Friday, March 31, 2006

These Are The Good Old Days

Scary thought...that after Iran goes nuclear and flips a bomb at the Great Satan and its agents; after revolution rips through Mexico; after crises rage so fiercely, Congress is compelled to work at solving problems instead of managing them...we will look at 2006 as a time of "stability", here and abroad.

Scary thought.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Senate Caves

When you want to house train a puppy, you have to let it poop indoors. Then you rub its nose in its mess, and spank it. Eventually the stench and pain of its own folly lead it to amend its ways.

It seems the US Senate can only learn by the same method.

The fast-track amnesty plan will fail, because the bulk of illegal residents do not desire American citizenship. They do not desire a renunciation of allegiance to Mexico, or formal allegiance to the United States.

They're here to participate in the largest, most lucrative black market economy in the world, and they are protesting being hassled about it. They deny the American government's moral authority to regulate this economy in any way; and they will not file anything to cooperate with such regulation.

After a few million more swell the ranks, and it becomes clear that they are not even trying to register, the Senate will have to admit failure, and vote really restrictive measures.

I wonder as well, how much time the United States has to leisurely consider the problem, before Mexican corruption, Mexican mismanagement of massive new oil revenues, and Mexican incompetence in corralling drug lords, becomes so intolerable that there is serious political strife within Mexico.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

No Te Puedes

I am filled with deep rage when I look on 500,000 protestors of American sovereignity.

I am not deceived. It is not the harshness of the proposed new law that is in dispute. It is the authority of the United States over all the people within its borders, and the international underground cash economy, that is the long-standing point of contention.

Congress could make a more rational process for naturalization, but that is not what the bulk of 11-12 million illegals want anyhow. They desire total immunity from American labor and taxation laws, while moving freely through our country in a way that an American would be denied in Mexico.

The failures of the current regime in Mexico to control its northern territories deny Congress the leisure to do nothing slowly. The shock of actually having to actively govern the United States may be too much for this current Congress. Whether it matures or is replaced, some Congress is going to have to regulate in the near future.

It is odd that the debate is between amnesty and crackdown. Amnesty is the open door to repression. Christ adjured us to forgive seventy times seventy, but Americans tend to forgive just once and then smite with righteous wrath. When 80% of illegals spurn amnesty -like last time- then the public will deny them any clemency, any exemption from arrest and confiscation and detention and deportation.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Albright Blows Sour Notes

Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, has a very dumb op-ed in the Los Angeles Times:
It is sometimes convenient, for purposes of rhetorical effect, for national leaders to talk of a globe neatly divided into good and bad. It is quite another, however, to base the policies of the world's most powerful nation upon that fiction. The administration's penchant for painting its perceived adversaries with the same sweeping brush has led to a series of unintended consequences.
I don't remember that President Clinton took on Syria or the dictatorship in Haiti with any moral ambiguity.
The first is to understand that although we all want to "end tyranny in this world," that is a fantasy unless we begin to solve hard problems. Iraq is increasingly a gang war that can be solved in one of two ways: by one side imposing its will or by all the legitimate players having a piece of the power. The U.S. is no longer able to control events in Iraq, but it can be useful as a referee.
I suspect the Dog Trainer has edited this to the point of incoherence. Of course, we all do not want to end tyranny in the world; that is why there is still tyranny in the world.
The goal of the President's reconstruction of Iraq is an Iraq that controls itself; the lack of ability to give orders in Iraq is a measure of our success in achieving that goal.
Second, the Bush administration should disavow any plan for regime change in Iran — not because the regime should not be changed but because U.S. endorsement of that goal only makes it less likely. In today's warped political environment, nothing strengthens a radical government more than Washington's overt antagonism. It also is common sense to presume that Iran will be less willing to cooperate in Iraq and to compromise on nuclear issues if it is being threatened with destruction. As for Iran's choleric and anti-Semitic new president, he will be swallowed up by internal rivals if he is not unwittingly propped up by external foes.
A choleric anti-Semite is just fine as President of Iran? There are indeed countries that experience rough-and-tumble internal politics; Iran since the Shah isn't one of them. If Ahmadinejad has the Supreme Council and the Revolutionary Guards in back of him, who's going to have the clout to stop him?
Reading this in light of Albright's failure with North Korea's nuclear program, I wonder if she really gives a damn about nuclear proliferation by anti-American states? What we desire is not a "compromise" by Iran, but a surrender.
In the long term, the future of the Middle East may well be determined by those in the region dedicated to the hard work of building democracy. I certainly hope so. But hope is not a policy. In the short term, we must recognize that the region will be shaped primarily by fairly ruthless power politics in which the clash between good and evil will be swamped by differences between Sunni and Shiite, Arab and Persian, Arab and Kurd, Kurd and Turk, Hashemite and Saudi, secular and religious and, of course, Arab and Jew.
Ruthless "poker" by Washington is the reason there's an Islamist regime in Teheran in the first place.

