Bush Floats Trial Balloon for Iraq Pullout?

AP reports that in comments made Monday during his brief stop in Iraq, George Bush floated the notion of reducing troops in Iraq.

“Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker tell me if the kind of success we’re now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer American forces.”

Bush further clarified his remark by suggesting that any reduction made on his watch will not be of the “cut and run” variety. Bush created new bumper sticker slogans in his speech, equating his pullout with “Strength and Success”, and his opponents’ with “Fear and Failure”.

“Those [force reduction] decisions will be based on a calm assessment by our military commanders on the conditions on the ground, not reaction by Washington politicians to poll results in the media,” said Bush. “In other words, when we begin to draw down troops from Iraq, it will be from a position of strength and success, not from the position of fear and failure.”

This rhetorical strategy is reminiscent of Nixon’s “peace with honor” pullout from Vietnam.




President Bush is in Iraq today for talks with Gen. David H. Petraeus. He was probably hoping to get inside information on what the general would have to say next week. It’s a mystery after all. Top advisors Rice and Gates went along to help purchase rugs at the market.

Baccy and quanta

From the book Euphorias and Eurekas: The Oxford Book of Scientific Anecdotes

Abraham Pais, friend, disciple, and biographer of Bohr, recalls the following encounter, which took place in Bohr´s office.

After we had entered, Bohr asked me to sit down and soon started to pace furiously round the oblong table in the centre of the room. He then asked me if I could put down a few sentences as they would emerge during his pacing. It should be explained that, at such sessions, Bohr never had a full sentence ready. He would often dwell on one word, coax it, implore it, to find the continuation. This could go on for many minutes. At that moment, the word was “Einstein”. There was, Bohr almost running around the table and repeating: “Einstein…Einstein…”. It would have been a curious sight for someone not familiar with Bohr. After a little while he walked to the window, gazed out, repeating every now and then: “Einstein…Einstein…” Continue reading

Climate Change definition and stuff

In order to approach a problem, we have to be able to recognize it and define it. Definition means to put limits and to know dimensions.

Here is what the IPCC tells us about Climate Change:

Climate change refers to a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer). Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.

Note that the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in its Article 1, defines “climate change” as:

“a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods”.

The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between “climate change” attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and “climate variability” attributable to natural causes.

Now, in the link above we can all get familiarized with the different terms and technical words use in this definition.