Saturday, March 24, 2007

Marching Through Hell

It's tough day.

In the immortal words of Stealer's Wheel (music and lyrics by Joe Egan and Jerry Rafferty),
I'm "trying to make sense of it all, Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you."

IRAQ WAR FUNDING

I'm trying so hard to be fair to Nancy Pelosi and the rabidly anti-war fanatics. These folks are angry. In fact, they're mad as hell and determined to take on all comers in their quest to end the war now. Even though she is a true believer in the need to exit Iraq, she is also under extreme pressure from the anti-war mob. Democrats are no more safe than Republicans.

Still, the current bill narrowly passed by the House, and cobbled together through bribes and arm twisting worthy of a real Congressional investigation, is a nightmare. It's a nightmare for the military, who Pelosi completely and utterly ignores. It's a nightmare for our allies, who Pelosi completely and utterly ignores.




But it is hell on earth for the Iraqi people who will pay the ultimate price of war, death, destruction and, ultimately, a return to political slavery under the rule of another megalomaniac, one likely to make the Saddam Hussein look benevolent.

And just when President Bush finally got it right. Just when a real general, a brilliant strategist, is finally placed in control of Iraqi action. Just when the poor people of Bagdad are able to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sadly, the light is just Nancy Pelosi and the onrushing train to carry our troops home. Although not before she kills thousands by staging a political fight with a President who will not yield to her stupidity.

I'm personally praying there is a coalition of intelligent Democrats and Republicans who can usurp the Democrat House leadership and put together a real 218 vote majority of people who aren't determined to destroy both this nation and Iraq.

Sure, President Bush will ultimately get the blame because he started an unnecessary war and then failed miserably to manage the transition to peace. He deserves the blame. The nation should never forgive his arrogance and ignorance.

But Nancy Pelosi is falling to mob rule. And this mob is about to hang all the wrong people. It won't be George Bush or Dick Cheney swinging from the nearest tree, it's our soldiers and the innocent people of Iraq.

As the ultimate testimony of just how very much I disagree with Nancy Pelosi and the anti-war fanatics, I'm going to quote and fully endorse
President Bush's remarks Friday:

The purpose of the emergency war spending bill I requested was to provide our troops with vital funding. Instead, Democrats in the House, in an act of political theater, voted to substitute their judgment for that of our military commanders on the ground in Iraq. They set rigid restrictions that will require an army of lawyers to interpret. They set an arbitrary date for withdrawal without regard for conditions on the ground. And they tacked on billions for pet projects that have nothing to do with winning the war on terror. This bill has too much pork, too many conditions and an artificial timetable for withdrawal.

As I have made clear for weeks, I will veto it if it comes to my desk. And because the vote in the House was so close, it is clear that my veto would be sustained. Today's action in the House does only one thing: it delays the delivering of vital resources for our troops.
A narrow majority has decided to take this course, just as General Petraeus and his troops are carrying out a new strategy to help the Iraqis secure their capital city.

Amid the real challenges in Iraq, we're beginning to see some signs of progress. Yet, to score political points, the Democratic majority in the House has shown it is willing to undermine the gains our troops are making on the ground.


DARFUR & THE 2008 OLYMPICS

I, for one, have always stood firmly against using the Olympics as a political tool. The Olympics bring the world together. It is a real shown of global peace and global unity. Mankind is one, at least for two weeks.

However, the entire world seems to have fallen into a peaceful sleep of near total ignorance about the continuing holocaust in the Sudan.

Talk about hell on earth. Ann Curry did an excellent report for the NBC nightly news from Darfur this week. Depending on when you read this journal entry, you might be still able to view it on MSNBC here.

So when French Presidential Candidate Francois Bayrou forcefully came out in favor of boycotting the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, it did give me pause.

I wear the green wristband that says "Not on My Watch." But am I doing all I can to end the suffering in Darfur. I'm certain I'm not doing enough.

The President, who has done much, is now hopelessly entangled with the hungry for political blood Congress. The Democrats, whom I have long loved, have totally forgotten about human rights. It's all Bush, all the time up on capitol hill. Investigate. Subpoena. And, maybe Impeach.

The public cares so much more about the paternity of Anna Nichole Smith's daughter than they care about dead and raped women in Darfur.

