Monday, November 28, 2005
Quickie -- I found these two paragraphs about Bush's immigration plan somewhat ironic:
'Earlier in Tucson, Bush spoke to a supportive audience that included border patrol agents and military troops. He was flanked by two black Customs and Border Protection helicopters and giant green and yellow signs that said "Protecting America's Borders."'
'He said he is providing border agents with cutting-edge technology like overhead surveillance drones and infrared cameras, while at the same time constructing simple physical barriers to entry.' (Source: The Pickler)
Irony in this case is due to the U.S. having played a part just last week in talks to open the border between Palestine and Egypt. Not to mention "physical barriers" evokes images of Israel's illegal wall around parts of Palestine. And thus Bush is supporting a two-level plan; more temporary work visas and an escalation of the millitarization of the U.S. - Mexico border. Perhaps he's spent some time with Ariel Sharon, or maybe he just has something against countries with the color green in their flags. Either way, this is merely a dodge meant to a.) solidify Republican support for something, b.) change the headlines away from the Iraq war, the Plame investigation, the conviction of Cunningham on tax evasion and bribery charges, and a whole host of other bad news for the President. I'm personally waiting for the bill that privatizes border security and deputizes locals to arrest "illegals" crossing the border. Not to mention we now all get to say "President Bush, tear down this wall!" Happy, happy, joy, joy...
...Random observation -- if you're going to print up big "Protecting America's Borders" signs and make them nice millitaristic colors, you may want to avoid using an Eagle on the background. Especially when talking about Mexico, seeing as how they have a grand-looking (and free-looking) eagle in the foreground of their flag. Something about the juxtaposition of those two images strikes me as wrong...
Andrew 7:00 PM : |
New Hersh. He writes about three subjects, two of which I think are worth noting here. First off, a bit about Bush:
'Current and former military and intelligence officials have told me that the President remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq, and that he is impervious to political pressure, even from fellow Republicans. They also say that he disparages any information that conflicts with his view of how the war is proceeding.'
'Bush’s closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush’s first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President’s religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that “God put me here” to deal with the war on terror. The President’s belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that “he’s the man,” the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reëlection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose.'
'The former senior official said that after the election he made a lengthy inspection visit to Iraq and reported his findings to Bush in the White House: “I said to the President, ‘We’re not winning the war.’ And he asked, ‘Are we losing?’ I said, ‘Not yet.’ ” The President, he said, “appeared displeased” with that answer.'
'“I tried to tell him,” the former senior official said. “And he couldn’t hear it.”'
My comments in the post immediately below this one apply, so I won't say more here other than to point out that I hope I'm wrong, and that Bush doesn't fit into the group of fundamentalists described by Moyers.
The second point worth pointing out is a bit at the very end of Hersh's piece. I suspect, however, that this will one day merit a longer article of its own:
'. . . the covert war in Iraq has expanded in recent months to Syria. A composite American Special Forces team, known as an S.M.U., for “special-mission unit,” has been ordered, under stringent cover, to target suspected supporters of the Iraqi insurgency across the border. (The Pentagon had no comment.) “It’s a powder keg,” the Pentagon consultant said of the tactic. “But, if we hit an insurgent network in Iraq without hitting the guys in Syria who are part of it, the guys in Syria would get away. When you’re fighting an insurgency, you have to strike everywhere—and at once.”'
And so the mission creeps further from its stated aim of ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and establishing democracy. If my scorecard is correct, this would mean that at least two other countries in the region have seen fighting due to the Iraq occupation -- Iran (via special forces and possibly Kurdish forces trained by Israel) and now Syria. We've heard rumblings before about possible millitary action against both countries. We've now heard about combat missions happening in both countries. How much more will we escalate those conflicts? What are the parameters for pursuing "insurgents" into Syria? All of this makes me very uneasy about U.S. intentions in the region.
Andrew 6:37 AM : |
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