FauxPolitik

Friday, October 29, 2004

Blogger [Sound]Bites: Three posts over last three days never saw the light due to the apparent problems Blogger was experiencing. I suppose I could complain, but then again, it's free. I guess the question is whether it's the best of the free, and I think the answer is "no". But, when you invest so much intellectual capital (well, in Eno's case anyway), in a particular url, it's hard to pack up and leave...

Let me do a quick run down then of what I wanted to say earlier, plus a few things for today.

On Tues. night, I was watching the World Series, but since the Cardinals didn't seem interested, I figured I wasn't obligated. I wandered up one channel to PBS, which had a great "Frontline" piece on the rise of the Neo-Cons, taking Cheney, Rummy and Wolfy from their early Nixon years to the present-day. Then, they threw in Powell to show the contrast. Now, this was clearly a slanted look at the Neo-Con road to perdition, but it was fascinating nonetheless. Showing early versions of the preemption doctrine that is in play today, and how it had to be modulated over time, until it was ripe for the picking (i.e. Iraq). Showing too the rancor of Powell, and how he and his truly conservative (small "c") brethren over in the Army got cut out of the power structure on the war-planning, leaving Rummy all the cards. Again, you don't have to agree with the take of the piece to still end up being enthralled. Come to think of it, maybe that's what Tony LaRussa was doing in the dugout.

I need this election to end. Unless you cut yourself off from all media, living in this state (sorry, commonwealth) has become unbearable. From the national down to the local, the ads are just overpowering and sickening. The worst yet is one by a GOP running for U.S. Rep. who is promoting the fact that a couple of individuals who are associated with Moveon.org are endorsing a particular Dem, also running for Rep. They then make the logical (in an election year) conclusion that this candidate is supportive of al-qaeda, and wants another 9/11. Lovely.

Last, I watch Paul Bremer today on "Today" regarding the new videotape, which was taken Apr. 18, 2003, or 9 days after the fall of Iraq, of what may or may not be the conventional explosives stockpile south of Iraq which is at issue. Lauer asks Bremer if this new evidence controverts the Admin's wishy-washy talking point that "we don't know all the facts." Bremer's response: "Well Matt, we don't know all the facts." With truthful, thoughtful responses like that, you wonder why we lose faith in politics.

Really, the truth is much easier than the contorted stump positions each side is locked into. We went to war based on flawed intelligence: fact. We executed a perfect knock-out punch to Saddam and his forces: fact. The world is better off without Saddam: fact. We really weren't in any near-term danger from Saddam: fact. We bungled rather massively the post-war occupation as we didn't have enough "boots on the ground" (see "Frontline" show, supra): fact. Democracy is a wonderful thing, and in the long run, the Iraqis are much better off: fact.

Admitting you make mistakes does not mean you're unqualfied, unintelligent or uncaring. It makes you human, and it shows that you can learn, because you don't make the same mistakes twice. Unfortunately, Bush doesn't see that. His blind faith in his god and his provenance compound that flaw.

I think it's misguided to believe that Kerry will put our country at risk. While the man is indecisive in political decisions, he has always shown great personal courage, and I don't think he'd be afraid to use force where needed. The best argument I can make is that our country may be more vulnerable in the lame-duck period.

However, I won't vote out of fear. That may be called foolish, naive, or simply partisan; so be it. Kerry gets this Pennsylvanian's vote.

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