Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Neoconservative convergence

Krauthammer's Neoconservative Convergence makes two interesting points that need to be reinforced among some readers. (not you of course)


The question of alliances with dictators, of deals with the devil, can be approached openly, forthrightly, and without any need for defensiveness. The principle is that we cannot democratize the world overnight and, therefore, if we are sincere about the democratic project, we must proceed sequentially. Nor, out of a false equivalence, need we abandon democratic reformers in these autocracies. On the contrary, we have a duty to support them, even as we have a perfect moral right to distinguish between democrats on the one hand and
totalitarians or jihadists on the other.

In the absence of omnipotence, one must deal with the lesser of two evils. That means postponing radically destabilizing actions in places where the support of the current non-democratic regime is needed against a larger existential threat to the free world. There is no need to apologize for that. In World War II we allied ourselves with Stalin
against Hitler. (As Churchill said shortly after the German invasion of the USSR: “If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.”) This was a necessary alliance, and a temporary one: when we were done with Hitler, we turned our attention to Stalin and his successors.

This is part of an argument that Stephen, among others, and I have when discussing U.S. foreign policy. Should the U.S. cozy up to dictators and tyrants? No. Should they do so when pursuing a greater evil? Yes. After the U.S. eliminates the jihadists, nihilists and totalitarians, then we can move on to the next level of problems states/people.


Another important sign of the maturing of neoconservative foreign policy is that it is no longer tethered to its own ideological history and paternity. The current practitioners of neoconservative foreign policy are George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld. They have no history in the movement, and before 9/11 had little affinity to or affiliation with it.

The fathers of neoconservatism are former liberals or leftists. Today, its chief proponents, to judge by their history, are former realists. Rice, for example, was a disciple of Brent Scowcroft; Cheney served as Secretary of Defense in the first Bush administration. September 11 changed all of that. It changed the world, and changed our understanding of the world. As neoconservatism seemed to offer the most plausible explanation of the new reality and the most compelling and active response to it, many realists were brought to acknowledge the poverty of realism—not just the futility but the danger of a foreign policy centered on the illusion of stability and equilibrium. These realists, newly mugged by reality, have given weight to neoconservatism, making it more diverse and, given the newcomers’ past experience, more mature.

What neoconservatives have long been advocating is now being articulated and practiced at the highest levels of government by a war cabinet composed of individuals who, coming from a very different place, have joined and reshaped the neoconservative camp and are
carrying the neoconservative idea throughout the world. As a result, the vast right-wing conspiracy has grown even more vast than liberals could imagine. And even as the tent has enlarged, the great schisms and splits in conservative foreign policy—so widely predicted just a year ago, so eagerly sought and amplified by outside analysts—have not occurred. Indeed, differences have, if anything, narrowed.

This is not party discipline. It is compromise with reality, and convergence toward the middle. Above all, it is the maturation of a
governing ideology whose time has come.

Krauthammer dispels the myth that Bush, Cheney and Co. are Neocons. James Mann, in his excellent book The Rise of the Vulcans, also dispels the myth citing that the true Neocons in the administration are Wolfowitz and Perle. If proximity to the President is everything in Washington and Wolfowitz is now head of the World Bank, and Perle sits on the Defense Policy Board, is it now the ideas of the Neocons and not the Neocons themselves that have currency with the current administration? Can we now dispense with the myth?


Early translation of the Iraqi Constitution

There’s a gal in one of my classes who insists that Iraqi democracy will fail because it is being made in the image of American democracy. It is Americans, she argues, that are drafting the Iraqi Constitution and not Iraqis. So when I came across an early version of the Iraqi Constitution, translated of course, I read it.

Take a peak for yourself. (Keep in mind that this is someone else’s translation and not an official—or even complete—document).


Sunday, July 17, 2005

Christy Clark's Purse

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It was the middle of the night last night when it hit me. Last Friday's cover of Vancouver's 24 Hours headline/tabloid/no-context-or-detail free newspaper [see below] made me think of a piece I read in the Republic a while back.

My old boss, Education Minister Christy Clark, was on the cover. I attended SFU when she was there in the late 1980s or early 1990s. She never graduated from there or any university, but that's ok. While at SFU she was on the student society doing what she has come to do best: alienate, offend and annoy people, including a couple friends of mine who were department reps on the student society. I think she saw herself as being assertive, while others called her beligerent.

