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William Kristol gives thousands of Americans hope. He shows us that a mediocrity can find a home as a columnist at The New York Times. His latest column, discussing—well, what exactly is it discussing? It’s hard to make any sense of it. It starts as a justification of Israeli operations in Gaza and quickly transforms itself into a call for war against Iran. The Gaza operation is, after all, just a warm-up. I just came across Joe Klein’s dissection of Kristol’s column in Time:
Kristol is a cagey guy. He benefits from the delusion of Iranian potency. The more menacing and evil Iran seems, the stronger the arguments for the war that Kristol and many other Jewish neoconservatives really want: a U.S. attack on Iran to make the world safe for Israel (as if such a war could or would accomplish that). He comes very close to endorsing that in his last paragraph…
In the end, Kristol’s saber-rattling is the death rattle of a simplistic, extremist ideology that has caused the U.S. great damage. A more sensible, centrist approach to international affairs won’t have the bang or melodrama of military kinetics. It will take time to work, if it works. But it also won’t have the bloodshed and torture that have stained our nation’s history these past eight years.
There are two weeks left. The Neocons may yet get their cherished war—not this silly skirmish in Gaza, but the real war they’ve always wanted, the one with Iran.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Minimum number of cats fitted with high-tech listening equipment in a 1967 CIA project:
Zoologists suggested that apes and humans share an ancestor who laughed.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”