Reporters are sent to the Bahamas like the paid vacation it is. Only Ann Curry, who has made Darfur her personal mission, has the courage and clout to go to Darfur and then force NBC to devote two and one half minutes to the disaster that makes both Iraq and Katrina look like a school yard brawl.

So, perhaps we need to see what we can do to wake up the world. And, just perhaps, to distract the politicians in Washington from their perpetual and meaningless war of subpoenas and hearings into non-events designed only to reduce the presidency to rubble.

From the
Associated Press:



PARIS - Boycott the Beijing Olympics — over Darfur?

A major French presidential candidate has suggested just that, in hopes of pressuring China to stop protecting Sudan from sanctions over military and militia attacks on civilians.

French Olympic officials expressed surprise at Francois Bayrou’s boycott call at a pro-Darfur rally late Tuesday. At the same rally, the two leading presidential candidates joined Bayrou in pledging not to host any members of the Sudanese government in France.

That would mark a change in policy: President Jacques Chirac hosted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on the French Riviera at a summit of African leaders last month.

The Sudanese government is accused of funding militias and allowing its military to brutalize civilians in a conflict that has killed some 200,000 people and left 2.5 million homeless since 2003.

Chinese oppose sanctions


China — a U.N. Security Council permanent member with veto power — opposes any sanctions against Sudan, where it is the biggest foreign investor.

“If this drama does not stop, France would do itself credit by not coming to the Olympic Games,” Bayrou told the rally, his office said Wednesday.

“There is nothing easier than stopping this tragedy, this genocide,” said Bayrou, who visited Darfur on a private trip in 2005. “This is a political issue because China decided to bring its protection to the Khartoum regime.”

Political implications


Polls show Bayrou trailing a close third behind Socialist Segolene Royal and narrow front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy, of Chirac’s ruling conservative party, before the first round of voting on April 22. Chirac is not seeking a third term, and he endorsed Sarkozy on Wednesday.

Royal, Bayrou and Sarkozy signed an eight-point declaration on Darfur presented at the rally. In it, they promised not to host the Sudanese and pledged to “energetically denounce” countries that oppose sanctions against Sudan, as well as to enact “appropriate” sanctions by France alone.

China buys two-thirds of Sudan’s oil and sells it weapons and military aircraft. Beijing has taken a hands-off approach to political violence and human rights abuses in Africa, where China has been increasing its investment to tap Africa’s vast natural resources.

In a small but important step, Chinese President Hu Jintao traveled to Sudan last month and urged al-Bashir to allow a larger U.N. role in Darfur, where poorly equipped African peacekeepers have failed to defend civilians.

President Carter moved to keep Americans home from the 1980 Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Dozens of U.S. allies joined in, though not France. Four years later, the Soviets led a 14-nation boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics.

Foreign political leaders and advocacy groups have previously sought to exert pressure on Beijing before the Games over China’s record on human rights, use of the death penalty, and curbs on press freedoms, among other issues.



"Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right,
Here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you."


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2 comments:

Vigilante said...

Wizard, when you say you want to find a way out, after all we've been through together, I have trouble believing you.

An apocryphal story has survived in which the Kaiser was bedeviling Bismarck before World War I about the fact that Germany wasn't keeping up with France and England as far as scoring colonies in Africa.

Finally, Bismarck exploded and pulled the pen and scrap of paper out of the Kaiser's hands and bellowed, "Do you want to see my map of Africa?"

The Prince feverishly drew a series of circles on the paper: "Here's England. Here's France. Here's Russia. And the middle of the three of them, here's Germany. This is my map of Africa!"


So, in that vein, I have drawn for benefit of your navigation, my geopolitical map for American statecraft for the 21st Century. You should note it is considerably circumscribed from what it was half a decade ago.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

vigilante, Virtually everything you say in your December 2006 essay is true.

Nothing you say in that article has anything to do with what we should do to extract ourselves from the situation.

It's correct to say "Bush got us into this mess."

But it's going to take a real statesman to say "Here is the coordinated plan (with the help and agreement of our allies and the agreement of our generals) to solve the situation."

As a business consultant who has helped many companies extract themselves from finiacial difficulty (usually bankruptcy), the problem was almost always created by the previous CEO and his mismanagement.

The solution is NEVER to just walk away from the mess. It takes a better, brighter, more politically astute CEO to guide the company to a successful resolution of the problem.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are consulting with absolutely no one on the entire planet. They are like small children drawing with chalk on the sidewalk.

God help us all.

the Wizard......