Thursday, July 26, 2007

Slue Foot

There is a trick that rich boys learn when gambling and GWB has apparently learned it well. Double down when you lose and go for broke. It doesn't matter how much you lose or how bad things get, If your pockets are deep enough and you've got the guts, you will eventually win and come out ahead. That's what he's doing in Iraq. It's a strategy that will certainly work. The only question is, are his pockets deep enough and does he have enough time.

Bush is betting everything he has left on David Petreaus and the surge. William Kristol, the quintessential neocon, has crowed, that in Petreaus, Bush has found his Ulysses S. Grant. I think that Petreaus is cast more in the role of Eisenhower than Grant. As Eisenhower was able to unite the diverse and antagonistic Allied factions to subdue fortress Europe, Petreaus must convince the Iraqis that it is in their interest to unite and form a stable and democratic society. Petreaus is a good choice. He is smart, confident and a hard worker. Whether he will succeed is still in question.

The question is not whether Petreaus is up to the job but whether the Iraqis are ready to lay down their arms and work together. All of this talk by the administration, about Al Qaeda terrorists being the real threat in Iraq, is not helpful. It should be clear to everyone who is in the least informed, that the Iraqis themselves are the real roadblock to resolution of the current chaos. Even if Al Qaeda is responsible for significant disruption in Iraq, they could not function without at least the tacit support of the majority of the populace. I see no indication that the Iraqis are ready for peaceful coexistence, not the man on the street, not the religious leaders, not the army or police, not the civil service or elected leaders. Petreaus can lead them into a secure and prosperous future, of this there is no doubt. I don't think that's where they want to go. I don't think Petreaus has the tools to make them want to go there. I truly wish that he did.

Pollsters seem to agree that less than 30% of Americans still believe that Bush is doing a good job. There are still slightly more than 40% who don't believe we should we should precipitously withdraw from Iraq. I don't believe that the President's personal popularity can go any lower. Those who are with him now will be with him til the end. If Petreaus fails though, I think it's probable that the war fails with him. Support for the war will continue to erode if he fails.

I do not expect that Bush will give up. He has shown that his resolve transcends mere stupidity. He is the John Henry, the Paul Bunyan, the Joe Magerak of retards. He is the Pecos Bill of the thirty percenters, although he may have more in common with Slue Foot Sue.

While Bush may have nothing more to lose and everything to gain by his current Iraq stand, this is not true of the Republican Party. If we are still embroiled in an unsuccessful foreign war in November of 2008, the election will be a decided on that one issue. Hilliary Clinton will be President and the Democratic majority in Congress will go from marginal to overwhelming. What a waste.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I Think We Probably Just Die

The Pope says that the Roman Catholic Church is the only real church because the papal succession leads directly back to Peter. He says it's OK to say the mass in Latin again. I got no problems with this but do you really think it's the kind of thing Jesus would be interested in?

I don't think Jesus cares about the church much. Whether he gets worshiped and sung to. Whether he gets recognized as the Lord and Savior. I guess the question is, do we do the right thing so we can get eternal life or because that voice that's inside each of us tells us it's the right thing to do? A lot of the time the things the Church says to do conflict with the voice inside. A lot of the time what I know is the right thing to do conflicts with how I've chosen to live my life. The bottom line is, I don't do the right thing all that much of the time and I know it.

I worry about myself too much. I save money because I don't want to be old and poor but there are poor people all around me.I should be helping them but I don't. I get bored in church and think it's stupid. I never meet clergy that I like and respect and very few Christians but I'm no better than they are. Jesus taught good things but set a standard that none can achieve. It's like we have to pay for that by accepting him as a God and then we get to be saved, even though we're bad. That seems nasty and mean, not like something Jesus would come up with.

I don't really believe in God the way most Christians do. No omniscient being could ever come up with that holy trinity thing. I believe in positive and negative, good and bad, Ying and yang. The problem with that is, since you can't have one without the other, good can never triumph over evil. Another big problem is the promise of eternal life. Believe and you get it, deny and you don't. Even Jesus had doubts though, so you know there's got to be some kind of continuum, one too many wrong moves and you go to hell. It's too much like a spelling bee. I think we probably just die.

