The American Crisis

These are the times that try men’s souls

Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

“Terrorist are trying to take over my country”

Posted by TP on Friday, October 19, 2007

So declared Ms Benazir Bhutto, and that’s was before yesterday’s attempt on her life. Ms Bhutto is not naïve; she made statement knowing the consequences. She is very fortunate to be reading about it today. Hundreds of her supporters were not so lucky.

Pro-Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud and al Qaeda are believed to be behind a suicide bomb attack that left 136 innocent citizens dead and another 250 wounded. Many of those wounded are so seriously injured that, if they survive, will be left horribly disfigured for the remainder of their lives; a living advertisement to all of the cost of confronting the Taliban and their supports. The time and place of Ms Bhutto’s arrival has been known for some time, this was not an opportunistic event.

The US Congress is often quick to harshly criticize Pakistan and in particular President Musharraf for their efforts (read: meaning lack there of) to control Mehsud and his local affiliates. Their overly used stock barbs never acknowledge the associated local human and political costs. And why would they – the cost to their citizenry is not their concern. This callousness is typical of the attitude US politicians, Democratic and Republicans, have with respect to the life and death challenges millions of people face everyday for simply being an “ally of the US”.

Lets have a go at some reality. Consider that “world famous” fiasco at Waco, Texas. Now instead of that one lighted armed house in the middle of nowhere, imagine an area the relative size of (to the US) the State of California fully armed and supportive of someone the national government was seeking to arrest. Does that sounds like child play to you?


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French President Sarkozy and wife announce split – a forerunner of what is to come for the US?

Posted by TP on Thursday, October 18, 2007

The US may be getting accustomed to the idea that in 2008 there may be a “First Man” rather than the traditional First Lady, but are they ready for a separated presidential couple? We can argue that it does not matter, or shouldn’t, but the fact is it does and it will as it did in French election and would certainly in US as well. The politics of the Democratic and Republican parties’ aside, the US is by far a more conservative country than France, indeed any western country with the exception of Ireland.

Even thought the French public has long been accustomed to the intimate extramarital forays of their presidents, their spouses and paramours, Sarkozy and his party was keen to postpone this announcement until well after the elections.

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Who’s In Charge Here?

Posted by TP on Thursday, October 18, 2007

Without question, the only reason the US Congress is now in control by the Democratic Party was that they convinced the US public they would change the course in Iraq by 180 degrees – immediately. Of course they did just the opposite, approving instead the additional 30,000 troops that the President and his party were hesitant to push prior to the elections. The situation in Iraq now is now clearly improving. Since it has been the position of the President and his Party to “stay the course” and provide the local commanders with the support they need, the improving situation is good news for Republicans.

This of course doesn’t bode well for the Democratic Party in the upcoming elections, but it’s nothing a little more complication can’t change – or so they thought. The Democratic leaders are now openly squabbling about what actually happened in Armenia 100 years ago.

The open backbiting amongst the Democratic leadership over the scheduling of the US States’ primary elections resembles a bar room cat fight. Making matters worse, the new Democratic governor of the state of New York remains insistent upon providing the state’s automotive driver’s license to all illegal aliens. Driver’s licenses are also the primary form of identification used throughout the US. Under the proposed plan, declared those opposed, Osama bin Laden could obtain valid driver’s license in New York.

Fortunately, there are some good “political” news today to distract the US public from the dreadfulness of their politics. Stephen Colbert, a popular television celebrity and author with a penchant for pointing out the often juvenile acts of US politics, has joined the race for the White House. Judging by all the excitement, this diversion could not come at a better time for the Democrats.

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Madam Speaker, doesn’t this business just make you want to pull your hair out?

Posted by TP on Thursday, October 18, 2007

Someone familiar with history, and we all know it wasn’t you, recalled a vague footnote from early 20th Century history about an atrocity perpetrated by an obscure group called the “Ottoman Empire” on an even more obscured group called the Armenians. You and your cohorts, many of whom are now distancing themselves from you on this matter, thought little downside in pushing this resolution at this time – other than the lives of the US troops in the area. But of course you can be forgiven; phonetically speaking Armenians (AR-ME-NI-ANS) are indistinguishable from Americans (A-ME-RI-CANS).


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US Politics 101: The art of the misdirection

Posted by TP on Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The art of the misdirection, or what to do when you wont deliver on what you promised. The “new” US Congress stormed into the nation’s capital on promises to the American public to focus on their priorities. Unfortunately, the “their” the new Democratic Congress was referring to was in fact themselves – not the US public or even the nation’s broader interests.

