The Shining Star

These days, Afghanistan is held aloft by the Bush administration as the shining star of democracy’s inexorable spread. Truth be told, since the American-led war that ousted the Taliban three years ago, the signs of life coming out of Kabul and the wider country at large are encouraging, but Afghanistan is a test case for the difficulties inherent in the Bush administration’s foreign policy. Continue reading “The Shining Star”

Ends and Means

The election in Iraq is a success to this point. The large numbers of Iraqis that turned up at the polls shows that I was mistaken when I wrote earlier that the Iraqis may not be ready for, or even want, democracy. They turned lives that had been lived under a brutal dictator, without a nascent movement for democracy, into a clamor for democratic self-rule within a matter of months of the beginning of the American occupation. Many people were surprised at the fervor shown by so many Iraqis not just on election day, but in the months leading up to it. The political mood in Iraq can easily be characterized as one of vigorous debate. Continue reading “Ends and Means”

Don’t Be So Damned Smug

The Republicans are a pompous group of blowhards who revel in their power by smoking cigars and exhaling mirth in the direction of their vanquished foes, the Democrats. They are the perfect, unrestrained example of the sore winner. Their gloating, their absolute belief that providence has led them out of the shadows of American politics to lead this nation towards the bright future of conservatism, is an amazing contradiction for a party that professes faith above reason. The Republicans are guilty of the sin of pride. Continue reading “Don’t Be So Damned Smug”

Hopping on the Bandwagon

The president has overreached.

Ever since he outlined his plans for reshaping the future of Social Security, he can’t buy good press. Every day at least a dozen articles hit the pages of newspapers across the country and on the internet, lambasting his misguided attempts to gut the most popular government program in the history of the country. Liberal pundits, op-ed columnists, reporters, commentators, even the publicly-expressed doubts of Republican senators and representatives, have all served to make this a difficult time for the Bush administration. Today, in fact, conservative legend Alan Greenspan cast doubt on the president’s Social Security plan in his regular testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Mr. Greenspan has a large amount of credibility in this country and abroad when it comes to money, and it is encouraging to see him, maybe, throw off the mantle of being a Bush yes-man and get back to the business of fiscal responsibility. But praising Alan Greenspan is not my reason for putting pen to paper today, as it were. Continue reading “Hopping on the Bandwagon”

The Invisible Enemy

The latest estimates from the pentagon place the number of insurgents in Iraq at around 15,000, a tenth of the 150,000 on the American side. Step back and think about that number for a second. If 15,000 is an accurate assessment of the amount of men our military is fighting, then I would not wish to contemplate what would happen were we facing an enemy equal in number to our own forces. Continue reading “The Invisible Enemy”