Saturday, September 04, 2004

October surprise

I've for so long feared a Bush-Rove October surprise--the idea being that in a close race they'd pop some big development at the last minute (capturing Osama bin Laden, withdrawing troops from Iraq, whatever)--that I didn't focus on the Democrats' prospect for same. What could Kerry/Edwards come up with that would swing the election their way in the last few weeks?

Discovering a nonwhite love-child of Bush? Maybe an under-the-desk intern? Perhaps, even, an allegation by Kobe Bryant's "friend" in Colorado about a similarly forceful tryst?

I'm open to suggestions, and to a means of effectuation thereof.

Friday, September 03, 2004

If you read nothing else about our foreign policy this week

please read this piece in the Observer about Brent Snowcroft. A voice once in the thick of things, now in the wilderness.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Here's whazzup in Iraq

As the school year begins, Iraq's colleges, including Baghdad University, the nation's largest, are in shambles eighteen months after the occupation started. Iraqis who are working for the US are being regularly shot down. The Iraq Assembly is under mortar attack. The number US wounded is approaching 7,000 and the number of US war dead stands at 975, many killed in the weeks since the "handover of sovereignty." Hostages are being executed by the dozens. The US is still bombing Iraqi cities, still killing civilians.

You hear nothing of this in the major media. And certainly not while the Republican Convention is blaring on every TV channel, celebrating Bush's coronation.

God, if you're out there, please help us.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Upside-Down Recovery

For a thorough and entertaining exposition of the quality of Bush's recovery, specifically how it differs dramatically from recoveries after previous recession--in detailed detail--check out this series of graphs, charts and essays.


The following is a copy of a letter I've emailed to the editor of the News-Press, our local paper. I'll let you know if it gets published. I don't read the News-Press religiously, so if you happen upon my letter, let me know.

Just imagine if eighteen months ago President Bush had waited three more weeks—just three more weeks—until Hans Blix, who headed the United Nations weapons-inspection team in Iraq, had completed his work. Blix would have reported that there were no weapons of mass destruction (as indeed turns out was the case), the UN inspection teams would have remained active (under the terms of the previous Security Council resolution) and the “no-fly zones” over northern and southern Iraq would continue to be patrolled by US and UK warplanes, ensuring that Saddam Hussein would remain boxed, figuratively and literally.

Given the severity of the ongoing UN sanctions, Saddam may have decided, as did another evil-doer, Libya’s Muammar Qadaffi, that it made economic and political sense to change his approach and to join the community of nations. (Recall, Qadaffi was once considered as awful a tyrant and international demon as Saddam, so much so that US warplanes bombed his residence in 1986, killing his infant daughter.) But putting aside such speculation, this much is certain: Nine-hundred seventy-six American soldiers and 10,000 Iraqis would be alive; 6,000 American soldiers wouldn’t have been maimed; and $87 billions of American tax dollars would be here at home, benefiting Americans in ways we can only imagine.

Just imagine.

Meanwhile, down south

Shi'ite militia, funded and armed by Iran and other neighbors, have taken over the infrastucture of Basra, the largest city in southern Iraq. We have created the perfect climate for revolution and takeover of Iraq by forces who despise us.

Absolutely no surprise, no surprise at all.

A view of Bush's heroism

This article in Slate says all there is to say about Bush's heroism, pre- and post-9/11. It concludes,

I don't mean to be unfair to Bush. Vietnam was a lousy war. He wanted a way out, and he found it. But isn't it odd to see Republicans belittle the physical risks Kerry took in battle while exalting Bush's armchair wars and post-9/11 photo ops? Isn't it embarrassing to see Bob Dole, the GOP's previous presidential nominee, praise Bush's heroism while suggesting that Kerry's three combat wounds weren't bad enough to justify sending him home from Vietnam?

Watching the attacks on Kerry and the glorification of Bush reminds me of something Dole said in his speech to the Republican convention eight years ago. It was "demeaning to the nation," Dole argued, to be governed by people "who never grew up, never did anything real, never sacrificed, never suffered and never learned."

You tell me which of this year's presidential candidates that statement best describes.

Thank you KTLA

The Los Angeles TV station that's carried by cable here in SB did a report on the status of violence in Iraq in the two months since the "handover." A hardcopy appears here.

This is the only news to such an effect that I've seen on any mainstream outlet. They're too busy covering the convention, the Kobe case, the Jackson case and so forth, I suppose.

An advertisement worth watching

This tv spot has a serious message. Check it out at

The ad takes a bit of time to load, but it's worth the wait, especially the end, where a truly profound observation about Bush is made by the concerned mother.

Hat tip to Erika.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Oh, for a blue dress

What does it take to get a president out of office. An expanding spy scandal at the highest levels? Ongoing violence in two theaters of operation: Iraq and, again and still, Afghanistan? Increasing poverty and loss of health insurance for millions of Americans? Evidence of expanding responsibility for torture of prisoners? Investigation of national security leak of a CIA's operative's name to the press?

And, it is said, Bush's numbers in the polls are increasing!

If the majority of Americans re-elect Bush, they deserve him.

Whazzup in Iraq

While all the media attention has been on Najav lately, check out this NYT exposition of the status of the "democracy" in Fallujah and other points west of Baghdad. Not surprising, not heartening. Not worth all those billions of dollars and hundreds of American, not to say Iraqi, lives.

What a debacle this Iraq adventure has become.