Case in point: In spite of the fact that singling out one horrible period in the history of Turkey, an essential US ally, only serves to derail US’s critical interests in the region and put their own troops at additional risk of harm, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party thought it politically advantageous to themselves to push a new resolution. This resolution declares, some 92 years after the fact, that the death of a million Armenians at the hands of what was then the Ottoman Empire was genocide. Suffice it to say, there is no benefit to Speaker Pelosi or any of her party’s presidential hopefuls for any measure of success or stability in that region until after the 2008 elections. Apparently, no option is “off the table” in her party’s efforts to perpetuate their own political ambitions.

What actually occurred nearly a century ago and its characterization we do not dispute. The timing of the resolution and the obvious and shameless disregard of the repercussions to their nation’s broader interests are no different than the genesis of the decisions that led up to the event Ms Pelosi is only today condemning.

What would Ms Pelosi’s reaction be if Canada were to pass a resolution calling the systematic displacement, confinement, starvation, rape and murder of the tens of millions of native American Indians at the hands of United States the largest genocide in the history of the world?

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On ‘Shift-Happens’

Posted by TP on Monday, October 15, 2007

This video is an excellent primer for the often misaligned priorities of the American public:

Candidates running for the office of President of the United States: at least 21

Candidates making anything on this video a priority: likely none

Public’s continued belief that anything of substance will change after the 2008 election: Priceless

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Presidential Race; the Advertising Blitz is on

Posted by TP on Monday, October 15, 2007

The Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), a firm that tracks political advertising across US local and network TV stations, radio and the Internet, predicts massive spending on the 2008 US elections. How massive? CMAG says in its newsletter “Based on an analysis of the 2004 election, we foresee ad spending eclipsing $800 million on the presidential election alone“.

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On leaving Iraq

Posted by TP on Monday, October 15, 2007

It’s not going to happen. Why the US general public, for the most part, believes that a change in its leadership will facilitate a departure from Iraq I can understand. By and large, the US public are ignorant of their military footprint on the world and easily persuaded, as we all are, by politicians in a hope for something different. Why the free and independent US media also obsess with this fantasy, and therefore contribute to the miss-education of its citizens, we struggle to understand.

The obvious truth of the matter to anyone who has traveled abroad is that the US does not voluntarily leave a country or region it conquerers. They have not done so since its first major foray on the international stage with the Spanish-American war. Today nearly a half million U.S. troops are currently deployed around the globe. There are some 100,000 US troops in Europe where WWII and the cold war are a distant memory, another 100,000 remain East Asia (including the 40,000 each in Japan and South Korea), in addition to the 140,000 in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Indeed, the entire northern quarter of Kuwait (1,600 square miles out of Kuwait’s 6,900 square miles) remains under the control of US troops 16 years after they routed Iraq forces in the first gulf war.

Africa too has its share of US troops, but no where near the scale of other regions. That will change however as that continent increases its contribution of oil to the US and world economies. Any one looking for the US troops in Africa, need just follow the oil.


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Is France coming around to our side?

Posted by TP on Friday, October 12, 2007

I hear a different tone in the recently elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy on relations with the U.S. and its position in the world. Is this Frenchman cut from a different cloth? One that is resolved to the reality that France is not the most important country in the world, that English-not French- is the the most widely spoken language in the history of the world, that it was in fact the “ketchup and hot dog” loving Americans that saved them and their croissants from WWI, WWII, WWIII (a.k.a., the “cold” war) and South East Asia (yes, we actually got our start in Vietnam at their “invitation” to rescue over 5,000 French soldiers)? Or should we finally learn from our own history and resolve ourselves to be weary of flowery advances from foreign politicians and home grown courtesans, alike- regardless of how enticing it seams.

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An Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming

Posted by TP on Friday, October 12, 2007

Conventional thinking on recent ice ages – based on as they say “fossil evidence” – says that continent size ice sheets advance and retreat on 40,000- and 100,000-year time scales. Imagine, just some 18,000 years ago (a nanosecond in geological time) an ice sheet over a mile thick covered Manhattan Island. To visualize that, imagine that four Empire State Buildings stacked one on top of the other would still be covered in ice. So much water was held in ice at that time that it is estimated that global sea levels dropped by over 350 feet! To visualize that, stand on any beach on a clear day look out towards the sea as far as the horizon – that’s about 28 miles. You would need to see an additional 40 miles out to see the ocean!

That last glacial period ended about ten thousand years ago. World temperatures then increased so much that by 6000 years ago, lions roamed as far north as Northern Europe and parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota resembled the dry hot savanna of today’s east Africa. Now that’s global warming!

As far as I know, loins today make their home in Africa not Europe, and Wisconsin is home to the holy Mecca of the National Football League, also know as “the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field”. Since the worse ecological damage humans could do 10,000 years ago, say start a forest fire, could not heat the planet, the real inconvenient truth about climate change is that it will happen regardless of what anyone (or everyone) does. Climate change is as inevitable as old age. A wise man plans for the coming of his old age, rather than believing he can avoid it by buying the latest cure-all from some pan-handling preacher.

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