November 10, 2003

Remarkable...

Somewhere in the British Isles a village is missing its idiot: Andrew Sullivan attempts to draw a distinction between "imminent" on the one hand and "ready to take place" or "hanging threateningly over one's head" on the other.

From Joshua Micah Marshall:

Talking Points Memo: Live by the word game, die by the word game.

Andrew Sullivan arguing that no one said the threat was imminent (emphasis added) ...

We can fight over words in this way, but the fundamental reality also undermines Marshall's case. The point about 9/11 is that it showed that we were in a new world where we could be attacked by shadowy groups with little warning. The point about Saddam is that he was a sworn enemy of the U.S., had been known to develop an arsenal of WMDs, was in a position to arm terrorists in a devastating way, and any president had to weigh the risk of him staying in power in that new climate. The actual threat hangs over us all the time. It is unlike previous threats from foreign powers. It is accountable to no rules and no ethics. We know it will give us no formal warning. But we cannot know it is "imminent".

Webster’s, well-known dictionary manufacturer, defining ‘imminent’

Main Entry: im•mi•nent
Pronunciation: 'i-m&-n&nt
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin imminent-, imminens, present participle of imminEre to project, threaten, from in- + -minEre (akin to Latin mont-, mons mountain) -- more at MOUNT
Date: 1528
: ready to take place; especially : hanging threateningly over one's head (was in imminent danger of being run over)
- im•mi•nent•ly adverb

Some curveballs hang too temptingly over the plate.

Posted by DeLong at November 10, 2003 07:44 PM | TrackBack

Comments

Chambers gives near at hand,threatening, impending, etymology the same.

Posted by: Big Al on November 11, 2003 03:36 AM

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Depends on what the definition of "is" is. But when Clinton said this, it was only about sex. The Bush cheerleaders are defending dishonesty over foreign policy and sending our soldiers to fight and die. But how is defending dishonesty with more dishonesty something that a conservative should be engaged in?

Posted by: Hal McClure on November 11, 2003 12:13 PM

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Depends on what the definition of "is" is. But when Clinton said this, it was only about sex. The Bush cheerleaders are defending dishonesty over foreign policy and sending our soldiers to fight and die. But how is defending dishonesty with more dishonesty something that a conservative should be engaged in?

Posted by: Hal McClure on November 11, 2003 12:16 PM

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http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/11/opinion/11INTRO.html?pagewanted=print&position=

Excerpts of letters from Army Pfc. Rachel K. Bosveld, 19, of Oshkosh, Wis., who was killed Oct. 26 in a mortar attack.

Tuesday, Oct. 14

Mom,

I'm doing fine, Mom. Yes, I did get into a sort of accident, if that's what you call it. We were hit by an IED (improvised explosive device) or RPG (rocket-propelled grenade), which set our truck on fire because it struck the battery and fuel line. My neck and shoulder were pretty banged up for about two weeks. My shoulder popped (dislocated) and I jammed my neck as well. I lost my hearing in my left ear for a few weeks. My hearing in general isn't good at all anymore. I've been through my share of explosives. I'm sending pictures home to be developed of my truck (or what's left of it). I took a few of me with the truck, so you could all see that I'm O.K.

It's still pretty warm during the day, but gets very chilly at night. Could you try and find one of my hooded sweatshirts to send to me?

Right now I'm soaking my feet. My feet take a beating in these boots. My feet are all cut up and sore. . . . Feels soooooo good now, anyway. I guess I haven't been taking as good care of myself this month. We have a physical training test I'm getting ready for. This month and last we haven't gotten much time to do P.T. So I work, sleep, work, P.T., work — oh, and eat.

Well Mom, my 20-minute soak is up. Take care. I love you. Don't worry so much about me, Mom, my intuition has already saved a few lives here and my own as well.

Monday, Oct. 20

I'm doing great this week. Sure, I've dodged lots of bullets and such, gotten little to no sleep and eaten nasty food, but I am doing great.

I got to drive a tank! I got a tour, learned how to operate everything, load everything, and I got to DRIVE IT! I was tooth from ear to ear!

I'm getting a Purple Heart for the accident, along with eight other people in my platoon. . . . Someone is always getting injured here. There have been no fatalities so far in my company, though, just lots of injuries.

So, how are you? Eighteen days till my birthday! I can't wait! No one probably even knows when it is over here.

Well, bye for now, just wanted to let you know I'm O.K. and I miss you.

I love you,
Rachel

Posted by: lise on November 11, 2003 01:44 PM

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