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Some Impressions on the War on Terrorism

The loyal opposition of the Democrats may have disintegrated in Iraq but the necessity for sharp, clear critique of what went on is always uppermost. The most egregious mistake was the faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. If it was faulty at that, why should it be trusted to know what's going on in Iran or Pakistan? A second point that should be analyzed is whether or at what point will America over-extend itself and have to pull back to her own borders? Another mistake was in not clarifying what the aftermath was going to entail. Are we there to rebuild Iraq as a sterling democracy or are we there to use Iraq as a staging area for military and intelligence operations in the area? My view is the latter rather than the former and the fear is that once the networks are broken and Iran subdued, America will cut and run from Iraq and make the situation much more difficult for the people and, in fact, lower American's esteem even more.

Has everyone forgotten North Korea?

The Caspian Sea area is increasingly significant for all kinds of reasons. One is the attempt to get oil out of it and find a way to distribute it to the Persian Gulf or, even, the Mediterranean Sea. Another is the unstable condition of Russia and Chechnya where there are terrorists and caches of chemical and biological weapons that aren't safely guarded. The new attention on this part of the world will be done at the expense of Western Europe whose spirit has been shattered for over a half a century; like an old woman it just wants peace and quiet and dream about its wonderful past.

However, as Kenneth Pollack points out in an article in Foreign Affairs, "America's primary interest in the Persian Gulf lies in ensuring the free and stable flow of oil from the region to the world at large." And he makes a prediction that if the flow of Persian Gulf oil were to be disrupted, the globe would be plunged into a world-wide depression. It raises two interesting points: If the U.S. got rid of its dependence on cheap, foreign oil would it still have to protect the Gulf to ensure a stable flow to the rest of the world? And, two, if a new government with Islamic radical ties were to arise in Saudi Arabia how swift would be the U.S. response? He points out the very delicate balance needed between too much and too little involvement in the affairs of that region.

The prudent and wise road is the best one.

For those who don't believe the terrorism threat is real or mounting, read Jessica Stern's article in the same issue of Foreign Affairs. It's called the Protean Enemy and mentions the triborder region between Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina where terrorists, including white supremacists, meet. She raises the possibility that Venezuela may be giving sanction to some of the terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

And what about the domestic scene? The people want spending money in their pocket and safety. But, you have some very large problems looming on the horizon. One is the energy system that is creaking and cracking as the northeast experienced recently. The energy system will have to change as fossil fuel burning looks more and more like smoking cigarettes: A bad habit to be broken. Good people have been saying this for years but it's time to initiate some action.

We should be heartened in the reports that have seen a rise in income among minorities because of educational opportunities and entreprenuership.

The reports I've seen about a looming water crisis should be looked at very carefully.

Posted August 15, 2003

Though it appears to have been unavoidable, it would have been better to capture the Hussein boys and interrogate them about their father, weapons of mass destruction, and other questions that still linger. According to the reports they were the typical corrupt sons of power who lack the character of not spilling the beans to protect their hides.

What other part of the world understands fully what macho, Texas cowboyism is about, than the Middle-East? They only respect those who defeat them on the battlefield. They have contempt for the legal negotiations the West offers up from time to time.

The full humiliation of what happened in Iraq will be felt through the region, esp. the young who will turn to western media and ape it as they mock their elders. Just as the Russian kids did for a good 15 years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Islamic world will never be the same. It will be better in the long run without a doubt.

Posted June 20, 2003

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David Eide
copyright 2003
March 27, 2003