Corrections, Additions, Observations and Errors In Progress (January 8, 2007)
World War III d.b.a. (doing business as) Iraq can and is getting worse. Too many humans are being stuffed in graves (now 3000 U.S. dead) while the situation on the ground is deteriorating. The proposal for a “surge” in troops is counterproductive, preposterous and absurd. The surge will only inspire the insurgents. The United States cannot define victory in Iraq and cannot achieve victory even with a surge of one half million troops over ten years. Some of the money earmarked for that doomed and futile effort should be used to address the consequences of the storm surge in Louisiana in 2005. Bush will make a statement about Iraq this week. The populace made a statement in November, yet it may be disregarded until the public speaks more clearly and loudly.
2006 was the year of World Nuclear Proliferation. The “Bush Doctrine” directly and indirectly promotes the development of nuclear technology and greatly increases the likelihood of nuclear war. [See the e-ssay dated March 27]. There are some efforts to secure nuclear technology produced by the former Soviet Union, yet far from enough in light of the danger. Use of a tactical nuclear today is more likely than ever in the past.
The Duke lacrosse situation is another reminder that we should all embrace the presumption of innocence rather than pre-judge a situation and spew prejudices. Commentators of all political stripes made some not so innocent presumptions.
Cheney’s hunting incident provided copious copy and commentary. Spend enough time in the field and someone will be out of position. The shooting was accidental. The cover up was intentional.
George “Cowboy” Allen, a former Republican Senator from Virginia, made a buffoon (baboon) of himself on international tv. YouTube caught him being himself. YouTube allows you to tube your career and reputation all by yourself. “Down the tube” takes on a new meaning.
Some of the e-ssays require correction or addition. The world is not likely to see the emergence of true “Caliphates” because the pulls of sect, region, country, province, village, tribe, clan, family and side of the street are too strong. [See the e-ssay dated September 25]. No one will agree on one or two Caliphs. There are more likely to be spheres of influence in Shiite Iraq/Iran/Hezbollah Lebanon and in Sunni Iraq/Saudi Arabia/Jordan. The competition between and among them for hegemony will create even more instability.
Increasing the federal minimum wage may not impact employment as negatively as the theorists suggest because 1) many states have enacted higher minimum wages already, and 2) many employers must pay higher wages to attract qualified workers in the current marketplace. [See the e-ssay dated July 31]. [See the article “The Right Minimum Wage” by George F. Will dated January 4 on page A17 in “The Washington Post”].
Other birthdays in 2006 – the Suez Crises, the Hungarian revolt, the development of containerized shipping. [See the e-ssays dated July 10 and June 19].
Bumper sticker of the year for 2006:
Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam