IRAQ: The Iraqi ambassador to the United States is warning of ethnic cleansing in Iraq unless the Obama administration steps in with air strikes. Some important background: Iraq doesn’t have an air force because the United States dismantled it and only belatedly agreed to help stand it back up—with protracted deliveries of purchased helicopters and the delivery of its first F-16 only last month. Say what you will about U.S intervention, but in a way, we sentenced Iraq to the current quagmire by denying it air cover by any means.
BOOKS: The second novel by J.K. Rowling under the Robert Gailbraith pen name goes on sale tomorrow. The Silkworm follows the crime novel series started by Cuckoo’s Calling featuring Cormoran Strike, the one-legged police detective—only this time everyone knows the bestselling author behind it.
BOOKS: Hillary Clinton’s much talked about new book about her tenure as secretary of state is selling at about half the rate of her 2003 memoir, and one publishing source described it as “a bomb.”
MORE BOOKS: Some of the most dangerous ideas (ask Pasternak or Solzhenitsyn) are the ideas found in books.
LIBYA: U.S. special forces in an unusual operation in this season of disengagement seized a key leader of the 2012 Benghazi attack that killed four Americans. Otherwise, the Obama administration would like to put Benghazi behind it, and news commentators like The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank want to help. His column trashed the otherwise exemplary work of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi (one could argue necessitated by the failure of The Washington Post and others to do their job on the story first go round)—only it turns out most of what he described is fabricated. Even the “American University law student” who “asked a question in a soft voice” only to be pounced on by Milbank’s fabricated Islamaphobists turns out to be an Islamic activist who stood by the side of Portland’s 2010 Christmas tree bomber.