November 28, 2006 - The President of Iraq is meeting with the President of Iran in Teheran. Syria and Iraq have resumed diplomatic relations for the first time since the Iran-Iraq war. Prime Minister al-Maliki is to meet with President Bush in Amman. Vice-President Cheney has just returned from his trip to Saudi Arabia to discuss Mid East affairs with the Saudi king. While all this flurry of diplomatic activity is taking place American forces are raiding into Sadr City to engage with the al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army. The pace of killing in what we won’t call a civil war hasn’t slackened.
Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has joined the calls to the Bush Administration to withdraw American forces from Iraq saying that the mismanaged situation there threatens to sink into a disaster and likening it to the Vietnam War. At the same time the Generals are calling for a twenty thousand troop build up to fight the insurgency in Iraq. The President did not go to Baghdad to serve turkey this Thanksgiving. Somehow that is fitting. Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for God’s past gifts and ushers in the Christmas season, a time of peace and hope. Those commodities are in short supply in the Green Zone....click here for entire article
November 16, 2006 - Back in 1970 my younger brother got the opportunity to tour Vietnam. He did not get to Hanoi but he saw most of the southern part of the country and even took a side trip to Cambodia. George Bush missed his chance so long ago but he is making up for lost time now. Today he is in Hanoi. I trust he will be taking in the sights visiting such sites as the anti-aircraft battery that Jane Fonda made famous and the accommodations that John McCain enjoyed at the Hanoi Hilton. After the strain of last week’s election debacle the President needed this little getaway.
After he tours Hanoi the President will spend some time in Ho Chi Minh City. My brother saw it when it was Saigon. There is plenty to see there as well. There is the old Presidential Palace where President Diem was removed from office. There are the watering holes that used to host GIs, Spooks, and Correspondents. And, of course, there is the American Embassy from which the last helicopter took off while loyal Vietnamese watched. Maybe he will have time to visit China Beach, the last stop for many GIs on their tours in Vietnam. Each one of those historical sites has its own lesson to teach; lessons that have renewed relevance for today....click here for entire article
November 14, 2006 - It is too late to debate whether or not the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. It was. Events on the ground in both Iraq and then Afghanistan have proven that proposition beyond any reasonable doubt. Nothing can be done to unmake the decisions that grew out of an excess of hubris and the arrogance of ideology run amok. The question of whether America is willing to continue the present military and political policy in Iraq is settled as well. America is no longer willing to let the Commander in Chief “stay the course” and pay for it in death and shattered lives. The recent election decided that question beyond any reasonable doubt. Soon we will have been engaged in Iraq for as long as America took to fight and prevail in World War II. After all that time not only has the mission not been accomplished, it has proven to be a mission impossible.
The question that faces the new Democratic Congress and the very lame duck Presidency is simple and straight forward. Having committed America’s might, her prestige, and her international reputation as a beacon of freedom and democracy what can we do now? Given the situation on the ground in Iraq and in Afghanistan what then is possible? Is there anything that can be salvaged out of a military, political, and diplomatic train wreck?....click here for entire article
November 9, 2006 - With the reins of power all in the hands of the President’s party there was a truism that ran, “with absolute power comes absolute responsibility.” That was the standard that against which the electorate measured the President and his party on November 7th. While the Democrats may be excused to relish there electoral triumph for a day or two when the celebration is over and the tough business of governing commences in January the loyal opposition will find that the taste of victory has a bitter overtone.
The era of one party rule is over. The checks to balance our tripartite government have been restored. No longer able to rely upon the rubber stamp of a Republican controlled House and Senate the President will be forced in his last two years to either govern from the center in a spirit of compromise or descend into a two year cycle of confrontation and partisan posturing. That same challenge faces the Democrats of the House and Senate for with shared power came shared responsibility....click here for entire article
November 3, 2006 - My granddaughter Alexis graduates from high school in June 2008. She is beautiful, talented, athletic, intelligent, and wise beyond her years. She is trying to choose between colleges, torn between taking an athletic scholarship from a college in the top tier of women’s soccer and an academic scholarship to an Ivy League university – namely Yale. It does not seem to faze her when I remind her that President Bush was a Yale graduate.
November 2, 2006 - Nouri al-Maliki? Moqtada al-Sadr? Are those names familiar to you? Well they will be. Those are the names of the men who are running the show in Iraq today. Nouri al-Maliki is the man the United States installed as Prime Minister of the government our president likes to point to as evidence that we are winning in Iraq. Moqtada al-Sadr is the radical Shi`ite cleric whose Mehdi Army militia operating out of the Sadr city slum is responsible for much of what our president likes to call sectarian violence instead of civil war.
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