No, hope is not a strategy. Hope is a worldview. It informs your strategy and tactics. Your hope guides your choices. I'd expect somebody who worked for the Man from Hope would understand that.

Why is it that so many of Bush's opponents don't understand the difference between a clear vision of outcome, and a blueprint to achieve it?

"Ending tyranny" isn't achieved by doing business with tyranny as if good and evil didn't matter.

I remember the episode of American Experience: Ronald Reagan, where George Schulz is accused of leading the first State Dept in decades that failed to reach an arms control deal with the USSR. Schulz replied, "So what?" And after that hung in the air, he explained he'd rather have no deal and avoid a disadvantage, than deal badly for the sake of a deal.

Madeline Albright preferred to make the deal. Thank God, she is relegated to writing op-eds for the Los Angeles Times.

Resumption

The Internet service seems mostly reliable, and my network settings are all green. So I will be in position to resume blogging.

My posting is going to be somewhat light, as I'm about to start night school for a paralegal certificate, while continuing to work full-time.

I'll be back. Thanks for continuing to check in!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Intermission

Da Laird will call Charter to replace or remove our router. We have internet access maybe 18 hours every 72. We'll see what they tell us; and maybe actually get reliable Internet!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Internot

Apart from working like a dog, I'm denied internet connection at home for some reason.

We can bring down the cable box and the modem, and then fire it up again. That sometimes works.

Consequently I've been commenting rather than blogging this week.

Also I've been working like a dog. I heard they had the Oscars sometime this week too...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Lamb With Five Legs

Civil war has begun in Iraq! Because the AP says so:
By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer Tue Feb 28, 11:15 PM ET
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Sunnis and Shiites traded bombings and mortar fire against mainly religious targets in Baghdad well into the night Tuesday, killing at least 68 people a day after authorities lifted a curfew that had briefly calmed a series of sectarian reprisal attacks.
At least six of Tuesday's attacks hit clearly religious targets, concluding with a car bombing after sundown at the Shiite Abdel Hadi Chalabi mosque in the Hurriyah neighborhood that killed 23 and wounded 55. A separate suicide bombing killed 23 people at an east Baghdad gas station, where people had lined up to buy kerosine.

...Iraq began to tilt seriously toward outright civil war after the Feb. 22 bombing of the important Shiite Askariya shrine in the mainly Sunni city of Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad.

...The sectarian violence has hit Baghdad hardest because the population in the capital is about evenly divided between Shiites and Sunnis, more so than in any other region of the country.
At about the same time as the attack on the Shiite Abdel Hadi Chalabi mosque, a mortar round landed near the Shiite Imam Kadhim shrine in the Kazimiyah neighborhood on the opposite side of the Tigris River, killing one and wounding 10.
Those attacks appeared to have been in retaliation for assaults on Sunni places of worship earlier in the day.
North of Baghdad, a blast badly damaged a Sunni mosque where the father of
Saddam Hussein was buried in the family's ancestral hometown, Tikrit. The Iraqi Islamic Party reported a bomb hit the Sunni Thou Nitaqain mosque in the Hurriyah neighborhood at 8 a.m. Tuesday, killing three and wounding 11. Gunmen in two speeding cars opened fire on the Sunni al-Salam mosque in the western Baghdad's Mansour district, killing a guard.
Late Tuesday police reported finding the body of Shiite cleric Hani Hadi handcuffed, blindfolded and shot in the head near a Sunni mosque in Baghdad's notorious Dora neighborhood.
One of the day's bloodiest attacks came when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives vest packed with ball bearings among people lined up to buy kerosine at a crowded filling station in east Baghdad. The blast killed 23 people and wounded 51, leaving behind the charred and twisted remains of wheeled carts that customers had used to transport fuel canisters to the station.
A car bombing in the same neighborhood targeted a police patrol and killed five people and wounded 17 — all civilians.
Another car bomb hit a small market opposite the Shiite Timimi mosque in the mostly Shiite Karradah neighborhood, killing six people and wounding 16.
We can either believe that in six days since the insurgents blew up the Golden Dome, the average Iraqi has not only acquired the munitions for car bombs and mortar attacks, but linked them up with the expert personnel to employ them flawlessly...or that these car bombings, suicide bombings, and mortar attacks are by the same slugs who've been employing them against Coalition forces and Iraqi security forces for three years, in step with the new insurgent tactic launched with the strike on the Golden Dome six days ago.

I think it's the same insurgents, and these are insurgent strikes, not "civil war" as in Rwanda and Haiti and Liberia where the common citizen ran out and started fighting.

The AP apparently doesn't think so, since it publishes reports describing the attacks as retaliation and sectarian violence. Which would mean the various sects of Iraq have suddenly, this week, acquired arsenals that would make the Terminator gawk.

Maybe the AP truly believes that; but I suspect them of calling a lamb's tail a fifth leg as according to the post-Vietnam media template.