Wednesday, November 26, 2003
*** War on Terror
NewsMax, a right-wing news site, is running an article about recent comments made by Tommy Franks. According to NewsMax:
Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government.This is a scary and revealing claim (although it is something that I have been predicting myself). However, I have read the actual Franks quotes themselves, and I'm not quite sure that they support the NewsMax lead. Read them for yourself and see what you think:
Discussing the hypothetical dangers posed to the U.S. in the wake of Sept. 11, Franks said that “the worst thing that could happen” is if terrorists acquire and then use a biological, chemical or nuclear weapon that inflicts heavy casualties.So is NewsMax just trying to be provactive with some ambiguous quotes, or is Franks admitting to the possibility of a military coup and/or imposition of martial law in the event of a big terrorist event?
If that happens, Franks said, “... the Western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we’ve seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy.”
Franks then offered “in a practical sense” what he thinks would happen in the aftermath of such an attack.
“It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution. Two steps, very, very important.”
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
This Washington Post article about the new Iraqi security forces that are being trained by the Americans makes it clear that the whole "Iraqification" plan is nothing more than a political solution for Bush & Co. These guys are getting three weeks training, and the minute the Americans pull out, they'll either be killed or will become part of the civil war themselves.
Monday, November 24, 2003
Turns out the Queen is rather pissed at Bush & Co. due to extensive damage of the gardens at Buckingham Palace arising out of Bush's excessive security requirements. "The Palace's head gardener, Mark Lane, was reported to be in tears when he saw the scale of the damage." I'll bet this becomes big news across the pond.
Debka is hyping the possibility of an imminent Al Queda attack in the US. I can't decide whether to be scared or not. Either way, this is a make or break moment for Debka's credibility.
Sunday, November 23, 2003
** Bleak and bleaker.
It's gonna get worse before it gets better.
Friday, November 21, 2003
** Culture Wars
The Washington Post has a fascinating article about a "B.C." comic strip that was published during Ramadan. The question raised is whether Johnny Hart intentionally, but very subtly, attacked Islam in the cartoon. Hart claims that the cartoon is entirely innocent. In my opinion he's lying, given my reading of the cartoon, and given that Hart has used his comic strip to make religious statements in the past.
** War on Terror
Salon is running an interview with terrorism expert Jessica Stern about the recent attacks in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The whole interview is worth a read, but I thought it would be worthwhile to reproduce her pithy statement about Al-Queda's goals, since sometimes it's hard to understand exactly what these suicide bombings are hoping to accomplish:
Al-Qaida's goal is to take down the current governments and establish Islamist regimes, to reestablish the Caliphate [a land or country under Islamic rule] throughout the region and [perhaps] throughout the entire world. Because of this they have it in for secular Islamic rule and secular Muslims as much as anything else. What they would call purifying the Islamic world is at least as important an objective to them, I think, as punishing the West.
Thursday, November 20, 2003
OK, this will be my one Jacko post. Did you know that he had recorded a new single for his forthcoming compilation CD entitled One More Chance. Pretty ironic. And even better, the song was written by R Kelley, who is himself currently facing pedophile charges. This article sets forth those facts, and also discusses just how much money is going to be lost due to the latest allegations. Oh, and did you know that MJ is $240 million in debt. Ouch. This is sure good news for Bush and Rove, though. Now back to the real news.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
* Health / Politics / Culture Wars
I don't see a lot of discussion in Blogistan about the pending Medicare legislation. I know it's hard to focus on a domestic issue that isn't a huge deal to non-seniors with all the Iraq stuff going on, but let me just say that this is important. This is yet another government giveaway to corporate interests. The Republicans have bought off pharmeceutical companies, doctors, and AARP, and it's unlikely that even seniors will benefit much from this.
For an interesting perspective on AARP, read this. Who knew that their primary business isn't really lobbying, but actually selling gap insurance? And guess what: this Medicare bill leaves a huge gap in coverage! Shocker.
Anyway, we're about to get hosed again.
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
I'm back from a long vacation. Sorry that I didn't post notice that I'd be taking off -- I just forgot to do it before I left. Anyway, I come back with a major breaking news bombshell:
*** Culture Wars
The Massachusetts Supreme Court says that the state can't ban gay marriage. Yay! Unfortunately, it looks like it's going back to the state legislature, which could change the state constitution.
Monday, November 03, 2003
* Military / Politics
Salon is reporting that the Pentagon is quietly bringing draft boards back to life. Now this doesn't mean that the draft is here yet, but it does show that somebody out there is preparing for this possible contingency.
Sunday, November 02, 2003
If you have time, read the NYTimes Magazine treatise on how poor planning for the postwar has led to the currect debacle in Iraq. My question is this. What is going to happen when the American public finally realizes that we're actually in serious danger of losing this war entirely?
Saturday, November 01, 2003
To follow up my recent post about the effectiveness of the guerilla insurgency in Iraq, you should check out this NYTimes article about how the US army is wel equipped to fight wars, but literally makes no effort to be effective in peacekeeping operations. The theory seems to be: "If we can win the big one, we can win the small one." Great, so we're running a, what, $400 billion military on the basis of a faulty assumption.