< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: March 2006

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's The Evening

After some of the most widespread American social protests in the last twenty years: over fourty thousand took to the streets in LA, and tens of thousands in other cities joined them.

Today, tens of thousands of high school students resisted court orders, police, and other municipal authorities and walked out of their schools, all across the southern border states of the USA and in major cities throughout the land. Many of them wound up in jail on "truancy" charges.

All in protest of H.R. 4437. Whether you support it or oppose it, its undoubtedly one of the most repressive immigration bills to be seriously considered by Congress in the past three or four decades.

And where is the fearless leader of the Democratic "netroots"? Where are the "frontline" blog posts detailing the thrill and excitement of the protests? Where is Mr. Kos?

Oh you know, blogging about everything else. Really... EVERYTHING ELSE! Look here. Mr. Kos, who I believe is a resident of California no less, manages to give updates on such important matters as donating to his favorite candidates, pimping his favorite book (you know, the one he "wrote"), phonebanking for his favorite candidate, and of course, linking to an article about one of his favorite candidates.

When will the Democratic Party wake up? Markos is about as grassroots as any wannabe beltway insider. Just like Howard Dean's financial support, a large plurality of Markos' "support" comes from bored, aging, former activist Professors at places like Berkeley, Stanford, and the Ivy Leagues (and don't forget UW). Nothing more clearly demonstrates this than his utter obliviousness to what will likely be one, if not the, defining issues in American politics for the near future.

The Republican Party has declared war on all latino illegal immigrants. "kos", on the other hand, is AWOL.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Another Iranian Cargo Plane

Supposedly no one is hurt. Seems like everytime I go away, I come back and another Iranian smoking hole shows up.
Tehran, Iran, Mar. 28 – An Iranian cargo plane carrying 12 passengers crash-landed close to the city of Karaj, west of Tehran, on Tuesday, state television reported.

None of the 12-man crew on board was killed according to the report, which quoted the head of Payam Airport. The airport is three miles away from the crash site.

The Russian-made Antonov plane crash-landed into farmland at 16:40 Tehran time after one of its engines failed.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hagel Asks for Talks With Iran, Casey Says it Won't Help

There is a huge gap right now between two camps who are endeavoring to come up with a new strategy for victory in the Mideast. One camp wants to try a new approach, reach out to old enemies, and forge a stable democracy like we did in Europe after WWII. Another camp wants to build a wall around Baghdad and the oil wells, let the Sunnis and Shias explode into a full civil war, and dare any neighbors to intervene at gunpoint.

Sen. Hagel became the first in what this author hopes will be a long line of wise, patient, powerful Senators calling for talks with Iraq's neighbor to the east. Indeed, we've suggested this course of action at this blog for quite sometime. And I personally believe Khalizad has been working on this, perhaps in a display of some disobedience, for quite awhile now.

But just as soon Hagel called for "thinking big" about the problems in Iraq, General Casey, the head honcho of US Forces in Iraq, said he didn't think it would help.
"I don't have a lot of confidence that these will turn out to be productive, but I could be wrong," said Gen. George W. Casey, the top commander in Iraq.
Yes, you "could" be wrong. But why are you so afraid to be wrong in the first place? Such cowardice in the face of a very difficult problem should be reprimanded by this man's bosses. Casey would rather us throw our hands up in despair? Nuke the place and start over? What are the choices?

Perhaps Gen. Casey is just bitter because he has completely failed at his mission thus far. I know, tough words, but by all accounts, we are not succeeding in Iraq, and he is in charge, so should he not step aside and let someone else with new ideas take the lead? If Gen. Casey is not in charge, if he is not accountable, praytell, who is?

Perhaps Gen. Casey can only see more doom and gloom for the Iraqi people and the US soldiers stationed there. Yes, I know, we should not criticize our soldiers. But this man is a General, well fed, well cared for. He is not the man in the foxhole. He is an officer, and he is failing to lead.

Indeed, perhaps its time for the people who are utterly unimaginative, whose performance has been lackluster, who have allowed the mythology of American superiority to meet a swift death in the sands of the Iraqi desert, perhaps those people should step aside and let those who are willing to try something new, think creatively, and bravely try alternatives without fear of failure take control and move us forward again?

What we need right now is not cynicism, we don't need defeatism either, and we certainly don't need partisanship.

