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Re: Andy McCarthy on the Hadley memo: Doesn’t that stuff about “demonstrating to the Shia” that “we are a reliable partner” get to the heart of the matter? It’s American credibility. Ever since April 2003, to the average person watching CNN International in Baghdad the entire US discussion as framed by media, Dems, Chuck Hagel et al is about “exit strategy”. If that’s all the Americans care about, it’s no wonder the natives figure you might as well reach such accommodations as are necessary with the folks who’ll still be around after the Yanks have exited. And, almost by definition, that favors the Mahdi Army et al. American “reliability” is always the issue – in Iraq and pretty much everywhere else.

On the other hand, the piece Jonah linked to on Virginia soup kitchens makes me wonder why we don’t just surrender now. Who wants to live in a society where only government-licensed persons are authorized to do a kind deed? And, if hygiene is the issue, why stop at homeless shelters? Why should six-year old Johnny have to get his breakfast served in a kitchen that’s non-approved by Fairfax County Health Services? After all, he didn’t choose to grow up in a non-three-sink kitchen.

Didn’t there used to be a small government party in this country? Seems a long time ago, but I have a vague memory of it…

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

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