I went to geography class the other day and a MoveOn.org hate-fest broke out.--Markie Dangerfield
I‘m sure you‘ll be hearing all about it soon enough, but City Administrator J.J. Murphy has decided to opt out of the race to replace Kevin Blaum in Harrisburg.
For the past week he has been dealing with a family emergency, and with that added to his already weighty family, city and military commitments, seeking an elected office at this time has become an unthinkable undertaking. Or as he said to me, “…family and country come first,” with the latter being a reference to the possibility that he could be called up to active-duty status again depending on overseas events..
I’m disappointed to some degree, but rather than working to better the Wilkes-Barre area from Harrisburg, he’ll still be doing much the same thing from right here at City Hall. I’ll admit to be being excited about getting involved in an election campaign again, and it’s a shame you’ll never know how many substantial endorsements he would have been able to bring to the campaign. But as I said, he’ll still be here at home working to make Wilkes-Barre a better place, so what did we really lose?
The most important issue right now is a family member’s health. I’m not much for praying, but I’ll keep somebody in my thoughts during the days ahead.
On a much more personal and selfish note, who’s the next best candidate?
Is it illegal to flip a coin at the polls?
Somebody who has mistaken Osama bin Laden for a tactical military genius told me yesterday that Osama used the 9-11 attacks to suck us into a conflict in Iraq that we can’t win. He also said that conflict will leave us defanged as a super power when we finally accept the inevitable and limp on home. As proof, he offered Afghanistan which played host to the Russian military’s version of Vietnam throughout the ‘80s.
That theory only holds water until the morphine begins to wear off and facts manage to penetrate the self-induced fog. The truth is, the Afghan rebels, or freedom fighters, or whatever one might call them for political gain were getting their asses handed to them from the day the invasion began right up to the turning point when our very own Fedrule Govmint provided the, then, losing side--the rebels--with hundreds of Stinger missiles. Point, shoot, and Poof! goes the Soviet air superiority. Without the U.S. intervention Osama and his rag-tag army of sorts would have been dead and buried long ago.
Osama no more lured the Soviets into Afghanistan than he lured George Bush into Iraq. Islam was spreading throughout the more southern districts of the Soviet Union and y’all know what followed, right? Religious intolerance, insurgency, death, violence, and probably a few beheadings thrown in for good measure. (See Chechnya) Having had enough of the invading you’re-either-with-us-or-you’re-targeted folks from neighboring Afghanistan, the T-54 and T-72 tanks rolled over the border with Hind-24 choppers providing close air support. And if that didn’t kill everyone not officially affiliated with Mother Russia, the fighter/attack aircraft and heavy bombers weren’t very far behind. It was the Middle Eastern equivalent of an immoderately sober quail hunt, so let’s dispel with the notion that Bin Whatshisname was or still is anything more than a sneaky and clever murderer of innocent folk everywhere..
When George Bush stood amongst the rubble of the twin towers and promised that the perpetrators of such an unthinkable horror would hear from us soon enough, we all knew what that meant. And so did the rest of the world. I think it was a fellow Nord Ender, Tristan, who said his brother who is currently serving in Iraq carped “We’re going to war!” just about as soon as the second airliner hit the towers and it was obvious we were under attack. You’d have to have been pig ignorant not to have known as much at that moment.
If Bill Clinton was still groping women in the White House on that fateful day, he’d have bit his lip real sincere like, talked all tough and then avoided the tough decisions, just as he always had. If Al Gore had blazed a trail of sexually-abused chads all the way to the White House, he’d have blamed the attacks on the effects of heretofore unseen gravitational anomalies, blamed them on global warming without any basis in scientific fact, and ordered those still defiantly burning fossil fuels taxed at profligately higher rates until they adopted a more politically correct stone-age approach to modern living. Or blew out the oven’s pilot light and crawled on in there with a flask of purple Kool-Aid as backup.
Obviously, Bush’s response to the brazen terrorist attacks, “We’re gonna smoke ‘em out, we’re gonna get ‘em runnin’ and we’re gonna kill ‘em,” stood in stark contrast to the likely coruscated babble, 30-minute proxy wars by cruise missile and healthy doses of both self-incrimination and self-loathing as a nation that those aforementioned wishy-washy doves would have mustered in response. I can just picture Clinton presiding over a well-publicized Muslim town hall-styled meeting in which America would be blamed for all that ails the entire world, while Bill bit his lip and said “I feel your pain.” And Gore? He’d offer reparations to the entire world, order all Americans to punish themselves for “their” sins against humanity and ask the terrorist’s forgiveness.
We all know what happened. Bush not only invaded Afghanistan, he invaded Iraq as well. And we’ve been arguing about that latter move ever since along completely partisan lines. I find that to be extremely troubling when you consider that one side has invested it’s political capitol in victory, while the other side (no matter how much they argue to the contrary) can only claim a political victory if the U.S. military and, or U.S. policy is soundly defeated. What those folks are hoping for might just amount to the beginning of this country’s demise as an economic and military power. Be careful what you wish for my little Bush-bashing friends. If the disastrous quandary you’re all praying for is actually upon us, a tectonic shift in world power may be right around the next corner, as will the next urban battleground.
