Friday, September 14, 2007

An Enduring Relationship



Last night the President addressed the nation and explained to us that the surge was working, and that we could start bringing our troops home. He even offered up a time-line. 5800 troops home by Christmas of this year and a full 30,0000 home by summer of next year.

Mr. Bush spoke to the country for the 8th time on the subject of Iraq and why the war was necessary and he was right and the rest of us don't have a clue. It must be comforting to be so "dead certain", to borrow the title from the recent book about Bush and the war. It must be terrific to know that in spite of all evidence to the contrary, you still believe that what you are doing is the right course of action. As Bush continues towards the sunset of his presidency, a presidency that has been replete with failure and scandal, he seems most comfortable in leaving the situation in Iraq for the next person to occupy his job.

The speech's theme was expected. More of the same. Stay the course. They stand up and we stand down. Mostly the same old speech. Except for this: The president said that "Iraqi leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America." An Enduring Relationship.

For the first time, the president has openly suggested that we would have an ongoing and indefinite role in Iraq's affairs. This means essentially both diplomatic and military presence in country. We've had the same in Germany and in Korea. I'll leave it to you to decide if this is a worthwhile and wise policy.

Regards,

D

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where Were You?



I was working in downtown Houston on a project with a large energy trading firm when I heard about the first plane. The company had a group of Risk Manager's who had the job of monitoring the trading transactions and as such had a bull-pen with several televisions tuned to various financial news services. When the story broke, all the services switched over to reporting about the crash in the tower. I walked over to the bull-pen just as the image of the 2nd plane traveling into the tower was shown on the screen.

I was completely stunned. Everyone on the trading floor was silent and listening to the news report. After about 20 minutes of complete silence, people started talking, making phone calls to their friends and loved ones. I called my wife who had just dropped the kids off at school and hadn't heard about the event. We were told by the building maintenance to evacuate the building and leave the down-town area. I couldn't get a flight out of Houston for several days, so I drove up to Dallas to visit with my parents.

The events of the day seem like ages ago. We've gone from suffering through the horror of seeing our neighbors in New York and Washington attacked and dying and finally realizing that we were now no safer than those in Europe or other areas that had been victims of terrorist attacks. The resulting unification of this country around response to the attack and the attempt at healing was remarkable. There were no longer Texans, Californians, Iowans, etc. etc. There were only Americans, and by extension, we all became New Yorkers for a while.

Contrast that brief period of unity with the fractious times we are experiencing today and one wonders why can't we keep that sense of community that we had right after 9/11 and right after the Katrina disasters?

It's a shame.

Remembering those we lost six years ago.

Friday, September 07, 2007

President Frat Boy



OK, so George shows up in a surprising visit to Anbar province in Iraq to celebrate the "successes" that coalition troops and Sunni tribesmen have had against Al Qaeda cells in the western part of the country. Good job supporting the troops. Really, this was good. But wait, you know what's gonna happen next. He's going to do something stupid.

Then poof, he jets off to Australia for the APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Council) summit and to jaw-bone with one of his remaining allies regarding the war in Iraq: Australia.

So, what does the CIC (Commander-In-Chief) tell the Deputy PM Mark Vaile? "We're Kicking Ass" in Iraq.

Jesus Christ. Doesn't this sound like frat-boy speak to you? I mean people are being killed in Iraq because of this guy and his comments to the representative of another country are that "we're kicking ass"?

I'm so sick of this juvenile. He is a complete embarrassment to the country. I wish he would just go away.

(sigh), Tell me what you think,

Dennis

Dick Should Be Impeached

The overwhelming majority of our voters on our recent snap poll, "Should Dick Cheney Be Impeached?" have decided yes indeed, the veep should be impeached. Now, if we could just get it to happen, but then who would the Doofus in Chief appoint as his successor? That's a thought that's going to fester for awhile.

Vice President Condi Rice? yikes!