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04/01/2003 Archived Entry: "Rummy will be the scapegoat...and what about Syria?"
On the Political Front:
Yesterday's blog contained the prediction that Rumsfeld would be offered up as a sacrificial scapegoat for the failure of US military strategy in Iraq. Today, I find these articles: "Rummy's Failed War Plan and the Casualties That May Result" by Jason Leopold; Rumsfeld's Design for War Criticized on the Battlefield by Bernard Weintraub with Thom Shanker; Rumsfeld's new war lesson getting low marks by Michael R. Gordon;
Rumsfeld's Folly: Precipitating Regime Change In Washington?"....the list could go on and on. The wild card in whether or not Rummy will be sacrificed to assauge public opinion is Bush, who (unlike Clinton) has a reputation for loyalty to friends and colleagues. Thus, Bush reportedly "has complete confidence in Rumsfeld" despite swelling criticism. When Rummy is thrown to the dogs is when you'll know Bush is becoming desperate.
"One U.S. television network has already voted with its feet and reduced its staff" in Qatar. Why? "Many journalists at the main U.S. headquarters for the Iraq war say they get plenty of spin but little news." Even worse are the many false claims that the US and British have made to the media only to retract them later. Meanwhile, Peter Arnett, an honest and extremely competent reporter who only stated what everyone knows -- e.g. that initial US military strategy has failed -- was fired from NBC for doing so. Fortunately, he was snapped up by the generally anti-war Daily Mirror in Britain.
Meanwhile, developing conflicts with four other nations are of particular concern and nothing is needed so much as honest reporting (which is being discouraged) and solid facts.
1) North Korea has vowed to resist all international demands on it to allow nuclear inspections or agree to disarm, saying Iraq had made that mistake and is now paying the price. In short, the inspection process/debacle only convinced North Korea not to co-operate in any manner because co-operation will be used against it. This morning, North Korea tested another short-range missile "in an apparent response to Japan�s launching of spy satellites to monitor the communist nation."
2) Syria came closer to forging a formal alliance with Iraq on Monday, picking up the gauntlet thrown by the US and declaring that it had "chosen" to oppose the "illegal and unjustified invasion". According to a news item issued one hour ago, a Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman announced that Syria was siding with Iraq and international law against the US. the Americans cannot allow an open, contiguous border (such as that shared by Syria and Iraq) to become a source of supplies and reinforcement to Saddam. Already Israeli is accusing Syria of smuggling Iraqi missiles to Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon for use against Israel. A case is being built for the invasion of Syria by US forces.
3) and 4) Pakistan and India. Both are nuclear, historical enemies, and they both want the Kashmir that lies between them.
I try to include some commentary on the domestic scene within each blog. This commentary comes from good friend Gordon P. who gives a microcosm glimpses of the human cost of the "war on terrorism", as well as the political opportunism that it fosters. Gordon writes, "At midnight last night, Chicago's Mayor Daley sent in a crew of bulldozers to rip up the runway at Meigs Field (sometimes know as "the world's most popular small airport"), stranding dozens of private planes. Daly justified his action by claiming that he "feared terrorism." Daley committed this action in defiance of a previous 2001-Dec ruling that Chicago must keep Meigs open until 2026, as well as Federal Department of Transportation Regulations that consider damage to any airport, whether public or private, to be a Federal Crime.
"One immediate consequence of Daley's precipitous and unilateral action is that Coast Guard rescue operations on Lake Michigan will be hampered. Another is that heart and other transplant patient's lives will be lost because organs will now have to be delivered at O'Hare or Midway, which are 30 minutes to an hour farther from the Northwestern and the U. of Chicago hospitals than Meigs Field was, depending on traffic congestion. (Hearts, in particular, must be implanted no more than four hours after being harvested from their donor.)
"The _actual_ motivation for Daley's action is almost certainly that he has wanted to close down Meigs field for _years_, for the simple reason that he does not want to have to pay to maintain it, and in spite the fact that it sees an average of 32,000 takeoffs and landings per year, and so he has used the current "terrorist threat" as an excuse to do so." Here's the article in the _Chicago Tribune_.
On the Personal Front:
April Fool's! Here one hoax I received today.
"It seems that there is a new virus called the C-nile Virus that even the most advanced programs from Norton cannot kill. For some reason, this
virus appears to affect only those PC operators who were born before 1963.
Symptoms of C-nile Virus:
1. Causes you to send same e-mail twice.
2. Causes you to send blank e-mail.
3. Causes you to send e-mail to the wrong person.
4. Causes you to send back the message to the person who sent it to you.
5. Causes you to forget to attach the attachment.
6. Causes you to hit "SEND" before you've finished the e-mail.
7. Causes you to "
Best to all,