Friday, August 05, 2005

Odds and Ends

  • I noticed today that Tony Blair is issuing some new "get tough" measures that will allow Great Britain to deport people that preach terrorism. Well, it's about time someone decided to target the primary promoters of the suicide attacks. These clerics that choose to preach hatred from the protection of their mosques should not be granted immunity under cover of "free speach". These clerics have declared war against the United States. The last time I read the Constitution, that was the clearly stated definition of treason. In The Grape's view, these clerics that preach jihad are as much unlawful combatants as any of the prisoners enjoying our off-shore resort in the Caribbean. Send them there.

  • The EU sent a new proposal to Iran, seeking to end that nation's quest for nuclear technology. This dance reminds me of a great movie line: "The purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis." This Iranian situation is all too reminiscent of the "bury our head in the sand" policy we had with North Korea for most of the 1990s. Any concession to Iran today will result in a nuclear capable Iran tomorrow. Cut the head off that snake now!

  • India and Pakistan have entered talks aimed at averting a nuclear confrontation. Okay, that's a pretty good start now that the genie's out of that bottle! Where were we when the two of them were developing weapons in the first place? Is there anyone here that doesn't believe a nuclear capable Pakistan is functionally equivalent to nuclear capable terrorist groups? Face it, Pakistan is one bullet away from having an Islamic Extremist government. As to India, they're about as stable as a water buffalo on a one legged barstool. Yet we continue to send our technology jobs to India and China, all under the guise of cheaper labor. What we have done is placed our business infrastructure at the mercy of two third-world nuclear capable enemies. I'm still shaking my head over that one.

  • A new poll was announced today that shows approval for the President's handling of Iraq is at an all-time low. Is this a surprise? Americans have a very short attention span to begin with, and Iraq has been going on for three years. Furthermore, even the most hawkish of us (and yes, I consider myself an ultra-hawk) are growing tired of our lack of direction and lack of initiative. The Grape doesn't see any apparent strategy to fight the insurgency. There appears to be a misguided hope that an Iraqi constitution and an Iraqi army will spell the end to the insurgency. There's certainly no historical basis to support that theory. I sincerely hope the plan is not to ultimately just declare victory and leave. We did that in Vietnam and we all know the results there. Doing the same thing in Iraq will leave us with a worse situation than we had when Hussein was in power. The one thing I am certain of is that a secular government will not survive long without the full military backing of the United States.

  • That same poll showed that less than 1/2 the people believe the President is honest. I didn't realize there were that many naive people out there! You mean almost 1/2 of the population believes the President - regardless of party - is honest? Good Lord, folks, wake up! The President is the penultimate politician! Honesty won't get you elected alderman in your local district. It's certainly not going to support a rise through the ranks in a political environment driven by back-room deals, PACs, and fundraising techniques that would be considered criminal in the business world. Sorry to disillusion you, folks, but the concept of honest politician pretty much ends with "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

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