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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reclaiming Courage, Our Birthright.

The Democratic Party's presidential nominee must make courage the central plank of her campaign. Courage in the face of mindless religious terror. Courage in the face of those who use fear for their political ends. Fear is going to be the Willy Horton and Swift Boating of 2008, and anyone not prepared to take the fight back to the fear-mongers that very same day does not deserve our support. The people will have to be told that guarding everything is the same as guarding nothing. We will be hit, and must learn to roll with the punches. No foreign or economic policy change will change the minds of the Islamic Nihilists operating under the name al Qaeda. We can keep nukes out of their hands, but anybody can strap on a fertilizer bomb and kill a few Americans at a mall. The trick is going to be to not go nuts when it happens. Courage is the only thing that will allow us to survive and not self destruct and descend into a paranoid police state.

I'm not trying to be cute here. Senator Clinton is the only candidate I see who will fight this kind of campaign. Perhaps Obama would, but who knows? We need a sure thing this time. I suspect there is no "there there" when it comes to Edwards. Running to the left of Clinton may be smart in the primaries, but everyone running will be to the left of the Republican candidate.

Warning! : Do not play the "9-11", "Osama ben Laden" or " al Quee-der" drinking games during any of the Republican debates. You will be blotto before Guiliani gets through his opening remarks. On the other hand if you take a drink ever time a Republican mentions Iraq, you won't have to break the seal on your bottle.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Worst Of All Possible Worlds Gets Worse.

It's the little things that come back to bite you on the ass. Bush and Co. couldn't raise an actual all volunteer army large enough to pull off their Iraq adventure, so they hired mercenaries. We have more mercenaries than troops in Iraq, even after "The Surge". Sure, some of them are cooks and truck drivers, but so are the troops. We just don't pay the military nearly so well, and the mercenaries are not subject to Uniform Code of Military Justice. The subscribers to "Soldier of Fortune" drool with cowboy/Rambo lust with the prospect of making hundreds of thousands of dollars while shooting "Ragheads" with impunity. Now the mercenaries have steeped into a big steaming pile of trouble. The professional killers that did the big "Whoops I Did It Again!" was Blackwater Inc., but there are several companies that operate in much the same manner. Understandably the "Independent" government of Iraq is a bit miffed when our mercenaries kill a bunch of their civilians for entertainment. Now The Iraqis want Blackwater go get out of their country, and turn over their hired guns that did the killing. Our actual military is now in the uncomfortable position of having to protect the murders, and spirit them across the border.

The next obvious step is for the State Department to tell Iraq that we cannot do without Blackwater. After a lot of politicking in the Iraqi parliament Bush will be given the ultimatum of either turn over the murders or leave Iraq in short order. At that point the mythology of an "independent Iraq" falls apart. Every time the government of South Viet Nam became troublesome the CIA would replace the dictator with a new toady. I don't think any of the replaced dictators survived the replacement experience.

We thought the wheels had fallen off the Iraq War three years ago. The nightmare has just begun.