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Oh Yeah, Some News: I will be the editor-in-cheese of Reason magazine, and moving to DC. Hoo-ray for me! Less than 20 bucks to subscribe, people!

11/28/2007 11:44 AM  |  Comment (13)

Come Join (or Send Questions to) a Welch/Gillespie Washington Post Chat Tuesday at 9 a.m. PDT: At which we'll be discussing the Ron Paul rEVOLution, among other things.

11/25/2007 12:16 AM  |  Comment (5)

New L.A. Times Column From Me -- "McCain's Homework: A recently obtained National War College essay shows that the former POW is not as thoughtful as advertised about the lessons of Vietnam": Excerpt:

[I]t's no wonder that those of us who have written about McCain's life have been desperate to lay our hands on that April 1974 National War College thesis. In the quest to understand how his Vietnam experience has affected his views on the unpopular war in Iraq, it's been like a hunt for the Rosetta Stone. Surely it would provide glimpses into his thinking, and evidence of the kind of doubt that helped make him an outspoken skeptic in later years of U.S. deployments to Lebanon, Haiti and Bosnia. And maybe it would contain a hint of why he wants to double down on an even less-popular war.

No such luck.

I recently obtained a copy of McCain's essay through a Freedom of Information Act request. And, quite unlike the senator's own descriptions of his nine-month course ("to study why and how my country had fought in Vietnam"), the paper isn't actually about any of that. It's instead a relatively technical assessment of how the military's post-Korean War changes to the Code of Conduct for POWs played out on the ground in Vietnam.

One of the most interesting bits in that essay:
The biggest factor in a man's ability to perform creditably as a prisoner of war is a strong belief in the correctness of his nations [sic] foreign policy. Too many men in the Armed Forces of the United Sates do not understand what this nations [sic] foreign policy is. It is encumbent [sic] upon the Armed Forced before sending its members to fight, and possibly die, to inform them as to the nature of the foreign policy and goals of the United States of America. This is not to advocate a DELETED type "indoctrination" or an extensive course in international relations but a simple, straight-forward, explanation of the foreign policy of the United States. A program of this nature could be construed as "brain washing" or "thought control" and could be a target for a great deal of criticism. But if a program of this nature was well formulated and professionally executed it would be of inestimable value, not only to future prisoners of war, but also to the benefit of the Armed Forces in time of both peace and war. The day of the "charge of the light brigade" is over. The youth of America require and deserve and explanation for the requirements for them to serve, and if called upon, to sacrifice for their country. A program of this nature could be commenced in basic training and could be continued on as many other training programs are in the Armed Forces. The basic instincts of the American youth are good and if properly motivated, they can still rank with the best fighting men in the history of the world.

11/25/2007 12:11 AM  |  Comment (2)

Hi! What are you doing down here?

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