Lawful Combatants, but not POWs

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

US changes status of 14 detainees, AP, 8/10/07
“…Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Commander Chito Peppler said the proceedings….do not distinguish between lawful and unlawful combatants.”
DKo: So, we took lawful combatants prisoner in the War in Afghanistan and they were not Prisoners of War.
–Probably a bunch of unpaid parking tickets.

Shiite Insurgents. Shiite Insurgents!

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

“Shiite Insurgents.” The Bush administration has been rolling this surprising combination out in recent weeks. I think we’ll be hearing more of it.
For years, “Insurgents” has meant Sunnis, because they are trying to bring down the government. Shiite fighters, have been “Militants,” and “Extremists,” but they haven’t been “Insurgents.” Whom would they be insurgent against? There is already a Shiite government in Baghdad. At the same time, Sunni fighters are being transmogrified into “Allies.” Allies of whom? The US Army?
My basis for the following is very thin at this point, but I suspect we are about to be sold a major “paradigm shift,” an extremely dangerous one. that “Shiite Insurgents” represents. If so, the inexorable Iraq Study Group plan–the Bush version of it, anyhow–would turn very ugly as we watch its generalities turned into specifics.
The Generalities:
–We end “Combat Operations.”
–We concentrate on training.
–We continue to strike at just one remaining target.
They used to say this target was Al Qaeda in Iraq; but increasingly they say it is “Terrorists.” (So, we’ll strike terrorists, but not truck bombers. Truck bombers would be “Combat Operations.” What do you have to do to be a terrorist around here?)
The Specifics (according to my very speculative suspicions):
1- “Combat Operations” turn out to be operations coordinated with, and subject to, the Iraqi government. Majority rule in Iraq has become an annoyance. We’ll cut the government out.
2- “Training” bypasses the government and goes directly to the army–or rather to the parts of the army we select. Maybe (discreetly) to our new Sunni Allies too. Our favored Training Units get good food, supplies, armor, weaponry, Intel, and logistics. They get paid on time. They get patronage. They bond directly to us. They stop answering Maliki’s phone calls.
3- “Terrorists” will be whoever we say they are, including these new Shiite Insurgents (probably Moktada’s forces), and definitely the vast network of Iranian-controlled (i.e., anti-US Shiite) terrorist cells that we say riddle the country.
The Shiite Insurgents turn out to be insurgent against us.

Seeing Strange Things

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

Every so often I like to just stop and click over to the Ames Room for a moment, because it really helps undermine my perspective on things.
It gets my vote for the greatest of all optical illusions. The two people you see are actually the same height. It’s just that someone has carefully constructed a very funny sort of room. Scroll down the page for an explanation.
Way worth a click.
–David

FAQ in Windows Messenger Help: “Why can’t my contacts see my music?”

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

One of the FAQs in the Windows Messenger Help is:
“Why can’t my contacts see my music?”
I think Microsoft was very gutsy even getting into this. Anyhow, this is the answer from Tech Support:
“If some of your contacts can’t see your music, they have probably been dropping some really weak acid.
“It might help to sit back in a nice comfortable chair, close their eyes, and picture the music coming right out of the instruments in big, soft, cartoon balloons. Works for us.”
DKo: This is the kind of thing that makes me such a strong supporter of drug testing in the schools. There has been some really bogus acid going around, and a whole lot of good kids are getting burned.