BUSH FIVE YEARS AGO: DEMOCRACY OPTIONAL

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A FRIEND REMINDED ME OF BUSH’S POOR PERFORMANCE in November 1999 recalling names of political leaders in four of the world’s leading hot spots. The article, “Bush fails reporter’s pop quiz on international leaders,” reminds us that Bush had trouble recalling Lee Teng-hui of Taiwan and could not recall the leaders of India, Pakistan and Chechnya. My guess is that Bush would get Taiwan and Pakistan today, but still would fail India and Chechnya. But what we need to remember…

U.S. IN THE WORLD: DROPPING THE FEAR FACTOR

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THE COMMITTEE ON THE PRESENT DANGER is attempting to engage Americans in important foreign policy and security debates through fear tactics. One good resource that seeks to engage Americans and those abroad who care about international affairs is a new guide, U.S. in the World: Talking Global Issues with Americans — A Practical Guide. I served as a Task Force member on this project and am very impressed with the usefulness of this guide for folks who are not foreign…

WOOLSEY WATCH: MONGERING FOR WORLD WAR IV?

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JAMES WOOLSEY & CO. WILL OUTLINE WORLD WAR IV STRATEGIES at a forum scheduled two weeks from now on Wednesday, 29 September, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. The forum is disconcertingly titled: “World War IV: Why We Fight, Whom We Fight, How We Fight,” and is sponsored by the Committee on the Present Danger and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. They won’t let you in the door as the conference is being organized as a watering…

SLEEPY HOLLOW CEMETARY: WHERE LABOR AND INDUSTIAL AMERICA MEET

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I AM IN POCANTICO, NEW YORK, AT KYKUIT, the former estate of John D. Rockefeller for an interesting conference organized by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs. I have been extremely busy up here and only now able to find a way on line recently. I have some longer, more thoughtful posts to get up soon, but I need to edit them and see if they can withstand the scrutiny of those who…

PENTAGON: PREEMPTIVE STRIKE AGAINST SEYMOUR HERSH

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THE PENTAGON HAS JUST UNLOADED A CLIP AT SEYMOUR HERSH for what it thinks may be in his book. I have never seen a government bureaucracy issue a pre-reaction for something it was expecting but which had not occurred. Hersh must be cutting close to the bone in his soon-to-be-released book Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib. Here is the full text of the Department of Defense news release: No. 889-04 IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 10, 2004…

WOOLSEY WATCH: BAATHISTS, SHIITES, AND AL QAEDA?

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JAMES WOOLSEY OPENED THE TULSA TOWN HALL annual speakers program with a speech there this morning, and he spoke in Tulsa as well on Wednesday before the Downtown Rotary Club. According to KOTV Channel 6, Woolsey “says we need to defeat three radical groups in the Middle East — the Bathists, Shiites and al-Qaida — before the war can be won” (the spelling is not mine). Isn’t defeating the Shiites a bit of an over-reach, Jim? Isn’t that like taking…

POPES, PRESIDENTS & INFALLIBILITY

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BEFORE THE 2000 ELECTION, I MADE A SERIOUS MISTAKE. I told a number of people that I would be basically satisfied with either Al Gore or George W. Bush as president. I thought that Al Gore had a lot of the micromanagement tendencies that Jimmy Carter had and that his enthusiasm for addressing the big policy challenges of the day might be undone by his management weaknesses. On the other hand, I thought that Bush was a centrist, and while…

SCHWARZENEGGER’S OWN TRUE LIES?

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IN WASHINGTON POST LETTERS TODAY, PAUL S. FORBES of Fairfax, Virginia compellingly argues that Arnold Schwarzenegger painted a false picture of his youth in Austria. I happen to like Arnold, mostly — but why the lies about this? The letter reads: Washington Post Fuzzy Facts, the Cost of War and Chasing al Qaeda Thursday, September 9, 2004; Page A26 In his speech to the Republican National Convention, Arnold Schwarzenegger said of his boyhood in Austria, “I saw tanks in the…

AMERICA WILL BE ATTACKED IF KERRY ELECTED

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. . .SO SAYETH DICK CHENEY. Remember when America was last punished? On September 13, 2001, in a public discussion between television evangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, both agreed that “God gave us what we deserve.” The Washington Post‘s John F. Harris wrote: Television evangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, two of the most prominent voices of the religious right, said liberal civil liberties groups, feminists, homosexuals and abortion rights supporters bear partial responsibility for Tuesday’s terrorist attacks because…

AMERICA: ON RUSSIA’S SIDE OR CHECHNYA’S?

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THE TRAGIC END TO THE SCHOOL HOSTAGE CRISIS in Beslan, a village in the North Ossetia region of Russia, was 9/11 in slow motion for many Russians. Chechen terrorists were allegedly aided by Uzkeks and Arabs in this assault — and now many Russians are asking whether the costs of keeping Chechnya within Russia are worth it. Russian President Vladimir Putin is lashing out furiously at what he sees as Western sympathizers with the Chechen cause, and seems to be…