American Elephants


The sky is dark, there blows a storm, the soup is hot, the fire is warm. by The Elephant's Child
November 24, 2008, 5:45 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Entertainment, Health Care | Tags: , ,

Thanksgiving week, and the mind turns to menus and food preparation.  A soup added to a turkey dinner might be too much for many appetites, but I offer it up as accompaniment for the leftovers.

Butternut Squash Soup

2 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes

5 Cups chicken stock (1 large can+ 1 can condensed)

1 Cup chopped onions

3/4 Cup white part of scallions or chopped shallots

2 Cups light cream (half & half)

salt and pepper to taste (use white pepper)

In a large kettle combine squash, chicken stock, onion and scallion or shallots.  Simmer until squash is tender.  Pureé mixture in small batches in a blender.  Add cream, reheat but do not boil.  Thicken slightly with cornstarch dissolved in water. Serve, garnished with finely chopped green part of scallions or with chopped chives.



The Iraq War is Over. by The Elephant's Child
November 24, 2008, 4:58 pm
Filed under: History, Iraq, Military, Terrorism | Tags: , , ,

That’s what Michael Yon reports today in the New York Post.  Michael Yon has been reporting on the War on Terror since December 2004 at Michaelyon-online.com. His latest book is  Moment of Truth in Iraq , and I highly recommend it.  The civil war, he says, is completely over. Muqtada al-Sadr has lost a lot of support among the Shia.  Many view him as one whose influence derives solely from respect for his father.

The Iraqi Army continues to grow stronger and more professional by the month. Even the National Police, who last year were thought of as militia members in uniform and drew attacks, are slowly gaining acceptance and respect.  U.S. soldiers’ mentoring is working, and bonds of trust are being built between U.S. and Iraqi soldiers, police and citizens.  “The United States”, says Yon, “has a new ally in Iraq.  And if both sides continue to nurture this bond, it will create a permanent partnership of mutual benefit.”

Iraqis are tired of war and ready to get back to school, to business and to living life as it should be.

Do read the whole short article. The media have lost interest in Iraq, and prefer to think of it, if they think of it at all, as Bush’s failed war.  It is instead, a great Bush success.  It’s hard now to remember what an awful situation Iraq was in 2003.

I remember the Iraqis voting for the first time. We all remember the purple fingers. U.S. soldiers guarding the Iraqis lined up to enter the polling place noted a very pregnant Iraqi woman in line.  She went into labor while she waited in line, and a U.S. Medic came to her aid, delivered the baby, and the woman planted the baby in the soldier’s arms, and went in to vote.
Do not belittle Iraqi democracy. A people who endured the torture, the terror and brutality of a tyrant like Saddam Hussein could teach us a few things about the importance of the right to vote.




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