I’ve posted a lot lately, but didn’t write most of it myself. Now, maybe it’s my turn again.
The Orange Alert has been reduced to Yellow. Lots of state governments, localities, and cities can finally stop spending all that useless money to make us safe from really bad intelligence. What was thought be real threats turned out to be nothing more than the result of the government’s overheated imagination ruled by fear and paranoia. One more time we have irritated many of our friends, especially with the new requirements for fingerprints and photos for visitors from some other countries, and accomplished nothing. Our much vaunted “intelligence” is a bad joke as is the department of Homeland Security. The latter name itself is stupid and tasteless, and it rings in the ears of many of my generation with unwelcome echoes of the Third Reich. The only chance for security is good reliable human intelligence and police work that cooperates with other countries while keeping a low profile. Shouting about alerts may deter bombers for awhile, but only until they figure where the holes in our vaunted security are.
Ousted former Treasury Secretary O’Neill, in a new book (The Price of Loyalty) to appear soon has called Bush the “blind man in a roomful of deaf people” which has connotations with some of my earlier thoughts about this President not being in real control of his own presidency. He raises money, spouts sales pitches for whatever is the current Idea, and lets his handlers wreak havoc on our nation’s economy, civil rights, social programs, education, and environment. All in the name of favors for his business pals. I used to think that Chaney was in charge, but now I have a feeling that no one is. Internationally, things seem to be going Powell’s way with India and Pakistan starting to dialogue instead of shooting, Libya giving up its WMD, Iran letting in IAEA inspectors, and Korea making noises about easing it’s stance on continuing its nuclear programs and letting in a group of 5 non governmental American inspectors to check out its nuclear plant, but who knows how long this will last. O’Neil also is also reported to say that the Iraq war was planned in advance of 9/11/2001. He’s not the first to make this charge, but it rings true even if the plan was on the shelf until 9/11 prompted its active push.
The New York Times has an editorial today which finally catches up to idea that there were no threatening WMD, and no nuclear program to speak of in Iraq. Some of us knew this back in 2002 when they first started shouting about the need for war, and constantly repeated the same lies.
Things there still seem pretty awful in parts of the country. We evidently succeeded in killing 2 policemen in Kirkuk and wounding others. Great way to win hearts and minds! The Kurds are saying they want a federalist state they can finally call Kurdistan, and if they succeed the country we know as Iraq may cease to exist again.
Saturday, January 10, 2004