Sunday, November 19, 2006

Unknown unknowns becoming known knowns

Stay the course


Cut and run

It no longer makes any difference. It's too late. Either course will eventually, irrevocably come to the same end: civil war in Iraq. The question is no longer if there is civil war in Iraq but whether it will escalate to include the rest of the Middle East.

When Bush and his Neocon idealists thought they could make reality conform to their expectations, I knew nothing about Sunnis or Shiites. We all have had to learn if we wanted to understand what was really going on in the Neocons' naïve power play.

I suggest to anyone who's reading this of a recent story that appear in the WaPo. It is like the news report of George Kennan's Long Telegram, which foretold the Cold War. However, unlike Kennan’s letter, the story offers no suggestion of a means to keep the coming war cold.

Bush and especially Rumsfeld wanted to prove Bush senior was a wimp and his decision not to evade Iraq in the first Gulf War was a blunder. Instead, they have proven the opposite. What had seemed a bumbling, mental light-weight has become a subtle genius of foreign policy. Rumsfeld wanted the army to do more with less, but instead, he proved that Bush senior was doing more by doing less. His misjudgment of the elder Bush’s understanding of foreign policy was reflected in his misjudgment of his own understanding of foreign policy. He shouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss “Old Europe” thinking.

Bush does deserve dubious credit for proving U.N. sanctions work by invading Iraq. We know with out any doubt Saddam was not developing WMD's, and that he had gotten rid of the ones he had. You don't get proofs like that in the real world. Thanks a lot, George. Since you’ve proven sanctions and diplomacy was working with Saddam, how about we use that approach with North Korea – what say?

One of the most chilling lines in the WaPo story was a reference to an advisor to Saudi Arabia who urged the Saudis:

…to warn Iran “that if these activities are not checked,” Saudi Arabia “will be forced to consider a similar overt and covert program of its own.”

Ultimatums can’t be far behind, and as the story indicates, Saudi Arabia is not the only one with interests in what happens in Iraq. Iraq may be the first victim in a larger war.

The story brushes on a topic that many Sunni Arabs already know. Shiites are using the Israeli problem to advance their position in the Islamic world, and the headquarters for this strategy is Tehran. Also, will Syria sacrifice world peace for the Golan Heights? Will Iran sacrifice the Shia’s stake in Islamic power for nuclear power, which they neither need nor really want? If Iran gets the bomb, can Saudi Arabia do otherwise? The hate for the Israelis is a newcomer in age-old hates. Growing up seeing footage of protest crying “Yankee Go Home!”. Iraq offers the unique situation in which locals hate each other more than they hate Americans.

In the coming war, Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites need to realize what Ho Chi Minh knew and preached to his communist comrades. The French and the Americans would be way much easier to kick out of their country than the Chinese, so don’t forfeit your future by allowing you neighbors to move in.

Bush’s legacy may be one that he would not have chosen had he fully understood the more ominous aspects of the Pottery Barn metaphor. That’s one of those “unknown unknowns” his key foreign policy implementer mentioned in rationalizing early bad news.

One more thing before the Americans leave: the Iraqis are the freest they have ever been or will be – enjoy it will you can, as much as you can until the civil war destroys this way of life; you will miss it after the Americans are gone.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Present at the Minor Revolution

The columnist of the NYTimes, Frank Rich and MoDo, mention in the post that the Bushies got their base out to vote. It just wasn’t enough.

Others who had had enough and don’t normally vote, turned out in droves in a measly mid-term election and voted for the Bushies opponents who happen to be Democrats. Even when Republicans said they weren’t Bushies, they were sacrificed to make a statement. Bush stayed the course. The voters cut and ran to someone else.

I’m cynical. I though of titling this post “Let the investigations begin.” I believe the next two years will be given over to what is yet to be discovered and become the MSM and blogosphere feeding frenzy that will dominate the news cycle week after week, month after month. Having seen it in Watergate and then Clinton’s impeachment, I’m not looking forward to the circus that is about to unfold on the American public.

Hopefully, Gates as Sec. of Def. will be confirmed by the lame-duck Republican majority, because there is a bigger issue than what Bush and the Neocons did wrong or illegal. What is going to happen not only in Iraq, but in the whole of the Middle East is a question that needs addressing.

