martes, febrero 27, 2007

Not that this is news to anyone.....

.....but I was surprised to see just how many arsenals of nuclear and chemical weapons the US has and where they are located. You could be standing on one right now! Yesterday, it was DocDay on the Sundance channel, and I had just finished watching a doc. on the woman who made "Kandahar" and her search for her old friend in Afghanistan. It was really interesting to see what that country is really like and how people are surviving, especially when all we see on the news is bombed-out Kabul. After the doc., they ran a short where this guy showed a map of where the US keeps the very weapons it uses as reasons to threaten other countries with attack/occupation.

Calls to mind the comment that Amadeo just left for my "If israel Ain't happy..." post: "It's like going to a card game and the guy with an M-16 is bitching cause you tried to bring a snub-nose .38 with you."

viernes, febrero 23, 2007

Rigoberta Menchu: Presidenta de la Republica?

Si la Menchu fuera elegida, me sorprenderia muchisimo. Por mi, hay tres razones por las cuales me sorprende mucho que haya puesto su candidatura:

1. Es mujer
2. Es indigena
3. No es la persona mas honesta del mundo. Entiendo que la mayoria de mandatarios del mundo tampoco lo son, pero la Menchu ya lo ha demostrado.

Sabiendo lo que sabemos del clima Guatemalteco en estos momentos, Menchu no ganara.

Menchu tiene muchas buenas ideas y podria traer una nueva agenda para Guatemala, pero en terminos de infrastructura, no creo que seria una buena opcion.

Que opinan los Guatemaltecos en la blogosfera?

Actualizacion, 27 Marzo

jueves, febrero 22, 2007

If Israel ain't happy, ain't nobody happy

Not that I blame Israel for US meddling in the Middle East, and more recently, Iran, besides the obvious. But I have to wonder if the US would be so eager to attack and accuse in that region if Israel were in Europe, for instance. This article is about Iran being in breach of a UN resolution, which is quite enough of a problem, but would it be such a big problem for the US if Olmert weren't so "uncomfortable" with the fact that Iran is advancing their nuke program more quickly than anticipated?

When the Security Council passed a resolution on Iran, they gave the US full attack privileges. For consistency's sake, a resolution means that the UN will have to give it's blessing to Bush, assuming he comes here to ask permission again. That's what they did when Bush the Elder wanted to get Iraq out of Kuwait. On the other hand, if the US were to attack Iran now, at least it would be somewhat legal and maybe even a little justified.

I was discussing the America attacking Iran issue the other night with a very fickle and rude NYer (hope you are reading this, for you must learn). My argument was that the US would not dare attack Iran for the sole reason that they would plunge themselves (and our wallets) into a two front war. Attacking Iran would unleash both Hamas and Hezbollah, since the two would want to protect their benefactor. Israel has shown military prowess at many points in history. They have also shown the arrogance and utter carelessness that comes with prowess, but that is another story for another time. But would Israel be able to fight off Hamas, Hezbollah and whatever terrorist organization comes out of the woodwork, all at once? In any case, the US would be fighting Iraqi insurgents and Iran in the east, and Hamas and Hezbollah in the west. Rude Boy's argument was that Bush is just stupid enough to do it without caring what the consequences may be, and to be fair, Mr. Pres has already shown a slight lack of forethought. So Rude Boy could be right after all. I hope not, because then America would really be in for it. If we thought 9/11 was awful, just wait and see what would happen to us if Bush attacked Iran. Also, I don't like to be proven wrong by people who clearly lack character.

viernes, febrero 09, 2007

The Love Affair Between Bush and Two Dead Presidents

Former president Harry S. Truman left office with a 22% approval rating in 1951, the lowest in presidential history. Why? Two things: First, Washington's spy in China, Chiang Kai-Shek, was quickly losing ground to Chairman Mao back in '49. Truman, knowing that rescuing his spy would involve the US in an unwinnable war, declined to interfere, despite protest from McCarthy and other reactionary folk. Then the gossip started that the State Department was full of Commies and McCarthy's 15 minutes began.

Second, Truman wanted to defeat the Communists who had invaded South Korea in 1950. The idea was that he'd push them right back to the Chinese border and both North and South Korea would be liberated. But he was not counting on the fact that China was horrified at the prospect of having American troops at their doorstep, which is why they joined the North Korean forces, and that was when Truman decided to throw out the idea of unifying Korea. General MacArthur demanded victory and wanted to drop a gang of bombs on Manchuria to prove his point, but instead, got canned, and thus the 38th parallel was born and the troops went home.

Ronald Reagan, well, most will agree. He sucked. But even he had sense enough to recognize that there are limits on the US' ability to save the world, and that some people just don't want to be saved. In '83, he sent about 1,000 troops to Lebanon to fight the terrorists there who had bombed their headquarters. But 4 months into it, he took back the troops and that was that.

Bush the Minor idolizes these guys. However, he fails to take the necessary lessons from them. One would think Bush crazy enough to be hearing voices from the beyond, telling him to throw down his weapons, but no. Instead, he seems to be competing with Truman to see who can leave office in the most disgrace. See, Truman was eventually exonerated of his "crimes" and now makes all sorts of Presidential "top 10" lists. Why's that? Because historians found that, at the end of the day, Truman exercised pretty good judgement, which is one of the necessary talents for the post of "Decider-in-Chief". Bush expects the same to happen with him. He would be like a painter, and once dead, everyone would realize he was the bee's knees. For all I know, it could happen that way. I would then have to go looking for another, less insane planet to live on, but it might happen.

