Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Getting the heads-up over at Donald Luskin's site (The Conspiracy to Keep you Poor and Stupid - see links at left), there is an excellent article at Slate by Christopher Hitchens. On what, you may ask? It's a review of the latest Michael Moore crap-fest posing as a documentary. Apparently, the self-contradictions and foolish statements fly at you constantly. Can't say that surprises me much.
Monday, June 21, 2004
What happened at Abu Ghraib is abysmal. If anyone there actively engaged in (or ordered) the rape and/or murder of prisoners, they should hang. I don't find this out of line, since I believe domestic rapists and murderers should hang as well.
But let us not forget two things:
- These actions are an aberration: In other words, they do not reflect the modus operandi of the US. If it was, we would not be shocked by it because it would be commonplace.
- The perpetrators are being held responsible: There have already been court-martials, with many more to come. Personally, I think before the election Rumsfeld will have to resign.
Compare this to the brutal thugs who slaughtered another American last week in Saudi Arabia. You can see the results of their actions here. These photos are graphic. But sometimes you have to look evil in the eye. These people are never going to be held responsible until they are shot down. This IS their modus operandi.
So it infuriates me when people draw compare the two. They AREN'T comparable. This is what they would be doing no matter what. Remember, Daniel Pearl was slaughtered well-before anything ever happened in Abu Ghraib. And it makes me all the madder that those jackals at AG gave these human scum (perpetrators and sympathizers) a bogus excuse to explain away their activity.
We must prosecute the crimes at Abu Ghraib. But we cannot allow it to cloud our perceptions of the enemy.
It doesn't sound like much; a small two-man spacecraft, launched from a larger craft, achieved a few minutes of spaceflight. It reached the 62-mile barrier of our atmosphere and then slowly began its descent.
The reality is much greater: For the first time, a private interest has successfully launched and recovered a manned spacecraft. Piloted by Michael Melvill, a veteran test pilot, the craft SpaceShipOne essentially duplicated the Alan Shepard flight on Freedom 7, a simple suborbital launch and recovery. Except this time it was a self-powered craft that was able to control its descent.
This opens the door to an unlimited future. Up to now, space exploration has been the playground of governments. Now, potentially, we could see the day that a private concern is able to launch and maintain a space station, or perhaps reach and install a base on the moon. To explore the heavens without government interference is now a reality. The possibilities are limitless. We stand on the edge of an explosion in space travel and exploration.
Gov. John Rowland (R) of Connecticut - my home state - is resigning tonight. I've detailed his actions elsewhere, but suffice it to say that he is getting no less than he deserves.
He was (and is) a pompous jackass. He's had this coming for years. I hope he becomes a homeless guy under some bridge in New Haven, begging for nickels and eating week-old bread. Probably won't happen. But have his political career go up in flames is an acceptable substitute.
So how do you put this on your resume?
From an AP story:
The chairman of the Sept. 11 commission said yesterday that Al Qaeda had much more interaction with Iran and Pakistan than it did with Iraq, underscoring a controversy over the Bush administration's insistence that there was collaboration between the terrorist organization and Saddam Hussein.
Now, I support us being in Iraq. Hussein was a destabilizing influence in the Middle East. He had invaded two countries in a 10-year period. He was constantly trying to gain a nuclear capability (stopped in the 80s by Israel and in 1990-91 by us). He was paying off the families of Palestinian murder-bombers. He had a serious bio/chem weapons program. He was a boil that needed lancing.
But a key rationale that the Bush Adm. decided to use was that Iraq and Al-Qaeda were tight. If that was the kicker, then by all rights we should roll into Iran and Pakistan. Or is that not the rationale anymore?
Iran was (and is) even more of a threat than Iraq, with an active (and unsupervised) nuclear program. They are recruiting fighters to combat Coalition forces in Iraq. And yet we are doing nothing to them
Pakistan's military intelligence unit was heavily involved with Al-Qaeda. Their chief nuclear weapons scientist was shopping design specs to the highest bidder. The government supports the radical islamic schools, where children are brainwashed with this murderous perversion of Islam. And yet we are doing nothing to them, going so far as to say they are valuable allies.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, we still haven't caught bin Laden.
The stone cold truth is this: We should have finished our business in Afghanistan before we went to Iraq. Another 100,000 troops along the mountainous border w/Pakistan would have denied Al-Qaeda/Taliban/bin Laden forces refuge in Pakistan. We could have controlled the warlords, clamped down on unrest and really cleaned things up.
But neo-cons have had a hard-on for Iraq since Gulf I finished up. So they used the Al Qaeda meetings to justify the invasion. And split our forces and commit us to two nation-building projects instead of one. With a president who originally said it wasn't the job of the military to engage in nation-building.
If it sounds like I am down on Iraq...I am a little bit. I think it was poorly planned, with no concept of how to handle post-invasion problems. And the only reason it didn't become a total fuck-up was b/c of the quality of our troops. The fact most of the country is realtively pacified is amazing all things considered.
And they used the worst possible reason for it. A reason that now is shown to apply more to Iran and Pakistan than Iraq.
And bin Laden, the 9/11 architect, still walks free. Almost three years later.