Before retiring from being a public school teacher, my boss, Minister Clark, carried the trophy of teacher hatred around her like a laurel leaf on her head, refusing to meet with teachers for more than about 2.5 hours or something over her whole tenure, while she was eager to meet at length with all other stakeholder groups. At any rate, we were her whipping slaves and she did well by ramming a "contract" down our throats to put us in our place; we're so uppity.

So then after countless teachers screamed at her in the produce section of Port Moody grocery stores, she decides to retire from politics, despite being deputy premier and a high-profile minister hammering away at DrunkGord Campbell's neoLiberal privatization agenda.

So then I remember Kevin Potvin's piece about three high profile cabinet ministers leaving politics...perhaps before criminal investigations hit them directly. Or maybe Harmony Air was just a good opportunity for Gary Collins and Christy Clark did really want to spend more time with her son.

But if her son was the reason for her to leave politics--at least temporarily--I got a huge kick out of her appearance on the cover of 24 Hours. Living the quiet, stay at home mom, suburban lifestyle hardly calls for a media splash to keep her in the public eye. I suspect she'll end up running for--or being parachuted into--the Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam federal Liberal nomination to run against Conservative James Moore, someone hard to beat. With her family connections to the federal Liberals and Paul Martin, she may be a good west coast Belinda Stronach to help a minority government get another breath of air.

And 24 Hours was well inclined to give her a puff piece playing up her bouncy family lifestyle, especially when they referred to her as the former Minister of Children and Family Development, thereby not calling up the hellish days when she oversaw the closure of over 100 community public schools in BC and the firing of thousands of BC's public school teachers.

Christy Clark


"My son wants to marry me," says Clark, and in her purse is the blue, gizillion-carat toy store ring to prove it. "I never carried Kleenex before I had a baby." We're willing to bet you wouldn't have found a Spider-Man action figure in there a few years back either - which incidentally is on its way back to the drycleaner where three-year-old Hamish lifted it from.

So, what's in there ...?

- A bus transfer.

- A shopping list: shiitake mushrooms, chili, green beans.

- Williams Lake and Ucluelet lapel pins.

- Collar stays from her husband's shirt saved from demise at the drycleaner.

- A Japanese punk rock CD.

- Laura Mercier terra cotta lip liner and tea rose lipstick.

- A Taiwanese good luck charm.

- A Blackberry and cell phone.

When "Contract" No Longer Means Agreement

I thought I had it bad as a public school teacher in BC when the provincial government unilaterally imposed a "contract" on us a few years ago. I always thought a "contract" was something that was agreed to by both parties in a transaction.

But the Orwellian ghoulishness of Gordon Campbell's neoLiberal junta kept beating us about the temple with the word "contract" until it just became a new kind of thing...a thing that meant something like what it always used to, but didn't need the hassle of actual agreement. I don't recall the BCTF bargaining unit ever actually signing the legislated "contract".

So in the brave new world of global competition, $6 minimum wages, and a healthy, robust race to the bottom, worker rights can still exist, at least in name only, when "contracts" are unilaterally imposed: "what's the problem? at least you've got a contract," except when there is no actual agreement on both sides.

But now, the private sector is getting into the Orwellian game. Telus has decided to unilaterally impose on its employees a "contract" which will define their work. They have been without a contract for 4 years. It's thus time to squash them for good by completely dropping the pretense of good-faith labour negotiation by just ending it all by imposing their offer. And they think this will bring labour peace. Sadly, in Campbell's New Era BC, they might be right. But I doubt the Telecommunications Workers Union will go so quietly. I hope they don't.

Political Integrity: Chuck Cadman Style

While Chuck Cadman's long time in federal politics ended with him saving the country from an impending perhaps-too-early election, the most important part of his legacy to the country is not that. Nor is it his entry into politics after the inane murder of his son.

While Sandra Martin says he'll always be known for saving the Liberals, his most important legacy is his recent re-election in his riding after the federal Conservative Party turfed him as their candidate, winning with 44% of the vote while the Conservative candidate was fourth with 12% of the vote.

Intelligence, vision, personal will, willingness to not bow down to the rule of party whips and sheep, a sense of the meaning of days that underlines the importance of doing, really doing, what is worth doing: these are the qualities that Chuck Cadman demonstrated. Regardless of whether we agree with any or all of his beliefs, it is hard to not respect the integrity with which he pursued them.