So that's the history lesson/commentary for today, kids. By the by, Bush's approval rating is now something like 34-35%, meaning that this country is only using a litte over 5% of its collective brain. Let's pray for better days over the weekend.

martes, febrero 06, 2007

"They're like the Viet Cong, they can wait it out"

This is one of the last lines in an article in today's Washington Post in which several members of the American army wonder why Iraqis are so hostile to them. It is those two sentences that say it all....America will lose this one. But what exactly is the criteria for victory?

Does victory happen when more Iraqis get killed than Americans? If that's true, let the army come home, because they won pretty much from the get-go. Does victory happen when there are no more terrorists in the world? That's what Bush seems to hope to achieve, and that would indeed be a great thing, but it will unfortunately never happen. If it does, that's because someone went back in time to the sixties in their De Lorean and schooled the US on how not to support dictators in the Middle East and then supply them with the weapons to fight each other and on how to just leave other countries alone in general. Seems to me that the US just really wants to expand its sphere of influence, so to speak, and get yet a whole other region of the world to do whatever it wants. That most definitely will not happen, and the Middle East is the wrong place to go looking for cooperation. But even if that does happen, it will be a flash in the pan kind of thing. Bush has only to look at what's happening in Latin America to know that if you push hard enough, one day, even the friendly ones turn on you. And the US can't help but push.

Here are a few ways in which the US has been creating the war on terrorism for the past 40 or so years: The US set up the Shah of Iran way back in the day. Once the Iranians got tired of the Shah, many attached themselves to the Ayatollah Khomeini, who's main selling point, like some of the leftist leaders of today, was hatred of the US. That sounded good to most Iranians and they went along with his revolution, and thousands of America-hating terrorists were created, as were the conditions under which Iran would continue to support Hamas and Hezbollah to take care of the western part of the region. Oh, and wipe Israel off the face of the earth (which makes me wonder if Ahmadinejad wants to wipe out Israel because most Israelis are Jewish, because they "stole" Arab land, or because he want to piss off the US?). So, when Saddam wanted to go to war to get at Iran's oilfields, the US, in their playground rivalry, decided to give Saddam all sorts of tanks and jets and things and even went to the Gulf to help him fight the Iranians (maybe that's why Reagan couldn't recall what he did with the weapons he supposedly sold off in the eighties: he gave them all to Iraq). A battered Iran finally gave up the war effort, and thousands more terrorists were created. By the way, this all happened about 3 years before the US went to get Saddam out of Kuwait, which created more terrorists. You see that even the first Gulf war was not the first time the US "had relations" with Saddam's Iraq. After all, the US put Saddam there in the first place. Remember the feel-good image of Rumsfeld hugging Saddam and telling him that the priority was to kick Iranian ass? And so what if he was gassing the Kurds? According to Rummy, he could go ahead and do that and the US would later use the WMD thing to their advantage. Pretty cunning.

Fast forward to Bush the Minor. He insists that the US had a huge hand in "free" elections in Lebanon and Palestine, and of course, Iraq. He just neglected to mention that in these elections, the very terrorists he hopes to rid the world of were put in power by the people. He also failed to point out that after the Lebanese elections, there was that little skirmish with the Israelis, who the US supports without question, which put a bit of a wrench in the whole "democratization" plan. Why is it that terrorists are in power in those countries? I'm guessing because one of their main selling points was hatred of the US. And what does Bush do instead? Blame the Iranians for supporting Hamas and Hezbollah. So its sort of a maze that goes around and around and sort of comes back full circle. I realize that there are many other events and countries that are to blame for what's happening in the Middle East today, but the best example is the US, just because a) it's quite ironic that the US is so ardently fighting what it helped to create, and b) they play these games all the time and apparently have not learned a single thing from their experiences. If it didn't mean hundreds of thousands of people would die, the US' shenanigans would be really funny. The stuff of movies like Canadian Bacon or something.

Read the Post article. I really find these types of articles, where the troops on the ground get to tell their side of the story, a lot more interesting than stories about Bushco greedily wringing their hands and plotting and planning.

lunes, febrero 05, 2007

Rewriting the Constitution, Part 53 of the Mini-series

According to an article in today's Washington Post, Judd Gregg, Republican Senator from New Hampshire, has put forth a resolution stating that, according to our Constitution (how cute of them to pull it out when they need it!) Congress "has the responsibility" to fund Bush's war, or rather, Congress has the responsibility to make us take out our wallets and fund Bush's war.

That's a load of crap, and he should know that from Civics class back in high school.

According to Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States:

"The Congress shall have power…To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water; To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years; To provide and maintain a navy; To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces…"

I didn't see anything in there about "responsibility" to do anything. Did you? The fact is, Congress has as much power now to declare this war over as they did when they gave Bush our billions last time around. But the problem is always consensus and looking good in the upcoming elections, and the latter is what will dictate the outcome. Let me note here, and I am most proud to do so, that the resolution of opposition to Bush's troop increase was largely drafted by a Republican, Sen. John Warner of the great state of Virginia, the suburbia of my youth.