Now This

This blog is now read by more machines than humans: RSS robots, spam-laying insectopoids, echoes of blog-gathering .edu projects. This essentially is the state of affairs that all human activities w

Cleaning Up the Nation

Austin Bay:

If Air America were a conservative radio network its corrupt funding trail and cynical abuse of a poverty program would be front page news at the NY Times and full-time mega-scandal at

Rank Materialism

Freedom. I am now the proud new owner of a Gateway 6020GZ laptop, perfect for students and others with limited means. I can now go into a Starbucks or a Barnes & Noble and look like I'm doing some

Fallujah Fonda

Uh-oh. From the Telegraph comes this exciting news:

Jane Fonda is returning to anti-war activism and embarking on a cross-country tour to call for an end to US military operations in Iraq.


John Pilger: Partner in Terrorism

In an outrageous piece of terrorist propaganda appearing on the cover of today's New Statesman, John Pilger puts the blame for the 7/7 London attacks not on the terrorists, but rather on Tony Blair:


Maureen Dowd, complaining about Bush admin inaction pre-9/11, and otherwise trying to make the most of that memo: "Inconclusive intelligence did not bother the Bush team when it wanted to be 'actionable' on Iraq, or engage in 'tit for tat' with Saddam."

Is the fact that it was 9/11 itself that lowered the bar on actionable intelligence lost on her? In essence she's arguing that Bush should have treated pre-9/11 (and vague) intelligence on al-Qaeda more seriously than post 9/11 intelligence regarding Iraq. The intervening event taught us at least one lesson: the high stakes in this war, which has been simmering for a quarter century, and the potential for huge American casualties, means that pre-emptive action, even where intelligence is fuzzy, must be given greater consideration.

Hence Bush, like most Americans, is paying more attention to potential threats now than on September 10th.

Dowd, and anti-Bushies like her, would like to criticize Bush with the inverse of that lesson. Bush should have paid greater heed to murky intelligence prior to 9/11 than after. This makes no sense.

You'd have to be able to think two contrary thoughts at once to believe that the Bush adminstration was at fault for failing to act on the Bin Laden brief and also at fault for acting on all the Iraq intelligence we had prior to the war. Obviously thinking two contray thoughts isn't a problem for "ABB" folks.

I have as little use for criticism of Bush's first eight months as I do for criticism of Clinton's eight years. The reason neither took much action is because there was no political support for any action. This is a democracy. We get the defenses we demand. No one, or at least very few, were demanding that much be done, and so, little was done. This pattern of inaction goes back to Carter and the Iranian "Revolution", and includes Reagan and the first Bush. Why this occurred is no mystery. The political will wasn't there.

Those arguing that Bush should have have done more earlier are almost the exact same people arguing that he should be doing less now. That's not a coherent position. They are now engaged in trying to erode the political will which is a prerequisite to American defense.



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