Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Now, Let's Really Support the Troops

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
The above is from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade”. I remember reading it as a young man and feeling so proud of the men who faced the cannons without hesitation. I remember thinking how could such inept leaders command such brave men. My admiration quickly turned into dismay as they were cut down one after another. Here we are today sending our own brave men into the valley of Iraq when it is clear that it is now time to talk to all parties as suggested by the Baker / Hamilton Iraq study group and to stop sending men into cannons and IED’s. Why does “support the troops,” mean that the troops have to be like the Light Brigade? It is time to be smart about Iraq. The war was over a long time ago; we won. It is now a failed occupation. Demand that we talk to all parties and move the troops out of the fire of the cannons. Just because our leaders blunder’d is no excuse for us to be complacent

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Novak to Plame to Cheney

One of the last appearances I remember of Robert Novak was him coming under fire on “The McLaughlin Group” right after his column on Wilson and Plame appeared in print. McLaughlin took Novak to task for writing the piece. McLaughlin argued that because Novak was a senior newsman he should know better than to print sensitive information about intelligence people, facts like their names and names of their family. Novak was unrepentant and argued that he had the information from some very high white house contacts. For years the press was quiet on this story. I remember bringing it up at every chance I got because I knew there were chapters of this that would have to go all the way to the top of the administration. This is the secret presidency, the closed mouth, disciplined administration the White House that is in total control in short, no free agents who take matters into their own hands. So it had to be Bush or Cheney who initiated this scam. What is ironic is GWB’s father, former President George HW Bush when he was director of the CIA had gone ballistic over the outing of CIA agents by some double agents who were discovered after the fact. The incident lead to Congress writing a tough new law making it a felony to reveal the identity of a CIA agent. One could certainly make the case that outing Valerie Plame rises to high crimes and misdemeanors and should in and of itself be enough to impeach a vice president and a president. Perhaps Robert Novak can do some investigative reporting uncover the details of how the President and Vice President authored this disgraceful chapter and serve the public once again rather than his friends in high places.