Friday, March 04, 2005
I Suppose It's Been a Long Time

Postmodern Potlatch may be making some sort of comeback, or may become a different blog altogether. For the time being, if you haven't noticed, nothing is going on here. Oh, and I don't know what happened to a couple months' worth of posts.
Saturday, January 03, 2004
From an exhaustive NYT article about a recent foreign policy summit featuring speakers from Zbegniew Brzezinsky to Chuck Hagle:

There are two very large inferences that can be drawn from comments like these and, more broadly, from the current debate over national security issues in policy institutes, academia and professional journals. One is that the Bush administration stands very, very far from the foreign-policy mainstream: liberal Democrats, conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans have more in common with one another than any of them have with the Bush administration. The other conclusion is that the administration's claim that 9/11 represents such a decisive break with the past that many of the old principles no longer apply is right -- but the new principles need not be the ones the administration has advanced. A different administration could have adapted to 9/11 in a very different way. And this is why national security should be, at least potentially, such a rich target of opportunity for a Democratic candidate.

Good reporting is so rare these days that James Traub deserves commendation for a piece that both collects a wide variety of non-spun information and actually analyzes it transparently.
Friday, January 02, 2004
A reader named Marcus implies (I think) that this recent piece by Secretary of State Colin Powell can be seen as a sort of counter-volley to the latest neocon tome (discussed below). At the least, Powell appears to be making the case that Realpolitik has not been abandoned, which in this climate is itself a good thing.

But what about in a second Bush administration, without the influence of that one Realist guy? What's his name? Colin Powell?
An End to Evil

I actually bought this book. I read a review a few days ago, and posted a Metafilter thread that is stil going on, but I just had to read the much-awaited sequel to Rebuilding America's Defenses, this time translated into Terrorism-ese.

Two seperate nuggets from the book so far:

The lax multiculturalism that urges Americans to accept the unaceptable from their fellow citizens us one of this nation's greatest vulnerabilities in the war on terror. America must communicate a clear message to its Muslism citizens and residents a clear message about what is expected from them.


Of course, the country should be well-prepared to care for those injured by terrorist attack, and Congress should make available whatever funds are necessary to the task. (Though Congress should also be appropriately alert to the tendency of many cash-strapped state and local governments to repackage almost they do as "first-response" in order to qualify for federal aid.) But important as it is to be prepared to help the wounded and injured after a terrorist attack, it is far more important to prevent that terrorist attack in the first place. As George Patton could have said, "Nobody ever won a war by caring for his wounded. He won by making the other poor SOB care for his wounded."

Even though it's been painfully obvious for two years now, it is still shocking at times how out-of-touch our leadership is. The idea that "the enemy" in the "War on Terror" is some concrete force in a trench somewhere is dangerously out-of-place when combatting international terrorism, yet it underlies the basic methodology of the War on Terrorism.

More on this crazy book later.
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Ashcroft Recuses Himself From Leak Investigation (

He has finally done something right. They should name a street after this guy!