. . . . when the real election starts.
By Victor Davis Hanson
Do we still need to fight a war on terror?
The answer seems to be no for an increasing number in the West who are weary over Afghanistan and Iraq or complacent from the absence of a major attack on the scale of 9/11.
The British Foreign Office has scrapped the phrase “war on terror” as inexact, inflammatory and counterproductive. U.S. Central Command has just dropped the term “long war” to describe the fight against radical Islam.
An influential book making the rounds – “Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them” – argues that the threat from al-Qaida is vastly exaggerated.
If you already know how to play big city “three card monte” or “shell games” then you’re ready to play the latest “big money” variation: “carbon credits.”
According to the Financial Times:
Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.
A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.
Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway.
Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits. More ->
Most carbon traders are evidently easy to find: their offices are said to have that distinct aura of Enron about them.
It’s not easy being green.
As the suits queue up for the available courtrooms, there’s another idea that might be worth a look.
A new kind of company has emerged lately: the Limited Liability Company, or LLC.
It has been defined as:
A business structure that is a hybrid of a partnership and a corporation. Its owners are shielded from personal liability and all profits and losses pass directly to the owners without taxation of the entity itself.
So why not apply that Limited Liability idea to schools and colleges and universities?
There could be many different models for the balance between security and privacy, or between safety and tuition costs, for example. Indeed, there could be as many different models as there are states. As time passed, states could find themselves borrowing ideas from one another.
To the extent that these various relationship models can be defined in law, the schools can advertise themselves to prospective students (and parents).
It might just work. Something to think about.
Maybe it all started with this picture, taken aboard the USS Colorado, of the captured Korean Battle Flag of Gen. Uh Je-yeon in May 1871. The ship was the first of three ships to be named USS Colorado.
The second USS Colorado (ACR-7), a Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser, patrolled the South Atlantic during World War I.
She was renamed Pueblo (CA-7) 9 November 1916 while in overhaul, and a new battleship became the third USS Colorado (BB-45).
There were also three different ships bearing the name USS Pueblo.
The first USS Pueblo (CA-7), (renamed from the second Colorado) served until 1927.
The second USS Pueblo (PF-13), a Tacoma-class frigate, served from 1944 until 1947.
The third USS Pueblo (AGER-2), an environmental research ship, is famous for being boarded and captured by soldiers of The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1968 in what is known as the Pueblo incident. The ship is still there, in North Korea.
Did the taking of that battle flag in 1871 by the first USS Colorado have anything to do with the DPRK’s aggressive capture 97 years later of the third USS Pueblo? Did the renaming of the second Colorado to Pueblo make its later namesake a special target? Would the DPRK have done what they did, the way they did, if the ship had had a different name?
Whatever the cause, there is some interest in trading the flag for the Pueblo.
It’s a fair bet that you have never heard of a guy called Dave Gaubatz. It’s also a fair bet that you think the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has found absolutely nothing, nada, zilch; and that therefore there never were any WMD programmes in Saddam’s Iraq to justify the war ostensibly waged to protect the world from Saddam’s use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
Dave Gaubatz, however, says that you could not be more wrong. Saddam’s WMD did exist. He should know, because he found the sites where he is certain they were stored.
One of the issues for Election 2008, only 561 days away.
Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., reintroduced a resolution Wednesday demanding that North Korea return the Pueblo, and he sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggesting she look into his proposed exchange.
“Since the USS Pueblo bears the name of the town of Pueblo, Colorado, many in our state want to see the vessel returned to its proper home,” Allard wrote. “North Korea continues to hint at the possible return of the captured U.S. Navy ship, and I ask that you take action at this opportune time.”
The Pueblo is the only active-duty U.S. warship in the hands of a foreign power. It was taken Jan. 23, 1968, after being sent defenseless on an intelligence-gathering mission off the North Korean coast.
Allard said Colorado veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars suggested exchanging the flag. It was captured from Korean Gen. Uh Je-yeon in an 1871 battle after American ships attempting to open Korea to trade invaded Kanghwa Island, outside Seoul. The flag is on display at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
As he called the Iraq War lost, Reid drew a parallel with former US president Lyndon Johnson who decided to deploy more troops in Vietnam some 40 years ago when 24,000 US troops had already been killed.
“Johnson did not want a war loss on his watch, so he surged in Vietnam. After the surge was over, we added 34,000 to the 24,000 who died in Vietnam,” Reid said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday the military fight in Iraq was “lost,” triggering an angry backlash by Republicans who said the top Democrat had turned his back on the troops.
The Supreme Court broke new ground yesterday in upholding federal restrictions on abortion, with President Bush’s two appointees joining a court majority that said Congress was exercising its license to “promote respect for life, including the life of the unborn.”
The court’s 5 to 4 decision upholding the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act passed by Congress in 2003 marked the first time justices have agreed that a specific abortion procedure could be banned. It was also the first time since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision of January 1973 that justices approved an abortion restriction that did not contain an exception for the health of the woman. It does, however, provide an exception to save the woman’s life.
One of the issues for Election 2008, only 565 days away.
The gunman responsible for the worst campus massacre in the country’s history purchased his guns legally.
Despite being temporarily detained at a mental health facility in 2005, Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui’s name was not added to the federal database meant to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining handguns because he was never formally committed to the facility, U.S. News’s Will Sullivan has learned.
Cho paid $571 for a 9 mm Glock 19 pistol just over a month ago, the owner of Roanoke Firearms told CNN Tuesday.
He also used a .22-caliber Walther pistol in the attack, police said.
John Markell said Cho was very low-key when he purchased the Glock and 50 rounds of ammunition with a credit card in an “unremarkable” purchase.
Cho presented three forms of identification and did not say why he wanted the gun, Markell said.
State police conducted an instant background check that probably took about a minute, the store owner said.
One of the issues for Election 2008, only 565 days away.
“LONDON — A member of Tony Blair’s Cabinet on Monday brought out into the open a quiet shift away from the U.S. view on combating extremist groups, acknowledging that British officials have stopped using the expression “war on terror” favored by President Bush.”
And perhaps those sailors and marines were just tourists gone astray.