I think ^(link) therefore I err

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Today there are 2 unrelated stories that both seem speculative to me. The first is on the situation in Lebanon. When we first went into Iraq, and things started happening in the Middle East, like Libya and Lebanon, it was hailed, even by me as a sign that things were shaking up there and "freedom was on the march".
That is completely different than saying "stable democracies are now the norm thanks to the US of A".
Today in the LA times we get:
"You're now seeing the last strand" of failed U.S. policy endeavors, said Nathan Brown, a specialist in Arab politics at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former United Nations consultant.
So now we've failed because some whack job in Syria has assassinated a Lebanese guy and the people there are angry. The article can't fail to mention our list of failures.
Palestinian voters have since granted power to the militant group Hamas, which the administration has yet to recognize. Egypt's reforms have stalled. And in Iraq, the government has proved unable to run the country amid increasing violence and rising U.S. casualties. Many Iraqis say they would prefer a return to authoritarian rule.
Sheesh. I suppose we're at fault for global warming and the problams in Darfur too? Oh right. We are.
Analysts see the Lebanon situation as another sign that American clout is shrinking in the Middle East.
How long has our clout been shrinking in the Middle East? I suspect in the 70s analysts were saying the same thing. These folks sound like the Middle Easterners. For some reason people over there think we "control" all things. And if only we wanted to do something it would be done. Please.

So moving on to the Rumsfield piece by Robert Novak.
The treatment of his war minister connotes something deeply wrong with George W. Bush's presidency in its sixth year. Apart from Rumsfeld's failures in personal relations, he never has been anything short of loyal in executing the president's wishes. But loyalty appears to be a one-way street for Bush. His shrouded decision to sack Rumsfeld after declaring that he would serve out the second term fits the pattern of a president who is secretive and impersonal.
Sounds speculative to me. If I were doing the speculating here I would say that Rumsfield's firing was a respectful ploy by the President towards the American people who just elected Democrats. They won the election and they wanted Rumsfield's head. Bush gave it to them as a gesture of good will. Did he mention this to Rumsfield first? I don't know. But who should Bush be the most loyal to? Rumsfield or "the people"?