After stumbling out of bed just before 5pm, I decided to make it an easy Saturday. Grocery shopping for some much-needed items like ginger, olive oil, tofu, rice milk, bananas, and bread. And Nescafé. Yes, I know it's not gourmet coffee. But a year in Latin America teaches you to appreciate the smooth sweet beverage.
Heated up some Nescafé. Then made myself a simple sandwich w/ Lorraine cheese, clover sprouts, Plochman's stone ground mustard, and sun-drired tomato pesto. Yum.
Late tonight I'll hole up Fourth Coast & grade some essays.
BTW. There's some joking about Kerry's "global test" comment in the debate. Here's an online version of that test (automatically pass if you take it in French). Interestingly, Bush is still up in electoral college predictions after the debate; but Kerry's up again (by 6%) in Michigan.
Posted by Miguel at 07:59 PM
Too much has been made of the "global test" statement. It's my understanding that Kerry only meant that the U.S needs some global support, or at least assent/abstention, even only from major allies, when initiating a war to defend the U.S. Clearly he did not mean that U.S. Pres should subjugate security decisions to world approval - that would be stupid.
Characterizing Kerry's "global test" stmt as deliberate subjection of American security to world approval is simply spin, spin, spin.
In any case, I've seen what has come of the imminent danger Iraq posed to the U.S. It's my opinion that Bush failed to recognize the prudence in allies' outcry over the U.S. invading Iraq, which was too early. I want a more prudent, diplomatic president, not a jumpy cowboy with a new gun.
Posted by: T'su Rii at October 3, 2004 02:27 PM
Oh, it's clearly spin. But all politics is about spin; the Dems spin Bush's statements as much as the GOP spins Kerry's statements.
And I'm still not convinced that Iraq was/is a failure. And the "prudence" of our "allies" is questionable. France, et al, were in cahoots w/ Saddam's regime -- as the oil-for-food scandal's making painfully clear. Heck, even Kofi was in on it. Since the end of the Cold War, the concept of firm alliances is extremely questionable. Everything from now on is an ad hoc affair. And, besides, France was rarely on our side even during the Cold War.
Posted by: Miguel at October 3, 2004 06:26 PM
Yeah, France's motivation was definitely suspect. but it wasn't just France - it was also Germany and many other tradional allies.
But it seems to me that there were real issues that needed to be resolved before invading that weren't.
I also agree that the Dems spin pretty much everything Bush says. Total agreement. But the stmt you made was about the "global test", and I had just read a NYC article about the way in which both sides are spin-crazy, which lead to my comment.
I suppose that one's definition of "failure" is dispositive of whether the war is one. I guess I'm having trouble seeing success where American troops are being killed and maimed, gaggles of Iraqi civilians killed and maimed, billions of bucks funneled into the war effort, when it appears the effort could've been handled more multilaterally. I'm not saying war in Iraq wasn't called for, all I'm saying is that the timing and cowboy-shoot-em-up hardnosed unilateralist position taken by Bush wasn't the best way to go.
Posted by: T'su Rii at October 3, 2004 06:40 PM
See, part of the problem is the difference in how the Iraq is placed in context. Many see it as a "distraction" from the war on terror & al Qaeda. But that assumes that we're not in a war on terror, but on a war against al Qaeda.
If we're going to deal w/ the underlying issues that make groups like al Qaeda exist, and exist effectively, we have to deal w/ the kinds of regimes that support & encourage them. Clearly, Iraq was ONE of them. There are, of course, others. But the situation in Iraq has shown them: A) we mean business, B) they're not safe, C) democracy will come to the region.
Yes, the casualties are regrettable. Just as in Afghanistcan. But will it be worth it? I remember when lefties were willing to put up w/ bloody revolutions for a future "greater good". When did that change?
And as for our allies & support. How many didn't actually support us? The UK, Australia, Denmark, Japan, Poland, Spain, Italy, South Korea, and a host of other regimes sent support for the war effort. Few were missing. France & Germany have been trying to build a counter-pole to the US for years. Russia is not really an "ally" -- neither is China. In the end, more NATO powers supported the effort than opposed it.
Posted by: Miguel at October 3, 2004 06:58 PM
It was JFK who said, during his innaguration:
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
I see Iraq as part of that tradition. And I think if we're not willing to "bear any burden, pay any price" then we should say so. We should just say we believe in human rights, but only to a point. We should just say we believe in spreading democracy, but only if it doesn't hurt us. That's crap.
Posted by: Miguel at October 3, 2004 07:05 PM