Archive for September, 2006

Staying the Collision Course In Iraq and The Mid-East (September 25, 2006)

Posted in Bush, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East on September 25, 2006 by

The U.S. invasion of Iraq has increased, not decreased, the terror threat, according to the “National Intelligence Estimate” on “Trends in global Terrorism” released in the New York Times yesterday.  The U.S. has taken the fight to them; they have taken the fight to us.

American forces are becoming fragmented in various deployments within Iraq.  At some later date, they may be able to hide in the fortresses being built throughout Iraq.  Halliburton/KBR are building Fort Dick, Fort Condi, Fort Rummy, and Fort Wolfie.  Until they can hide, the Americans may be overrun in some outposts and left without supplies or reinforcements.  America can mount a Berlin Airlift to provide some support for some time, but not forever.

Black Hawk Down writ large may develop.  America may be forced to flee Iraq whether the civilian military leadership decides to cut and run or is forced to cut and run.  Squads and platoons may not make the departing flights.  Recall Saigon in April, 1975.  The prospect of a humiliating defeat and hasty departure grows every day.  America must declare victory and redeploy with purposeful dignity to friendlier soil or the United States.  The collective military must go on r & r to have any chance of projecting a military and a diplomatic presence in the region and in the world in the near future.

There is no end to the unexpected twists and unintended consequences in the Mideast.  Baghdad could become Hussein City in the next ten years.  Tourists may have their picture taken in front of the plinth that supported the Saddam statue.  The son or daughter of an Iraqi refuge may be the valedictorian at West Point.  Or more likely Iraq will be divided with regions incorporated into the Shiite Caliphate and into the Sunni Caliphate and into an expanded Kurdistan region.  The United States should not try to dictate the future in Iraq because it can not dictate the future in Iraq.  The world will watch Americas defeat on CNN and tape it on TiVo.  It is time to think clearly.  It is time to get out.

Still Off Course (September 18, 2006)

Posted in Bush, Foreign Policy on September 18, 2006 by

Osama bin Laden is a creative genius.  He should be in prison or off the stage by now rather than gallivanting around freely as a free-lance film maker regularly mocking America and the West.  However, there seems to be no way to dispatch him without also vesting him with martyrdom.  When he is dispatched or disappears, another Osama will arise.  Our collective effort to provide security does not present any easy or rational choices.  The United States must avoid making bad choices. 

Someone observed that invading Iraq after 9/11 was akin to invading Belize after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  In the movie “Animal House,” John Belushi rallied his troops by asking rhetorically whether the Americans gave up after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.  The Americans just will not give up bombing.  A brave military is mired down because of the incompetent civilian policy makers.  Very few Americans could tell the difference between McNamara and McRummy even if their 8 by 10 glossies were placed side-by-side on the tv screen.  Rummy and his gang are making analogies to World War II rather than more apt references to Vietnam.  The sages suggest that when you are in a hole, quit digging.  However, the chicken hawks keep digging.  The troops are digging in and becoming easy targets.  Black Hawk Down writ large is on the radar.      

More of the world hates America now than it did five years ago.  Many of those who hate America will act on their hatred.  We as a country are so much more vulnerable and far less prepared than we were five years ago.

Sign in the window of a bungalow in middle America:

Our troops are sitting ducks!

Do not listen to a lame duck!!

Bring our troops home!!! 

[Consider reading the essay “An Alternate 9/11 History” by Jonathan Alter in the September 18 issue of “Newsweek” for a discussion of what could have been.] 

9/11 (September 11, 2006)

Posted in Society on September 11, 2006 by

Hurricane Kate (September 4, 2006)

Posted in Society on September 4, 2006 by

Living for even just a month in the French Quarter is much more vibrant than a year existing in suburbia.  Music, lights, crowds, crawdads, irregular hours.  A situational ethical perspective is the prevailing ethical standard, and not many situations arise that appear to require one to act ethically.  At least everyone knows the rules.  Still not sure what to make of The Confederacy of Dunces even after reading it in country.  One must wonder whether the response and recovery would be underway if the National Guards were around to guard the nation.  [See the e-ssay dated May 2, 2005 entitled “Ohio – Not Forgettin’ Ohio: The Battleground State Battles On.”]  What if 25,000 troops from LA, MS, AB, TX and FL could have been deployed for one year to restore and rebuild the region?  They would have been embraced with open arms and could have begun the reconstruction of basic services.  They should be rebuilding Biloxi not hiding in Baghdad.  Cities and democracies are not really built as much as they emerge.  What will emerge is not clear.  Will there be much noticeable difference in five years?