Monday, June 28, 2004

The Iran-Iraq war is finally won

Today I'm going to turn the focus on politics. There's a lot going on at once, and some very important things are going to get buried in the backs of the papers unless they are pointed out now.

--First is today's Supreme Court ruling that the president has the power to indefinitely imprison American citizens without charge or trial, in apparent violation of the Sixth Amendment. The only good news is that the court granted the prisoners the ability to challenge the treatment they receive while imprisoned. How they are supposed to do that without access to attorneys is beyond me. This is the third time in two weeks that the court has avoided handing down rulings which could affect GWB's November election chances (the first two being the Pledge of Allegience issue and Dick Cheney's energy commission records). If these recent rulings can provide any clue to what may happen in November, it would appear that we are in for a Florida all over again. And if you think that the Florida ballot problems were fixed after the last debacle, think again.

--The US handed over control of Iraq today, two days early. My guess is that this is either a political ploy ("See, we did do it by the deadline. And we did it early! Aren't we great?") or we caught wind of some pending massive insurgency attacks and didn't want to be the ones in charge when it happened. I suspect a bit of both. Blair, at least, displayed a little honesty: 'Mr Blair's official spokesman said the accelerated handover was partly designed ... simply to "seize the political initiative".'

--An article this weekend that Iran appears to be the unintended winner of our war on terrorism. It's seemed to me all along that Iran used us as pawns to eliminate Iraq. Most of our rationale for overthrowing Iraq was based on information fed to us by Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, based out of Iran (information which has since turned out to be false). As it turns out, one of Chalabi's top men was an Iranian intelligence agent. This agent was probably deliberately feeding Chalabi misleading information to channel to the US, while funneling US intelligence information back to Iran. Chalabi is one of the biggest mules in history. Iran may have lured us into war* in the hopes that the power vacuum in Iraq would allow it (possibly through Chalabi) to instill a Shiite-friendly government, effectively merging the two countries ideologically. Iran is half the size of Iraq, but is ten times as powerful. The thought of an Iraq-Iran allience should scare the hell out of the State Department--and you and I.

* holy cats! did I just reference a Fox News article, written by a member of the CATO Institute? cats and dogs living together--it's the end of the world!

--A US Intelligence official, writing anonymously, is about to publish a condemnation of the Bush administration's handling of terrorism. He claims that the US has played into Osama bin Laden's hands by unstabilizing the Middle East. He also suspects that al Qaida will stage another attack on the US--much as it did in Madrid--in hopes of throwing the election in Bush's favor. Mad conspiracy-theory stuff, I know, but I have found it increasingly easy to believe the idea of the current people in power developing outlandish plots in order to stay in power. I have believed for some time that if another terrorist attack occured near the November election that the government would declare a state of emergency and suspend the elections.

--Even shadow governments have a shadow government. This article about Karl Rove's leg man gives some idea of who the people are who are really running the country. (Go to BugMeNot if you don't have a New York Times registration.)

--Okay, one non-political item: this is a great editorial about SUVs: "They are marketed as off-road vehicles, although more than 90% of them never leave the pavement (unless they roll over)."


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