Friday, April 09, 2004
Well, the 9/11 hearings continue into irrelevancy, with the Democratic members trying to blame Bush. This, of course, ignores all the evidence to the contrary that shows while Bush (and Clinton) knew Al-Qaeda wanted to attack the US, they didn't know when or how. But more than that, in their partisan zeal, they are ignoring the key problem leading into 9/11. That was the law forbidding the CIA and FBI to coordinate their activities.
Now maybe they are simply ignorant of this. But I think a larger reason is that those laws were passed in the 70s by a Democratic Congress. And since they are playing the blame game, that opens them up to being blamed as well. Which goes to my original point that I hammer over and over again: THIS IS NO ONE'S FAULT!! But don't let common sense get in the way of political blood-letting.
Anyway, things could be worse. You could live in Honduras and end up with your decapitated head on a park bench.
Apparently there is a massive problem with youth gangs in Honduras, where 80% of the population lives in squalor. Over 33,000 youths belong to these gangs, and more than 2,200 have been killed in gang warfare or by rogue cops since 1998.
Well, some of these kids have gone off the deep end and started decapitating people as a message to the Honduran president, Ricardo Maduro. This latest head makes 10 in total since last year.
So cheer up. The government may be a mess, the 9/11 hearing a joke. The GOP may be more concerned with Howard Stern's speech than a balanced budget. The Democrats may care more about bloated unions than overtaxed middle class families. But at least we live in a society that doesn't have severed heads on park benches. So we have that going for us, which is nice.
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
The fighting has begun in Fallujah and elsewhere as the coalition forces are attempting to stamp out the insurgency that has been causing so much trouble in the Sunni Triangle. They are also trying to rein in the al-Masr militia, the private army of a radical Shiite cleric.
Make no mistake, these are the battles that will decide whether our efforts in Iraq succeed or fail. Fallujah was relatively untouched in the initial fighting. Those Sunni, many ex-Baathist sympathizers, have not truly tasted defeat. And the al-Masr militia, funded in part by Iran, must also be quashed if Iraq is to be free of trouble in the future.
But despite these ongoing battles, the overall picture of Iraq is positive. The Kurdish north is thriving. The senior Shiite leaders are no fans of al-Masr and, although not saying so, are happy to see them taken down.
The US and her allies MUST stay and finish this job. If we do not, the ramifications are immense. At the least, terror organizations will see that America can't stomach casualties in her armed forces. That will make our word worthless and open us up to attack upon attack.
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
The former UN Commander of the peace-keeping troops that did nothing during the Rwandan massacres of 1994 says the West bears "criminal responsibility" for the deaths because they did little to stop it.
General Romeo Dallaire is back in Rwanda on tour, talking about how he raised the alarm over the possible massacres for months before the killings began.
He specifically blames the US, UK and France for their lack of effort in trying to stop the killings.
Well, here's the thing. Yes, General, you only had 450 men in Rwanda. But you had a duty to try and stop it as well. Don't point fingers at the security council before you point a big one at yourself. You signed on to protect those people who died. You were undermanned and ill-equipped? Welcome to war. Those two problems have been around since the time of Sparta and Athens. It's nothing new to you. Essentially, you used it as an excuse to DO NOTHING and let the slaughter around you continue unabated.
Yes, you were outnumbered. And had you tried to stop them, you and many if not all of your men could have died. Well, guess what, Romeo? That's your job.
In 1983, after a UN force was inserted into Lebanon, an Israeli armored unit was trying to pass through a UN checkpoint that was led by an American colonel. The Israelis weren't supposed to be there. They were told to leave, but were ignoring those orders. So the colonel took out his .45 pistol and stuck it in the barrel of the lead tank, challenging them to continue. The Israelis backed off.
THAT is what you are supposed to do, Romeo. You stand up for what's right despite the chance you could die. You didn't do that. So yes, the West does deserve some blame for the Rwandan massacres. Just make sure to save some of the blame for yourself.