Stuff I've been reading

I'm in the finals crunch now, which means I've been catching up on various reading as I've been procrastinating. A selection:

Olly's Onions - White House Latest Victim of Subprime Crisis
I thought that Halliburton owned the White House, but apparently it is the Providence Lending Corporation.

Sebastian Junger - Into the Valley of Death
Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington write a piece for Vanity Fair about their stay with Second Platoon, Battle Company, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne).

Swedish Meatballs Confidential (warning - not safe for work) - Anti-Iran IO loses a paramount theme
Effwit over at Swedish Meatballs Confidential exposes the Administration in a lie over the latest NIE on Iran. If you want to know what the US Intelligence Community will say a year before they say it, read Swedish Meatballs Confidential!

Haft of the Spear - Gaming Intelligence
Michael Tanji's thoughts on the new NIE on Iran: "either we have multiple, unimpeachable sources of intelligence that have shown us the light; or the information we have is all over the map and drawing definitive conclusions is next to impossible... the latter case is more likely." Tanji wrote more on the NIE here and here.

ThreatsWatch - The Fiction of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Missing Links - Baghdadi Speech
Two pieces on Al Qaeda in Iraq (which may or may not exist as a formal organization) leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi (who probably doesn't exist himself).

The Strategist - Power from the Desert and Coming Anarchy - DESERTEC
Two different perspectives on a proposal for the EU to get lots of solar power from North Africa.

Abu Muqawama - "We are the irreverence"
Abu Muqawama provides insight on why the US continues to use air strikes in counterinsurgency operations - because we can.


Anonymous said...

And what do you think of the very popular view by a leading Israeli analyst Obadiah Shoher? He argues (here, for example, www. ) that the Bush Administration made a deal with Iran: nuclear program in exchange for curtailing the Iranian support for Iraqi terrorists. His story seems plausible, isn't it?

Adrian said...

It's plausible only if you think a) the Bush administration is capable of pulling something like that off without anyone noticing; b) the Manichean world-view of Bush, Cheney, etc., is a ruse (i.e. that they would even think of cooperating with "evil" people); c) Bush would rather Iran have a nuclear program than have influence in Iraq; d) the stories about the conflict between the intelligence community and Cheney, who wanted to squash the NIE, were all false - unless the deal with Iran would be kept secret from the intelligence community somehow.

I think its against the nature of the Bush administration to make deals with anyone. Shoher's theory really sounds like a conspiracy theory to me, but a lot of prominent Israelis seem taken to conspiracy theories when talking about Iran. And his last line - "The US Administration sold Israeli security for Iranian help in Iraq" - he writes it as if its a sin for America to look out for American interests before Israeli interests. It's not.

strategist said...

Thanks for the mention, Adrian.