November 15, 2003

A War Is a War Is a War - -

David Brooks' NYT op-ed piece, "Swords into Plowshares" is one of the better columns written there in the past several months. Excerpt:

Nothing ever changes.

If Dean is our nominee, he may fight the Beltway wars more aggressively than other Democrats, but we will still be a nation at war. I have seen Dean up close. The man hates his opponents. His kind thrives only during times of domestic war.

If we nominate Dean, it will be bad for our party and bad for our country. It will be bad for our party because 40 percent of the voters in this nation call themselves moderates.

If we nominate Dean, George Bush will have a good shot at winning a large chunk of those votes. That's disgraceful after the partisan way George Bush has led this country. But it will be our fault because we nominated someone just as partisan on the other side.

On the other side of town, Peter Boyer writes about Wesley Clark in The New Yorker. The only "good news" from the piece is:

Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Clark said, he visited the Pentagon, where an old colleague, a three-star general, confided to him that the civilian authorities running the Pentagon—Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his team—planned to use the September 11th attacks as a pretext for going to war against Iraq. “They made the decision to attack Iraq sometime soon after 9/11,” Clark said. “So, rather than searching for a solution to a problem, they had the solution, and their difficulty was to make it appear as though it were in response to a problem.” Clark visited the Pentagon a couple of months later, and the same general told him that the Bush team, unable or unwilling to fight the actual terrorists responsible for the attacks, had devised a five-year plan to topple the regimes in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Iran, and Sudan.

Reading the rest of the article, however, just depressed me further. It just amazes me that a bunch of Dumbopublicans want to replace the worst Commander in Thief we've ever had with a disgruntled general and friend of Bill Clinton who's judgement has been questioned by the great majority of US Army and NATO military leaders.

And at U.S. News, Gloria Borger discusses the ramifications of funding the War at Home. Excerpt:

End runs. Just watch the money. In this post-campaign-finance-reform world, the millions from fat cats like Soros and Scaife can't be donated directly to the political parties. So the big money is going to organizations instead: think tanks, like Podesta's group. Or voter-registration groups, like America Coming Together, to which Soros has pledged $10 million. Or an activist Internet group like, to which Soros and a partner will give up to $5 million. The Republicans are doing the same thing, of course. "We have to watch all of this and make sure people are not breaking the law," says Fred Wertheimer of the watchdog group Democracy 21. "There is so much intensity, so much dislike of Bush on the Democratic side, they will mobilize all kinds of efforts." That's putting it mildly.

With all this political bullshit, I have the suspicion that maybe even Soros loses sight of what's happening on the ground. As I write, you can take your pick between AP and Reuters as to how many of our folks just died when two Blackhawks collided in Northern Iraq (one has twelve, the others has 17). I feel like I see or hear the word "war" about two hundred times every day. Even this article in the Bremerton SunLink says (empasis mine):

As the U.S.-led coalition forces battle an increasingly fierce insurgency in Iraq, the military's medical system is waging its own war -- and Walter Reed, its premier medical center, is in the thick of it.

As I've said repeatedly, we had an opportunity in the autumn of 2001 to "do the right thing." We blew it. We took a terrible and tragic event and have derived from it a wearying ugliness. Molly Ivins, writing in The Progressive, says:

Well, the Big Picture is that after September 11, we had the sympathy of every nation on Earth. They all signed up, all our old allies volunteered, everybody was with us, and Bush just booted all of that away. Sneering, jeering, bad manners, hideous diplomacy, threats, demands, arrogance, bluster.

Molly's piece is called "Call Me a Bush Hater." Yeah, me too, Molly, me too.

Y'know, I said I'd never take money for this blog - and I never will. But would anybody like to make a donation for my beachfront get-away cabana in Greenland?

Be at peace.