Thursday, February 23, 2006


The events of the past twenty-four hours in Iraq bring the reality of the situation ever closer to the American public: the United States is not "winning" anything in the occupation.

It is obviously too early to declare that the Civil War has begun as that is something best left to the historical perspective, but the blood-letting on both sides is becoming much more aggressive.

What should be fairly obvious at this juncture is that President Bush is culpable for all that is transpiring today in Iraq and the greater Middle East theater. His decision, as a "last resort" to head into Iraq to topple the power structure of Saddam Hussein had led directly to what is being witnessed today.

Only one month ago the speech writers in the West Wing gave the following to President Bush:
We remain on the offensive in Afghanistan, where a fine President and a National Assembly are fighting terror while building the institutions of a new democracy. We're on the offensive in Iraq, with a clear plan for victory. First, we're helping Iraqis build an inclusive government, so that old resentments will be eased and the insurgency will be marginalized.

The most regrettable thing about making these statements is that they are recorded, and can be reviewed and compared with reality at any time. The President of the United States of America is culpable, is responsible, and should be held accountable both at home and internationally for his calamitous decision.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dialogue Interrupted Too Soon

It has been a while since I have posted for a very specific reason. On February 7th, 2006 my father died from an apparent massive heart attack. He was 62 years old, and it was a tremendous shock to me and my family to say the very least.

The reason that I mention this on my political web log is that my father was a strong guiding spirit in my political upbringing as I suppose most fathers are with their sons. Believe it or not, when I was a young boy and in fourth grade, I thought my disposition matched that of Republicans, and claimed myself as such while walking in a hall with a friend.

I'd say by about sixth or seventh grade, my views were seriously being shaped and my interest furthered by my dad's interest in current events. I thought him quite smart for offering me this analogy when talking about the then new Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars): say there are two people with handguns at the ready, cocked and loaded. If one fires, then the other immediately knows it and can pull their trigger before being wounded, assuring both of drastic injury. Now, one person puts on a bullet proof vest. What is the other person going to do?

(In passing, it should be noted that the SDI program is still being funded, and still not at all close to having what could be considered success)

We had conversations on economics, defense, Social Security, candidates (I don't believe he was a big fan of Senator Kerry, but I do recall him saying he wouldn't mind voting for Al Gore in 2000), and just recently the Medicare part D prescription drug coverage plan. I once asked him if he ever considered running for public office of some kind or another, and he shook that off with a "nah," but I believe we would have made a very intelligent public servant who actually lived by principles. But beyond what I would have wished for him, he was truly a wonderful man who cared deeply about our world and all of us in it. Well, maybe he didn't deeply care for some of those in the current Administration, but I think only 39% of America truly does now anyway.

I mentioned the following at his memorial service before his new friends in his chosen town of retirement. It went something like, "I know that my dad is in heaven, because he must have stopped by the golf God's desk and made sure that everyone had three really nice days to play golf, but on this the day of his memorial service, he had it rain so as not to give anyone an excuse to go out and play 9 holes." It went something like that, and it gave a couple folks a chuckle, but I bet Dad would have gotten a kick out of it.

He was such a good friend to me that I really don't know when or how I'll move along without him, but I do feel it was right to mention this, and let anyone and everyone know that I loved my dad.

Still do, too.