Tuesday, September 16, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 25, The Iraq War (Con't)

From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August.

—White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, September, 2002, explaining why the Bush administration did not begin hawking the Iraq war earlier
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Francis Spufford on Scottish Independence

Francis Spufforda truly fabulous writer I have recommended beforewrites in the comments to this Crooked Timber thread about the origins of the present possibilities of Scottish independence, and why he cares:
My sense of where this comes from, fwiw, is that we’re seeing another of the long-run institution-shredding consequences of Thatcherism. She was very good at melting solid things into air, and the final thing dissolved may turn out to be the British state itself...
Why do I care about this? Because, in line with my above reading of the history of the last forty years, it seems like yet another victory for a politics in which shared possessions (the National Health Service, a public sector in the economy, a more-than-national citizenship, 300 years of history) are splintered, financialised, privatised, discarded. Because I feel about the potential departure of Scotland the way that a liberal Democrat in North Carolina would feel about Massachusetts buggering off out of the Union of the United States, and taking its electoral college votes with it, forever. Because Scotland – which I certainly do not regard with contempt – contributes a tough, undeferential, vinegary, self-sufficient, Puritan, civic, hardscrabble, emphasis to our shared British politics and culture, without which it would be very noticeably more dominated by smooth looters and PR-people. Because I don’t want Alasdair Gray or Ken Macleod to be foreigners.
The ellipsis above includes details on how Scottish dependence was transformed first by Thatcherism and then by Blair-style labor.  Click through for the whole thing.  And if you're interested, Spufford is an active participant in the whole thread, which includes in the original post a video of him discussing this along with SF writer Ken MacLeod.

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 25, The Iraq War (Con't)

There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

—Vice President Dick Cheney, August, 2002
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 25, The Iraq War (Con't)

Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

—Downing Street Memo, July, 2002 (made public, May, 2005)
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 25, The Iraq War (Con't)

I believe demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.

—Reagan-era national-security official Kenneth Adelman, February, 2002
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

Friday, September 12, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 25, The Iraq War (Con't)

I want you, as soon as you can, to go back over everything, everything. See if Saddam did this.

—George W. Bush to counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, September 12, 2001
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 25, The Iraq War

...As we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

—Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (February, 2002)
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 24, 9/11 (Con't)

We can go to the country on this issue because they trust the Republican Party to do a better job of protecting and strengthening America's military might and thereby protecting America.

—Karl Rove, speaking to the RNC, January 18, 2002
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 24, 9/11 (Con't)

I bet it doesn't get any easier from here on.

—Harvey Pekar
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

Monday, September 08, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 24, 9/11 (Con't)

The sky was falling and streaked with blood
I heard you calling me, then you disappeared into the dust
Up the stairs, into the fire
Up the stairs, into the fire
I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire
May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

—Bruce Springsteen, "Into the Fire" (2002)
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 24, 9/11 (Con't)

The middle part of the country - the great red zone that voted for Bush - is clearly ready for war. The decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead -and may well mount a fifth column.

—Andrew Sullivan, September 16, 2001
Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.