What is stunning is the number of the rest of Canada's 309 MPs that we can count on one hand who stand out as people with similar integrity and respectability. As the party system squelches independent thought in public for the sake of party line, independent MPs are a breath of clean, unpolluted air that hints at the potential of what politics can be in Canada, not only federally, but provincially and municipally.

While MPs can promote their independent thinking merely in caucuses' secret halls, they do little to uphold the potential they hold and can demonstrate to those who elected them.

And while we could choose to see the Liberals celebrating his life because of how he saved their slim mandate, my MP sets the bar high for the remaining 309 MPs:

Mr. Cadman came to Ottawa "not as a power broker, but a missionary," said Industry Minister David Emerson, MP for Vancouver South
[sic: Vancouver Kingsway]. "He put it all on the line for what he believed in. I like to say he had grit, which is the ultimate compliment I can pay somebody because that's what Canada was built by -- people with grit."

While I won't even begin to comment on his self-serving use of the word "grit", I will say that I await Emerson's assertion of all he believes in and his demonstration that he's putting it all on the line for that. I fear that Emerson already is, leaving him as a pale shadow of Cadman's authentic grit. His constituency newsletter this month contains a Happy Canada Day message, the lyrics to O Canada, a survey for us to tell him what issues are important to us, and a short piece on Bill C-53, the Proceeds from Crime Bill, that representatives from local businesses--who he met with--welcomed.

I'm waiting to see in Emerson the kind of Chuck Cadman-like qualities that would get him re-elected as an independent if in the next election PM PM undermines democracy again by parachuting a star candidate into this riding. I know Ian Waddell has it, and he very nearly beat Emerson last year.

Aid is only one part of the answer to Africa's woes

I like the idea of Live8. Attention on the eradication of poverty is a good thing. I just wish the promoters and some supporters of it were not so blinded by the poverty trifecta. The people behind Live8 insist that poverty can be eradicated through more aid, debt forgiveness and the reduction of trade barriers. While the eradication of poverty includes these three issues, it is only a part of the greater solution. Like all solutions in international politics, change must come inside as well as outside.

Consider this argument by Kenyan economics professor James Shikwati. Shikwati argues that there has been too much aid given and not a chance for local and regional economies to grow themselves. Why invest in a business when you can get the money for free? Instead of a nation of entrepreneurs, Africa has become a nation of foreign aid dependents.

Furthermore, how will change come when tyrants and thugs rule? Robert Mugabe, and even Stephen would agree with me here, might have to go before any good may come out of Zimbabwe. I am not calling for regime change (yet), but we cannot continue to reasonably believe that poverty will end while thugs continue to rule.

Instead of aid we should be talking about African development. Markets, not aid, is the answer to Africa’s woes. If we do bear the responsibility for Africa’s current situation, as Stephen believes but I do not, then it should fall on us to provide the solution the only solution that has proven to work—or at least better than the others. If it is not our responsibility, but rather in our self interest to do so, we should again provide a proven model for success.

The Live8 trifecta is a good starting point. But it will only be through political and economic reform/development that will truly bring about and end to poverty.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

"The Importance of BC's Agricultural Land Reserve"

The Importance of BC’s Agricultural Land Reserve

- Ameena Mayer

Poor is the man whose pleasures depend upon the permission of another. Indeed, self-sustainability is one of the many roads a country can follow that leads to happiness, and BC’s Agricultural Land Reserve plays an integral role in allowing Canada to take this path. Created approximately thirty years ago to eradicate the loss of 13,000 acres of farmland a year to the destructive cause of urban development, it protects 21,000 food processing industries and farms while providing over 200,000 jobs, a strong buffer zone against urban sprawl, habitats hospitable to biodiversity, millions of dollars a year for the economy, and most importantly, BC’s ability to be 60% self-sufficient in terms of food. Although the benefits of this reserve are blindingly apparent, the provincial government is considering transforming a portion of it into business parks and subdivisions. In addition, it wishes to let local governments preside over the ALR, which would place its fate in the hands of overly powered individuals.

