Saturday, October 21, 2006

What's Lee Hamilton Running For?

Nothing, and that’s what makes it news. After serving as co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, former Congressman Hamilton is doing the same on the Iraq Study Group, which after Election Day may finally provide some semblance of bi-partisan exit strategy.

Watching Hamilton chair the House’s Iran-Contra hearings a quarter of a century ago, it struck me he should run for President in 1988.

It struck others, too, but the boomlet soon ended. “He told them he didn’t want to do it,” his aide announced, “he didn’t want to look into it, he just wants to keep doing what he’s doing.” The New York Times termed it “a standard of modesty believed to be extinct on Capitol Hill.”

Hamilton had skewered Ollie North, Bush pere and Reagan himself with a flat-out “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” simplicity:

“Policy was driven by a series of lies...A few do not know what is better for the American people than the people themselves.”

Whatever Hamilton and the Bush family rabbi James Baker recommend on Iraq, a howl from the conspiracy-minded left will claim that Hamilton shied away from Reagan’s impeachment, a decision he made “for the good of the country” to avert a disaster so soon after Nixon’s exit, and that he is Bush’s token Democrat as a reward.

It says something about politics today if integrity and even-handedness can only be seen as selling out.


RichardKanePA said...

Some Philosophially compair the war againnst terror with the war against drugs. When I do it I become extremly frightened.

Turned down by Miami Hearld, no response form Chicago Sun
Will the Real Big Bully, Please Stand Up?

Some say, due to prejudice, Obama could never be President. However, it seems to me the exact opposite is true. Due to worldwide prejudice against Yankees and Gringos, the US desperately needs a new image, and having a women as President might not be enough of a change. Obama can give us a new image.

The US is seen as a big bully responsible for almost everything that is going wrong. Unfortunately this is at least to a slight extent true. But is it the US’s, or more generally the West’s fault, if a baby goes to bed hungry or a child disobeys her parents or a wife her husband? Many Americans and most of the rest of the world thinks the US, and to some extent the west in general, has more influence than it does and thus most responsible for what is going wrong.

The President is considered an evil man who loves to hurt people. President Bush is not the nicest or the brightest, but he did after 9/11 urge people not to deface Muslim businesses and, at first, didn’t give bin Laden the ground war in Afghanistan that bin Laden wanted to restore Afghans appreciation of militancy. I agree with Obama that it’s not all Bush’s fault.

Extremely tall, cold-blooded, bin Laden somehow has the image of poor little David standing up to Goliath and the more we accomplish militarily the more we lose the war in the hearts and minds. Because of prejudge Obama being part Black with a father born in Africa. Obama will have a chance not to appear like a typical western bully. He was cheered when he visited South Africa and Kenya. It’s not only Africans, the French also have a tendency to look different toward US visitors with darker skin.

Bin Laden sees the last 1000 years as a war between the Muslims and the West where the Muslims couldn’t keep focused and vows for the next millennium things will be different. Weapons and designer germs keep getting more powerful with time. Our very lives depend on not making the mistakes in action and image that President Bush has.

Somehow the US doesn’t take credit for things going right. Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan were slipping toward war (2001), following a bin Laden inspired attack on the Indian parliament, which then Secretary of State Colin Powell and the President, among others, helped to mediate. The cease-fire is now leading toward peace despite extreme provocations by militant Muslims that go beyond al Qaida, to prevent peace. Imagine in this country funeral persuasions and crowded trains being attacked. It would have been uncouth for the US to take credit for that original cease-fire, but that means the US is held responsible for everything wrong and nothing that goes right.

I always opposed the war, but don’t remember ever early on realizing that the Iraqi Congress in exile were a bunch of liars. Now everyone assumes the President realized they were lying.

There was a cease-fire in Fuluja (October 2004) as Fulujan rebels accepted nominal Baghdad authority. The locals cleared what they hoped was the end of the war, but a Kerry campaign ad complained of terrorists hiding in Fulujah. Fatefully, Bush demanded Al Sadr’s arrest and the cease-fire fell apart.

