Saturday, August 23, 2003
At any rate, our good friends over at The Weekly Standard have done Americans a valuable service by following up on the evidence (which is quite substantial, apparently) of Al Qaeda's alliance with Iraq. The always dogged Stephen F. Hayes has a wonderfully complete story on the goings on over at CIA and in Iraq. One of the things that freaks the hell out of me is why the Bush people remained so quiescent as they were being pummeled in July during that bogus Niger Yellocake scandal. According to Novak and others, the Administration is holding back until mid-September (right after September 11th, I guess) to release what former U.N. inspector David Kay has uncovered. Methinks they will release news of WMD and lurking bin Ladenists in Baghdad then, and not before.
Meantime, Friedman apparently still gets it. In this column in Today's Times, Tom posits what most conservatives figured out when the tanks first rolled across the Iraqi-Kuwaiti frontier. He divines that the Iraqi "insurgency" is the decisive battle of the War on Terror. Should we succeed there, bin Ladenism is dead as a wave of modernism takes over the Middle East. If we screw up, we really screw up. However, in the end Friedman can't help himself, and believes that Bush's entire policy will become undone because the President lowered the top rate by three measly percent. Good article on the whole, but as for Friedman's summation? Well, Jesus wept.
However, it must be noted that a paralell concern is raised by Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol back at the Standard in this article. Their contention is basically that if you're in for a penny, you're in for a pound. The Standard wants to spend the money now and get the shouting over with, a position I find myself in agreement with. If it's going to cost sixty billion, let's tell everybody and get the posturing over with before primary season next year.
Though their sympathies lie on opposite ends of the spectrum, at least all three men understand that the Iraqi theater is the decisive battle of the War.
But that's not all the Times has to offer us. If it's Sunday, it must be Maureen Dowd. She's pining once again for George W. Bush's manhood, only vicariously through her new political boytoy, John Kerry. Natch, she compares Kerry's Vietnam service to GW's stint as and F-102 jockey in the Texas Air Guard and finds Dubya wanting. Rumor has it that she's been out and about with Aaron Sorkin of West Wing fame. But that's Page Six stuff. There is no room on this blog for vicious, personal attack, innuendo, and gossip leveled against a fine, Pulitzer winner such as Ms. Dowd.
Although I would like to know how her two old friends, Jim Beam and Captain Morgan, are doing.
Finally, the Times breaks today with Don Rumsfeld performing a game of Musical Chairs at the Pentagon, trying to get the most out of the force without really having to increase it. Sometimes I think that this guy is Robert MacNamara on Steroids, but then I remember that Rumsfeld is a real, honest-to-God buttkicker who isn't afraid to tarnish some brass if the need arises. It looks as if Rummy wants to outsource roles and missions that are being performed by active duty kids now that the private sector could do just as efficiently, if not better. In the article, one fellow remarks that efficiencies and different tasking could free up enough men and women to fill out two divisions.
The L.A. Times, in its neverending quest to resuscitate the California Democrats, gives Bustamante a twelve point lead over Arnold in a new poll out today. Color me skeptical, especially after the bangup week that Arnold has had. News of the day, of course, was that Bill Simon decided to bail out before he became a spoiler. This leaves the Republican field to Ahnuld and Bustmante, with the irritating chihuahua, Tom McClintock, tugging at Arnold's pant leg. Finally, the Democrats are ready to promote General Wesley Clark, USA (ret.) to commander in chief status. Memo to Howard Dean: beware Collateral Damage.
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