With all the turmoil and shouting around here, you may have missed the turmoil and shouting going on in Europe. Here’s a sample.
A new U.S. intelligence review concluding Iran stopped developing an atomic weapons program in 2003 is a “declaration of victory” for Iran’s nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday.
Russia’s foreign minister, meanwhile, indicated that the U.S. report’s findings undermined Washington’s push for a new set of U.N. sanctions against Iran.
The U.S. intelligence report released Monday concluded that Iran had stopped its weapons program in late 2003 and shown no signs since of resuming it, representing a sharp turnaround from a previous intelligence assessment in 2005.
“This is a declaration of victory for the Iranian nation against the world powers over the nuclear issue,” Ahmadinejad told thousands of people during a visit to Ilam province in western Iran.
“This was a final shot to those who, in the past several years, spread a sense of threat and concern in the world through lies of nuclear weapons,” Ahmadinejad said, drawing celebratory whistles from the crowd.
17 March, 2003 – US President George W Bush gives Saddam Hussein and his sons 48 hours to leave Iraq or face war.
20 March, 2003 – American missiles hit targets in Baghdad, marking the start of a US-led campaign to topple Saddam Hussein.
In the following days US and British ground troops enter Iraq from the south.
9 April, 2003 – In Baghdad, a symbol of Saddam’s power tumbles.
14 December, 2003 – Saddam Hussein captured in Tikrit.
Almost anybody, living next door, would have thought very seriously about locking away their weapons program. Keep all the parts and pieces, though; things may change up the road a bit.
As for Ahmadinejad, he clearly likes it up there on the high wire, and he is undoubtedly positioning himself for his next election.
He was declaring victory for himself, and then generously sharing it with those who will, hopefully, return him to office in that next election.
Americans on both sides of the aisle should be bitterly angry today.
A United States Congressman stood on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday and said that kids are being sent “to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president`s amusement.”
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the three evening news programs of America’s top broadcast networks didn’t feel this despicable act was important enough to share with the citizens of our nation.
Read more here.
Well, he did manage to make it onto today’s front page in a local paper near his district.
And he is no stranger to controversy.
A spoiled child is undisciplined, manipulative, and unpleasant to be with much of the time. He behaves in many of the following ways by the time he is 2 or 3 years old:
* Doesn’t follow rules or cooperate with suggestions.
* Doesn’t respond to “no,” “stop,” or other commands.
* Protests everything.
* Doesn’t know the difference between his needs and his wishes.
* Insists on having his own way.
* Makes unfair or excessive demands on others.
* Doesn’t respect other people’s rights.
* Tries to control people.
* Has a low tolerance for frustration.
* Frequently whines or throws tantrums.
* Constantly complains about being bored.
Something to think about during the Electoral Follies.
Although party floor leadership posts carry great responsibility, they provide few specific powers. Instead, floor leaders have largely had to depend on their individual skill, intelligence, and personality. Majority leaders seek to balance the needs of senators of both parties to express their views fully on a bill with the pressures to move the bill as quickly as possible toward enactment. These conflicting demands have required majority leaders to develop skills in compromise, accommodation, and diplomacy. Lyndon Johnson, who held the post in the 1950s, once said that the greatest power of the majority leader was “the power of persuasion.” (Emphasis added.)
That’s not what’s on the tube these days, is it?
There’s precious little compromise, accommodation, and diplomacy going on in the Senate.
Is the Majority Leader in thrall to some power behind the curtain?
Is he just taking the tickets while Someone Else drives the bus?
Inquiring minds want to know. And the rest of us, too.
Psychologists probably have a name for it: a group of people acting together in some task and failing, but continuing to repeat the process over and over.
Why don’t they give up and do something else? The thing they are trying to do may be the only thing they have in common, and they don’t really agree with each other about anything else.
There they are, the new leaders on the Hill, hammering away at the one issue they believe they have in common: the war.
It costs money to keep the House and Senate running every day, whether they produce or not. No benchmarks on them, except earmarks, which evidently don’t count.
Just how much patience will the voters have, confronted with all this? Perhaps not as much as the new leaders expected.
And there are the military folks, wondering if their needs will be met. They are voters too, if their ballots are counted. They have long memories; ask the nearest Nam vet.
Let’s see a show of hands.
How many are really looking forward to another twenty months of this so-called 2008 election campaign?
Thought so. You’re not alone.
Someone has noted that Jack Bauer will have completed his current “24″ hour day, and then a second “day” before all this comes down to the vote that elects our next President on November 4, 2008.
Then, of course, the whole contest might not end on Election Day.
Lets see another show of hands.
How many would like separate TV channels for election news?
You have to watch where you walk on Capitol Hill these days.
There seems to be another scrum up there about who is going to say what and when, and in which hearings.
But after all the confetti and ticker tape has been swept away from the halls and committee rooms, what will the result be?
Imagine that, on the other side of the world, an aide to a Jihadi leader sits watching CSPAN and various news channels, and poring over the writings of reporters and commentators across the web.
In a few hours, he has to go in to his boss and try to explain what is happening here and what its effect might be on them. And he will probably have to translate it all into another language.
What is he going to say?
Our guess: “It will all die down when Pelosi gets her airplane.”
Considering all the hoopla raging on several fronts, has anybody who could be considered a reliable source stepped forward with convincing evidence that those pictures of Saddam’s hanging are legit?
Iranian President Ahmadinejad is just where he likes to be: in the center of the daily news. If you watch him, he seems to enjoy being there. Is he smiling? Are you smiling back?
Think about it. Would you buy a used car from him? Is he capable of running a con on several levels?
Why doesn’t he want the UN inspectors to come in and look at his nuclear industry?
Sure, he could be preparing to build a nuclear bomb or three. That’s scary enough to capture our undivided attention.
There might be another possibility. Maybe he is really the Wizard of Oz, and if the inspectors came in, they would only find an old man with a megaphone behind the screen.
Clearly we should treat this as the serious threat that it is, but as we proceed, we should remember the yellow brick road.
There is no letup in sight on the Hill. On the day after election day, we will immediately start the campaign for the next election. We used to drop out of “election mode” after elections and get some law-making done in Congress. But not these days.
How can we get something done up there?
How much does it cost us to run our Congress per day? Does anybody believe the taxpayers are getting their money’s worth out of that legislative body?
One group of taxpayers that are probably enjoying all this: those who think that, in government, less is better than more.
It’s something to think about.