Friday, January 06, 2006

Looking Forward to Assassins Gate

I just checked out George Packer's The Assassin's Gate: America in Iraq from the library and will be starting into it this weekend. (Hey Mom--I'm gonna focus on this one so I can finish it before its due date--always a problem for me with so many periodicals to read each week on top of the Web reading--so you can either hold onto the Jimmy Carter book for now or loan it to someone else in need.)

Packer was also just on The Daily Show on its return to the airwaves this week. You can watch the whole bit here, but here's a quickie transcript of one bit:
Packer: There was this sense that, there was a whole tide of young Republican operatives coming over to staff the occupation, people who never lived abroad, certainly didn't have experience in the Middle East. There were maybe three Arabic speakers in the whole coalition provisional authority in the first few months of it.

Stewart: And you say that the more you knew about Iraq, the more you would be punished, it seemed.

Packer: Yes, yes, it's a law of the occupation that the more you know, the less influence you have. And as you go higher and higher up the administration, knowledge decreases until at the very top... [stopped by crowd laughter and cheering]

Stewart: There's a tendency to dismiss that kind of talk as biased. There is a lot in here that speaks to the integrity of what they're trying to do. It's not a bad idea, when you look at it on its face, the way you describe this idea bringing democratization to a region. The only problem is this administration did it like Star Trek II, with the Genesis machine. We'll just drop it on the planet and just boiiiiiing. And then Spock will be alive and... have I said too much?


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