Imagine all that tender, green life-producing land as pavement, all so a privileged few can hear the empty clank of coins in their coffers. And once one part is dismantled, an ugly precedent will be set, catalyzing the disappearance of even more farmland. This will negatively impact not only the people of BC,but the world at large. A decrease in local food production inevitably leads to a frenetic reliance on the increasingly unstable and corrupt international food market. One only has to glance at the corporate takeover of Latin American countries by the US to witness how globalization and free trade, spawned in part by a refusal to buy local and remain self-sufficient, exploit workers and destroy lives, all the while increasing fossil fuel emissions from the transport of these goods to places thousands of miles away. As it is, the ALR is only 5% of the province, and every precious acre counts toward ensuring Canada’s food stability. As members of a democracy, there is much we can do to aid in the protection of our farmlands-purchasing locally grown food, writing letters to the government, circulating petitions and bringing our concerns to our municipal councils to name a few. While the government twiddles its fingers over documents and figures, trying to find a way to add a little more gray to our province, we must decide whether we wish to walk with our own legs or amputate them and those of others to fill our stomachs.


Parkins, Keith. “Free Trade Area of the Americas”. www.heureka.clara.net. 2003

Smart Growth BC. “Agricultural Fact Sheet and
Background”. www.smartgrowth.bc.ca. 2005

Smart Growth BC. “Farmland Protection Makes Cents”. www.smartgrowth.bc.ca. 2005

Tingle, Jim. “Protection of Water and Soil in Northern BC’s Agricultural Industry”. www.city.pg.bc.ca. 1999

Friday, July 15, 2005

critical (non)thinking 101

The Palestine Human Rights Committee is an organization at SFU that wants to focus even more attention on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, as if there wasn’t enough already or other more pressing issues. About a month ago I went to one of there meetings to see what they are about. Here’s what I found out.

On Wednesday, June 8, members of the Palestinian Human Rights Committee participated in a conference here at SFU called “Perspectives on Palestine.” It would focus on what they claimed were egregious human rights violations perpetrated by Israel against Palestinian peoples. It was billed as a free and open discussion in which three panelists and a moderator would share their own experience with the audience. I want to first say that my knowledge of this conflict is more than topical, but not as deep as those who presented, let alone some members of the audience. I also think that a 45 minute forum with a few questions posed by those in attendance can not encapsulate a long lasting conflict. I am however open to new ideas which is why I went to this forum.

Excepting a well laid out argument full of facts, positions buttressed by experts, I was surprised to hear the first presenter, SFU grad Ahseea Ahmed, declare that the that the truth will speak for itself. Normally, a truth is arrived at the end of an argument and not before it, but not in this instance. The presentation recounted her experience of living and working in Israel for a short time accompanied by series of photos which had been taken throughout her stay. The photos showed checkpoints at various times of the day, both commercial and individual. Ms. Ahmed recounted how while one day she witnessed and managed to take a few pictures of a takedown in which young men were summarily arrested without reason or provocation. How did she know whether they were arrested without reason? Was the image of young men merely being arrested enough to satisfy her burden of proof that the young men were innocent and that this was simply another in a series of violations done by the Israeli police against the innocent Palestinian masses? Can equivocation and emotivism take the place of a solid Cartesian-style argument? Can this same panelist, a Masters candidate no less, make the same kind of argument in a paper and expect to convince her audience? These are questions that need answering.

The second speaker, Eyad Alnuweiri, recounted how the turnstiles for Palestinians entering and exiting Israel looked like and functioned like turnstiles for cattle. Furthermore, the Israelis modeled them explicitly in this way to degrade the Palestinians. Ignoring for the time being that I and you are equally degraded when waiting in line to check in at the airport, for a movie, or roller coaster at the PNE, how are the two connected. Presumably, the gates exist so there isn’t mass confusion when entering a checkpoint from either side. Now one can argue that the speaker wasn’t arguing about the aesthetics or function of the gate, but the existence of the gates themselves. That may have been the case but it wasn’t argued. Instead, the speaker made the more provocative invocation that the Israeli police force and IDF view the Palestinians as cattle, not as people. Very incendiary—reminiscent of H.G. Wells’ Elloi—but not at all useful to further a debate.

The third speaker, Lawrence Boxall, succinctly managed to boil down 2,000 years of Judeo/Muslim history into 10 minutes. Nice, but not at all helpful or very informative. But the real surprise for me came during question time when an Israeli man asked him a question about whether the Palestinian Authority would rescind its view on Jewishness as equating evilness found in school textbooks. Instead of answering the question, Boxall lashed out at him calling him a liar and/or misinformed. Specifically, Boxall charged that what was said he said was a lie propagated by Zionists. He then demanded that the audience member produce proof of his claim. Keep in mind that demand to produce evidence of such a book was made not more than twenty minutes after the Cole’s notes version of history told on the fly, the cattle invocation and the apparent truth of an random series of pictures. Why is it that the panelists had the lock on what is truth and what is fiction but when the other side of the argument is presented it is merely Zionist propaganda? Before the audience member’s question could be answered, the moderator quickly wrapped up the forum and invited audience members and panelists to continue the discussion, albeit individually.

