Shouting into the Storm Rantings, ramblings, observations and musings from the insipid to the sublime

Thursday, February 06, 2003 :::
Focusing Priorities

It's been just shy of a week since the shuttle broke up on re-entry. Every day, the paper has been filled with human interest stories, photos, scapegoats, whistle-blowers, scientists and various NASA folks trying to explain why sometimes bad things happen. We've had Dubya weeping like a little school girl at the memorial service, Dick Cheney scowling at a separate memorial service at the National Cathedral in DC today, which had Patti LaBelle(yeah, she was available, shocking) singing "Way Up There". And for all of this I say....

Get a grip, people.

North Korea has threatened to blow us to kingdom come, using Dubya's own "Pre-emptive strike" doctrine against him. Colin Powell gave a solid presentation at the UN showing that yes, Iraq has some very bad things. And we have Rummy running amok at the Pentagon, saying we'll fight anyone, anytime, anywhere, and everyone who doesn't go along with us is a terrorist. Our ships are amassing in the Pacific and the Persian Gulf. By mid-February the government says there will be well over 100,000 ground troops in the Gulf region.

So, let's get on with it. What did Powell show us? He showed us that Iraq is not disarming, and gave us quite a few scary pictures to go along with that. I'm a big fan of Powell, and am more likely to trust his motives than that of Robert Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and the rest of the neo-conservatives who just, you know, had other things to do than get drafted for Vietnam. I don't think Powell gave us enough to jump to war immediately. It was, however, the first solid building block in showing why action of some kind will most likely be necessary. There are other items we, need though. The public of the USA should be pulled away from their reality TV programming for an hour some night and told, flat out, what sacrifices are to be expected of us for this. We should be told in no uncertain terms, "If we attack Iraq, with or without help, we will have a drastic spike in terrorist attacks on our soil. Israel will probably be assailed with the chemical weapons. We be involved in rebuilding the area for at least a decade. And we have to bring back the draft, with a much wider swath of the population used for military service." The other piece I need to see is realistic plan on the occupation and rebuilding of Iraq. We don't have a very good track record on this, with the exception of Japan after WWII. Uncle Sam is really good and blowing shit up, not so good at rebuilding it.

It's also great to see such mature dialog between DC and the N. Koreans. Rummy called the gov't of N. Korean a "terrorist regime", which is stretching the definition just a bit. The folks across the Pacific fired back saying that if they feel the US is going to attack their nuclear facility, they will pre-emptively strike the US. Does that sound familiar? Why, of course, it is the cornerstone of Dubya's foreign policy. I've been saying since it first came out it was a bad idea, because other countries can use it to justify military action. How ironic it may be used against us.

::: posted by Chris at 12:05 PM

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