The Random Ruminations and Observations of a Curmudgeon

26 December 2005

They Wish to Be the Queen of Hearts

Wolcott once again finds the pearl of truth in the swill that is the wingnut world.

20 December 2005

Terror, War and..umm..Terror

If we have a war on terror, and although a resolution of sorts was sent to King George II, we have no declaration of war, then the so-called war seems to involve groups who kill Americans with premeditation.  The U.S. military has been dealing with these terrorists for a fair bit of time, first in non-sexy Afghanistan, then in Iraq where we have patiently and seductively said “Yoohoo come kill us” and they have obliged.  Most accounts indicate far fewer terrorists in Iraq than trumpeted, but certainly there are more than when Saddam was there.  

By and large, we Americans realize that were the terrorists to get a hold of any of us, they would likely kill us.  I applaud actions that diminish that possibility.  However, and this cannot be overstated, our form of government seems to be more fragile than I had envisioned.  I reject actions that limit personal liberty and privacy.  It is no one’s business what I read.  It is no one’s business who I talk to.  It becomes their business if and when I step over the boundaries of the law.  

I have never felt that were I in the clutches of the ACLU, my life would be threatened.  On the contrary, I think possibly they’d invite me to lunch.  I see no possible connection between the ACLU, or even PETA, and premeditated slaughter.  Is it remotely possible that these two organizations in the course of their enterprises could inadvertently lead to the death of someone?  Sure.  Driving your car has the same possibility.  They are not terrorists in any sense.  

This government cannot say with any believability that covertly gathering information about these organizations will save any lives.  The FBI (and now the NSA) are using terrorism as a rationale for the trampling of civil liberties.  

I suggest that all FBI and NSA operatives involved in such work be reassigned to the hunt for Zarqawi and bin Laden.  That would comfort me and many others.  Their current tasks do not.


Bush wants a war, he manufactures reasons to start one.  Bush wants to spy on Americans, he manufactures a reason to allow it.

18 December 2005

Dear Leader and the Law

Either the citizens of this country are willing to sacrifice to keep this a country of laws, or the United States will cease to exist as we know it.  The Founding Fathers were cautious but largely optimistic about the form of our government.  I can but think of Caesar’s Senate and Hitler’s Reichstag.  Will the U.S Congress willingly allow itself to become as those?  Will we Americans allow a President to become a ruler, rather than an enforcer of the laws of the United States?

Bush does not have enough time to completely destroy what the Founding Fathers created.  The key is, who replaces Bush?  Will the American people elect another lying autocrat, or will they choose someone to restore our dignity in the world, and amongst ourselves.  Will Bush have the 22nd Amendment repealed?  Do you doubt the presence of a memo somewhere discussing this?

These are sad, sad times.

14 December 2005

Discretionary Funds and Counterinsurgency

Kevin Drum has a post detailing the Army’s tardy realization that a counterinsurgency strategy may be needed in Iraq. The post reminded me of stories from the very early days of the war. Unit commanders, captains and lieutenants, had access to funds with which to help local villages with rebuilding. I remember comments from the Army unit leaders about the good relationships that were developing. The stories were written at the point where the CPA was being organized and those discretionary funds were being withdrawn.

Perhaps that approach, which was working, should have been continued.