DOWN THE RABBIT-HOLE 21st Century Edition

Polls are like a casino dealer, fidelity is usually short lived and partly based on illusion. We love then as long as the cards are falling our way, so with that in mind, Just 17% Favor Dubai Ports Deal

From a political perspective, President Bush’s national security credentials have clearly been tarnished due to the outcry over this issue. For the first time ever, Americans have a slight preference for Democrats in Congress over the President on national security issues. Forty-three percent (43%) say they trust the Democrats more on this issue today while 41% prefer the President.

Which brings us to this great post at Mahablog, The Snapping Point II . I extend my personal appreciation for dealing with the soft spoken insanity of Charles Krauthammer, who by suggesting that if the UAE were still under the British Empire control we wouldn’t be having this problem. While the right continues to deny that its ideological roots resemble Franco more then James Madison a shining star of right-wing intellectual punditry swears the world’s problems are due to a lack of imperialism.

Krauthammer’s denial of reality is so vast it’s almost majestic. I can hear the ghost of Rudyard Kipling whispering “The White Man’s Burden.” Somebody send ol’ Charles a monocle and a pith helmet, quick.

A paleo-neo-con architect gives us a shallow echo of Howard Dean, It Didn’t Work

“I can tell you the main reason behind all our woes — it is America.” The New York Times reporter is quoting the complaint of a clothing merchant in a Sunni stronghold in Iraq. “Everything that is going on between Sunni and Shiites, the troublemaker in the middle is America.”

One can’t doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. The same edition of the paper quotes a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Reuel Marc Gerecht backed the American intervention. He now speaks of the bombing of the especially sacred Shiite mosque in Samara and what that has precipitated in the way of revenge. He concludes that “The bombing has completely demolished” what was being attempted — to bring Sunnis into the defense and interior ministries.

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans.

One right-wing blogger and an ardent Bush cultists calls Buckley a ” unreconstructed racist”, while a commenter at another right-wing site says,” maybe the right has moved past Buckley”. At least the right is using the cw word, civil war. Unfortunately for over 2000 dead Americans the Bush loyalists are behind on the curve, retired Gen. William E. Odom, the head of the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration from 03 August 2005, What’s wrong with cutting and running?

On civil war. Iraqis are already fighting Iraqis. Insurgents have killed far more Iraqis than Americans. That’s civil war. We created the civil war when we invaded; we can’t prevent a civil war by staying.

For those who really worry about destabilizing the region, the sensible policy is not to stay the course in Iraq. It is rapid withdrawal, re-establishing strong relations with our allies in Europe, showing confidence in the UN Security Council, and trying to knit together a large coalition including the major states of Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, and India to back a strategy for stabilizing the area from the eastern Mediterranean to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Until the United States withdraws from Iraq and admits its strategic error, no such coalition can be formed.

Thus those who fear leaving a mess are actually helping make things worse while preventing a new strategic approach with some promise of success.

Gen. Odom made some clarifications in a follow up article 11 November, 2005, Odom: Want stability in the Middle East? Get out of Iraq!

Iraq is the worst place to fight a battle for regional stability. Whose interests were best served by the U.S. invasion of Iraq in the first place? It turns out that Iran and al Qaeda benefited the most, and that continues to be true every day U.S. forces remain there. A serious review of our regional interests is required. Until that is accomplished and new and compelling aims for managing the region are clarified, continuing the campaign in Iraq makes no sense.

I wouldn’t and I don’t think General Odom means a complete withdrawal from the region, but a John Murtha type of redeployment because of the possible intervention of Iran if nothing else. Obviously the new sectarian violence in Iraq ratched the simmering civil war up a notch, but someone needs to tell David Ansman and Fox that its not a good thing. Sistani threatens to turn to Militia, Sadr Calls for Calm

The shoe seems to be on the other foot now, with Muqtada al-Sadr attempting to cool Iraq’s Shiites down and Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani threatening to create a paramilitary to protect Shiites.

Not everything is being blamed on America and Israel,

On the other hand, the thousands of protester in Bahrain blamed Sunni “excommunicators” instead.

Juan also points to this article that talks about the signifcance of shrines, Attack deepens Iraq’s divide

Though the shrine dates back 1,000 years, it has been rebuilt numerous times. Its current dome was built in 1905. There are no records of previous attacks on the building or its predecessors.

Why not buck the trend, Cosmopolitanism: How To Be a Citizen of the World

Sure. The word comes from a Greek phrase, which means “citizen of the world.” The first person we know to have used the word about himself was Diogenes the Cynic in the 4th Century BC. It was a metaphor then and still is. It’s been attacked from both the left and the right. From the right, as you know, it was used as a term of anti-Semitic abuse, and their point was that people who had a sense of responsibility to the human community as a whole were going to be bad nationalists, bad patriots. The other direction of attack, from the left, was that cosmopolitanism was something very elitist. It came to mean a kind of free-floating attitude of the rich person who can afford to travel all over the world tasting a little bit of this culture and that one and not being very responsible about any of it.

I don’t think that cosmopolitanism has to be either elitist or unpatriotic; I think it’s perfectly possible to combine a sense of real responsibility for other human beings as human beings with a deeper sense of commitment to a political community.

Audio blog aggregator, The Hype Machine

ALICE was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, `and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, `without pictures or conversations?’

So she was considering, in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself `Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!’ (when she thought it over afterwards it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but, when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

from Alice in Wonderland , DOWN THE RABBIT-HOLE, by Lewis Carroll