The Daily Journal: April 3, 2007
Edited by Pierre Tristam/Candide's Notebooks
“Stay the Course” Makes a Comeback
Barry McCaffrey, possibly a war criminal during the first Gulf War and Bill Clinton's drug Czar, writes in the LATimes that there is no choice in Iraq but to stay and kill more Iraqis: “More than 100,000 armed militia members and insurgents confront central authorities. A handful of foreign fighters (about 500) and a couple of thousand Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq extremists provoke sectarian violence through murderous attacks on the innocent civilian Shiite population and their mosques. This provokes a response of brutality and ethnic cleansing against the vulnerable Sunni civilian population.” Despite all that, Also, “As many as 3,000 Iraqis are being killed or kidnapped a month, and
American forces have suffered more than 27,000 killed and wounded. But
“we have little choice as Americans except to give our new military
commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus, and our new ambassador, Ryan C.
Crocker, the political and military support they need during the next
12 months. Failure in Iraq at this point could generate a regional war
among Iraq's neighbors that would imperil U.S. interests for a decade
or more.” I emphasized the as Americans: what does it mean exactly, as Americans? A minor, telling detail in a degradingly argued whole that's blind to the obvious even as it states it: American interests have been ruined for decades in the region, and a regional war is only another way of redefining the war already handicapping the United States in Iraq. See the full column...
Diego Maradona, once the supposed heir to Pele as the alleged best player of his generation, is back in hospital fighting hepatitis from his alcoholism. Should we care? This is not the Muhammad Ali of football. More like its Dennis Rodman. He's been a cocaine addict, an alcoholic, a cheater, an all-around blight on a game he didn't respect enough to respect its rules. This is an adult pushing late middle age we're now talking about. So he's going through the revolving door one form of addiction followed by another form of rehab. He deserves no more concern, and probably much less (considering his past and fortunes) than the average wino along the Bowery in new York. Speaking of which: do they still have winos on the Bowery?
Bushism of the Day
From the Post: "President Bush expressed frustration on Tuesday with the congressional debate on Iraq war spending and accused majority-party Democrats of being "more interested in fighting political battles in Washington than providing our troops what they need." " This from the man who doesn't attend soldiers' funerals for politically calculated reasons. And more: "Standing with the troops means getting them the money that they need now," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino—so they don't get killed in penury, one assumes. Harry Reid should get his act together and make good on his threat to cut off war funding altogether if the president vetoes the latest war supplemental bill.
Soros On Israel, America and AIPAC
From the New York Review: "The Bush administration is once again in the process of committing a major policy blunder in the Middle East, one that is liable to have disastrous consequences and is not receiving the attention it should. This time it concerns the Israeli-Palestinian relationship. The Bush administration is actively supporting the Israeli government in its refusal to recognize a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas, which the US State Department considers a terrorist organization. This precludes any progress toward a peace settlement at a time when progress on the Palestinian problem could help avert a conflagration in the greater Middle East." See the full essay...
What is it about us web-fingered neurotics that we can't stand to leave our pages be more than a few weeks at a time? Sunday it was the inside pages at the Notebooks. Monday it was the Washington Post's web site and its editor's elegy to "white space." Today it's Ohdave. I thought he was an Ohio fan, but he's giving his page just a hint of that Tar Heel look, if under the foggier skies of a warmish April. Have a look.
Luxuries and Wastelands of the Ganges
From NPR: "... the waters of the Ganges are clear and filled with fish, but as they move on they become polluted. By the time they pass the industrial city of Kanpur, the waters are oily and dead, fouled by industrial byproducts and raw waste. Hundreds of thousands of Indian children die from the effects of dirty water every year. Environmentalists are trying to clean up the river in Kanpur, but their efforts are thwarted by corruption and power shortages."