Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On The Perils of Wall Street

Michael Totten has just put up another essay describing his recent stint in Iraq. It well captures the murkiness and the many shades of the story over there; besides reporting what he saw he touches upon a number of deeper issues.

However, the report also has its comic moments. The best one is when he's talking to Captain J. Dow Covey from New York:

“Do you know the Weekly Standard magazine?” Captain Covey asked me.

“Of course,” I said.

“My buddy Tom Cotton was just written up there,” he said. “It was pretty cool seeing him in that magazine.”

“What did he do to get in the magazine?” I said.

“He’s like me,” he said. “He’s a Harvard Law grad who joined the Army after 9/11. I’m an attorney.”

“You’re an attorney?” I said. “What are you doing out here in Iraq?”

“I practiced law for three years,” he said, “then got into investment banking. When 9/11 happened I just had to sign up with the Army. Investment banking is a lot more stressful than this.”

“You’re kidding, right?” I said.

“No,” he said and laughed. “I am totally serious.”

If he was deployed in, say, Kurdistan I could see it. But Mushadah was stressful. Less stressful than investment banking? Investment banking in New York must really be something.

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