Boxing Days: Readers on Saletan.

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Sept. 11 2002 1:51 PM

Boxing Days

Our readers respond to Saletan's changes of heart.

(Continued from Page 2)

(If you think that's harsh, try this one or this.) Doodahman, in his weekly "two cents" noted sagely that "the words 'common law' have the same effect on the word 'wife' that 'special' has on the word 'Olympics.'

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DP always has several sui-generis threads at least as rewarding as the letters in the column. Stunned's boyfriendforgot her name here. ...

Discussting: After several eminently sensible complaints, the Discuss button at the top of the Slate home page has been re-linked to the general Fray Topics  page ... 12:45 p.m.

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Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2002  

Nice threads: In the Politics Fray's discussion of the Brookings fellows' proposed ultimatum to Saddam, Cato the Censor started an excellent discussion here. His basic point?

The administration has purposely engaged in sending out mixed messages, as the hawks and doves have seemingly been battling out their differences in public. I think that the administration long ago decided that we would go to war with Iraq. They are also smart enough to know that there would be an almost universal outcry against a perceived pre-emptive strike. Therefore, they began ratcheting up the pressure with ever-increasing hints of war, as well as obvious preparation for war. However, wishing to appear flexible and responsive to domestic and international concerns, the administration first backed off its decision that it was unnecessary to consult Congress. Next, it will give Iraq and the UN one last chance to avoid war.

This is a brilliant tactic. We will wage war, yet the administration will have looked like it grudgingly gave peace one last effort.

John, on the other hand, saw the call for inspections as the surest way to war and the current administration warmongering as the best way to avoid it here:

If you want to start a war, one that might be legitimized by a vote at the U.N., the United States should issue the ultimatum that these authors have in mind. But what if what you really want are truly unfettered U.N. inspections? Here's what you do:

1. Put the evil and arrogant U.S. on a war footing

2. Have the evil and arrogant U.S. declare that further inspections would be meaningless (but reveal some apparent internal dissension on the point to keep the idea of inspections alive)

3. Have the U.N. negotiate with Hussein to allow inspections to resume, with the understanding that the U.S. is chomping at the bit to attack and will do so at the first sign that the inspections are being hampered in any way.

Hussein might actually agree to such inspections because he wouldn't look to the Arab world like he is fearfully caving in to the Great Satan (and he knows that the U.S. would never attack if the inspectors are given a chance to do their jobs) … 10:50 a.m.

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Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2002
 

The Anti-Chatterbox?: The Dismal Science Fray is teeny tiny, but usually smart. In the great deflation debate (following Robert Shapiro's piece), Reasonable Rick asks a good question (and I don't know that the answers he's gotten are right): What about the money supply?

Baltimore Aureole may not be as interested in technical questions as Phil from California (all I can say about his post is "Huh?"), but offers the following nugget: