an in-between move

Cool kids read The Bellman.


Don't read this blog!

I mean, thanks for dropping by my little corner of the blogospheric backwaters, but the blog you should be reading is The Bellman. The stuff I post there is much, much less likely to be imbued with dormitive powers.


[German, from zwischen, intermediate + zug, move

Literally an "in-between move". A move in a tactical sequence is called a zwischenzug* when it does not relate directly to the tactical motif in operation. |source|

image copyright TWIC

From this position, black played a zwischenzug: 19…d5
(Linares 2002, 1-0)


about your blogger

David Rowland studies philosophy at the University of Illinois - Urbana / Champaign, where he's an active member of the Graduate Employees Organization. He used to play a lot of chess, but wasn't all that good. He has a blog. And email.



The John Wilkes Booth of character assassination
A new and powerful addiction
Weekend reading
A great and strong wind rent the mountains, and br...
I come to bury Caesar...
"Mr. President, when did you first realize that yo...
Today's Wal-Mart reading
WMD Round-Up Yeeeeeeeee-Haaaaaah!!!!!
Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay


error log

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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone





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Union Label

Direct Action
Gets the Goods!


some folks I know

Mark Dilley
a daily dose of architecture
Safety Neal
January Girl
mimi jingcha
Hop, Skip, Jump
ambivalent imbroglio
Brooke & Lian


some blogs I read

strip mining for whimsy
It's Matt's World
School of Blog
Fall of the State
Dru Blood
Echidne of the Snakes
Colossal Waste of Bandwidth
Running from the Thought Police
Bionic Octopus


some philosoblogs

Fake Barn Country
Freiheit und Wissen


some labor blogs

Confined Space
Working Life
Dispatches From the Trenches
Labor Blog
Eric Lee


some A-list blogs

This Modern World
Matthew Yglesias
Andrew Sullivan
Political Animal
The Volokh Conspiracy


some other links

Rule 33
This Week in Chess
War Nerd
National Priorities Project
Bible Gateway
Internet Archive
A Weekly Dose of Architecture
Orsinal: Morning Sunshine
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Safety Sign Builder
Get Your War On


some philosoblogging

Six views about reasons
Seidman on reflection and rationality
And another thing
Tiffany's argument for strong internalism
Internalism v. Externalism
What do internalists believe anyway?
Rationalism and internalism
The experimental method in philosophy
Advertising to children
On moral skepticism
A linguistic argument
More on Williams
Williams on reasons
General and particular
Normativity and morality
Political intuitions
What it is, what it was, and what it shall be
Objectivity and morality
Thinking revolution
Abortion and coercion
Moore on torture
On the phenomenology of deliberation
Even more Deliberation Day
more Deliberation Day
Deliberation Day run-down
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge, cont.
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge
Every shepherd is an abomination
Droppin' H-bombs
ad hominem

Tuesday, February 03, 2004


More on WMDs

Over the last week or so the blogopunditocracy has consistently and effectively criticized the Bush Administration's attempt to blame the intelligence community, and specifically the CIA, for inflating the evidence of an Iraqi WMD program. I remain doubtful that this criticism will ultimately prevent the Administration from successfully deceiving the electorate, but I don't know what else can be done.

The only fault I see with the current left-wing orthodoxy on this point is their insistence on seeing the Administration as 'struggling' or 'reeling' in trying to 'come to grips with' the political fallout of Kay's stated conclusion that there are no WMDs to be found.

My own preferred narrative is that the Administration is engaging in a well thought out and well coordinated effort to cushion the political blow of the inevitable WMD admission. They've got the terrain mapped, and they chose their path long before Kay started talking.

Some caveats. First, my view is more than a touch paranoid. It seems odd that the Administration could be that smart about politics while being so stupid about everything else. Second, it could be that the blogopunditocratic elites do see a great Rovish conspiracy here but choose, for super-sophisticated propagandistic reasons, not to say anything about it.

Fair enough. Still, it seems to me that it's better to overestimate Bush than to underestimate him.

That doesn't mean I wouldn't prefer to have evidence for my view.

This story from The Observer fits very well into my narrative. According to the article, it was well known as early as last May that no significant stockpiles of WMDs would be found.

There are problems with the Observer's story. It claims to rely on various anonymous sources, but only describes one such source, 'a very senior US intelligence official serving during the war against Iraq with an intimate knowledge of the search for Iraq's WMD.' The only named source for the information is former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright, who is quoted as saying, "it was known in May." Albright is credible because of his, 'close contacts in both the world of weapons inspection and intelligence,' but having contacts isn't the same as having documents.

All the same, it seems right to say that the main contention of the Observer report is accurate, namely, that the Administration has known for some time that WMDs were unlikely to be found. (That much seemed implicit in Kay's preliminary report)

It's possible that the Administration had this information but didn't want to believe it. In fact, I think that's likely, and that it explains things like Cheney's continued insistence that those trailers were biological weapons factories.

But it's a step beyond this to the conclusion that the Administration didn't consider the possibility that the snark hunters might come home empty handed.

The first possibility requires you to believe that the Administration lives in a paranoid conservative fantasyland. The second requires you to believe both that they live in a paranoid conservative fantasyland AND that they don't understand politics.

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