Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Links/Quick Hits

A couple of interesting articles in the Journal today:
1. They have an opinion piece on The New Deal. I realize that's not cutting edge reporting right there, but it is interesting to see something different than the "FDR was Jesus" business that we get a lot. The writer does a great job separating FDR's World War II policy from his New Deal policies. The key quote? "The real question about the 1930s is not whether it is wrong to scrutinize the New Deal. Rather, the question is why it has taken us all so long. Roosevelt did famously well by one measure, the political poll. He flunked by two other meters that we today know are critically important: the unemployment rate and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In his first inaugural address, Roosevelt spoke of a primary goal: "to put people to work." Unemployment stood at 20% in 1937, five years into the New Deal. As for the Dow, it did not come back to its 1929 level until the 1950s."
2. They talk about the current state of affairs with Iran (this one's free). I know that it's the gospel doctrine that the neoconservatives want to take the fight to Iran and it will be their fault if we get in a war with Iran. That is partially right I think, but at the same time I think the war will be of Iran's choosing at this point. It's too big a country and we're not in a position to take things up a notch right now. Frim the article: "The apparent meaning of all of this pointless provocation and bullying is that the axis of radicals--Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah--is feeling its oats. In part its aim is to intimidate the rest of us, in part it is merely enjoying flexing its muscles. It believes that its side has defeated America in Iraq, and Israel in Gaza and Lebanon. Mr. Ahmadinejad recently claimed that the West has already begun to "surrender," and he gloated that " final victory . . . is near." It is this bravado that bodes war."
3. Finally, an idea that I don't recall where I saw. Instead of creating a new Palestinian state, why doesn't Israel give the land back? Gaza can go to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan. There may be a war at some point between the nations over Hamas or Fatah's operations into Israel, but it may solve some things. Then again, if I was either of those nations, I wouldn't want anything to do with either plot of land. Gaza is some of the most densely populated land on the planet and it'd be murder to try and get it back under control. The West Bank would be less problematic, however at the same time, does King Abdullah really want to deal with the same mess that his father did in the 60s and 70s? They kicked the Palestinians out once, and they may do it again. Those are both serious traps for the Arab nations if they ever stop hating Israel enough to turn their attention to Palestine.

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