development. One scientist …foresees a day when every hospital could have its own little fusion reactor churning out oxygen-15 and other isotopes for diagnostic purposes. (Right now they’re created in cyclotrons.) He said fusion devices could also be used to detect hidden nuclear weapons and buried explosive devices. They could even disable nuclear weapons. ‘We probably shouldn’t discuss that, but there are ways,’...

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Number 9

The Hostilities In Iraq, And Related Developments Peace is not in sight, if by peace you mean all of Iraq living with a level of violence that’s on a par with that of San Diego. But large areas of Iraq are tranquil. Most of the news is about Basra and the Mahdi Army. As mentioned in PenPo One and Eight, the press decides who wins battles, and that is a political/ideological task that journalists are glad to perform for our benefit. That’s why there were three distinct victories in Basra in the last couple of weeks: the first victory was won by the Iraqi Army (IA), the second was won by the Iraqi people, and the third was won by Truth. The victory of Truth is particularly worth celebrating. That’s right: the press, certainly aware of the informative and corrective power of the internet, has admitted that Sadr took a beating and that Basra is now controlled by the IA and police. Initial reports of the collapse of some IA units have been put into perspective, and the final outcome of the fighting is a boost for Iraqi confidence and pride. Legacy media links: The London Times reports and then again and yet again. It’s refreshing to see good news get the coverage it deserves. Our information mainstays prove solid as usual, as this from Strategy Page demonstrates. Read...

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