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The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad by Fareed Zakaria
Polyarchy by Robert Dahl
The Nazi Seizure of Power by William Sheridan Allen
Terror and Liberalism by Paul Berman
The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck
A Few Thoughts On Turkey
Over the course of my four months in Turkey, I've become amazing complacent with the illogical way things are done here. ["But Kris, every culture is different and has their own way of doing things!"] Maybe, but the Turks do things in ways even they don't understand - as my Turkish roommate can attest to.
Here now, are a few thoughts on this wonderful, frustrating, beautiful, and contradictory country:
- If you're going to make people pay to use public restrooms, the purpose of which is to pay for maintainance and cleaning supplies, maybe cleaning the place once in a while wouldn't be a bad thing.
- Pouring a bucket of water on a dirty sidewalk does not make the dirt go away. It just makes the sidewalk slippery.
I think we all saw this coming. At least he had the decency to not run for reelection last year. He did a good thing by eliminating the horrendously unjust death penalty for Illinois, but that doesn't make him a good guy. Bribes are bribes and you get caught in the end - even in Illinois.
"Iraq's coalition government claims that it has uncovered documentary proof that Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks against the US, was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist."
"Details of Atta's visit to the Iraqi capital in the summer of 2001, just weeks before he launched the most devastating terrorist attack in US history, are contained in a top secret memo written to Saddam Hussein, the then Iraqi president, by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service."
"The handwritten memo, a copy of which has been obtained exclusively by the Telegraph, is dated July 1, 2001 and provides a short resume of a three-day "work programme" Atta had undertaken at Abu Nidal's base in Baghdad."
Wow, al-Qaeda, Saddam AND the Palestinians? My, that's the trifecta! But wait, there's more!
"The second part of the memo, which is headed "Niger Shipment", contains a report about an unspecified shipment - believed to be uranium - that it says has been transported to Iraq via Libya and Syria."
I mean, why not? Of course Atta had a role to play in everything, why not Niger too? That way it all makes sense and we can declare victory, right?
Maybe Atta was the senior administration official who leaked classified information too. Or maybe he was the shooter on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963. Or maybe he was Deep Throat. At this point, you never can be too sure.
An Iranian news agency is reporting that Saddam Hussein has been taken into custody, based on a claim made by top Kurdish Iraqi leader Jalal Talabani. As in, he's alive. So far there has been no official word on this report, but a spokeswoman for the coalition said there would be a "very important" announcement at a news conference scheduled for 7am ET.
If this is true, this is a huge win for coalition forces and it should lift a big psychological burden off the Iraqi people. Stay tuned...
**UPDATE**: Tony Blair has confirmed reports that Saddam has been captured. Fox News is reporting that Saddam was found "cowering" in a basement in Tikrit.
**UPDATE 2**: Apparently Saddam tried to bury himself alive as soldiers were moving in on him. He actually had to be dug out of his hole.
Also, DNA reports have indicated that it is in fact 100% evil, er, Saddam.