Friday, April 09, 2004

What Would Jesus Bomb?

Today Secretary of State Powell is quoted in the Washington Post, saying the recent uprisings, death, and destruction in Iraq are "disquieting." That's picking your words carefully, General!

Yesterday, during the 9/11 Commission barbecuing of Condi Rice, ex-Senator Bob Kerrey tossed off as aside about there being no good options now in Iraq, that we've gotten ourselves into a quagmire where every muscle-twitch to get out only sinks us deeper. Here's a portion of what Kerrey said, from the transcript:


I believe, first of all, that we underestimate that this war on terrorism is really a war against radical Islam. Terrorism is a tactic. It's not a war itself.

Secondly, let me say that I don't think we understand how the Muslim world views us, and I'm terribly worried that the military tactics in Iraq are going to do a number of things, and they're all bad. One is...


No, please don't -- please do not do that. Do not applaud.

I think we're going to end up with civil war if we continue down the military operation strategies that we have in place. I say that sincerely as someone that supported the war in the first place.

Let me say, secondly, that I don't know how it could be otherwise, given the way that we're able to see these military operations, even the restrictions that are imposed upon the press, that this doesn't provide an opportunity for al Qaeda to have increasing success at recruiting people to attack the United States.


This a.m. on C-SPAN, Brian Lamb opened the phones on the question, "What should we do now in Iraq? Forget the past. What do we do now?" A remarkable percentage of those professing absolute loyalty to El Presidente urged "nuking 'em." One man said, "They take down the World Trade Center ... we melt Mecca," not pausing to reflect that Mecca is in Saudi Arabia, not Iraq, which might actually make a trifle more sense than the invasion of Iraq made, considering the nationality of a majority of the 9/11 hijackers.

The willful myopia of Bush loyalists seems a perfect reflection of the myopia of their Fearless Leader. The present uprising in Iraq, which seems to be doing what few thought possible -- uniting Shiites and Sunnis in one massive resistance against the American occupation -- was precipitated by an act of censorship ... the shutting down of Muqtada al Sadr's daily newspaper. Let's see, America ... we don't like "the lies" the fiery young cleric al Sadr is peddling in his newspaper, so we have two options: (a) let it go, actually allow the Iraqis to practice freedom of speech, let the Iraqis talk talk talk about how awful the American devils are, or (b) shut it down and make a martyr of al Sadr and give the Iraqis a valuable object lesson in what we REALLY mean when we preach "democratization," and have the Iraqis shoot shoot shoot at us instead of talk talk talk trash. Which option seems best to you?

Meanwhile, George Bush is cutting brush in Crawford, about which John Kerry finally got off a good line (well it WOULD have been a good line, if the Senator would cut the word-count): "I notice President Bush is taking some days off down at Crawford, Texas, and I'm told that when he takes days off, you know, he totally relaxes," Kerry said. "He doesn't watch television, he doesn't read the newspapers, he doesn't make long-term plans, doesn't worry about the economy. I thought about that for a moment. I said, 'Sounds to me like it's just like life in Washington, doesn't it?"

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