I was dumbfounded.

Where was the discussion? Instead, the panel had replaced argument, proof, and analysis with conjecture, supposition and sentiment. I was also dismayed as to the unwillingness of the panelists to dispel spurious or rancorous remarks made by audience members that fail to advance the discussion. One audience member suggested that New York City should be changed to New Jerusalem City as it better reflected its inhabitants. One panel member said it wasn’t appropriate to say such things. The other three sat silent. But mostly, I came away disappointed in some of my former SFU classmates that such a seemingly important discussion had been reduced to such a weak series of arguments. If these discussion continue in such a fashion, not only will they alienate those on the fence of the issue, but they risk turning their cause into a caricature.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

"These Transient Times"

These Transient Times
-Ameena Mayer

Today, the human mind is assailed with all sorts of plastic paraphernalia: credit cards, DVD’s, McDonalds, breast implants and Britney Spears to name a few. With such artificiality comes the gradual corrosion of the human spirit, leading to a cold, gray society in which people are as disposable as plastic cups. Whether it comes to friends, lovers or jobs, people simply don’t have the time to deal with anything else but extreme pleasure and the instantaneous gratification of their raging desires. As a result, we have become the living dead, creatures so bereft of that awesome crimson creature called love that we endlessly attempt to fill the tender, wet place it once occupied with dried up material junk.

In the city, we have no choice but to lay our eyes upon mounds and mounds of what can’t be labeled as anything else except death. The concrete roads are coffin lids hiding the carcasses of earth worms and tree roots, each street pole the grave marker of the fecund green life that once flourished with ebullient vivacity. The skyscrapers indeed crassly scrape, with their pointed glass and metal, the fragile belly of sky, murdering our view of the sun and heavens that once inspired so much awe and reminded us of our insignificance. This is not to mention the Starbucks coffee cups exploding from the bloated stomachs of garbage cans, thrown out without thinking from where they came and where they will go. Cities are like etherized patients hooked up to intravenous tubes that suck the life from lakes, forests, soils and oceans, glittering in gaudy fluorescence and belching with car engines and machines when they get their fix.

In a society in which Mother Earth is misused and discarded so easily, it is not surprising that we are driven to treat each other in the same ugly way; after all, we are nature, our roots tracing the same path as those of the trees, and unfortunately, stretching toward the very same graves. When we speak of preserving the environment, we are not entirely alluding to saving Mother Nature, for regardless of what disasters we blunt-headed homo sapiens incur, she will live on in some form or the other, even if it is indeed cockroaches and weeds. What we are really discussing is preserving life as we know it with all its present forms, including us.

If indeed we are attempting to save our physical lives, we are certainly struggling to retain our emotional and psychological sanity. We have only to look in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver to see our fellow homo sapiens who are bent over with memories that hold years of slow killing from racist and classist words, from an abusive father or mother, and whose bodies are full of deadly substances to blunt these memories. Because they have been denied the privileges of the middle and upper classes, their wounds rage on the surface to be judged by those who couldn’t begin to comprehend their stories. However, among the privileged, the wounds fester on the heart’s pale surface due to the illnesses of postmodern living. Gone are the days in which a man and woman married at twenty and remained tightly coiled in each other until their hairs were gray and skin handsomely wrinkled, when codes of loyalty, honour and love held people together like dew merging blades of soft grass. What began as the clan or tribe dissolved into the extended family which fragmented into the nuclear family which has now eroded into the single person living in a cold, quiet bachelor apartment filled only with the drone of the television and melancholic love songs. Indeed, how many people even take the time to spend a whole day a week with friends, not simply zoning out in front of a movie or pickling themselves with shots at a bar, but conversing about their lives, their emotions, society, the traumatizing camping trip they went on when they were in grade 7? These days, it seems to be too much effort to even pick up the phone and call friends; the ever-invasive e-mail system with its headachy screen and skinny, black letters saves time, saves listening, saves experiencing the sound of another’s voice, another’s breathing, the signature of who they are that informs one that there is another real person out there with flesh and bones and blood, not just a flat line in cyberspace.

