Petraeus and Moveon

Duke Political Science Professor and Bush Administration hack (and my undergraduate adviser for one meeting in 1991), had a ridiculous column last week comparing to McCarthyites.  You can read the whole thing here.  My brief response made it to today's N&O, which you can read here:

Though Peter Feaver (Point of View, Sept. 12) would surely argue that
he is addressing an important issue in the Iraq debate, his ridiculous
comparison of MoveOn to McCarthyites is little more than a distraction
to the central issues facing our country regarding Iraq.

I will admit
that MoveOn's reference to “General Betray Us” was over the line, but
unlike McCarthy, a strong case can be made that its criticisms were
based in truth. By bringing up such a loaded term (why not just call
MoveOn Nazis?) Feaver aims to distract from the very legitimate
criticisms that Petraeus has become hopelessly politicized by the White

From exclusive interviews to Fox News to adopting the
White House's demonstrably false pattern of referring to all the enemy
in Iraq as al-Qaeda, to cherry-picking statistics on violence, Petraeus
has clearly shown a willingness to adapt to the political aims of the
Bush administration.

Feaver's political science expertise would
be better put to explaining the problem of senior military officials
becoming politicized than toward overblown critiques from MoveOn.

Global Dimming

I caught the last half of a very intriguing NOVA on PBS last week.  Apparently, global warming would actually be a lot worse but for the fact that all the particulate matter pollution in the atmosphere is actually serving to dim the amount of solar energy we receive (global dimming) thereby cooling the earth and counteracting global warming to some degree.  The bad news?  We've been much better at eliminating particulate matter (which causes numerous deaths and health problems from its respiratory effects) than we are at reducing Carbon Dioxide.  In other words, we may very well have underestimated the impact of global warming due to previously unaccounted for global dimming and as particulate matter is increasingly eliminated, global warming will only become worse.  Bummer. 

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