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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

more oy 

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That was the night of September 15. Three months have passed, but major decisions about rebuilding are still stalled by vacillation and red tape. According to a Brookings Institution study published on December 7, more than $21 billion has been "allocated" to New Orleans alone, and $19 billion of that has been spent. Half has gone to "administration" and "general operations." Meanwhile, only one—yes, one—of New Orleans's 116 public schools is open. Two-thirds of the 276,000 applications for low-interest home-rebuilding loans—earmarked for low-income families—have yet to be reviewed. Worse, of those reviewed, more than 80 percent have been rejected, on the grounds that applicants' incomes or credit ratings were too low.

Idiots

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Iraq could easily go the way of Lebanon in the late 1970s, only bigger and bloodier. And such a war could easily escalate into a regional conflict.

If the history of 20th century Europe is anything to go by, all the ingredients are now in place for the biggest conflagration in Middle Eastern history. The only good news is that the first thing to go up in smoke will be the theory of a democratic peace.

The coming storm
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