S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, May 25, 2007

All about war?

(photo credit: enrika79@STOCKXCHNG)
Is the Bush administration all about war? The foot print left on the earth by this Republican administration will be hard to erase. Scarred buildings are but one sign that war is seemingly the most important activity driving these leaders. It is my belief that this over-emphasis on conflict is more than merely a defensive response to the attacks of 9/11/01. To me it indicates an aggressive nature. And what is the evidence, if any, from news articles that being all about war is still the case?

  • Iraq war may continue for the foreseeable future - Our current president (OCP) has been fond of using terms such as "the long war," the "war against terror," etc. OCP has great difficulty in admitting mistakes or compromising with those he considers to be adversaries. He appears to like the fight. And he will probably win this round in his fight with Congress. The Financial Times headlined, "Senate approves Iraq spending bill." Quoting from the story,
    The legislation will fund war operations until September and draw to a close months of wrangling between Congress and the White House.
    . . . While the bill is a blow to the liberal wing of the Democratic party, which has been pushing for a clear 2008 deadline for the withdrawal of US troops, the Iraq spending compromise marks a temporary end to almost five months of jostling between the new Democratic-controlled Congress and Mr Bush.
  • Distorting the truth about reasons for war in Iraq - The administration first used this tactic to justify the invasion of Iraq. And, even though it is no longer believed to be true by the majority of thoughtful Americans, it looks like the strategy is to try it again. Note this amazing headline, "GOP to Stress Iraq-Terrorism Tie" that was carried in US News and World Report. Quoting from the story,
    "That's what's been missing in this debate on the funding," said one of the strategists. "The problem is that the Republicans let Iraq stand alone as the issue. We need to tie Iraq to al Qaeda and terrorism," said the strategist, armed with polling data to back up the claim.
    The GOP hopes to quickly pivot on the issue to building up the campaign against terrorism, for which they expect help from President Bush. The goal is to dampen talk of withdrawal deadlines and a pullout in Iraq while making the case for a renewed focus on the war on terrorism, much the same way it was at the end of last year when Bush gave a series of speeches stressing the importance of a continued fight against terrorists.
  • Outmoded or ineffective machinery for war still in favor - Do not mistake this as a only a defense system. It is another means of saber-rattling, of "kicking the dirt on the playground." It is expensive silliness, and its time has long passed. The International Herald Tribune carried this headline,"U.S. to test missile defense system at a decisive moment." To quote from the 5/22 story,
    Pentagon officials are taking a calculatedly ho-hum attitude toward the test, which already has been delayed by software problems for five months: They say this is just one more in a long sequence of opportunities to validate President George W. Bush's prudent goal of fielding limited missile defenses to shield the United States from attack by a rogue state, such as North Korea or Iran. . .
    Skeptics in Congress have been threatening to slash the missile defense budget, and Moscow has warned that relations with Washington could rupture if the United States moves ahead with plans to base the system's interceptors and radars in former Soviet client states.

  • Middle East fallout includes Muslim stereotyping - This BBC News story is from (8/12/06) last year, but it may still be the case. Stereotypical thinking is unsophisticated, immature and lazy. And the administration's careless and undiplomatic language has made far too many unnecessary enemies for us all around the world. The over-generalizing rhetoric of OCP sometimes falls into that category. The headline reads, "Bush's language angers US Muslims."
    . . . US Muslim leaders are saying. They are upset about his use of terms like "Islamic fascists", which he used this week both for Hezbollah and the suspected bomb plotters held in the UK.
    "It offends the vast majority of moderate Muslims," Ahmed Younis said.
Aggression is not the best hallmark of America's proud history. Though we have too often been involved in war fighting, we have also been known for greater things. Many of those things such as a healthy and vigorous peaceful exploration of space, bright and welcoming city centers, well-supported national parks, attention to those most vulnerable people among us, honoring veterans, and a host of other positives are chapters in our recent history. It does not have to be only about war to be heroic.

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My “creativity and dreaming” post today at Good Second Mondays is about flip flops.

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