What we need are realists who are unafraid, bold, and energetic. What we need right now are pragmatists who think big and move forward one step at a time. What we need right now are a few completions, even if only for short yardage, a couple of strikes, even if over the plate, a field goal instead of a touchdown, a lay up instead of a three pointer.

In other words, what we need right now, what will fix our current malaise, what will give us the inspiration and the imagination necessary to get the job done, what we need more than anything in Iraq right now are some Americans. Where are they?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

O for 1? Uh uh.

Try 0 for many. Chris Bowers, kos, and the other members of the radical left have convinced themselves that the TX-28 result was just a single first setback in a string of otherwise mounting successes. Of course, thats an interesting theory even for this rabid, drooling, tinfoil crowd of penny ante net geeks.

Here's Mr. Bowers' take:
Well, it looks like our first primary challenge against an incumbent Democrat didn't work out. To my knowledge, there haven't been any official concession yet, but no matter what happens, I would like to point out that Republicans still haven't won anything new on the electoral front since 2004. While we it looks like we were unable to defeat a Democrat who sucked up to Bush, over the past year we still have a pretty good streak going of defeating Republicans who suck up to Bush. This is not even to mention that Republicans are still too gutless to even try to run someone in this majority-Latino district. I'd like to se how close they would come to defeating Henry Cuellar.
Hold on there St. Christopher! First off, what's with pinning the blame on the "latinos"... that seems a little uncharitable. And need I remind YOU, that YOU lost from the very beginning. The former Governor of Vermont, as I recall, didn't win a single state in the 2004 primary. And if memory serves me, the Doctor whose name must not be said was upset even in his own backyard in New Hampshire... You remember that don't you Chris? Right after Doctor such-and-such was trashed in Iowa by the evil corporate-loving, republican lite coalition of Dick Gephardt et al?

The best though almost without realizing the full impact of his words, is this from kos:
So we didn't kill off Cuellar, but we gave him an ass whooping where none was expected and made him sweat. That's the reason why Lieberman is sweating in Connecticut and lining up his dog and pony endorsement shows to flex his muscle. He can't take for granted that a no-name businessman with no political experience and zero connections in his state's political establishment will be a non-factor, not with what we've done for people like Dean and now Ciro.
I'd like to go on record that if I ever run for office, I would like Kos and Chris Bowers to NOT do for me what they did for "people like Dean and now Ciro." In fact, I'd like for them to do the opposite ... you know, win? From here on out, the Armstrong, Zuniga, Bowers, DailyKos, MyDD, Blogads, et al coalition shall forever be known as "Ofer, Inc."

That is, at least until they actually start winning some elections.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Uh Oh

That ain't good boss.
WASHINGTON In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.

Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."
That sort of reminds me of the preparation for the Iraq invasion. Lots of people were apparently saying, gee, maybe we need more troops. But no one seemed to listen. The lights were on, but no one was home.

Timely, Relevant

and well put. In a 2/22/2006 post Matt at Mountain Runner has an excellent post critiquing 4GW theory.

There is no crisis of legitimacy in the state system. Roles of states are changing, as they always have. The power of Diasporas is increasing. The value of inter-related commerce and societal pressures increases. But none of these are properly addressed by 4GW, but in fact, improperly attributed. States are losing their autonomy (although Putin's Russia is fight that trend) willingly. As states evolve, voluntarily ceding autonomy, as in the European Union today, as in the states of the US federal project a century and a half ago (read about Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, Jackson to see how tenuous our "State" was and how it doesn't fit in the 4GW theory). States did not magically appear in the present image and will continue to evolve.

The theory of Fourth Generation Warfare fails when applied to reality and as a theory itself. It fails to prescribe, predict, describe, or explain behavior. Its explanations of relationships and ideas do not connect when exposed to historical realities. Ultimately, the analysis of past and present conflicts with this theory is of little value.

Fourth Generation Warfare is based on a false reading of history and a faulty understanding of the nature of conflict. The role of economic, ideological, and political ideas and efforts have always co-mingled with military might. The quantity of each would vary as required, resorting to military might as an extension of politics if necessary. At best, 4GW reminds us public diplomacy is more important than ever because of the need to interact at alternative levels. That is the best 4GW can contribute.

I'm most interested the "faulty understanding of the nature of conflict". From what I can tell, this is based on Boydian principles which could be incomplete. Go read the whole thing. There are some good comments in there by Wiggins, Dan @ Tdaxp, and the author of the post, Matt. My own philosophy of science ramblings can be ignored, or enjoyed, at your leisure.