micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
Please send him email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holmquist's full archives are listed here.
Sites Holmquist trys, and often fails, to go no more than a couple of days without visiting (some of which Holmquist regularly swipes links from without attribution)
Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)
Friday, April 04, 2003
Lots of things have happened on April 4. A few of them are memorable. Elmer Bernstein (1922), David Cross (1964), Hugh Masekela (1939) and Muddy Waters (1915) were born on this day as was a certain Micah Timothy Holmquist (1977).
Yep today is my 26th birthday.
Unlike 365 days ago, I don't have anything profound to say. (Yes I called what I wrote then "profound." This morning I was quite surprised by how much of my development as a person was included in that entry.) The past 12 months haven't been more bad than good, but I am still alive and I have wished for the "courage" to kill myself enough times to know that just being alive is an accomplishment for me.
Thank you for reading.
Hendrik Hertzberg's "Collateral Damage" is the most interesting commentary I've read on the Operation Iraqi Freedom. Hertzberg once was Jimmy Carter's David Frum but he doesn't cut anybody any slack in this piece.
"Collateral Damage" is from the April 7 issue of The New Yorker, which also features Seymour Hersh's "Best-Laid Plans," which is fascinating even if the skepticism expressed in it about the U.S. military's ability to take over all of Iraq with ease doesn't appear the most relevant today. Prompted by Hersh's article, newyorker.com is featuring Peter J. Boyer's "A Different War," which appeared in July 1, 2002 issue of the print magazine and takes a look at a split between Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's milieu and Army brass. That former wants the U.S. to emphasize air power in military campaigns while the latter for reasons involving both inertia and principle thinks it is a mistake to not consider ground troops to be at least as important. Hersh has been talking to high level military sources for over two decades, but I wonder how many of the anonymous sources that he gathered for "Best-Laid Plans" were prompted to talk to him because of this split. A philosophical dispute over tactics is just as likely to prompt members of the argument that is on "the losing end" to be overly pessimistic and skeptical as it is to inspire them to tell hard truths that they would otherwise have kept silent.
The April 7 issue also features a dispatch from Baghdad by Jon Lee Anderson. The piece is interesting but not terribly so. I'm mentioning it mainly as a way of recommending Anderson's 2002 book The Lion's Grave, which has a lot excellent reportage about modern Afghanistan.
In the Department of Things I find Laughable, Reuters writes, "British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Friday the United States had absolutely no plans to attack Syria and Iran, which have been warned by Washington over their alleged involvement in Iraq."
In the next paragraph we see that Blair is denying gravity or, to use Reuters' exact words, "In an interview with the Arabic service of BBC World Service Radio, Blair also said it was every bit as important to make progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as it was to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein."