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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006


essential reading

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, August 08, 2006 permalink View blog reactions
The Jerusalem Post looks at the war by the numbers, which paint an asymmetric picture indeed. Using their data, we see that it takes 10 sorties by the IAF to kill one Lebanese, and 24 rockets to kill one Israeli. Despite the vast disparity of tecchnologic force and weapon precision, the collateral damage/military kill ratio on both sides is 1:1 - the disparity only affects the magnitude of the kill rate (a factor of 10), not the accuracy. The IAF chiefs admit openly that air power alone won't suppress rocket fire, which is quite a rhetorical about-face from when the war began.

Hezbollah's roots in Lebanon run deep, as this fascinating article on its social service network demonstrates. Meanwhile, Syria's ambassador to the US argues in a lonely op-ed that in refusing to engage in any diplomacy with Syria, the US "continues to lose ability to influence a major player in the Middle East". His question - does isolating Syria really advance our stategic interests? - is moot I guess.

And this lengthy essay by Wesley Clark on the failure of the Administration to engage the root case of violence in the middle east, from back in May, strikes me as rather prescient given what has transpired since.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.