As nature and the organic physical world vanish, leaving behind landscapes of toxicity, so do organic emotional bonds. More and more friendships and romantic relationships are built upon selfishness, a “what can you do for me” standpoint, bred from the West’s cultish obsession with individualism and the success of the “I”. Undoubtedly, the warm, nurturing, intoxicating notion of “we” has been disastrously displaced by the cryptic, dull, isolating concept of “I”. Thus, when we look into a lover’s eyes, a subliminal glaze often prevents us from seeing in, barring us from making any real connection with his or her mind and heart, and of course, we often do the same in return. This makes it easy for us to dispose of each other once we get the physical, financial or psychological thrill we wished to extract. Like the Starbucks coffee cups, we care not from where the person has come and what effect our disposal of them will have on their lives and well-being. We have become oil fields to each other, for we drill for the satiating black gold of momentary sexual and emotional gratification, leaving behind dry, gaping holes.

Inevitably, our attempts to fill these ailing chasms are futile, since we often look for the stuffing in external sources such as the enhancement of our physical appearance, money and careers, all of which are transient and dependent upon the permission of another, be it our peers’ acceptance or our employers. Indeed, our tendency to use each other in intimate relations has trickled like a poison into the work place (or perhaps vice-versa; what did come first: the chicken or the egg?), where there is rarely any sort of real caring or compassion between employer and employee, where ‘business is business’ even if your mother has just died of cancer or you are inflicted with an injury or you have a new idea that would really work if only someone had the open ears to listen. We think what we look like, what we do and what we earn can gain us the love that has escaped us, only to find ourselves punctured with more holes, the stigmata of past pains we have inadvertently manifested in our quest for fulfillment. Just like fast food that hypnotizes the stomach into feeling full but leaves the individual malnourished and diseased, the stuffing we seek leads to our demise.

As animals on the top of the food chain, nature has at least endowed us with a strong will to survive. Faced with these harrowing problems of our transient times, we inevitably wish for answers. Though there are many, one that has exceptional curative powers derives from the notion of constancy. As M. Scott Peck articulates, “anyone who is truly concerned for the spiritual growth of another knows...that he or she can significantly foster that growth only through a relationship of constancy” ( Peck in Hooks 51). This applies to our relations with others and with ourselves. We must refrain from leaping from person to person, stimulus to stimulus, plastic cup to plastic cup and practise commitment to friends, partners and enviro-mugs. Only then can we plant the seeds for the ultimate remedy: community. Hooks imparts a great truth when she states, “There is no better place to learn the art of loving than in community” (129). Once we start to really see and appreciate the subjectivity of nature and our fellow human instead of viewing everything as an object to be exploited in our war-zones of ambition and individualism, we can join hands with Mother Nature and our peers and work together for our basic physical and emotional needs, taking only what we require and never at the expense of another. Then, the blood in our veins will rage with the health and warmth that comes with love and the cool glaze will sublimate off our eyes, exposing our funky, innermost selves to the world. Our souls will be resurrected from their silent, still graves, billowing inside us like wind-born sails. In short, we will be alive once more, stepping sure-footedly into more stable times, holding as a mascot that awesome crimson creature we thought had long ago been buried beneath the pavement.

Works Cited
Hooks, Bell. All About Love New York: Perennial, 2000.

Wither Turd Blossom?

The easy joke is that if w.Caesar calls Karl Rove "Turd Blossom" as an affectionate pet nickname, then the president, of course is a turd.

I think, however, that the blossom that deserves to wither will not. w.Caesar gave George "Slam Dunk" Tenet the nation's highest honour for his bad intelligence on Iraq--or more likely for his good job of selling garbage as imminent threat. Rove, if there is a presidential string puller at all, will likely receive no less an honour for outing a spy.

If, perhaps, Rove were so heinously stupid as to have made a similar kind of slip/feed that cost dozens or hundreds of American civilian or military lives, he may be dangled off the credibility cliff. But he didn't. No one died. Several people were punished for their opposition to Iraq and calling the emperor naked (though caked in yellow), and none of those punished has died. Rove will live through this and, if not like Tenet, be celebrated by a grateful president.

Oh yes, the whole "no one died" thing ignores the whole 25,000 dead Iraqi civilians and unnumbered Iraqi military as well as Coalition of the Willing military.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

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