Monday, September 24, 2007

Lunch Hour for Monday

Here are my quick hit takes on the major news of the day.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was berated during his introduction by Columbia President Lee Bollinger. Everything Bollinger said to Ahmadinejad was true and well deserved. That said, when was the last time the President of the United States ever had to sit and listen to a speaker detail all of Bush's foibles. Ooooh yeah... that would be when Stephen Colbert drilled him during the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner. The roasting of Bush by Colbert was positively electrifying at the time, precisely because it is so rare to see the President directly exposed to criticism. You can see Bush, and the first lady just seething during the entire Colbert riff. But the notable thing here is that Bush has given speeches and public appearances hundreds of times during his Presidency, and has only rarely been told what for. So let me be honest here even thought what I'm about to say might be a bit controversial. I might think that the theocracy and ultra conservative ideals Ahmadinejad espouse are hogwash, but you gotta give him credit for exposing himself to American opinion when he had to know it would not be favorable. I think it's sad that we the people of America have more access to tell the President of Iran how wrong headed he is than to give that same message to our own President, who has to be ambushed and is clearly put out when it happens to him.

Hillary Clinton made appearances on all five of the major television networks sunday talk shows yesterday. TPM alerts us that resistance is futile, which led me to wonder how similar Hillary looks compared to the Borg Queen.

Here is modern day Hillary...

I must say that she could look just like this as a freak of science in 360 years. TPM is onto something!

Actually I find myself warming to Hillary lately. One of the biggest attractions I have to her is supposedly one of her biggest drawbacks. The right can not bear the thought of having her as President. This supposed polarization appeals to me to be honest. I dont just want the eight years of this administration repudiated by the next election, I want them to be electorally dispatched with extreme prejudice. I'm not in the mood to join hands with the neocons as we all lift our voices in a rousing sing along of kum bay ya, and I don't think they are ready to do that with my side of the great political divide either. I've seen too many Democratic war hero's smeared, too many liberals vilified as unpatriotic and pro terrorist too many times to want to get along with them at this point. And electing Hillary would positively drive them up the wall.

In todays headscratcher from Iraq, we learn that our sniper teams are using a tactic which really makes me wonder how we are ever going to win, or if we are even trying to win for that matter, the battle of hearts and minds in Iraq. Our forces are baiting Iraqi's by placing various items like blasting caps or c-4 out and then shooting anyone who attempts to take that item. The belief is that the person taking the item is going to turn around and use it against coalition forces. But as is typical from my left wing pinko mindset, I try to imagine what would happen if I stumbled over an ammunition box filled with c-4 or blasting caps. Probably most of us would pick it up and start walking away with it, just because it is the human condition to keep things of value which we find by happenstance. In fact I, or the typical human being, may even take the item in hopes that it won't be discovered by the bad guys in my neighborhood who would then use the item against me or whoever it is they are targeting. Or what if I come across a bunch of blasting caps and do not want my child to play with them after I carelessly leave them alone? If anything this is entrapment, and the victim is sentenced to death with no recourse to any form of process beyond the person scoping the item they are taking squeezing the trigger. The civilians are not asked at this point if they are taking the item to the local police, they are just shot. It very well may be the case that insurgents are killed using this tactic. But there is no way I'll ever be convinced that the innocent civilians who trip over the bait are not unwitting victims of human nature, and wind up as marks on someones count of dead insurgents.

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