Saturday, July 01, 2006


It is often said that "justice delayed is justice denied". The consequences of delay are even more dire in the international arena. A reminder of this thought came this week in the form of President Bush's trip to Graceland with Japan's prime minister, Junicho Kaizumi, a huge Elvis fan. Seems that Mr. Bush is belatedly discovering the value of off-message time with world leaders.

The U.S. is now participating in or approaching discussions with the wayward nations of Iran and North Korea. Sooner or later, we will be in closer contact, be it friendly or hostile. But for years, or decades, we have squandered opportunities to engage with these countries. History has taught us that engagement, not isolation, leads to a more positive relationship. Meaningful engagement might well have avoided the current confrontations, at least in the case of Iran. Delay has been costly.

Similarly, eventually we will have good relations with Cuba. Think of the losses for both nations and their peoples by decades of attempted isolation.

In the case of Iraq, the consequences of delay have been devastating. Losses of life, property, and treasure; physical and mental trauma on all sides. Intelligence officers and others have now told us that they considered the supporting intelligence faulty or highly suspect. It would have taken courage, but their delay in speaking out loudly may have cost us the opportunity to head off the misadventure and to concentrate on Afghanistan and the real terrorists.

Retired generals have been speaking out about the failure to plan for the Iraq war and the lack of sufficient troop strength. If they had not delayed in making these concerns public, even to the point of resignations, we might well have avoided the post-invasion mess in Iraq.

Later, a discussion of the delay on the part of Democrats to recognize the danger of Samuel Alito and their wimpy behavior with respect to his nomination

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


It is old news that the Republicans outmaneuver the Democrats by adopting misleading but effective titles for their initiatives: Healthy Forests, Death Taxes, Partial Birth Abortion, etc.

We've noted here before that this doesn't seem like wartime in the U.S. - business as usual, tax cuts, obscene executive salaries, pork spending. Front line soldiers are suffering but no one else. So why do we let the Bush administration get away with so much because we're in a "time of war" .

I say Bush is not a wartime president and we are not in a war. Counterterrorism and security measures, yes, but Iraq is not a war. It is an occupation. We had an invasion, a brief war, and regime overthrown. After that, wise or not, we have an occupation. Democrats should not let Republicans bash any one for criticizing in a "time of war" or labeling withdrawal proposals as "surrender". Let us talk only of ending an "occupation"..

Monday, June 26, 2006


During last week's Senate debate on Democratic proposals to set a timetable for withdrawal of U.S.troops from Iraq, Republican Senators belittled these efforts as failure to stay the course. A timetable is "just wrong". Other Republicans have accused the Democrats for lack of spine, surrender, and everything else almost to the point of treason.

Well, now the Republicans have adopted a timetable for troop withdrawals - the 2006 Congressional elections. True, it's not all troops, just 50,000 or so, this September.. General Casey has proposed not only this withdrawal, but also plans for substantial additional reductions in 2007 and 2008.

Obviously, this plan is not all that different from the Democratic proposals - and all plans could be changed because of conditions on the ground. The Republicans just proved again to be hypocrites who are supremely focused on playing politics with our troops and on trying to justify Bush's misguided adventure in Iraq.