Welcome. The idea was floated that a ‘talk amongst yourselves’ blog would be a good addition to for the Non-Facebook Crowd. Here it is.
By Lex, Posted on January 15, 2007
“We Sunni are to blame,” he said. “In my area some ignorant al-Qaida guys have been kidnapping poor Shia farmers, killing them and throwing their bodies in the river. I told them: ‘This is not jihad. You can’t kill all the Shia! This is wrong! The Shia militias are like rabid dogs – why provoke them?’ ”
Then he said: “I am trying to talk to the Americans. I want to give them assurances that no one will attack them in our area if they stop the Shia militias from coming.”
This man who had spent the last three years fighting the Americans was now willing to talk to them, not because he wanted to make peace but because he saw the Americans as the lesser of two evils. He was wrestling with the same dilemma as many Sunni insurgent leaders, beginning to doubt the wisdom of their alliance with al-Qaida extremists.
Another insurgent commander told me: “At the beginning al-Qaida had the money and the organisation, and we had nothing.” But this alliance soon dragged the insurgents and then the whole Sunni community into confrontation with the Shia militias as al-Qaida and other extremists massacred thousands of Shia civilians. Insurgent commanders such as Abu Omar soon found themselves outnumbered and outgunned, fighting organised militias backed by the Shia-dominated security forces.
By Lex, Posted on January 22, 2007
The good news for China is that its “One Child” policy appears to be working:
China’s one-child policy has created a generation of “only” children that now numbers 90 million, a senior family planning official said Friday.
From the beginning of the one-child policy at the end of the 1970s through last year, some 90 million children who would never have siblings have been born, most in cities, said Zhao Baige, vice minister for China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission.
The Chinese government contends the one-child policy has helped prevent 400 million births — about the size of the U.S. and Mexican populations combined — and aided China’s rapid economic development.
By Lex, Posted on January 23, 2007
The Duke provost has finally broken his silence to speak on behalf of the victims in the university’s LAX scandal. Interestingly though, the victim he is supporting through his open letter is not the young woman who alleged that that a horrible crime had been committed upon her person. Nor are his victims the lacrosse players, who, it seems increasingly clear with the ever-changing accusations, the DA’s recusal, the crime lab’s impeachment and the disgrace of the constabulary, were not just falsely accused, but criminally misused by the North Carolina justice system. These are the principal actors in the drama, but surprisingly they are not even mentioned in his victimization missive.
Posted by Lex on September 10, 2007
Michael Totten has a great read posted on the Anbar Awakening and the Anbar city of Ramadi’s rise from the ashes. Worth reading from front to end, but it’s especially gratifying to learn that the Iraqi Army in the Anbari province at least is made up of clever lads:
I couldn’t possibly care less about the rivalry between the Army and the Marines, although I was occasionally asked by members of each which branch I preferred.
One Marine tried to get an Iraqi Army soldier to take sides.
“Which do you think is better?” he said to the Iraqi soldier. “Army or Marines?”
“The Navy is best,” said the Iraqi.
The Marine was taken aback. “The Navy?” he said.
“Yes, Navy,” said the Iraqi.
The Marine looked slightly annoyed when I laughed.
Yeah. They get like that.
Back To The Index
Two years ago when we decided to recreate what we could of Lex’s website, one of my goals was to make “The Best” of his posts far more accessible than simply finding them via search engine (if one could remember search parameters!) or reading through 100s – or 1000s – of posts sequentially. I am pleased to see this “Best of” index being used on a regular basis by readers all over the world.
I felt just seeing that made all of this worthwhile. His writing gave me such enjoyment that I felt that this was my way of, if not giving something back to him, giving back to his memory. As I wrote in my epilogue, it was the only way I knew how to thank him. I did note in the epilogue that I would make one more sweep in the Wayback Machine to see posts that we missed earlier in our own archives. Going through this now, I realize I may have written the “epilogue” a bit premature.
What has impressed me about Lex’s writing was how prolific he was, and how much good stuff he produced. Just as an example, his post on shopping I found to be hilarious. Women are indeed grazers and men hunters in the shopping mall. Shopping was discovered in the Wayback Machine. Please note that sometimes the Wayback Machine would make 1-3 “snapshots” at his site in a day, and other times go for weeks without accessing it. There are undoubtedly some posts of his lost forever. However I believe we will have most of them, as advokaat copied and pasted the posts he felt relevant before his site went down. That alone is by my estimation about 70% of what he did produce.
A thought came to me to make the other posts of his in a similar index, which would be off the “Best of” Index. I want to codify all of the other posts not in the Best of index, so people don’t have to find them by luck or lengthy search. Building this will take awhile, but I plan on doing 5 posts per night, just as I built the “Best of“. This index will be far bigger, with I am sure 100s of posts. All easily accessible for the reader. So, starting tomorrow you will see this grow on a daily basis, all sorted by date, just as the Best of.
By Lex, Posted on January 23, 2007
Facing the existential Islamist threat, demography, ten-point solutions, and oh, yes: Sam Harris –
The most alarming sentences that I have read in a long time came from the pen of my fellow atheist Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, at the end of a September Los Angeles Times column upbraiding American liberals for their masochistic attitude toward Islamist totalitarianism. Harris concluded:
“The same failure of liberalism is evident in Western Europe, where the dogma of multiculturalism has left a secular Europe very slow to address the looming problem of religious extremism among its immigrants. The people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists. To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization [emphasis Hitchens].”
Consider it polemicism squared. Well worth reading.
Back To The Index
By lex, on January 7, 2007
It’s very nearly a week gone since the 1st of January came and went, bringing with it a pair on New Year’s resolutions and a stupefyingly painful headache. The latter is now gone, while the former are still in play, which – given your correspondent’s track record over the course of the last several – is not to be sneezed at.
So I decided last week to pull out all stops and actually change my dining habits. A diet, yes.
Yes I know. Radical indeed.