The administration is accused of encouraging our cowboy image, and along with the CIA, and media managers, sabotaging the image of the peace movement. However, I and a friend were feeling very exuberant watching Britain’s biggest peace protest at the start of the war. It had floats, puppets and much pageantry. Suddenly it was cut off the air by a news bulletin of a terror attack in Turkey, and my friend’s first reaction when the protest went back on the screen “Why don’t they protest that.” The claim that the war in Iraq had nothing to due with fighting terrorism became hard to explain after bin Laden went on the Internet to demand Iraqis not vote. The quiet efforts discouraged voting in Afghanistan were very successful.

President Bush apologized for Abu Ghraib abuse in front of the King of Jordan, but a general said how small Bush looked and joined the Kerry campaign. Republican leader Bill Frist was going the call for bipartisan detention reform during a grim speech on the addition Abu Ghraib photos Congress privately viewed but he was cut off the air by a news bulletin of al Qaida posting Nick Burg being beheaded.

As governor of Texas, Bush was a healer between Mexicans and Gringos. As President he failed as a healer, and when Ashcroft and Powell left, he failed as an administrator. To me it represents a bunging tragedy. I refuse to accept the image of my President and of my country as representing Satan incarnate. And now because of the Democratic Republican rift, Bush is obliged to support an immigrant hating Republican, instead of a true healer, domestically and around the world, Barack Oboma.

Why isn’t bin Laden perceived as a big bully, instead of our sometimes good intentioned President? If there is not someway to end the image that the US is responsible for all the wrongs and none of the rights in the world the US will be doomed. Somehow this thought, or the thought of a dollar collapse, from lavish military expenditures with North Americans no longer having the patience to stand in long soup lines like during the first depression, doesn’t frighten us the way the thought of far fewer people suddenly dying in a terror attack does.

But when it comes to dealing with a terror attack, I trust Oboma as well. 215-563-286622s22ndStApt305PhilaPA19103
Kanegis is retired in senior housing -- considers himself a philosopher rather than a writer.


RichardKanePA said...

Comparing the drug war to the war on terror gives stopping al Qaida a hopeless ring.

But it’s true that making drugs scarce increases drug crime, and perhaps, fighting al Qaida in its preferred battlefield Iraq may (for a while) delay al Qaida wanting to strike the US. Ignoring this detail gives conservatives future opportunities to say “I told you so.”

The administration tells us, it’s patriotic to support the troops. But Bush doesn’t mean support the troops desire not to be reassigned over and over again without any real rest in-between, I say be patriotic support the kind of world bin Laden would be very unhappy with.

Bin Laden manages to portray Islam as a victory at any price religion. 10th century Muslims didn’t even use women and children as look-outs and spies much less combatants.

War on Terror = War on Drugs? -- MAYBE IT’S TIME TO PANIC

Sometimes the War on Terror is ridiculed as similar to the War on Drugs. The usual phrases used, “So-called War on Terror” and “So-called War on Drugs.”

A gung-ho prosecutor makes drugs scarce. Crack addicts have to commit more crimes to get enough money for the high prices. When a prosecutor goes after Mafia kingpins, his colleagues are upset that their lives are being put in danger as well. So everyone ends up, some reluctantly, playing around with fighting drugs, or concentrate on marijuana, like Cheney concentrates on Iran, rather than al Qaida.

I must be different from all the other human beings around me, because to me this isn’t a casual philosophical discussion. The possibility that stopping al Qaida may be as hopeless as stopping drugs, fills me with fear dread and even panic, especially since as technology advances doomsday weapons and germs will, as time passes, at least slowly be easier to manufacture. Bin Laden sees the last 1000 years as a war between the Muslims and the West where the Muslims were unable to keep focused, and vows that the next 1000 years, if need be, will be different.

President Bush keeps bragging that, due to him, we are currently fighting al Qaida in Iraq not in America. And I think, in a weird way, this is truth. Al Qaida currently wants to fight in Iraq, and so does Bush. But is putting off a domestic terror attack, that could get worse with time, really good news?

