Ian Hickson has the best summary of the terms of the AOL/Microsoft deal.
The Department of Defense recorded the Paul Wolfowitz inteview with Vanity Fair reporter Sam Tannenhouse that’s getting lots of play, and they’ve posted a transcript on the DefenseLink Web site. Unsurprisingly, the comments that have been widely quoted seem less sinister when taken in context.
In the further interests of fairness, here’s President Bush’s interview with TVP in Poland in which he says flat out that we’ve found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (referring to “mobile labs” that may or may not serve that purpose). He also refers to his coalition of the willing as “standing up for peace” which, considering it was organized solely for the purpose of invading another country, has to be one of the great pieces of Orwellian doublespeak in recent memory.
How desperate is the Bush administration? Based on the two trailers that were found, Bush is now telling people that we’ve found banned weapons. Fred Kaplan has a useful piece on the search for weapons which says that the trailers might actually have been used for the purpose that the Iraqi officials claim — producing hydrogen for weather balloons used for monitoring artillery accuracy.
Eric Rudolph, the white supremacist and general purpose hater who is believed to have been behind the bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta and several other bombings has been captured. The most interesting thing to me about this case is that it demonstrates just how hard it will ever be to capture someone like Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar in Afghanistan. It took us over six years to capture Rudolph, and in the end he was captured by accident by local law enforcement. I don’t see the sheriff of some town in the badlands of Afghanistan picking up Osama bin Laden rummaging through a dumpster.
Jake Tapper has a story in Salon today about the missing WMD. Apparently in other countries where people care whether or not their leaders lie to them about the most important matters possible, people are somewhat furious that we have not yet found WMDs, and that the administration is now distancing itself from the idea that we will ever find the sorts of weapons we claimed were so threatening.
Lots of attention has been paid recently to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Congo. Bruce Rolston has the best summary of the story so far over at Flit. I tend to agree with Rolston that kicking the Rwandans and Ugandans out of the eastern part of Congo was a poor idea, and I agree with everyone who says that the current situation cannot be tolerated.
As this story, which I linked to last July, points out, part of the deal for Rwandan troops leaving the Congo was that the Congolese government would not tolerate the presence Rwandan Hutu rebels in the area that the Rwandan soldiers were to vacate. That obviously hasn’t happened, and it’s these same people and their ethnic allies that are committing the atrocities in the eastern Congo that they once perpetrated in Rwanda.
I’ve been following the Congo situation for a long time, mainly after developing an interest in that region of Africa in general and Paul Kagame in particular after reading about him in Dangerous Places. (The DP piece on Kagame is a bit dated, he’s now president of Rwanda.) The thing that remains consistent in my memory is that things have been so bad for so long that even bad news that isn’t awful can be considered a hopeful sign.
Of interest to Java developers: Eclipse Project Draft 3.0 Plan.
Looks like Saddam’s bunker, our first target in the invasion of Iraq, doesn’t exist. How do you like them apples?
Looks like the end result of Microsoft and AOL settling their lawsuit is that everyone else will settle for less competition in the marketplace. Looks like AOL is signed on for seven years of royalty-free usage of Internet Explorer within their craptastic client as part of the case. I wonder whether this means AOL will finally quit funding the Mozilla project?
This is a pointer to yet another WMD post. However, because it’s the best ever, you won’t mind. (Via Anil Dash.)
Update: I think that the Wolfowitz comments that have come out are worth further discussion. From the Reuters article:
Wolfowitz said another reason for the invasion had been “almost unnoticed but huge” — namely that the ousting of Saddam would allow the United States to remove its troops from Saudi Arabia, where their presence had long been a major al Qaeda grievance. “Just lifting that burden from the Saudis is itself going to open the door” to a more peaceful Middle East, Wolfowitz was quoted as saying.
Let’s just say straight out that it doesn’t get any more imperial than this. Senior government officials are now saying openly that we went to war for the reasons many people knew all along, one of which being to get ourselves a better piece of dirt on which to station our troops. You’d think that the shot callers at the Pentagon now more than ever would want to emphasize the great moral victory that could come from replacing an utterly vile dictator with a government that represents and benefits the Iraqi people. Of course between the fact that we seem to be botching the reconstruction of Iraq thanks to cheapskatedness and a general lack of commitment (or perhaps willfulness among those who desperately want to be right about how wars should be fought), and the fact that similar dictators suck at the US military aid teat, morality is best not brought up without crossed fingers.