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This Is Weird… Saturday Morning Entertainment

Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” redone as a video by soldiers in Afghanistan:

As Tracy Clark-Flory said in comment in Salon:

This isn’t the begrudging performance of a bunch of tough guys who lost a bet; these dudes are letting loose and having fun, and it is a lovely sight to see. My favorite moment comes at the 2:48 mark — you just try not to smile at this man’s jolly gyrations. My only complaint (purely in the interest of accurate artistic recreation): Fellas, where are the diamond-encrusted thongs?

And, of course, here’s the original Lady Gaga version:

Is Karzai really going to turn to the Taliban? Should we care?

Fred Kaplan has written a very good article in Slate. Here’s a clip… but go in and read the whole thing:
clipped from www.slate.com

Has Karzai Gone Crazy?What matters is whether he’s a reliable partner.
What is to be done about Hamid Karzai? The short answer is: not much.
These past few years, since the revival of counterinsurgency doctrine, the U.S. military has learned much about “asymmetrical conflicts,” in which an ostensibly powerful nation (e.g., the United States) finds itself outmaneuvered by considerably weaker adversaries (e.g., al-Qaida, the Taliban) who have figured out how to tap our vulnerabilities.

Hamid Karzai. Click image to expand.
It seems that the president of Afghanistan has been learning his own lessons about how to play this game.
Karzai’s regime—its sovereignty, budget, army, police, even his personal security—depends entirely on the United States, NATO, and a handful of other foreign allies.
It’s like the old joke: If you owe the bank $1 million, the bank owns you; if you owe the bank $1 billion, you own the bank.
We’re the bank, and Karzai’s the one in unfathomably deep debt
  blog it

Cartoon of the Week

Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

luckovich

Why on Earth don’t we remember the WHOLE 20th Century which became a Century of War? Why on Earth do we make the deaths of young Americans the basis of public policy? We have the technology to DESTROY THE EARTH without putting one soldier on the line, yet we send thousands more to face enemies we don’t even have a direct conflict with (Afghanistan, Iraq, all the Middle East war areas seem to be in pure Civil War. Why do we have to be the camp counselor?)

Perhaps we can remember Viet Nam. I know that there are millions of younger Americans who do not even know one fact about that stinking conflict that we got caught up in because we were against Communism!

That wall in Luckovich’s cartoon really should be visited by every politician in America and they should be forced to read EVERY NAME ON IT. Then they could think about the kind of world that could have been achieved if so many thousands had served America as LIVING CITIZENS!

My Uncle Butch (Irving B. Tchakirides) is a name they would have to read on that wall. Certainly everyone reading this, through the six degrees of separation process, will connect with someone else that they were related to or were close to.

If we think, maybe we can stop.