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

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Well its about damn time!

Just kidding. John Robb's book is up... but not for sale yet. I'd bookmark the page, you won't want to miss this one. John if you're out there, can we get this in time for the stockings?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Preparing for Civil War?

We all know Badr and other militant organizations funded via SCIRI are receiving lots of dough from Tehran. But here's a question.

Who's funding the Sunni militias? (besides obvious Sunni neighbors)

I realize they don't need tons of money with so many target rich neighborhoods and all... But haven't we all learned by now that civil wars take funding? And if so, whose funding the out party in this civil war?

And to whose gain?

I've heard a rumor repeated several times now that its coming from some very likely sources.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Question for the Red Meat Crowd

How many of you out there accused Bill Clinton of wagging the dog, or at least believed he was wagging the dog, when he went after Osama in Sudan and Afghanistan?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Elephant in the Room

Seems Charlie Cook is reading the tea leaves and the tea leaves ain't good for GOP Pols. We all know this by now. The chances for the Republicans to not only lose the House, but be absolutely inundated in a sea of blue, are very high.

But why doesn't anyone at the same time discuss what is so obviously the elephant in the room which can change the whole ballgame.


Let's game this out on domestic politics (rather than geopolitics). If an Iran attack occurs prior to the election, is it in or out? Do Dems support or oppose? Do polls go red or blue?

In my view, the whole thing would backfire. Americans are in a cynical mood. We won't let cynical maneuvers with our military get in the way of cleaning things up. Maybe I'm optimistic, but I think there's some historical guidance. My hypothesis: an attack on Iran would only further isolate the GOP. Discuss.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The First Afghan War

During the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan and resulting freedom struggle... a period of approximately nine years... does anyone know how many Soviet troops ended up going through Afghanistan?

The figure, over 500,000, is astounding. What is equally astounding is how well the US played the Soviet Union during the conflict.

It seems to me only fitting that as we now hear about plans to stay in Iraq until at least 2010, we have to begin asking ourselves... have we been caught in an Afghan trap as well?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Foley Roundup

Billmon has a really nice analysis of the latest defenses being offered up by Republicans in Congress. A couple of things about this can't be underestimated.

(1) The "Crazies" aren't going to flood the polls and pound the pavement helping out a bunch of sexual predators... they just aren't going to do it. Sure the cynical ones, usually the leaders, will be out in force, but the masses won't be there. Their mama's taught them better. That's the problem with these sorts of scandals when your base is motivated by a sense of righteous morality. Inevitably, their leaders fail to live up to the movements high mindedness, and the movement moves on to something else.

(2) The election is now officially nationalized. Not as much as some, but more so than most mid-terms. This isn't good when your national politician is sinking faster than the Titanic. And it presents Dems with a chance to run an absolutely devastating commercial just before the election.

Cut to headlines showing "Haster Denies Knowing" and then headlines saying "Hasterts staff aware of Foley Years ago." With a voiceover, "he says he doesn't remember." Then the same thing with Condoleeza Rice and the meeting she had with Tenet months before 9/11 warning her of an impending terrorist attack on the homeland. "She says she doesn't remember." gets read as the headlines scroll. Then you say: "What else are they forgetting?" Show a scrolling line of coffins coming back from Iraq.

I doubt any Dem has balls enough to run such an ad. But it would seal the deal if they did, and they'll get close to it anyway.

(3) The only thing that can save Republicans now is a terrorist attack or major scare, or bringing out Osama's head on a pole. Problem is, the law of diminishing returns is working against them. Short of wheeling out a handcuffed Osama, I think such antics will only be met with skepticism and a cynical public tired of fighting an illusory war.

The Forgotten War

We have so many wars going on, its easy to forget the one that started it all... Afghanistan. According to the NATO commander if it isn't under control in 6 months, its lost.
"If we collectively ... do not exploit this winter to start achieving concrete and visible improvement," then some 70 percent of Afghans could switch sides, Richards told The Associated Press.
What never ceases to amaze me is the "transcendental" argument which neocons and indeed, pro-globalization folks make all the time. It essentially works like this: "if "we" (i.e. the west) stays and does Y, then democracy and free trade will spread in area X." This is the epitome of white liberalism as I've always known it. "Oh those poor savages, they just need to see the Queen's Navy, Christ's word, and let us teach them proper English." There's a real view out there that freedom is something outside of personal decisionmaking. That somehow we give freedom to people through some form of warfare or governmental change. I wonder what these folks think of Epictetus?

Anyway, when 70 percent of the population isn't with you, you've lost. Doesn't matter how many ballot boxes you set up, nor how many pray meetings, nor how many soldiers die for the cause, and certainly doesn't matter how many landings your president does on an aircraft carrier. The concrete, underlying choices made by the people who live on the ground dictates the "march of freedom". Trade pacts, cluster bombs and sit ins don't.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Absolutely toxic. This Foley thing is absolutely toxic. Three more pages come forward?
Three more former congressional pages have come forward to reveal what they call "sexual approaches" over the Internet from former Congressman Mark Foley.

"I was seventeen years old and just returned to [my home state] when Foley began to e-mail me, asking if I had ever seen my page roommates naked and how big their penises were," said the page in the 2002 class.
Ouch. The press is going to stick to this like junkyard flies on heaping pile of steaming shit. Sex and power makes journalists rabid, and regardless of the totally fucked situation in Iraq, the story from here on out is going to be:

Republican candidates take pride in saying they defend cultural conservatives and Christian values. But what sort of value is it to take hush money from a sexual predator?

Or if you prefer:

Republican candidates take pride in saying they defend America from terrorists. But how can they protect us from terrorists when they can't even keep sexual predators away from minors on their staff?

I sure as hell wouldn't want to be Karl Rove right about now.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Monica Lewinsky & Rep. Foley

News like this makes me long for the days when we thought it was impeachable that the President got his jolly's off talking smut on the phone with a consenting adult woman.
The FBI is examining former Rep. Mark Foley's e-mail exchanges with teenagers to determine if they violated federal law, an agency spokesman said Sunday.
Say what you want about cigars and altoids, at least it wasn't man and boy.