Friday, March 28, 2003

The Best News Of The Day - Go Get 'Em, Michael!

The non-coverage of these (and related) connections is the biggest scandal since Sept. 11th (and a point where liberal and conservative viewpoints can converge in mass outrage). Maybe Michael Moore can provide the spark that will generate some heat.

Origin Of The "Cakewalk"

Here, apparently, is where the cakewalk came from - lo, it's Kenneth Adelman!

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Richard Perle Resigns

Richard Perle resigned. I guess where there was smoke, there was fire.....

And yet there was also the appearance of Prince Bandar bin Sultan getting even against Richard Perle, for who knows what offenses - something to do with the Prince's sister spending several hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on a terrorist safe house in San Diego, perhaps? Or maybe something else? According to the Washington Post article, referring to Seymour Hersh's original New Yorker article:

The piece contains this extraordinary quote from Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to the United States: "There were elements of the appearance of blackmail -- 'If we get in business, he'll back off on Saudi Arabia' -- as I have been informed by participants in the meeting."

I don't know what the real story is, but the backstabbing looks intense here. Something to look out for when the histories of this time get written......

"Easy" War

More on the Administration's deceptive talk of an easy war. It's clear to me that it wasn't a case of just misleading the public, but a much more serious case of self-deception. It is very dangerous to practice such a game - life-wasting defeats, the stuff of history books, are born here. I can only hope that Rumsfeld et al. will accept the bad news with grace, and correct their errors, before we experience much more shock and awe (of the sort generated by the Iraqi regime).

Still, it's hard not to get mad at the media's easy compliance with defeatism. I particularly remember Judy Woodruff on CNN, on Monday I believe, the day when the news was sinking in about the capture of the 12 American soldiers from Ft. Bliss, TX. Woodruff announced that it was a very bad day for Coalition forces, when, in fact, the forces were in great shape, racing for Baghdad. Woodruff mistook the PR battle rattling around her head at CNN, the talk-talk war, for the real battle in Mesopotamia. Perhaps stupid of her, and annoying. But maybe she has a point after all - Clausewitz's old saw about war being just politics carried out with different means remains just as true as ever. If Hussein can out-psyche her, so much the better for his forces.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Damn This Quick-And-Easy War Crap

The public record is replete with the Bush Administration's attempt to soft sell this war, promising cheap-and easy victory. May history record and long revile this evil nonsense!

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Taking An Entire City Hostage

Iraq's 51st Army Division is up to pretty impressive stuff. Not only are they attempting to filter back into the civilian confines of Basra, and thus escape immediate harm from Coalition forces, but they are also trying to precipitate a humanitarian catastrophe, holding an entire city of 1.3 million people hostage (a city about the size of my home city of Sacramento, CA), depriving it of the electricity, water, and food that would otherwise be available from Coalition and international sources. Pretty audacious! At first I thought it strange that Saddam Hussein praised the leadership of the 51st, in his recent television speech, even though the leadership had already ostensibly surrendered. This weird praise had convinced some people that the speech must have been taped a few days ago, prior to the start of the fighting, but that apparently wasn't the real reason - this hostage mission is the real reason. In addition, Vice President Ibrahim Ramadan seemed unusually eager in his speech this morning to draw attention to the recent breakdown of the U.N.'s Food-for-Oil program (suspended due to the start of hostilities), and determined to blame the impending suffering of Iraqi civilians on Coalition forces. It's clear that these vile events must have been long-planned. The Sunnis of central Iraq thus sacrifice their Shia 'brethren' in southern Iraq. The only impediment to the plan is that people in Basra itself now seem to be rebelling against the plan, and frantically enlisting the British in their rebellion. The conflicted people of southern Iraq have been loathe to openly support Coalition forces, but now that their lives are definitely in danger unless they act fast, they're changing their minds.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Watching BBC

Staying up very late last night, I watched BBC's morning news show, instead of the normal CNN and Fox fare, and it was something of a shock. Issues that are hardly even on the radar screen here in the U.S. got big play: e.g., complaints in the Pentagon that the U.S. forces are not sufficiently manned for their challenge. Other things seemed strange too. The intense pall of smoke over Baghdad was attributed to the bombing - the deliberate oil-trench fires, more responsible for the smoke than even the bombing, weren't mentioned until quite late. Then, too, the commentators. One fellow, whose name I didn't get, probably in an effort to give his comments pizzazz, described the U.S. administration as a "Christian Jacobin cabal." Pretty strong language! After an hour of such fare, I was ready to slit my wrists and give up the fight. But then one of the commentators mentioned that, various incidental setbacks aside, the U.S. forces had already approached to within only about 80 miles of Baghdad. I took heart. Who says we have received any setbacks worth mentioning? General Tommy Franks evidently follows the George C. Patton school of war, which emphasizes speed, and disdains securing logistical lines. In modern blitzkrieg (sorry: 'shock and awe' warfare), speed and punch are everything. My hat off to him! Now, the really, really hard part: securing the surrender of Baghdad and the collapse of the regime, despite intense resistance and the certain use of WMD.

Crows Coming Home To Roost

Last night, watching Greta van Susternen on Fox, you could palpably feel her sense of betrayal upon learning that the battle for Iraq wasn't going to be a cakewalk after all. The neocons got carried away with their rose-colored prophecies, and poor gullible Greta swallowed it all, hook, line and sinker. At last, very late, neocons are slowly being brought back to a reality where Americans will be killed, prisoners will be taken, and prisoners will be executed. The people responsible for this swindle (I suspect Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Perle had a lot to do with this) should be made to stand guard on a street corner, somewhere in Basra, on a dark moonless night.

"How To Succeed..." Ends

Well, we finished "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", at DMTC. The musical went surprisingly well, helped along by good reviews in the Davis Enterprise, and the Sacramento Bee. Next comes "Grease", where I'll be playing Eugene, the Nerd!