Counting Coup

One fascinating characteristic of the well-indoctrinated ultra-nationalist is they tend to lose their sense of reflexivity. Ultra-nationalism depends on authoritarianism and exceptionalism, so it doesn’t hold up well to challenges against its authority – after all, it wouldn’t have to be authoritarian if it were possible to justify their beliefs. What we wind up with is this weird sort of “what I say, goes, as long as it applies in the direction I want it to.”

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What Happened to Kurdistan?

It sounds like the Kurds have been out-maneuvered by the Iraqi regime; then left twisting in the wind by their American backers. Iraqi Abrams M-1 tanks (which are basically invincible against the light vehicles the Kurds have) were the convincing argument – the Iraqis inter-penetrated Kurdish positions in the Kirkuk area, essentially a peaceful “overrun” maneuver – and the Kurds realized that if they offered resistance, they’d be slaughtered.

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It’s Hard to Know But I Have Suspicions

When you’ve got over half a trillion dollars at stake, people will do or say pretty much anything. So it gets hard to figure out what’s going on when you read headlines in the form of “X is an ongoing disaster” alongside of “great cost-savings achieved via X” for any given X. It’s hard to be both a tremendous success and an ongoing disaster. I am, naturally, referring to the latest news about the F-35 program.

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