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09/05/2003 Archived Entry: "Coulter combusts"
I like to start each blog with humor because a good laugh is one of the ways I cope with hearing/reading so much that is discouraging...war, the economy, anti-terrorism/anti-civil rights bills, copyright lawsuits, SoBig and its ilk... I'll stop now because I'm depressing myself. Quick! An emergency infusion of humor, beginning with Chuck Asay's Those Bad Democrats, Joe Pett's Freedom Of, and, this, from The Chortler. Alas...sad news must follow: Ann Coulter has spontaneously combusted. According to one report, "Ms. Coulter was in the middle of an extended rant about liberal comedian Al Franken when her face became beet-red and smoke began to shoot out of both of her ears.Then, almost without warning, Ms. Coulter appeared to burst into flames, sources said."
"The White House has informed congressional leaders that it is preparing a new budget request for between $60 billion and $70 billion to help cover the mounting costs of the reconstruction and military occupation of Iraq." The budget request -- almost double what was expected -- will meet resistance and approval will have conditions attached. For example, members of both parties have said "they will demand many details [of the Iraq invasion and occupation that] President Bush has withheld so far, including an exit strategy and a multiyear forecast, as the price of their support." The White House is also preparing a draft U.N. resolution "to win foreign pledges for more troops and money for Iraq." In what appears to be a face-saving measure for this utter reversal of Bush's former policy, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has stated that resolution is in reaction to changed circumstance. What circumstance? The fact that the US has made a debacle of postwar Iraq and American troops have become sitting ducks? That America is running dry of money to finance the occupation? Or that support for Bush in the polls is flagging? Nope. The changed circumstance is that the UN now realizes the US was right all along. Wolfowitz stated, "The bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad was 'a breakthrough, a sad one' that changed attitudes at the United Nations and is allowing the Bush administration to seek a resolution for more international support in Iraq." In this rewrite of history, it was not Bush who resisted UN involvement; it was the UN who didn't realize the importance. Personally, I dislike the UN, which always seems determined to impose a PC social agenda as a condition of "support." This is particularly true now as the US is in a weakened position in approaching the UN. Moreover, I don't believe UN involvement will "solve" anything for the Iraqis or the region...tho' it would lighten the US's financial and troop commitments there, perhaps freeing those resources for campaigns elsewhere.
Justin Raimondo has an interesting take on why no exit or postwar strategy has evolved for Iraq. He writes in his September 5th column on antiwar.com, "But of course it was no oversight that the postwar planning for the 'reconstruction' of Iraq was rushed, and inadequate. According to the neocons' own public statements, the Iraq war was scheduled to be only the first in a series of conflicts, a regional war of 'liberation' aimed at toppling the 'democratic dominoes' – Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and beyond – in fairly rapid succession. As Laurent Murawiec, the Rand Corporation 'expert' put it in his famous Powerpoint presentation to Richard Perle's Defense Policy Board:
--Iraq is the tactical pivot,
--Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot,
--Egypt the prize.
That's why they didn't plan for policing and reconstructing Iraq. By this time, according to the neocon timetable, we should already have taken Riyadh and started marching on Cairo."
Best to all,