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The Daily War Watch
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Winner, and New Champion...
October 12, 2001
by J B

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Bush knows how to get my attention.

He made a national speech during football.

This is the second time, too. That's some pretty tall arrogance, I tell you.

All right, before I get going, recently word traveled that Bob Novak had said that Islam is a wretched religion and had to be wiped from the earth. Buzz. Wrong! Novak knows about Islam and has been vigorously opposed to Iraq sanctions and bombings for years, on pure humanitarian grounds, and also on grounds of poisoning relations with Islam. He was making the point that he was hearing these rumblings (because, in his misguided if NOBLE way, he retains some sense of loyalty and respect for these harsher conservatives) and that he, himself, did not agree with them! He said you can't just go against a billion people like that when the vast majority were innocent, which is, bluntly, the truth, and an unpopular view among conservatives.

Novak may not be perfect, but when it comes to not being a religious nut, he is on good ground, so stop the Coulter comparisons, now! It's unfair and it's based on a mistake, and ascribing the words he quoted others as saying, to his own personal beliefs is flat out wrong. Coulter believes the crap she spouts. Novak was just the messenger. Stop shooting him! A true reporter informs, and he informed us that other people did think Islam should be wiped from the earth. This is a service to the People. More reporters should try informing the public. It's, you know, the whole point of reporting?

Anyway, the REAL news is that Cheney finally told Wolfowitz to shut the hell up.


That, ladies and gentlemen, is profound.

The first heavyweight matchup has been fought, and despite (because of?) Perle behaving like an ass on Crossfire, while getting a cheque from Rumsfeld's Department of Defense no less, publically undermining the Secretary of State, Powell has emerged as the clear and undisputed winner. Iraq can rest a bit easier. Afghanistan is our target this time, and the rest of the Islamic world is, specifically, not.

Honestly, it doesn't really make me feel better, considering Powell's shift on Russia's place in the world. Somehow, Putin is managing to make Bush and his people forget that the whole POINT of winning the Cold War was to permanently cripple Russia and to gradually shrink and shrink the box around it while Russia was still weak, something that Russia accused the US for years of doing, and something that was denied widely, except by people like, surprise surprise, Wolfowitz.

However, it is interesting to see that The Clan has decided enough was enough, and Cheney, the REAL power behind the throne, told him that enough was enough, and his services for neutralizing Powell were no longer necessary at this time. This is when the hawks know that they've been beaten and that it's time for a tactical retreat (i.e. hide from the media).

Other developments:

Pilots are talking of refusing to fly unless they become armed. They're actually fine with the specification that they be trained to fire by the FBI and would use the weapons only in an attempted breach of the cockpit. These pilots are saying that an overpowered air marshall would provide a new weapon to terrorists. They want to put an element of "fear, risk, and doubt" into the minds of terrorists. If that's the plan, fine and well, though they must realize that the chances that people will die unnecessarily are higher than normal due to the nervousness of pilots.

The only problem is logistical. Where in the world does the FBI find the time, manpower, and facilities to train these pilots? The FBI has undergone such a major expansion since the first World Trade Center attack under Louis Freeh that their own facilities are packed, last I heard, and throughout the entire United States, it's harder and harder to get any sort of weapons training done, almost anywhere, certainly in the Armed Forces. Bullet shortages and alternatives to good, old-fashioned target practice being glorified by the bureaucracy are still contributing to ridiculous shortages of live weapons fire.

Another story that came up is that Bin Laden has an eye for Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifles, good weapons which have many uses. This is the sort of purchase that a rich kid with a real eye for violence would make, and establishes that he is no dummy. It's precisely the sort of basic search for high quality but still relatively low cost weapon that I would do if I was a 'holy warrior.' This underlines how fighting in Afghanistan sucks.

The Taliban has changed its story so many times that I am recovering from intellectual whiplash.

More and more experts are coming out saying that we have to lose our civil liberties. Major anger at the House version of the anti-terror bill with a 2-year sunset provision because "There's no guarantee that terror will sunset in 2 years." That's not the damned point. Ugh.

This quote says it all...

"A senior Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from American and British vessels, including American submarines, in the Arabian Sea."

Do I need to add anything to this?

By the way, I don't regard pushing a button to fire an automated weapon that flies hundreds of miles away to strike a target without threat to American lives to be an act of courage. I just do not. I'm sorry, I can't see it as bravery. It may not be cowardice, but courage, how can it be?

Yes, Ari, I heard you, even though your words were stricken from the written record. Watch what I do, watch what I say. I am watching what I say. Stuff it, Ari. It's STILL not courage. I stand for my right to say so. If you don't like it, Ari, tough!

So the US has struck Afghanistan, and of course, we can't get any info on it, because it's a secret war except for intentional leaks? Well, at least it doesn't get in the way of my football. That's what's important, right?

Maybe I should get into football columns.

You know, it should be slim pickings for a War Watch column, but it hasn't been. So much for the secret war, huh?

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