In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Monday, July 22, 2024

American unprepared for ‘big’ war

Nearly four years in Iraq have hammered US army and marines into a skilled counter-insurgency force but has left it unready for war against a conventionally armed foe, US generals warn.

Arguing for big budget increases and more troops, leaders of both military services have made the case in recent days that the US military faces greater risk today if it is called to respond to another major conflict.

“What we are developing right now is the best counterinsurgency force in the world, both army and marine,” General James Conway, commandant of the marine corps, told lawmakers Tuesday.

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How Iraq has become another Vietnam

Another Vietnam? Defenders of President Bush’s Iraq war policy have long shrugged off such comparisons. But as the war heads toward the four-year mark and a newly empowered Democratic Congress takes aim at presidential spending for more troops, the comparisons are becoming more frequent.

Despite President Bush’s State of the Union appeal for Congress to give his new war strategy a chance, congressional Democrats joined by some Republicans are forging ahead with a resolution opposing Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq.

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Hillary weaves a political web


Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton wants to apply her successful “listening tour” of New York voters to national politics via the Internet, a venture that could prove just how powerful the Web will be in the 2008 race for the White House.

Clinton, like Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Barack Obama, former Sen. John Edwards and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, used the Web to announce her plans, saying: “I’m in. And I’m in to win.”

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Airlines still face terrorist threat

Airliners flying to and from the United States are still at risk of being hijacked by terrorists, more than five years after the September 11 attacks, a US government auditor warned.

Government efforts have made great progress in securing commercial aviation since the 2001 strikes, but the industry remains a high-risk target, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said.

Vulnerable areas include the process of matching names of possible terrorists to passenger lists, and authorities need to invest in more high-tech methods for detecting explosives in baggage, the report said.

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Paving the way towards energy security

You don’t have to be a military strategist on the order of Sun Tzu or Carl von Clausewitz to understand this: It is a bad idea to fund your enemy’s war effort.

But every time we fill the tanks of our cars with gasoline we put money in the pockets of terrorists intent on killing Americans.

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Is Bill Richardson the new Al Gore?


Toward the end of the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President Al Gore lists six measures for reversing global warming. When they are applied, he says, climate change can be brought back to 1970 levels.

“We have everything we need, save perhaps political will,” he says, and adds, “But, you know what? American political will is a renewable resource.”

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Latinas must make a choice

A documented characteristic of Hispanic voters is that no one political party can really claim us as all its own. For Latinos, it’s never totally been about the elephant or the donkey, as it has been about the man.

Now, it is also about the (begin italics) mujer (end italics).

With Hillary Rodham Clinton joining the ranks of presidential wannabes, the race didn’t just get interesting for Democratic voters — it got hard for Latina Democratic voters.

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Hillary and the homemaker factor


So Hillary’s “in” for now. But can she win and, most importantly, can she win votes from women? Her announcement last week drew the expected scads of media coverage, but there’s been very little media discussion of perhaps the most important question swirling around her campaign: Can the first female candidate with a serious shot at winning the White House garner the votes of female voters?

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The Big Speech

In a sense, the president’s State of the Union address — SOTU, in our acronym-besotted age — is a throwback to an earlier era in American politics when politicians were expected to make big speeches.

But, for good or ill, our attention spans are shorter, our boredom threshold is lower and we would not sit still for, say, William Jennings Bryan’s famed and overwrought “Cross of Gold” speech, whose 110th anniversary we celebrate this year.

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For men’s eyes only


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I am requesting that women skip my column today because I have something to discuss with men, and it is best said confidentially.

(I promise to return next week with a more inclusive column that may feature a recipe to win back the affection of the ladies, perhaps Dead Things in a Sauce, always a popular dish in the colder weather.)

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