In eleven months, the midterm elections to determine the 110th Congress will be held. Over the past months, the Bush administration and the Republican Party have been lambasted for their continued inability to steer the nation on a proper course. From the woeful response to Hurricane Katrina, to allegations of corruption plaguing the Capitol and the West Wing, to the CIA leak case, to the war in Iraq, polls from here until Sunday show a continuing decline in support for the party in power. Continue reading “Midterms”
Can we lose the military engagement in Iraq, yet the country is placed on the road to stabilization? It is a possibility. While American forces are watching an insurgency become more intractable and harder to defeat, and even while there is a strong possibility that Iraq will cease to exist as a unified country, there are signs that an American pullout will be a defeat for us in that we fail to stop an insurgency, but also that it will mark the point when Iraq truly becomes a self-determinant state. Continue reading “Withdraw from Iraq”
Stuff happens...and it’s untidy, and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.
— Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, when asked at a Pentagon press conference about the spreading lawlessness in newly liberated Iraq
As of today, there is a big ruckus in the international media over supposed use of chemical weapons by American troops on Iraqi civilians. The chemical in question is white phosphorous. If white phosphorous is a chemical weapon, then so is gunpowder. White phosphorous is a non-issue. The targeting of civilians in a war zone, whether intentional or accidental, is. Continue reading “A Note on War”
Foreign policy is not theology…A foreign policy that might have been wise crumbles if the cost becomes prohibitive.
— Journalist Fareed Zakaria
We are now committed to a favorable outcome in Iraq, but it must be understood that this will require long-term assistance or our efforts will be in vain.
— Former Congressman and Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird
Iraq is a horrible conundrum. We are losing the war we wage there. The period when the final results of our efforts in the Persian Gulf were in question is long past. Yet, it also seems clear, we could win in Iraq. Our own history shows again and again that circumstances of a high order of magnitude rarely present themselves that we do not have the ability to overcome. In this circumstance, we are our own worst enemy. Continue reading “Over the Horizon”
There’s blood in the water, and the sharks in the Democratic Party have begun circling. Unfortunately, they have no teeth.
Eleven years ago, the seething machine the Republican Party constructed to oust the Democrats from power was a wonder to behold. It blustered, blew, and tapped into a growing frustration in the American public that the Democrats had little idea existed. Continue reading “The Right, and the Left’s Confusion, Part 2”
It’s been a bad year for the Republican Party thus far. The war in Iraq is out of hand and unwinnable. Even the optimists, the “stay the course” Bush supporters, have switched from tall-tales of outright victory lying just around the corner to the tragic rhetoric of Iraqization and “peace with honor.” Continue reading “The Right, and the Left’s Confusion”
It was heartening the other day to hear news that North Korea had agreed to end its nuclear weapons programs in exchange for economic concessions. On its face, the accord was quite an accomplishment. Leaders in the Bush administration were cautious in touting its success. Understandable for a number of reasons, most notably North Korea’s reputation for being a nation that backs out of agreements. The main reason for such reticence on the part of the Bush administration and the State Department, however, had less to do with North Korea’s unpredictability, than it had to do with the accord’s unique ability to be interpreted in two manners. Continue reading “Almost Got It”
There is a strong undercurrent among the citizens of this country. A monster, really, lurking just below the surface, waiting for the right blow to the veneer of respectability, law, order, and routine that Americans have built around them to shatter our precious sense of security. I don’t think that we are unique in the world. But it must be truly frightening at times for the rest of the world to know that the citizens of the most rich and powerful country on the planet are being held together by a very thin coalition of local, state, and federal government that at times seems blindly unaware of threats to its own stability. America’s power unleashed is intimidating enough, but when large numbers of its individuals are seen struggling in a life or death free-for-all, the animalistic nature of such an event can seem like the unleashing of a marauding beast that our society works very hard to hide. Continue reading “Political Disaster”
One of the more low-key fronts in the ideological war that has divided the citizens of this country is the fate of Plan B, the morning after pill.
Barr Laboratories has applied to the Food and Drug Administration to sell the emergency contraception over the counter. It was first approved as a prescription treatment in 1999. It has been mired in the approvals process far longer than is necessary, for one reason only: the aforementioned war of ideologies. Continue reading “Plan B”