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Monday, August 24, 2009

 
LotD

The Washington Post has an insider's view of last year's attacks in Mumbai here.

I arrived in Mumbai on the Sunday evening before these attacks and Monday mid-morning, we stood outside of the Taj Hotel and looked out across the sea from where the attackers arrived on Wednesday afternoon. It was chilling to download my photos several weeks later, in the safety of my home in Sweat Sock City, and the first two or three pictures were of the Taj Hotel -- royal, majestic, and without blemish, and no indication either of what was to come.

After that day of pictures, the only images of the Taj Hotel from then on were of smoke billowing out of the windows. The horror of what was happening inside could only be imagined; the WaPo article referenced above tells one out of what must have been hundreds of stories of those terrible days.

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0 comments | 8:32 PM |


Thursday, July 23, 2009

 
LotD

I'm really, really glad Bush and Cheney are gone, and especially Cheney. Back in 2000, I thought he'd be the voice of reason, the experience to shepherd Bush through the presidency, but by 2008, I was convinced he was nothing short of the boogey man, albeit with a man-size safe and a cunning ability to make his own house "disappear" from Google maps. That being said, Time has a fascinating article on Bush and Cheney's final days in the White House. It's almost like Bush had finally come out from under Cheney's thumb, but it was too late; the damage was done.

But the fight over the [Libby] pardon was also a prelude to the difficult questions about justice and national security inherited by the Obama Administration: How closely should the nation examine the actions of government officials who took steps legal or possibly illegal to defend the nation's security during the war on terrorism? The Libby investigation, which began nearly six years ago, went to the heart of whether the Bush Administration misled the public in making its case to invade Iraq. But other Bush-era policies are still coming under legal scrutiny. Who, for example, should be held accountable in one of the darkest corners of the war on terrorism the interrogators who may have tortured detainees? Or the men who conceived and crafted the policies that led to those secret sessions in the first place? How far back and how high up the chain of command should these inquiries go?

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0 comments | 10:28 PM |


Thursday, December 27, 2007

 
No words

Benazir Bhutto assasinated

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0 comments | 9:07 AM |


Saturday, September 15, 2007

 
LotD

Five Myths About Terrorism

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0 comments | 3:40 PM |


Thursday, August 16, 2007

 
LotD

Stole this link from my brother:

The Wrong Lessons of Iraq, but it's semi-related to the previous post on this subject, so I thought I'd go wild and crazy and post TWO entries today. Lori, you'd probably enjoy the link since it's more a psychological analysis of the different attitudes about the war.

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0 comments | 9:23 PM |


No time machine

I was watching "The Daily Show" last night and also a few nights ago, when Bill Kristol was on. Jon Stewart was pounding both Kristol and last night's guest, Stephen F. Hayes, pretty hard on the Iraq War, but what I especially liked about yesterday's conversation is that Stewart actually brought up the issue of patriotism and if you're against the war, somehow you're a traitor and hurting morale. The full transcript of yesterday's show is over here or you can always watch it on Comedy Central if you'd like (I personally find their media player horrible).

Here's the thing. The supporters of the war have framed it so elegantly in black and white. Black and white is easy, it doesn't require nuance. It's either A or it's B. There's no in between and you don't have to hurt your head with shades of gray. Easy, easy. So if you're against the war, then you want the terrorists to win and if you want a plan of action, then you're supporting the terrorists. If you want the troops to come home becaus standing between two sides intent on killing each other isn't a long-term viable strategy then you're a defeatist. Add it all up together and somehow you're unAmerican and unpatriotic, which all adds up to the 't' word: Traitor.

See, the conservatives have gotten really good at the name calling. They've gotten good at framing the debate and setting up the sides. They've got a huge grassroots support system on radio and internet and all they do is pick at you little by little until suddenly it's tiresome to bang your head up against "YOU MAKE NO FREAKING SENSE AND YOU HAVEN'T IN YEARS" brickwall.

The thing is, it doesn't matter if the antiwar people are defeatist, unAmerican, unpatriotic, or Benedict Arnold. Those are just adjectives, they don't mean a dang thing. It's the conservatives who got us into the freaking mess and they don't seem like they have a plan to get us out. That's why they get so upset when we ask questions. That's why they don't believe in accountability. 'Stay the course' wasn't a winning strategy for the first George Bush, but apparently old habits die hard. Maybe it's time we reframe the debate from the antiwar side: "We made a mistake, we want to fix it in the best possible way for America, and how can we do that in a way that minimizes casualities -- civilian and military, Iraqi and American -- in the best possible way?"

