Thursday, April 26, 2007

Of baked beans, being somehow grounded in the 1980s, concrete caterpillars, and a very happy meal indeed


Headline of the day: “Hugh Grant Arrested over Baked Beans Allegation.” If you don’t already know what that means, wouldn’t it be nicer to just leave it at Hugh Grant Arrested over Baked Beans Allegation?

Whoops, I awarded the headline of the day prize before coming across this one: “Condom Found in Girl’s McDonald’s ‘Happy Meal.’” (Unused, you’ll be delighted to hear.) (The condom, not the happy meal.)

In quoting Condi in my last, describing Russian fears as “purely ludicrous,” I missed that what she was so describing was the idea that the US missile defense program threatens the Soviet deterrent. She also accused the Russians, or Soviets, or possibly the subjects of the Grand Duchy of Muscovy, of having a view “that is grounded somehow in the 1980s.”

Gen. Petraeus has been talking to Congress (behind closed doors) and to reporters. He explained that “in most cases,” the people being walled off in Baghdad actually “welcome that kind of barrier plan or walls or what have you” (he seems to be backing away from calling it the “concrete caterpillar”). He insisted that “This is not about walling off Sunni from Shi’a. This is about walling off neighborhoods.” So that’s okay, then.

Petraeus is saying that the occupation of Iraq will go on and on and on, although naturally he refuses to get specific about “what levels would be some years down the road.” But the key word is years, and what the White House and its tame congresscritters need to be forced to acknowledge publicly is that when they talk about giving Petraeus’s plan a chance to work, that plan involves significant numbers of American troops manning the concrete caterpillars for years to come.

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