Monday, October 02, 2006
The weather's been turning a lot colder lately, and with the skies becoming a little more gray, it appears that autumn is finally here.
As much I appreciate a little bit of sunshine, I think my many years of life here in Seattle has made me prefer colder weather - not the sort of bone-chilling, freeze your blood kind of cold, but I like the less severe, cool and crisp feeling of a cool autumn afternoon.
This time of year is the perfect time for a nice, hot bowl of pho
, or udon
.:.politics = poly ticks = ?
...many, blood-sucking insects.
In latest news, the the dubious distinction of "do nothing congress" has been earned by our current 109th Congress
, according to non-partisan scholars. Instead of addressing critical domestic issues like the income gap, social security, health care, and education, the article instead cites the following as "accomplishments":
- A surge in pork-barrel projects for lawmakers' constituents back home.
- Deference to a same-party president that shifted unchecked power to the executive branch and extended government's reach into people's private lives.
- New rules that permit the government to hold suspected terrorists indefinitely without charges, to use harsh interrogation measures on them if the president approves and to convict them using evidence that would be inadmissible in any other court.(bye-bye habeas corpus and other rights if you're accused of being a "terrorist")
Great news, huh? (/sarcasm)
In other politics related news, a new book by Washington editor and staff writer Bob Woodward called State of Denial
paints a dark picture of the current regime in the White House and its attitude toward the current situation in Iraq and the Middle East. Of interest to me especially, is Woodward's account of this episode, a meeting between Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Jay Garner, a retired Army lieutenant general...
|On June 18, 2003, Jay Garner went to see Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to report on his brief tenure in Iraq as head of the postwar planning office. Throughout the invasion and the early days of the war, Garner, a retired Army lieutenant general, had struggled just to get his team into Iraq. Two days after he arrived, Rumsfeld called to tell him that L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer, a 61-year-old terrorism expert and protege of Henry A. Kissinger, would be coming over as the presidential envoy, effectively replacing Garner.|
"We've made three tragic decisions," Garner told Rumsfeld.
"Really?" Rumsfeld asked.
"Three terrible mistakes," Garner said.
He cited the first two orders Bremer signed when he arrived, the first one banning as many as 50,000 members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from government jobs and the second disbanding the Iraqi military. Now there were hundreds of thousands of disorganized, unemployed, armed Iraqis running around.
Third, Garner said, Bremer had summarily dismissed an interim Iraqi leadership group that had been eager to help the United States administer the country in the short term. "Jerry Bremer can't be the face of the government to the Iraqi people. You've got to have an Iraqi face for the Iraqi people."
Garner made his final point: "There's still time to rectify this. There's still time to turn it around."
Rumsfeld looked at Garner for a moment with his take-no-prisoners gaze. "Well," he said, "I don't think there is anything we can do, because we are where we are."
He thinks I've lost it, Garner thought. He thinks I'm absolutely wrong. Garner didn't want it to sound like sour grapes, but facts were facts. "They're all reversible," Garner said again.
"We're not going to go back," Rumsfeld said emphatically.
Later that day, Garner went with Rumsfeld to the White House. But in a meeting with Bush, he made no mention of mistakes. Instead he regaled the president with stories from his time in Baghdad.
In an interview last December, I asked Garner if he had any regrets in not telling the president about his misgivings.
"You know, I don't know if I had that moment to live over again, I don't know if I'd do that or not. But if I had done that -- and quite frankly, I mean, I wouldn't have had a problem doing that -- but in my thinking, the door's closed. I mean, there's nothing I can do to open this door again. And I think if I had said that to the president in front of Cheney and Condoleezza Rice and Rumsfeld in there, the president would have looked at them and they would have rolled their eyes back and he would have thought, 'Boy, I wonder why we didn't get rid of this guy sooner?' "
"They didn't see it coming," Garner added. "As the troops said, they drank the Kool-Aid."
Let's hope that after the November elections, a lot of things start turning around...
1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. Something, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
4. The usually informal dedication of an artistic work.
5. Jeremiah 31:33
name. Gar AKA "that Chinese guy"
ethnicity/nationality. Chinese/American, 4th gen.
location. Sea-Town, WA, USA
less-cynical poor grad student
age. younger than you think, older than you know