Friday, May 09, 2008

For Mothers' Day: I’d Banner Out a Warning...

As the song goes, it’s sometimes (unfortunately) necessary to issue a warning.

That was the case last Halloween when Bush-Cheney and their neo-con advisors deliberately pitched their desire to bomb Iran in the mainstream press. This was before the Administration was forced to release the Intelligence Community’s NIE refuting their claims of imminent danger from Iran’s nuclear program.

But that NIE has turned into nothing but a small speed bump in the road for committed neo-cons. In addition to Bush intelligence officials (DNI) Michael McConnell’s and (CIA) Michael Hayden’s constant backpedaling and discrediting of their own NIE intelligence product, Bush was successfully able to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (QUDS) as a “terrorist” group. With their incessant attempts at publicizing “proof” that “special groups” of Iranian QUDS are helping the Iraqi “terrorists”, comes a shift in what the rationale for a strike will most likely be: from pre-empting Iran’s nuclear threat to countering “terrorists”. This is good news and bad. The good news, little as it is, is that the plan of a year ago which called for massive bombing of hundreds of sites may have morphed now to a more limited one designed to “send a message”. (Some people, it seems, do still believe in the “Shock and Awe” theory.)

The problem is threefold with any such plan for a more limited strike on Iran:
  1. The significant chance is that this method of sending a message won’t work.
  2. It could escalate quickly.
  3. It’s easier to start than finish.
By all accounts, the Administration’s plan to bomb Iran does not involve getting congressional or public approval this time but hinges on a stealth campaign (with assistance again of “message multipliers” in the mainstream press). Bush believes he’s the Decider after all and that it will be a simple matter to manufacture a pretext “casus belli” after the fact, given the tense circumstances of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Last fall’s fluorescent “orange alert” in the Twin Cities did catch many motorists’ attention. So we think it’s high time to do it again. Our banner brigade will issue a second warning both legally and effectively. If you’d like to help us by holding the side of one of the orange banners, please meet us this Sunday at 3 pm at the arched footbridge just west of Snelling that spans 94 in St. Paul. There’s plenty of street parking on both frontage roads that run just north and just south of 94 where the footbridge starts. The warning will hopefully look a little like the photo below only it will be more nicely arched, twice as long, and, in all probability, it will get the attention of about ten lanes of traffic safely moving underneath it.

So come bring your mother and celebrate Mothers Day* in the same true way that inspired it ---not waiting in line at a busy restaurant!

American Politics Draws Strange Bedfellows

Not to mention under-the-bed perverts and voyeurs...

American politics draws all kinds of kibitzers from abroad. That's to be expected, because our USA - until five years ago - was the 'leader of the free world'. Even still, millions across the world pay more attention to our politics than we do to theirs; in fact, millions of people in the 'rest of the world'(ROW) pay more attention to our politics than millions of our own people. Witness the last eight years. That's because those in the ROW are stakeholders in who leads America.

Sometimes our politics draw partisan attention from unexpected protagonists.

During the 16 April Democratic debate, Barack Obama once again refused to condemn former President Jimmy Carter- for holding talks with the Hamas terrorist group. That fact won him praise from Hamas leaders. John McCain's camp swooped in on this so-called endorsement as a fail-safe fund-raising 'gotcha'.

Well, Juan Cole has turned over the fact that al-Qaeda No. 2 man Ayman al-Zawahiri has declared that he is actually in John McCain's camp! Not surprising: both want to destroy Iran. Al-Zawahiri is miffed that McCain keeps confusing hyper-Sunni al-Qaeda with radical Shiism. During a new online Q&A session, al-Zawahiri said al-Qaeda wants to see the destruction of Iran - a Shiite nation battling the terrorists. He hopes that the US struggle with Iran will destroy the latter and weaken the former, putting al-Qaeda in a position to administer the coup de grace.
We hope that war 'saps' both Washington and Tehran. The dispute between America and Iran is a genuine struggle, and the possibility of the US striking Iran is real. Whichever country that emerges victorious will find itself in an intensified and fierce battle with al-Qaeda.
So, take care, my fellow Americans. As we do our politicking, be aware that the rest of the world is watching you.

Republican-of-the-Week Day!

This space is reserved for the celebration of any decent, critical thinking, honest member of the GOP.

Nominations are in order.