Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Dickie's Quickies

From the world of crisis and politics: The Guardian is asking the question, Are We Going To War With Iran? The answer is maybe.

A new war may not be as politically disastrous in Washington as many believe. Scott Ritter, the whistleblowing former UN weapons inspector, points out that few in the Democratic party will stand in the way of the destruction of those who conducted the infamous Tehran embassy siege that ended Jimmy Carter's presidency. Mr Ritter is one of the US analysts, along with Seymour Hersh, who have led the allegations that Washington is going to war with Iran.

For an embattled President Bush, combating the mullahs of Tehran may be a useful means of diverting attention from Iraq and reestablishing control of the Republican party prior to next year's congressional elections. From this perspective, even an escalating conflict would rally the nation behind a war president. As for the succession to President Bush, Bob Woodward has named Mr Cheney as a likely candidate, a step that would be easier in a wartime atmosphere. Mr Cheney would doubtless point out that US military spending, while huge compared to other nations, is at a far lower percentage of gross domestic product than during the Reagan years. With regard to Mr Blair's position, it would be helpful to know whether he has committed Britain to preventing an Iranian bomb "come what may" as he did with Iraq.

Assuming, of course, that Mr. Cheney doesn't go all Agnew on us (we can only hope).

Another story in The Guardian today points out that one of the most helpful groups providing relief to earthquake survivors in Pakistan is an extremist group.

But Jamaat-ud-Dawa is not only in the aid business. It is widely seen as a fundraising front for Lashkar-i-Taiba, one of the largest militant groups fighting Indian troops in disputed Kashmir. Banned by the Pakistani government in January 2002, some of Lashkar's senior members have been linked to al-Qaida.

Finally, from a more amusing perspective, Horton Hears A Heart by Edgar Allan Seuss.

His manner was pleasant; his tone, quite humane,
But something about him did things to my brain.
It wasn't his eggs that made my temper fly,
Not the plate, not the spam - I think it was his Eye!

His sinister orb was most eerily green,
Like his grass-colored eggs; O how vile, how obscene!
That stare seemed to make my flesh crawl and blood chill
And I knew right away - it is Sam I must kill!

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