4,000, 5,000 – 20,000 – What’s The Difference?

One of the crucial failures of leadership during the Vietnam War was the way the pentagon managed to reduce a complex political/military/logistical situation down to a discussion about head-count. That allowed the military to focus discussion about the war into a question of head-count: how many dead Vietcong heads did you collect today? How many shiny new American heads did you ship over? How many came back?

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May That Which Sleeps Eternal Lie

My dad once told me (I was complaining about ageing) that it’s normal to experience a culture-shift as the people who lived through a time with you start to die off, and things that were facts of your life are now unusual and alien to them. For example, I grew up when there were still Horn and Hardart automats: places you could buy food from big slot machines, sort of a primordial form of fast food.

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April 4: More than 70 dead in Khan Sheikhoun, of an apparent gas attack. [nyt]  Syrian government says it wasn’t them.

March 24: More than 200 dead in Mosul, of a US air strike. US government says it might not have been entirely US bombs that did it because ISIS sometimes keeps explosives in houses.[nyt]

Investigations are being called for in both cases. The Syrian regime says it would only submit to an investigation if it can be sure it’s international and multilateral. The US regime says it’ll investigate itself, thank you very much.

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