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
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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March 27, 2003