Bush Jr., the Neocons, and Rumsfled in particular were going to prove what a wimp Bush Sr. was. Instead, they’ve prove what a subtle genius he was and a master at statesmanship. Hopefully, his old team of advisors can come up with a solution that will not only save the Bush name and legacy, but the rest of the world as well.

When the Bush team suggests a measured solution to the Iraqi situation, I hope the Democratic majority will not be caught up in such an investigative, get-even fever they refuse to accept good advice because it comes from Republicans. Don’t make the mistake the Bushies made in regard to Clinton’s advice on leaving the White House.

Message to the rest of the world: You’re going to have to take care of yourself; we’re going to be busy in one of our cyclical feeding frenzy that we are wont to do.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Vote for none of the above

We here in Tennessee were lucky this election go-round. We actually had two good candidates from which to choose. I wish we could have sent both Harold and Bob to Washington. Bob because he is an outsider and from my hometown (remember: "All politics is local," and besides, I couldn't very well chastise Tennesseans for not voting for Gore in 2000 as a favorite son, and then not do the same thing myself), and Harold, because he is a Washington insider but appears to be a decent human being which we certainly could use more of in Washington.

Other states did not have such a good choice – you know which ones you are – it has happened here many times before and in races other than ones for national political position.

Why don't we add "None of the above" as a selection on the ballot? If it gets more votes than any of the other candidates, then we have to have another election in which neither of the candidates running can run again. Parties selection their candidate in primaries and that’s all well and good and as American as anything else that claims to be American, but the general electorate should have to option of saying no, we don't like what you offered, go back and do it again.

Make the system work for us. If we don't like our choices, may the system – the major political parties – choose someone for whom we can vote. Things happen during the run up to the general election. The best man (or woman) doesn't always get selected. Special interest may select the candidate, but what is good for a special interest may not be good for the majority of us. You don't have to "throw the bums out" if you never elect them.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Joementum Rules

I just like posted this over a Daily Kos.

A little mind game for you.

Imagine it is November 8 or whenever the mid-term elections are finally counted and decided, and the final results are 50 seats for one party and 49 seats for the other party. You decide which is which, and the 100th senator is Bush’s best ex-Democratic friend, Joe Lieberman.

He says he going to vote as a Democrat, but he’s said he was going to be a Democrat before and then chose otherwise. He is known for supporting Republicans; he lost his primary because of the Republican taint; he wins the general election for the same reason; and then he has got to decide which way he going to go.

If I was a Republican politico and none too particular for any of those investigations a Democratic committee chairman is going to want, I’d offer Jumpin’ Joe whatever he wants to insure a Republican majority. If I was a Democratic true blue party member, I’d have to go hat in hand and eat Joe’s crow – that is if I want to investigate what all went wrong with this war from the doctored reasons for starting it to where those billions of dollars went to pay for it but somehow didn’t. Would you kiss Joe’s ass to get at the Bushies?

If you believe Tip O’Neill’s “All politics is Local,” then JoeMo is going to choose what is good for Connecticut. In a Congress this close, little is going to get done. Joe the Conn. is going to make sure his state gets a significant portion of that action. If Joe goes with the Demos, investigations and testimonies before committee chairmen will sprout like vegetation in a globally warmed world, but would that ugly weed that nobody really wants but we all may have to live with, impeachment, come froth and dominate the news cycles more than any missing white girl could ever hope.

Rep Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., slipped in between Chris Matthews’ Hardball rants that Democrats would not impeach Bush because that would mean Cheney would be President. Either we go that way or we need a twofer. I say why not? Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures.

Another presidential impeachment is so last century. Nixon has already got first president to ever resign. He wanted to do something historic, and he did. Beside, during the time of Nixon, the senior Bush held all those different positions that contributed to him being the most trained president we’ve ever had and Bush Younger along with those Neocon Jiminy Crickets were going to try and out do senior but only proved what true foreign policy failure actually looks like and this all has run on way too much.

The President wanted to testify with the Vice President in a previous investigation, so why not impeach them together. Set the mark high early in this century for later generations to follow. I wouldn’t be hard to find material on which to charge them both. They tried to impeach Clinton for a lot less. Legacy like revenge is a bitch. And the icing on this imaginary cake: Nancy Pelosi becomes President.

WOW! How did I go from a mind game on JoeMo to here? Go figure.