"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Pray For Our Lads

It is rather disturbing to see that the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan claims to have captured a U.S. soldier from a special-forces unit. Our military has not acknowledged that anyone is missing but that may just mean that this was a top-secret operation with plausible deniability. If so, our boy is currently 'on his own' unless there is some behind-the-scenes negotiation (but with whom?).

Strangely enough, at precisely the same time, some Palestinian groups claim to have captured two Israeli soldiers, while the Israeli government denies that there are soldiers for whom it cannot account. This may also indicate that there was a mission of a clandestine nature. All terribly sad if true.

A flash of memory: when I served in the Israeli Army in 1991 (as a thirty-two-year-old American trying to become acclimated in a new country), my favorite duty was guarding the gate of the base. Many exciting 'nonexistent' missions began with clusters of soldiers buzzing busily near the gate and waiting for their signal to move.

8 comments:

Tlaloc said...

The Taliban? Gee I thought we had that all sown up so we could dash off to Iraq after their WMD?


At what point do the mounting incompetencies of this administration actualy become clear even to the peope who voted for it?

They screwed up alomost everything they've tried to do.

Bin Laden? Still free.

Anthrax Mailer? Never caught.

Afghanistan? Opium production up, women's rights still non-existent, warlords control most of the country and the Taliban is making a resurgence.

Iraq? Let's not even go there.

Saddam? Yeah they caught him, and now we're the ones trying to delay his trial so that his ties to our government don't come out in court. The Iraqis want to try him and we keep obstructing.

Social security? Bush's plan to solve the mess he created when he raided the fund by giving retiree money off to wall street is (fortunately) DOA.

The only things the administration has accomplished (Medicare, bankruptcy bill) have been huge give aways to the corporate sector at the expense of the people.

Why precisely do you support that?

Jay D. Homnick said...

The military is now acknowledging that they are searching for the missing men, and an unofficial report indicates that one of them has been located in a remote location, with efforts underway to reach him for rescue.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Without getting into the entire presentation made by Tlaloc, its good points much weakened by exaggerations and inaccuracies in the others, may I address the subject of the anthrax mailer?

Things like the efficacy of the FBI are not generally contingent upon which President is in power. The Waco debacle and the Elian Gonzalez capture can be fairly laid at the foot of the Clinton Administration. Those involved public executive decisions that were essentially handled by the President himself, despite his cowardly denial after Waco.

However, I don't blame Clinton for the fact that we still have not caught the people who sabotaged the Amtrak tracks in Arizona early in his administration and caused a deadly derailment. At the time, he emerged with the usual grim cast to his face that all Presidents use in these moments. With the clenched Marlboro Man jaw he promised that the nation that those responsible would pay the price.

Well, good luck with that. Republican and Democrat administrations came and went for eighteen years, but the Unabomber was only caught when his brother figured it out and told the authorities.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this will turn into another Jessica Lynch-style propaganda rescue.

Tlaloc said...

"Things like the efficacy of the FBI are not generally contingent upon which President is in power."

That depends. IF the sitting president wants a case to be focused on you can bet it'll get a lot more focus. When was the last time you heard Bush mention the Anthrax mailer? I'm betting not since he started the war in Iraq. It's no longer politically expedient so he doesn't care.

A GENUINE case of a chemical weapon used on our own shores and he goes galavanting off to look for mythical stockpiles in Iraq? Doesn't this strike you a little odd?

Jay D. Homnick said...

it struck me as odd when Clinton forgot the Arizona derailment, a case of terrorism on our own shores.

In fact, most people need a Google search or something to even recall that entire event; it disappeared from the public consciousness, just like the anthrax.

I think that the dynamic works the other way. Whatever the FBI has success with, the President mentins.

Tlaloc said...

"it struck me as odd when Clinton forgot the Arizona derailment, a case of terrorism on our own shores."

Clinton didn't pin his entire presidency on a War on Terror. Bush has. Clinton didn't invade a foreign nation to catch their supply of train derailers.

If he had though the comparison would be apt.

Again isn't it odd that Bush focuses so hard on rumors of WMD in other countries instead of evidence of their use here at home?

Jay D. Homnick said...

Well, I don't extrapolate from it as you do, but I certainly agree that the fact that the anthrax mailer has never been caught is profoundly disturbing. It is an indictment against our Federal law-enforcement apparatus.

And ruining the life of that Hatfield guy without charging him repeated the pattern begun with Richard Jewell in the Olympic bombing. The truth is that the only reason that they ever realized that Eric Rudolph did the Olympic bombing is because he called attention to himself later by bombing abortion clinics.

So should we sleep easy in our beds knowing that the FBI always gets its man? The answer is (no matter which party is running the Executive branch): nah!