at least for Saddam Hussein.
broke from an ice shelf in Canada’s far north and could wreak havoc if it starts to float westward toward oil-drilling regions and shipping lanes next summer.” It was the “largest such break in nearly three decades,” and global warming “likely played a role.”
Unlike in the musical arena, my cinematic tastes are pretty wide-ranging and by no means restricted to a single genre. Thus, I count six films as worthy of unambiguous recommendation — The Queen, The Descent, The Departed, Talladega Nights, Tristram Shandy, and Brick. I’m having a great deal of trouble working those into an ordinal ranking. I would say Tristram Shandy and Brick are probably movies for cinephiles, while Descent and Departed have the most mainstream appeal. For whatever reason, a healthy number of people who I would have thought would like Talladega Nights didn’t, in practice, enjoy it. Thus The Queen is probably the best movie of the year in some sense, though I’d say I liked Tristram Shandy the best personally.
That leaves the need for four more movies to fill out a top-ten list and I’m going to go with Half Nelson, V for Vendetta, Little Miss Sunshine, and Casino Royale but the exclusion of Apocalypto, Little Children and The Road from Guantanamo from that list is a bit arbitrary since I liked those three a lot, too. I haven’t re-viewed any of these movies, so it’s possible that my rankings will change over time.
In less than one week’s time . . . the social event of the season . . . Iraq: A Turning Point by the American Enterprise Institute:
U.S. senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and U.S. senator Joseph Lieberman (I-D-Conn.) recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Iraq. Both held extensive discussions with U.S. forces and Iraqi government officials. In light of a possible change in course for U.S. strategy in Iraq, their views will be critical in the upcoming Congressional debate.
At this important time, AEI resident scholar Frederick W. Kagan and former acting Army chief of staff General Jack Keane will release the updated and final version of phase one of “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq.” The study calls for a large and sustained surge of U.S. forces to secure and protect critical areas of Baghdad. Mr. Kagan directed the report in consultation with military and regional experts, including General Keane, former Afghanistan coalition commander Lieutenant General David Barno, and other officers involved with the successful operations of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment in Tal Afar. An interim version of the report was released on December 14, 2006.
At this event, Mr. Kagan and General Keane will present their final report, which outlines how the United States can win in Iraq and why victory is the only acceptable outcome.
“Sustained surge” is a pretty sweet oxymoron.
The Military Times released a new poll yesterday of 6,000 active duty U.S. military personnel. The results were revealing. Some highlights:
– Only 35 percent said they approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, while 42 percent said they disapproved.
– 50 percent believe success in Iraq is likely, down from 83 percent in 2004.
– 38 percent believe the United States should send more troops to Iraq. 39 percent believe we should maintain current levels or reduce the number of troops, including 13 percent who support complete withdrawal.
– 72 percent believe the military is “stretched too thin to be effective.”
– 47 percent disagree with President Bush’s mantra that the war in Iraq is part of the war against terrorism, while the same percentage agree.
– Only 41 percent of the military said the U.S. should have gone to war in Iraq in the first place, down from 65 percent in 2003. That closely reflects the beliefs of the general population today — 45 percent agreed in a recent USA Today/Gallup poll.
– 52 percent approve of the overall job President Bush is doing, down from 71 percent in 2004.
– 63 percent say the senior military leadership has the best interests of the troops at heart. That number is lower from President Bush (48 percent) and lower still for civilian military leadership (32 percent) and Congress (23 percent).
Chris Cillizza is doing a potentially valuable continuing feature where he details the “inner circle” of different presidential contenders. Today’s edition looks at Team Edwards which consists overwhelmingly of people I have no real opinion on. Indeed, it’s mostly composed of people I’ve never heard of. I did meet Jennifer Palmieri once, years ago, before she was working for Edwards, and she seemed smart and pleasant. Realistically, the main thing I learned from the exercise is that I know almost nothing about the world of political operatives.
Nancy Pelosi: “The execution of Saddam Hussein ends a tragic chapter in the history of Iraq, but it is not a substitute for an effective strategy that will bring peace to the region and allow the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces.”