Rhetoric is easy, but it's not a solution. So while I'm leaning very strongly towards Hillary Clinton, honestly, I'd vote for the first person who puts forward a strategy that makes sense, is actionable, but more importantly, doesn't involve playground-style name calling.

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0 comments | 9:04 PM |


Monday, August 13, 2007

 
LotD

Interesting article about Padilla and the possible effects of alleged US torture over here. But what really caught my attention was this phrase: "In 2002, the Justice Department produced a "torture" memo stating that victims would have to experience pain equivalent to organ failure to prove torture." Just. Wow.

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0 comments | 9:17 PM |


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

 
Interesting...

I find this comment thread between the liberals and conservatives very interesting, if not a wee bit frightening. I'm amazed MikeB hung in there as long as he did (the 'liberal' voice) and he made some inappropriate comments, mho, but I also find it scary how many people still believe that Iraq and Al-Qaeda had ties to each other pre-9/11. The misinformation is disheartening, truly is.

The saddest part of this whole comment thread is that there really is no room for polite discourse. You question George Bush, and your Americanism is questioned. Of course, it's a conservative blog, so I suppose it should be expected; I have no doubt a liberal blog would flay a conservative for showing up on that blog with the opposing viewpoint. It's for that reason that I'm not a big fan of either politically conservative/liberal blogs. They pick their talking points that'll appeal best to their audience and cherry-pick the stories that'll support their viewpoint and don't bother ever saying "Oops, I was wrong that time" or post a story that might, just might, give another point of view. I'm not a big fan of the name-calling that goes on on either of these blogs. I know it makes for colorful reading, but it's just aggravating and disrespectful, mho.

I also believe political blogs do a major disservice to their readers, who don't get the whole story because they're too busy getting their news from either Michelle Malkin or Daily Kos. Conservatives will argue that they need blogs because the MSM has been leading them astray, but I'd argue that the bloggers have been leading readers astray (liberal & conservative both). These blogs subsist on a population of angry people of both political persuasions who are so incredibly convinced of their viewpoint that the minute that viewpoint is threatened, they have no choice but to attack. It's so very sad.

*Please, Kosvo wasn't so much an invasion as an intervention and many years late too. Gee whiz, people.

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0 comments | 9:29 PM |


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

 
Sacrifice by any other name

I watched Jim Lehrer's interview with the president this evening even though I can't normally stand Bush -- either looking or listening -- but it's cold and icy here and I don't have cable and the Lehrer News Hour seemed like the appropriate thing to do while huddled under a fleece blanket on my futon. Plus, I was rather struck by President Bush actually admitting that things could have been differently and ::gasp:: taking responsibility for some of his actions. In fact, he wasn't as annoyingly brash and arrogant as he usually is. And then came this glorious, glorious piece of insight from our President. I still haven't picked my jaw up off the ground.

MR. LEHRER: Let me ask you a bottom-line question, Mr. President. If it is as important as you've just said - and you've said it many times - as all of this is, particularly the struggle in Iraq, if it's that important to all of us and to the future of our country, if not the world, why have you not, as president of the United States, asked more Americans and more American interests to sacrifice something? The people who are now sacrificing are, you know, the volunteer military - the Army and the U.S. Marines and their families. They're the only people who are actually sacrificing anything at this point.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, you know, I think a lot of people are in this fight. I mean, they sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night. I mean, we've got a fantastic economy here in the United States, but yet, when you think about the psychology of the country, it is somewhat down because of this war.

Now, here in Washington when I say, "What do you mean by that?," they say, "Well, why don't you raise their taxes; that'll cause there to be a sacrifice." I strongly oppose that. If that's the kind of sacrifice people are talking about, I'm not for it because raising taxes will hurt this growing economy. And one thing we want during this war on terror is for people to feel like their life's moving on, that they're able to make a living and send their kids to college and put more money on the table. And you know, I am interested and open-minded to the suggestion, but this is going to be -

I'm sure Al-Qaeda is quaking in its boots now that it knows the American people are sacrificing 'peace of mind'. And I wonder how the military families feel about the statement that the vast majority of Americans are moving on, sending their kids to college, when they're sending their kids to fight in Baghdad. Just. Wow. Full transcript from the interview available here.

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0 comments | 9:16 PM |


Saturday, January 06, 2007

 
LotD

Here are the allocations for DHS' funds. So are you a top tier terrorist threat too? (Say that 10 times fast!)

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0 comments | 6:19 PM |


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