You Don't Need A Weatherman

The Bush administration says now that our main enemy in Iraq is Al Qeada and that the surge is working. Maybe this is true. The violence has not decreased. The IEDs continue to blow in the streets of Bagdad. The rocket attacks on the Green Zone are unabated. American soldiers continue to die. As the Iraqi Pariment goes on summer recess, they have no support among the people, no control of their own military. It isn't that they need more training to be effective. They need more loyalty. Bush's press people say the surge is working. Maybe it is.

The Bush administration says that Al Queda is more powerful now than at any time since 9/11. Al Queda has it's stronghold in the tribal areas in the mountainous border regions of Afganistan and Pakistan. Bush administration spokesmen call these areas semi-autonomous. I don't see what's so damned semi about it. There is no military or civil presence there. There wasn't when the British lost an army there 200 years ago. There wasn't when Alexander decided not to fight them 2000 years ago. There isn't any now and there's not likely to be for the next 1000 years. Al Queda doesn't control these areas, the tribesman that live there do but they welcome Al Queda, for now. Why shouldn't they? Al Queda brings money and guns and strong men to fight beside them. Together they can slaughter the Afgan warlords that would take the poppy fields for their own and make the Pakky dog soldiers pee down their legs in fear.

Three years ago, The Bush administration told us that Al Queda was isolated and insulated from the rest of the world in these mountainous wastes, no threat to anyone, impotent. Today the Bush administration tells us that Al Queda has rebuilt it's leadership, recruited and trained new hosts of fighters, re-established effective communications, and refilled their coffers. How could this have happened?

George Bush has always told us that it's better to fight them over there, than over here. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security tells us this week, to expect major acts of terrorism, in this country, this summer. Since we're not fighting them over there, in the semi-autonomous border regions, I guess now we'll have to fight them over here.

Maybe we can get these damn California gun laws relaxed a little now. Anybody know where I can get an AK and a couple hundred thousand rounds? How about some RPGs? I'd like some of them too.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Guess My Check Got Lost In The Mail

I noticed that one of the benchmarks that the Iraqi government is deficient in is insuring an equitable distribution of oil revenues among the population regardless of racial or religious origin. It doesn't surprise me that they are unable to achieve this lofty goal. What surprises me is that they feel any need to share it with the people at all.

In this great nation, the government is all too eager to lease or sell our natural resources to corporate interests at fire sale prices, or just give them away outright. The profits can then be reaped by those lucky enough to be in the investor class. The investor class are those that take the admonition to work smarter not harder to the ultimate extreme.

In my family we have birthed many types of people. There have been doctors, nurses, school teachers, clergymen, farmers, small business owners, factory workers, just about every type of person you can name. We never had any investor class types though, no criminals either, come to think of it. I guess they just blew all that money they made working themselves to death all those years. Yep, I bet uncle Ernest used to neglect the morning milking in the dairy barn, to whisk aunt Pearl off to Monte Carlo, where they would engage in wild gambling sprees and he would sip champagne from her orthopedic shoe, thus ruining forever our chances of entering the investor class.

George Bush is from the investor class. I feel so bad, like I've let him down. I wasted my life working. I worked harder, not smarter. I never had the time to get rich. I got a rickety, cardboard condo and a couple of motorscooters to my name. My savings are of very un-Warren Buffet like proportions. I probably will be able to afford all the cheap Chinese crap I will ever need, at Walmart and the 99 cent only store. I guess I don't need any of that resource revenue sharing crap. I guess the investor class needs it and deserves it more than I do. After all they risked their capital so that stupid work harders not smarters like me could have a job at all and I'm damn grateful.

Thanks George, enjoy the money. It warms my heart to know that capitalists like you are looking out for my welfare, even though I don;t deserve it.