BigT’s Roundup - Thursday Ed. (11-8-07)
Just in case you can’t make out what is going on here I will tell
you. Here you have some Muslims and Christians putting up a cross
together. And here’s what the photographer, Michael Yon, has to say from his perch in Iraq:
“I photographed men and women, both Christians and
Muslims, placing a cross atop the St. John’s Church in Baghdad. They
had taken the cross from storage and a man washed it before carrying it
up to the dome. A Muslim man had invited the American soldiers from
‘Chosen’ Company 2-12 Cavalry to the church, where I videotaped as
Muslims and Christians worked and rejoiced at the reopening of St
John’s, an occasion all viewed as a sign of hope. The Iraqis asked me
to convey a message of thanks to the American people. ‘Thank you, thank
you,’ the people were saying. One man said, ‘Thank you for peace.’
Another man, a Muslim, said ‘All the people, all the people in Iraq,
Muslim and Christian, is brother.’ The men and women were holding
bells, and for the first time in memory freedom rang over the ravaged
land between two rivers. (Videotape to follow.)”
Where is all the footage of this on the regular news? I would think
that this type of cooperation would be the type of news story that any
journalist would love to cover. But things are different now and we are
only exposed to the horrible things that go on in Iraq. AP ran a story
the other day saying how we’ve lost more soldiers this year than any
other. Of course they should have put it into context; the surge put us
at greater risk for a short time so we can have longer lasting security
and a comparison to previous wars would be nice. Anyways, Michael Yon
is doing yeoman’s work in Iraq and I commend his efforts.
Elsewhere in the wide, wide world of the Middle East there seemed to be an iota of hope coming out of Pakistan earlier today. Musharraf declared today
that elections would only be delayed one month to February, which gives
some hope that he will step down as general and become solely a
civilian. But then later on today Pakistani police put Bhutto, the West’s darling, under house arrest. This goes along with the thousands more who have been rounded up by the government because they oppose Musharraf.
Joe Biden and Bill Richardson, both Democrats with extensive foreign policy experience (according to Yahoo!), warned today
that history may be repeating itself with Pakistan going down the same
road that Iran did more than two decades ago. They both say that we
need to vigorously support democracy and human rights (where were they
on Iraq!) and without this steadfastness we’re going to get a
radicalized nuclear state. My only problem with their scenario is the
fact that there are no black and white solutions here.
Sure, we could bring our military into Pakistan and hope all goes
well. But that is not going to happen because we just don’t have the
forces available to do something like that. All we can do is give aid
both in money and political support. We all want democracy to take
place in every country in the world. It’s just going to take longer in
some locales for our wishes to come true. But if we don’t back
Musharraf now we’re inviting another situation like we have with Iran.
Real democrats would never ally themselves with radicals like al Qaeda
and the Taliban. Bhutto (and Musharraf) has done just that in the past.
Nothing is perfect and yet there is an option that is the most correct.
Support the current regime any way we can and hope for the best.
There was some really exciting news for every politician in America today. The golden goose of taxes is still breathing!
Yup, that’s right, the number of smokers as a percentage of the
population is no longer decreasing. This is great news for everyone in
the government because their money pinata is not running out of candy
See, whenever any local, state, or even the federal government wants
to start a program that is really expensive and might not get enough
support from the electorate they inevitably attack the “sinners” among
us. The story talks about how the government needs to do more to get
people to kick the habit but I doubt they will really try to get less
people to smoke. Less people smoking means less special projects to put
on their resumes. Don’t fear you anti-smoking nuts, the government will
eventually kill this golden goose because they’ll eventually get to the
point with taxes where people just won’t be able to afford them anymore.
Two stories I did today dealt with terrorism. One at home and one in Baghdad, Iraq.
Supposedly, our jihadi adversaries want to attack our Christmas
shoppers in an effort to destroy our economy. That won’t happen because
the reprisal against them would be devastating but if they’re looking
for willing operatives they have a bevy coming out of Baghdad. Yes, we
have eradicated the Sunni brand of terrorism in Baghdad (yeah, they
might very well find their way back in, party pooper) and we’re seeing
some good signs with regards to Sunni-Shia cooperation. They’re going
to release a fatwa against, get this, violence. If this isn’t a good
sign I don’t know what is.
A not so good sign is coming out of France.
Even though their president, Monsieur Sarkozy, is a solid ally of the
United States the same cannot be said of the French people with regards
to their president. when he got back to his homeland he was met with a
bunch of strikers (and not just script writers but cops and hospital
helicopter pilots). Of course this all has to do with the radical
liberalization Sarkozy wants to come to their economy. Their economy is
moribund because it is in a straitjacket of regulations and taxes. At
their respective current paces the Iraqi people are going to have a
higher standard of living than the French people within a generation.
You could put us in with the Frenchies if Hillary gets elected and that’s just what her husband thinks will comfortably happen. At least that’s what he said in Iowa today. But is that going to happen? Well, not necessarily. According to a Wall Street Journal-NBC poll
if it were Hillary Clinton against Rudy Giuliani for the presidential
election as it stands right now it would be a statistical dead heat. Of
course, I think polls are ridiculous and aren’t very accurate. But,
hey, what else are we going to talk about?
I’m glad I asked that question because we can always talk about Hillary Clinton not tipping poor waitresses.
Yeah, I know her campaign gave a nice tip (really nice actually) but
this is politics and perception is what matters. She should have
personally tipped the waitress. This story reminds me of a story about
Ronald Reagan. He gave a speech of some sorts at a coffee shop and a
lot of the press got some free stuff. Reagan wouldn’t have this so he
wrote the owner a $100 check to amply cover the bill. About a month
later he asked whether the man had cashed the check and when he found
out he hadn’t he wrote out another check and this time the man cashed
the check (he had framed the first one). If only she would have learned
from the Gipper.
Christian right is a mindless voting bloc after all.
Mukasey is AG.
Bernanke says economy more like a tortoise.
Baseball collusion over A-Rod. Maybe now he’ll only get a $275 million contract.
Apocalypse Now: Yellowstone Rising.
I want my, I want my, I want my twenty - four.
Burma in the news again.