Whatever one's stance is/was on the war, it's clear that Saddam served no one's interests but his own. Most of the Iragi's are clearly glad he is gone. Now the stories begin to trickle out. The things they couldn't (wouldn't?) tell us before.


Legal but not ethical. Sony patents the term "Shock and Awe". Shameless
How did the U.S. military get so good? Fred Kaplan opines:

Three major changes have taken hold within the military since then—a new war-fighting doctrine, advanced digital technology, and a less parochial culture
Google just keeps getting better.
Josh with the word that the American flag briefly placed over the head of Saddam's statue was the flag that flew over the Pentagon the morning of Sept. 11th.
Christine Cupaiuolo on the death of Anita Borg.
There is something disquieting about celebrities on the Hill, but ex-Cowboy or not, I'm a new fan of Mark Stepnoski.
Light updates until next week. A new project in the works.

Perhaps this war is (was?) about the spread of existentialism as much as democracy. That's the claim of this review of Existential America by George Cotkin. An optimism fueled by introspection.

American existentialists, Cotkin wrote, shared some of the traditional anxiety and dread of European existentialism, but they did not "contentedly wallow in such despair." Instead, they often emphasized "the upside of existential freedom: the freeing from the shackles of tradition, the possibility of a more authentic existence, and the headiness that comes with the freedom to create and be creative."

In short, they bypassed what Cotkin describes very nicely in his conclusion as "the dead-end turn of existentialism" - nihilism. Summing up, Cotkin offers a kind of salute to what we might call 21st-century existentialism, American style: "To write, to act, to create, and to rebel after a century of totalitarianism and mass destruction, and in the face of new challenges, is to engage in existential transcendence, to erect a sculpture of human possibility, albeit out of the ashes of despair."


A new piece from Foreign Policy mag about the true cause of the Clash of Civilizations. An interesting study of the impact of democracy and it builds nicely on the Occidentalism essay that also focused on the role of sex in cultural conflict.
What does liberation look like? Something like this.
It's time to gloat! Hitchens says the anti-war movement was right.
'The Game Is Over'
I felt a little like Sally Fields watching the scenes of the liberated Iraqi's rejoicing. "You like US, you REALLY like us!" This was a victory for the World.
Some Republican congressman are working to remove the sunset clause of the US Patriot Act. Granted, they are only discussing this now, however that's precisely why it's important for us to discuss it now as well. The passed it the first time without any debate, little dissent, and certainly no viable opposition. We spread democracy abroad and need to fight for it at home.


First Johnny Apple jumps on board, and now a new poll shows that the majority of Bay Area residents support the war. Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf seems to be the only one left believing Saddam is winning.
Super essay from over a year and a half ago from William Saletan about Negativism and how it differs from skepticism and might be applied to today's challenges.

Likewise, before we bomb a country for harboring a fugitive, we really ought to hand over enough evidence to warrant an indictment. In this case, we've withheld evidence on the grounds that it would expose our intelligence sources and methods. Idealism says such compromises are unacceptable. Skeptical realism says no principle is absolute, and therefore any compromise in pursuit of our interests is acceptable. Negativism says that while no principle is absolute, one relative standard must limit all of our compromises: Negating the enemy makes no sense unless your goals and methods remain better than his
volokh conspiracy has a different take on the interviews of Iraqi's in America. He believes they were handled well, gathered valuable info. about the lay of the land in Iraq, and may have strengthened some important relationships.
I'm always a little reluctant to send people to Salon, but some things are worth sitting through the day pass ad to read. Check out this story on the Daily Show.
It's amazing. A few days ago everyone was wondering "What went wrong?", now everyone is amazed at how well things are going. Saddam might be dead, Easterbrook comments that Iraq may have been the perfect place for such a war, and Andrew Sullivan says,

Three weeks. Under 100 American casualties, half of which came from accidents. No use of tactical WMD. Extraordinarily targeted bombing; exceptionally light force; oil wells intact; Israel secure; Turks kept at bay. War is terrible, of course. It may flare up again for a while. There's still a chance of last-minute atrocities. And every civilian casualty is a tragedy. But it's beginning to look as if this was an amazing military campaign, something of which the American and British people - and their governments - can be deeply, deeply proud.