Various thoughts on current events with an emphasis on politics, legal issues, books, movies and whatever is on my mind. Emails can be sent to email@example.com; please put "blog comments" in the subject line.
And Also: His first big role was to be one of the more angry of the eleven men that Henry Fonda eventually clued in. Jack Warden, one of those great character actors that serve as the glue for good films, has died.
Proportionality and likely effects. This is the key to my title: power plants targeted after the kidnapping of a soldier. Broad based destruction levels above the clearly heinous missile attacks (by those who must have been aware of the likely counterattacks, but simply did not care, or in some fashion even welcomed them) that led to them. This will stop future attacks and terrorism, including those backed by region nations? Really? Likewise, some things simply do not scan well ...
The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said. Its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran's efforts to arm and resupply Hezbollah.
Why would one Arabs and others think the U.S. was strongly playing favorites? I don't know ...
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday that she would head to Israel on Sunday at the beginning of a round of Middle Eastern diplomacy. The original plan was to include a stop to Cairo in her travels, but she did not announce any stops in Arab capitals. ...
To hold the meetings in an Arab capital before a diplomatic solution is reached, said Martin S. Indyk, a former American ambassador to Israel, "would have identified the Arabs as the primary partner of the United States in this project at a time where Hezbollah is accusing the Arab leaders of providing cover for the continuation of Israel's military operation."
No, we know who "the primary partner" is identified as, right? Glenn Greenwald is on the case, addressing how neoconservatives are almost drooling at the opportunity:
What is Lebanon going to look like -- let alone Syria and Iran -- once we decimate large parts of their infrastructure, kill, maim and render homeless thousands upon thousands of their citizens, and bring down their governments? Who cares. Let's just stop whining and appeasing and get on with the action. ...
That line of thought seems, at this point, to be more wishful thinking than reality. The administration is still composed largely of adherents to neoconservatism. John Bolton is at the U.N. for a reason.
Ah, John Bolton. Like a bad penny, he is back in the news -- after being recess appointed because even some Republicans thought him a lousy choice (not that having an unconfirmed U.N. ambassador was a problem -- it's only the U.N. -- not important at all at this point in time), Bolton's nomination is up again. Steve Clemons is back on the case, partly noting that his backers are pushing Jewish groups to lobby for his confirmation. Charming.
Oh, underlining the fact that no Republican senator can consistently oppose El Decider on anything of importance, Bolton's key Republican foe has gone out of his way to voice his support this time around. [Others aren't as impressed by his term so far.] So it goes. McCain has decided that success means sucking up to the person who's backers libeled his wife as a drug addict. We all know the limits of Sen. Specter's concern (sadly more than most) for executive overreaching. And, then there are the usual suspects. As Rat asks in Pearls to Swine today, "What is a 'Senate'?"
I'll end with our honorary Republican, Joe Lieberman. A sign of how low he has fallen, beyond reports of a poll that puts him behind (within the margin of error, but the trend has been bad for him), is that "let's all get along" Al Franken is getting annoyed. Franken has voiced support for him but started to note his concern that Lieberman was furthering Republican talking points. All the same, he invited both candidates on the show (separate appearances, one supposes), and JL apparently agreed to go on.
Trouble brewed though when Franken raised the topic dear to Al's heart, namely a "Truman Committee" on the war (broadly defined) ala Sen. Truman's famous investigation during WWII. Joey said sure, it sounded great, but (awww) Sen. Collins (the "moderate" whose bailiwick is involved) is being mean -- she refuses to do it. Franken rightly noted that JL surely was the perfect one to cry bloody murder, given his support for the Iraqi War and his independent Joe credentials. He hemmed and hawed, and his people have not returned calls to schedule an appearance.
I actually think he has a shot at being defeated. I did not really think so when this all began, and still think a betting man would be loathe to assume anything, but this is a tell tale sign of why so many (not just "anti-war" zealots) just plain don't like the guy.