During his trial as the alleged mastermind for 9/11, Moussaoui blamed his Jewish lawyer and urged America to join him in blaming the Jews. Daniel Pearl, who was later behead, was lured to Pakistan and tortured into “admitting” on Internet tape that the Jews were evil conspirators, responsible for the world’s woes. It’s all set up to blame it all on the Jews if al Qaida manages one way or another to keep us fighting into the next Presidency.

When al Qaida’s plans go as clockwork, like in Spain, people are awed and temporarily focus on the long-term fight. Our world is much more interdependent that before the last depression. Winter vegetables come from Argentina not storage. And the hate al Qaida stirred up between Hindus and Muslims in India, and Christians and Muslims in Africa, even in Denmark (due to the cartoon controversy) could make the depression worse, including a dollar collapse. Isn’t anyone else panicky about the possibility that we could be starving like many of our grandparents did during the first great depression? This time, roaches and rats might seem delicious as pets disappear, with starving people dreaming of becoming cannibals.

Al Qaida picked doctors not explosive experts for the latest attack in Britain, giving four months warning with the phrase that “those who heal you will kill you.” If everything worked like clockwork for them, it would have been a bloodbath, and the US would have drastically limited skilled immigrants from entering the country. Bush is spending like crazy, tourist dollars are being chased away by airport security, as foreign talent almost was, while the administration is going though the motions so as not to be a personal target for an al Qaida suicide-bomber. Just like most prosecutors do in the drug war. Most don’t like to take personal risks. I have an uneasy feeling that others (besides the President) think it’s personally best to stay vague or concentrate on Hezbolah, Hamas or Iran instead of al Qaida.

At the start of the war I and a friend were watching, on TV, the largest peace demonstration in England, in awe of the huge crowd and intricate puppets and floats. Suddenly it was cut off the air by a bulletin on terror bombs in Turkey. My friend’s gut comment was, “Why don’t they protest that?” Claiming that the war in Iraq had nothing to due with fighting terror became difficult to explain after bin Laden went on the Internet demanding that Iraqis not vote. George President Bush apologized for Abu Ghraib abuse in front of the King of Jordan. Then Bill Frist who was the Republican Leader was planning to call for bipartisan detention reform. Unfortunately he waited to make the announcement, during a grim speech on the additional Abu Ghraib photos Congress privately viewed, and was cut off the air by a news bulletin of al Qaeda posting Nick Berg being beheaded

Today some Arab-Americans, who appreciate the US, try to send aid to Hezbollah or Hamas are equally called aiding terrorists. Barack Obama seems to be the only critic of al Qaeda, who has qualms about insulting Muslims in general. During World War II, a lot of America Nazi types like Charles Lindbergh, hated Tojo of Japan while still loving Hitler, A secret about World War II, is that the lies about the small isolated Japanese-American community, was war propaganda not a mistake. German and Italian Nazis Americans (who weren’t successfully wooed by anti-Japanese hysteria) feared their children being put in Interment camp if they dared do such things as slash tires, during a severe rubber shortage. I believe instead of retribution all camp members including children should be given salaries for time severed and back Veteran’s benefits. My theory is the Japanese-Americans served in Interment camps the way draftees served in Europe and the Pacific theater. Back then images were a critical part of the war effort

Perception is important. Obama, due to prejudice, would have an easier time changing the image of the US as a big bully than someone like Edwards would.

A bin Laden inspired attack (2001) on the Indian Parliament was plunging nuclear-armed India and Pakistan toward war, which then Secretary of State Colin Powell helped mediate. Now that India and Pakistan seem heading toward permanent peace, al Qaida is picking emotional targets like funeral and religious processions.

Even if this is 50% exaggeration, or even 90% exaggeration, there is good reason for panic, and a panic response was sometimes necessary for our ancestor’s survival.
215-563-2866`22s22ndStApt305 PhilaPA19103

I know most would doubt it, but I believe there is computer hacking to prevent an intelligent response to al Qaida, so certain agendas can get millage over saying, “See I told you so”. Thus, to discourage hacking, please cc me back to both emails and phone me.