Monday, September 20, 2004

Just Desserts

Well, all the partying caught up to me, finally. I came down with quite a cold Saturday - sore throat, cough, and headache. Yum. Even worse, I had my first occasion of laryngitis - I could barely talk Saturday. But, after a lot of rest, water, juice, and fruits, I'm feeling much better. Of course, I didn't get much accomplished for two days (and that pisses me off to no end!), but at least I'm getting healthy. Eating a whole pineapple probably helped.

At any rate, I read something very interesting in The Independent yesterday. There was an article arguing that Americans don't really understand what's going on in Iraq because it's too dangerous for American TV crews so most of the reporting is done in print. Since Americans mostly get their news from the TV and most of what they hear on TV is George Bush saying "we're winning", that's what they go with. It makes a lot of sense - because by no objective measure could anyone conclude that "we're winning". Another incredibly interesting and truly disturbing revelation is that apparently, Bush has told his staff that on November 3 (i.e. the day after the election), he will call up more reserves to go to Iraq. Even if it's only 2,000 - 2,500 troops, that still is counter to Bush's claim that we don't need more troops and that he'll begin rotating troops out of Iraq.

The reality is, however, that call up or not, the US is nowhere close to winning this "war". Iraq is descending into a civil war and there's little that the US, or the UN for that matter, can do about it. It was hoped that after the power handover in June, the violence would decrease. That has not been the case. Instead, violence has increased. The US is learning the Israeli lesson the hard way. Our response to suicide bombings is much like the Israel's. Launch helicopters, send in the tanks, blow stuff up. Thirty plus years of history prove that it doesn't work and it only breeds new terrorists.

And for those of you under the false illusion that "nation building" worked in Afghanistan, you probably think that because the US media isn't reporting much about it. The truth, however, is that Afghanistan is dominated by regional warlords which are likely to require a massive increase in US and UK troops shortly. But don't take my word for it. The Independent has the scoop.

In other news, the UN has once again proven its irrelevance with the latest vote to not take action in Darfur, Sudan. For those of you not on top of this one, Sudan is undergoing an active genocide, as labeled by Secretary of State Powell several weeks ago. Officially calling something "genocide" is a huge step because under the UN Charter and the Geneva Convention, the nations of the world have an obligation to act. The UN, however, has once again decided that issuing resolutions is more important than troops on the ground.

Finally, the situation in Iran is getting worse. Iran is currently processing nuclear fuel to create weapons grade uranium. The IAEA process is incredibly slow, however, so by the time they meet again to decide on inspections (November), it's likely that Iran will already have enough nuclear material to produce several bombs. Unfortunately, while the US is complaining about the time table, there's little we can do about it because we're overwhelmed with the Iraq situation, as well as completely alienated from the UN. Gotta love that GW Bush.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who do you think you are? Howard Kurtz? Wonkette? Iraq is worse than anything Dante could imagine, Afghanistan is a quagmire, Bush lies... tell me something interesting. What are you eating? How is the food? Anything "tasty and delicious"? Inquiring minds want to know.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm...I disagree with the assessment that the "News" in the states is reporting that we are winning or are only providing 'W' sound clips. It is evident here that the Iraqi people would rather have civil destruction than peace. Same in Afghanistan. The same pretty much everywhere. The news is reporting it, perhaps without live video, but it we have wonderful graphics instead!

11:37 PM  

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