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11/13/2003 Archived Entry: ""

Cartoons to start your day....Paul Szep's latest, "Multi-Billion Dollar Double Dutch," comments on the vigorous opinions everyone seems to have of the Reagon "docudrama" even tho' next to no one has see it; and, Walt Handelsman's "Master and Commander in Chief" lampoons Bush's "perspective" on how the media is exaggerating the problem in Iraq.

The most interesting email of the day comes from Scott M. who writes, "I'm citing a story that was released (sort of) in mid-October, but flew completely under my radar. Of course the fact that it was totally buried by the media did not help. Apparently, uncontested (except by Israel) rumor has it that in early October we sent 100 re-designed, nuclear-armed, Tomahawk missiles to Diego Garcia, and subsequently dispatched 72 of these to the Israeli Navy for deployment on 3 Dolphin-class submarines (the alleged modifications were to facilitate submarine launch). Speculation is that these are to be targeted at Iranian nuclear fuel facilities. Command and control is to be under Sharon, with no over-ride for Bush & co. I can't count the ways in which this is stupid and demented. Perhaps Bush believes that first strike by proxy can be summarily dismissed in a press conference. Suppose Israel did take out some fuel production plants in Iran via such a launch, what then? Iran has 12MM males fit for military service, fairly well-equipped forces (maybe including some equipment that Sadaam got rid of since 1991 - it seems odd, but recall that Iraq sent fighter planes to its traditional enemy for safekeeping in Gulf War I) and is not going to sit by idly by after such an attack. So, who is to restrain Iran through invasion and occupation? Not Israel - nowhere near enough troops, they can barely contain the Palestine rebels and, well, look at a map. Turkey has the resources and proximity, but AFAIK no historical or current interest comparable to what they have in Iraq. I guess that we could build on our spectacular pacification and nation-building successes in Iraq (we are being attacked by the populace because of these successes, are we not?) and take and hold Iran with the new draftees, oops, with the enthusiastically re-enlisted reserve and National Guard troops. I think that the most repugnant part of this story is the statement by undersecretary of state John Bolton, to the effect that we trust Israel with nukes because, like Britain and France, we don't consider it a threat. This is the same nation that deliberately, viciously, and without warning attacked the Navy signal intelligence ship USS Liberty in the Eastern Mediterranean on June 8, 1967, murdering (no state of war existed) 34 seamen and repetitively attacking life raft crews to prevent escape and rescue. I wonder what it actually takes to be considered a threat. No, wait, I know. Exposing a President's father as a fool seems to qualify, as does possessing resources suitable for enriching a Vice President."

Well...the electricity is flickering from the force of a snow squall that landed in our county a few hours ago. The lights went out at about 6 a.m. and we went on "alert" -- stoking the airtight stove to keep the house cozy, lighting candles in the pre-dawn darkness, filling up the dog/cat bowls with water, putting a pan of water on the airtight stove's surface so as to heat it for coffee and tea, bringing in extra wood just in case... I am writing my blog in what might be a temporary "on" of lights and of all the other wonderful conveniences of electricity that I take so much for granted. BUT, as I said, the conveniences are now flickering. So...

Best to all,

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