I am finding it hard to come up with topics to write about these days; we seem to be at some sort of political hiatus, waiting for some things to end, some things to begin. In addition, I really do not like to comment on the various ‘scandels du jour’ that appear on the media radar; invariably, they mean nothing, and disappear within a few short days.
Thus, I thought I would give some brief summaries and commentaries on what is happening, and hope y’all will be satisfied with that.
It is fairly easy to determine how stands the situation in Iraq, by viewing the local media; if the situation in Iraq is bad, there are newspaper headlines daily, with lurid photos of our defeats. If there is little or no news from Iraq, we are doing ok. Well, the headlines in the newspapers are virtually silent about Iraq, so we must be doing well, right?
Right. We are not at the point where we are pursuing a fleeing enemy, but we are getting close to that point. In fact, the enemies of the Iraqi democracy are generally falling apart. Al Qaeda, over the past few months, developed the dubious strategy of killing the leaders of its prime base, the Sunni population, if they disagreed with the al Qaeda agenda. This has brought the Sunni population in opposition to al Qaeda, and forced a break with a significant portion of al Qaeda’s strength, in the ‘Islamic Army in Iraq,’ which may, in fact, be working with local tribesmen to eliminate al Qaeda. This does not mean that the Islamic Army in Iraq is now our friend, but when your enemy is fighting with each other, that is good news for you.
In addition, the biggest Shi’ite opposition to the Democratic Government in Iraq, the Mahdi Army, headed by Mukhtada al Sadr is in complete disarray. Sadr, and most of his lieutenants, have fled to Iran, in front of the new surge of American troops, and the local forces have been ordered not to resist the new crackdown in Baghdad…and that crackdown is looking for Mahdi leaders.
All in all, with the enemy squabbling amongst themselves, violence in Baghdad way down (over 80% less violence), and most of the country pacified under Iraqi army control, we are doing well in Iraq. You won’t hear this from the media…it is their worst nightmare, but we could be talking about bringing troops home by the end of this year. That is my prediction, no one else’s, but I am very hopeful.
This is a rather interesting story…not because of the controversy, itself, but more about why it was a controversy in the first place.
Don Imus, during his April 4th broadcast, made an off-hand remark, in talking about the woman’s basketball team of Rutger’s (New Jersey) college. It was a silly comment, about certain black facial characteristics, and the possible side jobs of these girls, and, from the context, was obviously an attempt to establish their ‘street creds,’ i.e. a comment similar to calling them homeboys.
The point to keep in mind is that Don Imus does not have a large listenership. In fact, he has a very small market share. Even with that, there were no protests among his radio listeners or television viewers about his comments. They were ignored, until the clip hit You Tube…and then, suddenly, the story was big news. It was picked up by the Independent Media Center, a George Soros funded front for the Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party, and, from there, hit the major media.
We all know what the result was; Imus spent two weeks on his knees, apologizing to everyone who would give him a microphone and, after his utter debasement, he was fired by NBC.
The question arises as to who was pushing this, and why. It was not what he said; you hear the same racial language (worse, actually) a hundred times a day if you listen to the top 100 most popular rap songs today. Don Imus is a Liberal Left-Wing commentator, who supported John Kerry in the last election, and was against the Iraq War. He was known for giving air time to virtually any Liberal politician who wanted it from him. While his language was always, shall we say, ‘salty,’ no one ever objected before…but, suddenly, like wolves circling a wounded member of their pack, the Left turned on him. It was an ugly, vicious, surgical political whacking.
One possible clue to this can be seen here. “On Imus in the Morning, Don Imus referred to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as “Satan” 11 times, once calling her “that buck-tooth witch… Imus was not on the Hillary bandwagon….and the Clintons could not accept that. Odds are, from the perspective of my chair, that this was a Clinton hit job on a media man who could not be trusted. We might never know, for sure, but it has all the hallmarks of the Clinton machine.
Rush Limbaugh predicts that Hillary Clinton has an 80% chance of being our next President. While he does not give an idea of how he came by that prediction, one should take it in conjunction with what was said above; her husband managed to come from being unknown Arkansas governor to the Presidency. One would be foolish to underestimate the monumental political skills involved in that feat.
Barack Obama has no chance of becoming President; his Moslem background and total lack of experience are only a few of the reasons why that is so. In fact, one has to wonder why he is even being considered…and if one put ones mind to it, and believed in conspiracies, one could speculate that Obama is a perfect fall guy for the Clintons. Hillary needs a strong opponent to defend herself against, and Obama is perfect for this role. She can beat him hands down but, meanwhile, she looks as if she is fighting a tough campaign against a worthy opponent.
As for the Republicans, I was initially optimistic about all of the front-running candidates; they would all make decent Presidents, but each seems to be falling by the wayside. Besides Rudi Giuliani’s personal problems, his personality is angering many. Mitt Romney is not catching people’s imaginations, and John McCain probably cannot even get nominated. He has aggravated too many Republicans.
That leaves the field open for a dark horse candidate, and there are more than a few out there. Go here for a complete listing of those announced, and those who have not yet announced, but are considered. I am looking closely at Tom Tancredo, for his immigration stand, and Mike Huckabee, for his strong defense positions. I would love a ticket with both these names.
Fortunately, we have 18 months to decide, plenty of time to get to know everyone involved.