The end of the year always brings about top ten lists about the past year, but here are a couple you might have missed...
First, on the question of "Is the U.S. becoming a police state?" comes this top ten list (from Alternet). Here are the topics, some of which surprised me. See the article for more details/explanations.
1. The Internet Clampdown
2. "The Long War"
3. The USA PATRIOT Act
4. Prison Camps
5. Touchscreen Voting Machines
6. Signing Statements
7. Warrantless Wiretapping
8. Free Speech Zones
9. High-ranking Whistleblowers
10. The CIA Shakeup
And here is Juan Cole's "Top Ten Myths about Iraq 2006" The first line is pretty ominous: "Myth number one is that the United States "can still win" in Iraq." Here are the top ten myths, according to Professor Cole:
1. Myth number one is that the United States "can still win" in Iraq.
2. US military sweeps of neighborhoods can drive the guerrillas out.
3. The United States is best off throwing all its support behind the Iraqi Shiites.
4. Iraq is not in a civil war," as Jurassic conservative Fox commentator Bill O'Reilly insists.
5. The second Lancet study showing 600,000 excess deaths from political and criminal violence since the US invasion is somehow flawed.
6. Most deaths in Iraq are from bombings." (The Lancet study found the majority of violent deaths are from being shot.)
7. Baghdad and environs are especially violent but the death rate is lower in the rest of the country.
8. Iraq is the central front in the war on terror." (From the beginning of history until 2003 there had never been a suicide bombing in Iraq. There was no al-Qaeda in Baath-ruled Iraq)
9. The Sunni Arab guerrillas in places like Ramadi will follow the US home to the American mainland and commit terrorism if we leave Iraq." This assertion is just a variation on the invalid domino theory. (People in Ramadi only have one beef with the United States. Its troops are going through their wives' underwear
10. Setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq is a bad idea.