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Jul 18, 2005 4:37 pm

Additionally Noted ...

"Iraq is slipping into all-out civil war, a Shia leader declared yesterday, as a devastating onslaught of suicide bombers slaughtered more than 150 people, most of them Shias, around the capital at the weekend." That's the opening sentence in James Hider's"Week-end of Slaughter Propels Iraq Towards All-Out Civil War," Times Online, 18 July. See also:"What Was That About Insurgents in Baghdad?" Daily Kos, 17 July. Thanks to Chris Bray for the tip.

T. X. Hammes,"Expert's Picks," Washington Post, 17 July. The author of The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century, recommends some books on Insurgency, Iraq, and Islam.

If you've not read Sepoy's"That Terror Thing" at Chapati Mystery, I recommend it. You'll think differently about terrorism after Parts Iand II.

Patrick Kerkstra,"Shaking the Core of Academic Speech," Philadelphia Inquirer, 17 July, looks at what's ahead, now that Pennsylvania's house of representatives has established a standing committee to investigate free speech and intellectual diversity issues on campuses supported by the Commonwealth.

At Liberty & Power, Mark Brady notes that the late Sir Edward Heath, Great Britain's Prime Minister from 1970 to 1974, subsequently expunged all reference to his political career of 51 years in the House of Commons from Who's Who and appears to have been the only 20th century PM who died a virgin. Hmmm ...

At Deltoid, Tim Lambert brings us up to date on John Lott's continued use of sock puppets to post praise of his own books for on-line readers. Last year, Lambert exposed Lott's transgendered life as"Mary Rosh" who claimed to be Lott's student and praised his scholarship and teaching."Mary Rosh" has been retired, but she's been replaced sequentially by one sock puppet after another. Apparently, self-praise under assumed identities is addictive. John, this is very strange behavior. Get some help.
Update: In comments, Tim Lambert points out that Julian Sanchez outed"Mary Rosh" in 2003.

Of course, Cliopatricians and our friends have our own addictions. A common one is to used bookstores. Here, for instance, are the confessions of Chris Bray, Oscar Chamberlain, Caleb McDaniel, and misterhaitch.

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More Comments:

John H. Lederer - 7/19/2005

The U-boat war was very much overall a war of science, mathematics, and statistics.

I suspect that in Iraq the war on the terrorists is much more dependent on human determinations. If sufficient Sunnis become antagonistic to the terrorists (and "sufficient" means "sufficient not to be intimidated") to actively work against them, then quite suddenly the terrorists will become largely incapable of functioning.

In those circumstances a quick change seems as possible as a gradual change.

Oscar Chamberlain - 7/18/2005

I'm inclined to agree with that assessment.

However, it is good to remember that sometimes high levels of successful violence can decline rapidly. The quick decline of U-Boat sinkings of allied merchant ships in world war 2 comes to mind.

This is a very different sort of warfare in Iraq, of course, but it still can be true that the effectiveness of tactics don't always produce results in a gradual way, but suddenly, after a long stretch of apparent failure.

Ralph E. Luker - 7/18/2005

Thanks, Tim, for refreshing my memory.

Tim Lambert - 7/18/2005

Actually it was Julian Sanchez who exposed Mary Rosh way back in 2003.

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