When the latest attack that obliterated some mosque of some historic importance in Iraq got the one tribe to attacking the other tribe and vice versa, it became obvious to me that Iraq is definitely bin Laden’s last stand. If he loses this battle, the terrorists will have to take their twisted religion and lay relativity low for a couple more centuries, as they have been forced to do many times in the past. But if he wins, if he wins he demonstrates to the entire on-looking world that the world’s last remaining super power was utterly powerless to stop his Jihad. He will stop at nothing and expend whatever he has at his disposal to run us out of that country. And some us seem to be hoping for exactly that.
Now, consider this polarized country of ours as his, for all intents and purposes, lone enemy for a just moment. This country abounds in pretend geopolitical strategists as Pakistan does in folks being fitted for bomb-belts. I keep hearing radicalized college students telling us how the world should be run. I hear the same sorts of things coming from fringe groups, fringe political parties and grass roots-level Democrats that can’t figure out how to make the local town council behave as they would demand of them. They can’t fix that which ails their rural corn field of a town, yet they presume to tell me, Bush and every single one of those other “chicken hawks” how to bring peace, love, dope and happiness the whole world over. I like to think I’m capable of sounding somewhat intelligent during my more sober of days, but I’ll not presume to be so all-encompassing brilliant and annoyingly arrogant all in one fell swoop, as the anti-Bush forces so often do.
To be perfectly frank, the anti-Bush crowd regularly displays more angst at the thought of collateral damage to the Iraqis than they do the killing of a lone U.S. serviceman. The beheading of innocent Americans goes unmentioned by them. But the use of depleted uranium has them up in arms angry. Trains blown to pieces across Europe upsets them. But pictures of Iraqi prisoners playing Twister in the nude outrages them and gets them to hurling accusations at Bush rather than the prison guards that perpetrated such acts and were quickly shipped off to Leavenworth. Innocent civilians being blown to pieces gets them off their lunch a tad. But Gitmo has them fit-to-be-tied angry and planning public protests. It’s gotten to the point where a mortally wounded U.S. soldier is no more than another digit to be added to the political scoreboard for these wannabe purveyors of undeniable geopolitical truths they picked up at the water cooler. All that seems to matter to them is that Bush has to lose in Iraq so they’ll be proved right, or somehow smarter than the rest of us.
I think we need to decide whether we really want to fight to defend our way of life or not. While the most patient of the terrorist lunatics are drooling at the thought of nuking an American city, or releasing a biological agent at a Super Bowl, too many among us seem to think that winning hearts and minds coupled with being politically correct in the face of relentless and ruthless attacks makes for a winning strategy. Sounds like Vietnam all over again to me: More self-inflicted wounds.
Being forced to pull out of Iraq short of securing a demonstrative victory would only further embolden those who would enslave all of humanity by force. Sadly, from what I’m seeing and hearing all too often, it is more important to roughly fifty percent of our populace to win our internal political war than to win the war in Iraq, or the percolating wider world conflict. With what may be the continued existence of this country as we’ve come to know it riding in the balance, I’m left to wonder what these folks want most. What price is worth paying to prove Bush wrong? They can point to the left-field scoreboard and moan on cue about the two-thousand-plus KIAs for the purposes of scoring temporary political points, but if we lose what we started in Iraq, those deceased servicemen will be but scratching the surface of the numbers likely to make their way to Dover Air Force Base.
And if Iraq does devolve into a civil war to the Bush-hater’s delight, the innocent Iraqis killed in the process will have our lack of resolve to blame for their needless deaths. When we should have pulled together and sent the terrorists a clear message about American resolve, we instead attacked our commander-in-chief and sent the completely opposite message to an enemy that was hoping against hope that public opinion in this country would better serve their needs in the end. If Bush loses this battle, countless numbers of lives will we lost for the foreseeable future. We either win this battle, or a bigger, more bloody conflagration at a later date might be all but inevitable.
I live in a country that responded to being unmercilessly attacked by Fascists by calling it’s commander-in-chief a Nazi. I’m not sure what the future has in store for all of us, but I’m thinking it’d be a heck of a lot more tolerable to endure if the liquor store had a liberal layaway plan in place.
How about weighing in on this one, kiddies. With $200 in economic investment going on all around us, new buildings going up and new businesses coming to Wilkes-Barre at an accelerated rate, is this cartoon that appeared in today’s Times Leader even remotely fair to Mayor Tom Leighton and Wilkes-Barre’s image? Is it?
I handed that cartoon to wifey without uttering a single word. She looked it over and said as follows: “Well, that’s about five years too late.”
BANG!!! Who sez blondes are dumb?
Call me mental as so many of you have, but I’m thinking somebody at the Times Leader owes somebody at City Hall an apology. That’s needless bunkum at this point and it’s obvious to me that some people need to get themselves unfu>ked.
Now there’s breaking news. NOT! Infighting in the party that can’t get it’s members elected in a one-party county synonymous with corruption, nepotism, cronyism and being years behind the times.
You’d think the opposition party in a county known for such things could find a way to make some significant electoral inroads, but, alas, the Republicans in this county are to winning elections what the Heimlich maneuver is to reproduction.
Anyway, thanks for reminding us that there is still, in fact, a Republican party operating in Luzerne County.
Somebody ought to send this link to Paul Kanjorski. Iffin’ they erect that condom of his across the river just South of Wilkes-Barre and the riverfront project is concluded, maybe we should name our newest amenities “Fish Kill Commons.”
The “tourists” will love it.
Gotta run. I’ve got two of those rambunctious grandrodents due to hit town any moment now.