News Brief, It’s Happening Edition

So I mentioned before I might not continue doing these into the New Year. I am approaching one solid, eventful year of trying to summarize the important, and possibly ignored, stories of the day. I’m not quite burned out, but my time has become very precious to me (my preciousssss), and it’s just a bit too much. I’ve slacked on these in recent weeks, and I’m going to consider this my last one, at the very least until the new year. Try not to weep with joy.

  • Let’s think about whether or not it was a good idea to give Kazakhstan the chairmanship of the OSCE. Commenters have made strong cases against, but I still think it’s a good idea. We’ll see who gets to eat crow (probably me).
  • Human Rights Watch issued a report claiming that Burma killed a significantly higher number of monks than it admitted. This is unsurprising, but nevertheless still horriffic.
  • Michael Totten has yet another must-read essay on his trip to Fallujah now that the fighting is done. Ethnic cleansing works wonders for the peace process—horrible to realize, and horrible for those whom it impacts. But the horrible thing is, ethnic cleansing might just be what eventually settles the country. Talk about a pyrrhic victory.
  • Kevin Drum has an interesting series of posts on how the Right seems to be attacking the NIE because it doesn’t conform to their stereotypes. I say deep breathing is called for; it is a welcome ray of realism in all the Iran talk, yes, and Jeffrey Sachs is wise to warn against “politicization.” But, umm, all NIEs are political documents? Even if they’re not meant to be? In either case, during controversial times the NIE inspires idiotic media commentary. And that’s despite obvious forms of White House tampering (note: the rumor that senior officials threatened going public despite the threat of jail indicates the current NIE might not be White House-approved). Oh, and that’s when we can be bothered to craft a worthwhile intelligence estimate in the first place. These things are incredibly difficult to do, and incredibly difficult to compile; all the idiots on the outside who carp and moan that it doesn’t conform to what they read about in the media should seriously STFU.
  • David Axe gets weepy, but captures something I relate to. As strange as that sounds. Stay tuned for some news here soon.
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