Is that even allowed?

Most politicians talk about religion from the perspective of having been raised in families that are somewhat more observant than they are as adults, so they are elevating religion from their childhood and their parents or grandparents. Others, like George W. Bush, found in religion a private salvation. Obama’s experience is unlike either one, and frankly unlike anyone’s I know: His work as an organizer led him to the church, the church was the heart of the community in which he was working, he became religious because of his commitment to social change. It was neither personal, nor familial, but part of his forming an identity, but not just as an individual, as a member of a community. And thus, race, his public life, and religion are intertwined in a way that they are not for most people, even people whose social values and work originates in their faith.

(Ed) Kilgore comments that this “won’t make a lot of sense to those Americans who view church membership as an expression of consumer choice, and ultimately, of the spiritual discrimination and good taste of the religious consumer.” Indeed, this was the viewpoint of my colleague this morning — if you don’t agree with what you hear in a church, go to another church. But Obama’s analogy to family answered that about as well as could be answered — the church wasn’t serving just a personal function for him, it was situating him in a community in which he had chosen to live and work — and work on behalf of.

(My emphasis.)



Take it away, Anthony Cordesman! (He’s one of those guys you just have to take seriously because of. . . the colossal magnitude of his errors of judgment, I guess?)

It was even more of a surprise to watch the Bush administration fail, from 2003 to 2006, to come to grips with creating effective counterinsurgency programs, focused aid and development efforts, political accommodation and effective Iraqi forces. As a Republican, I would never have believed that President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld would waste so many opportunities and so much of America’s reputation. . .

(My emphasis, because: Boo-hoo, wah-wah!)

Here’s an idea, you old poop: Why don’t you turn off your computer, pledge never to write another word, and spend the rest of your life playing Sudoku? At least that way nobody will die because of what a dumbass you are.

REFLECTIONS! Back stronger than ever!


Gang, I’d like to apologize for my lackluster performance in the REFLECTIONS department today. The mirror was. . . not cracked, exactly, but. . . smudged. Smudged with the frustration of actually having to read all these stupid goddamn reflections in the New York Times special REFLECTIONS section.

This evening’s reflection comes from Frederick Kagan, one of those dough-faced guys who’s always going on about how the primary challenge of the United States military in the 21st-century will be training peasants how to mount cyber-centric counterinsurgencies against each other using the nine-dimensional datafield-slash-battlezone, or whatever.

(Actually, it might be Fred Kagan’s brother, Robert, who writes about that. All I remember is, once The Atlantic had a cover article about how one of those douches went over to Africa with some Marines and how great it was to watch the Marines teach Africans how to kill each other.)

ERROR ALERT (3/19/08): Thanks to blog reader JK who points out that it was Robert KAPLAN, not Robert KAGAN, who wrote the Atlantic article referenced above. Even when I try to keep these saggy-joweled chest-thumpers straight, I can’t.

Here’s yer reflecto-snippet:

Within a year, our forces (in Iraq) went from imminent defeat to creating the prospect of success, using a great deal of firepower, killing and capturing many enemies, but binding the local population to us at the same time.

(My emphasis, because: Yay!)

Anyway, you know what’s coming next. . .


Photo credit: Fotosearch.

I’m sorry, what did you say? You want to see a picture of Frederick Kagan? Happy to oblige:


Answer: He cracked it because he’s so fat. LOL!

OK, seriously, seriously: Looking at this photo, would you ever in a million years guess that this is the type of guy who fantasizes about a culture defined by ever-increasing militarization and macho, warrior-based codes of honor and confrontation?

Homeboy probably cried when Gary Gygax died.

Photo credit: The American Enterprise Institute.


The liberals are all up-in-their-panties-which-are-bunched about the fact that John McCain doesn’t understand who we’re fighting in Iraq.

(McCain) said several times that Iran, a predominately Shiite country, was supplying the mostly Sunni militant group, al-Qaeda. In fact, officials have said they believe Iran is helping Shiite extremists in Iraq. . . .

Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was “common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.” A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate’s ear. McCain then said: “I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda.”

My emphasis, because: Whoa.

GIVE HIM A BREAK! He’s old. I don’t expect my great-great-great grandfather to understand Biggie vs. Tupac, let alone some kind of complicated bearded-men-fighting-each-other situation.

Seriously, just because a man decides to run for president on the strength of his foreign policy expertise, all of a sudden he’s automatically gotta be some kind of expert on foreign policy?

PS: I love, love, love that Joe Lieberman is the one who walked up to McCain, and whispered gently into his ear. . . his sweet breath carrying vital geopolitical truths thereupon.



We turn now to a New York Times reflection by L. Paul Bremer III, the man who treated occupied Iraq like he was trying to win an “I don’t know what I’m doing” contest.

The guy was so smart, he disbanded Saddam’s army and threw all the Baathists out of work as soon as he arrived in Iraq, because he knew they would find greater fulfillment in forming militias and killing Americans(?) I think that was the logic.

Then he handed “sovereignty” back to the Iraqis a day early and high-tailed it out of there like a little bitch. Remember?

Anywhere, here’s part of this idiot jackass’s dumb-ass reflection:


Ah, forget it. I can’t be bothered. Why is this guy still allowed to type words and sentences that other people might accidentally read?

Yeah, yeah. Reflections. I’m over it.


Photo credit: Fotosearch. AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.


While searching for images of reflection, I came across this photograph.

I just have a good feeling about this guy. He seems nice.

Photo credit: Fotosearch. AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.


Good morning! The dew on the grass reflects the sunlight as I run barefoot through my blog. It’s beautiful.

We start our second day of REFLECTIONS with another snippet from Danielle Pletka.

Some have used Iraq’s political immaturity as further proof the war was wrong, as if somehow those less politically evolved don’t merit freedoms they are ill equipped to make use of. We would be better served to understand how the free world can foster appreciation of the building blocks of civil society in order to help other victims of tyranny when it is their turn.

(My emphasis.)

No cutting in line, please. . .

. . . all shall eventually see their reflections.


Photo credit: Fotosearch. AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.


What happens when you reflect. . . UPON A REFLECTION?

Of the nine “experts on military and foreign affairs” that the New York Times invited to participate in its “most reflective reflect-off” contest, three are associated with something called the American Enterprise Institute.

Do you supposed that’s a mirror manufacturing company or something?

After all, what could be a more American enterprise than building mirrors?

I went on YouTube hoping to find some footage of the company making hand mirrors, or full-length mirrors, or even some of those tiny mirrors that models snort cocaine off of, but all I found were videos of flabby old men screaming “THEY’RE GONNA KILL US.”

Very curious. . . perhaps I’m gazing into the wrong looking-glass. . .

I shall have to add that possibility to my reflections. . .