Black Hawk Down. And Down and Down And Down (February 5, 2007)

A fourth American helicopter was shot down or crashed under fire in the last two weeks.  The Iraqis are now emboldened and have figured out how to evade the evasive measures undertaken by the American helicopters.  [See the concern raised in the e-ssay dated September 25, 2006.]

The decision by the Chinese to blast the satellite a few weeks ago is another ominous threat particularly because the officials most likely to oversee such an action indicated that they were not aware of the decision to launch.  Things may be out of control over there also.

The recent declassified version of the “National Intelligence Estimate” offers another bleak analysis of the quagmire in Iraq.  The situation is deteriorating and requiring more graves.

A soldier killed in a roadside bombing was the 100th British death attributed to hostile action since the invasion in 2003, according to the Ministry of Defense.  American deaths are one or two away from 3100.

One reader noted that more horses than soldiers were killed and wounded in the Charge of the Light Brigade.  The horses are the unnamed Iraqis whose deaths are unacknowledged if not disregarded.  The Barbaros of the battlefield.

Congress is debating a resolution that may express its resolve, yet Bush will not detour from his collision course.  It is time to take a stand.  Young kids are dying while old men (and women) debate and dawdle.

Congressman John Conyers (D-NY), the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that he will soon hold hearings on President Bush’s use of presidential signing statements.  [See the concern raised in the e-ssay dated May 22, 2006 and the article entitled “Who’s Afraid of Presidential Signing Orders” by Stanley Fish in the February 4, 2007 edition of “The New York Times”]. 

A recent executive order requires each agency to establish a “regulatory policy office run by a political appointee” that “strengthens the hand of the White House in shaping rules that have, in the past, often been generated by civil servants and scientific experts.”  The agencies are becoming outposts of the White House.  Someone should monitor the organization charts for later repair.

The trial of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is intriguing and filled with intrigue.  Truth may emerge.  Some justice may be done.  A Bush pardon?  Stay tuned.

“Man is impacting the environment.”–The science jocks.  Now the economists, moral philosophers and the public must join the debate.
Bumper sticker of the week:

War is not working

[Molly Ivins died on January 31.  Her last column “Stand Up Against The Surge” is available at  She concludes in part:  “We are the people who run this country.  We are the deciders.  And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war.  Raise hell.  Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous.  Make our troops know we’re for them and trying to get them out of there.  Hit the streets to protest Bush’s proposed surge.  If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27.  We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, ‘Stop it, now!'”]

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