Passport

A war to end all war analogies

Another week, another Iraq comparison. First, it was Vietnam. Then it was Korea. There have also been comparisons to World War II, the American Civil War, and the 1956 uprising in Hungary. Speaking yesterday in Martinsburg, West Virginia, U.S. President George W. Bush—as he has done before—compared Iraq to the Revolutionary War:

The president, who was accompanied by senior adviser Karl Rove, began his remarks by comparing today's soldiers to those who fought in the Revolutionary War.

The president mentioned Adam Stephen, a Revolutionary War general who founded Martinsburg, a city of 15,000 in the panhandle of West Virginia. "We give thanks for all the brave citizen-soldiers of our Continental Army who dropped pitchforks and took up muskets to fight for our freedom and liberty and independence," Bush said. He added: "You're the successors of those brave men. . . . Like those early patriots, you're fighting a new and unprecedented war."

And here we see the peril of war analogies. My guess is that a significant number of Iraqis, unfortunately, would see things differently—with U.S. soldiers wearing the red coats.

Passport

Quotable: The potbelly was a dead giveaway

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images

A Pakistani security official had this to say about the dramatic capture of a leader of a besieged radical mosque in Islamabad:

Our men spotted his unusual demeanour. The rest of the girls looked like girls but he was taller and had a potbelly."