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Iraq: Like a Bridge Over Troubled Surges

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News is taking a slight vacation in a week that did not precipitate the volume of top stories, as in weeks past. Nevertheless, the economy again dominates the news. However, the outlook is upbeat and a little lighter on the Dow Jones front for a number of reasons. With the federal government stoking the economic fires with paper money, and a relief in interest rates, the Dow rallied and a recession was possibly averted. Recession would not be good news for Republicans on the stomp. What happens on Wall Street affects candidates, politicians, and people on the street, and those living in homes that are nearing foreclosure. The predictions for the feds continually cutting prime rate is unlikely.

Because the world nears the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's demise, voila — instant top news, albeit not local politics. Diana is no longer enigmatic but mythic. Forget fame, this woman has approached apotheosis. Her death’s impact compared to that of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, including the conglomerate of conspiracy theories. The other biggest story was that of the bed-shaking 8+ on the Richter scale earthquake in Peru. A tsunami averted, no thanks to local politicians.

Iraq: Front and Center

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” Democratic Congress could be singing if September reports on the surge are not good. The “surge sucks” is likely the buzzword around the Hill. The “surgees” (soldiers) are not the problem — but the “Surger’s” surge order, that is the problem. In addition, the report of its effectiveness is due by the middle of September. If the surge is not working then he must implement new strategies for Iraq. The clamor and the invocations are already making strong cases that pullout should begin unequivocally sometime in December, near Christmas.

Will there be civil war and extreme-faction violence when the U.S. military departs? No doubt, absolutely, are the predictions. Is this because Bush finally likened Iraq to Viet Nam? No, because there are historical precedents for this scenario to play itself out, without missing a beat. It will be messy, people, so prepare yourselves for that. Will it end in Israel being attacked and/or destroyed? That must be on some military minds because aid to Israel increased recently with a promise of $30 million dollars during the next decade.

Bush was advised this week by armchair scholars, who think that he sorely needs to read a book or two about military history and Viet Nam. He does not know squat about it obviously, despite his bold statement about U.S. departure (a reversal of thinking) and during a press conference comparing the two wars: “The price (of withdrawal) paid by millions of innocent citizens, whose agony would add new terms to our vocabulary like boat people, re-education camps, and killing fields.” (Translation: these terms never would have been coined had we not left Viet Nam.) Yes, civil war is inevitable if we glance at the history of partitions and of empires pumped up by world powers (such as Great Britain, France, and the U.S.) before, during, and after past and present planned pullouts. Will the world see the domino effect, or will history repeat itself? Stay tuned.

Bridge over Iraq?

President Bush did not waste words when he pledged the bridge in Minneapolis will be rebuilt by the time of the GOP convention there in the fall of 2008, just about one year to date. What is a higher priority, shaky bridges or shaky surges? Will he stand on or near that bridge, probably later, for the same photo op speech made in Jackson Square after Hurricane Katrina? Will white Minneapolis get its bridge while black New Orleans has to live on its bridges?

Will Vick Be Back as Quarterback?

Michael Vick was once again in the news. He has entered a guilty plea, made an apology, and black celebrities are getting in his corner – activists playing the race card – while the backlash intensified in light of his deep involvement with the violence, torture and death of dogs kept at his home for the purpose of dog fighting, which is illegal in this country. He is looking at a year in prison. If he squeals or snitches on other top dog-ring leaders, he could get a reduced sentence. Will he wrap his biceps around another pigskin? Probably so, and will once again be paid millions to do so. Will Bush build a bridge too soon over Minneapolis in time for the GOP to cross it for convention-time? Probably not.

Just when the week was weak with news, Alberto Gonzales finally resigns. Heloise predicted that would be coming in the wake of the Rove resignation and the call for those not staying to leave by Labor Day.

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  • Doug Hunter

    “Will white Minneapolis get its bridge while black New Orleans has to live on its bridges?”

    I don’t think race is a factor here. A corrupt local government and a population of welfare leeches has managed to burn through $100 Billon+ in relief aid and are still bitching. No amount of money can help those who refuse to help themselves.

  • Zedd


    You cant use the words Black or White. You have to suggest negative stereotypes or create new images of sadness, death, destruction, loss and hopelessness to portray Blacks and hopeful, heroic, innovative, images of darn near omniscience to reflect Whites.

    Com on, you know the rules. Please make sure to get that correct next time.

  • Ray Ellis

    Not to split hairs, but the Minneapolis bridge collapse severely impacted a neighborhood comprised largely of Somalian immigrants who depended on it day to day. Minneapolis ain’t that white, after all.

  • Clavos


    My sister lives in Eden Prairie, so when you said Minneapolis wasn’t so white, I HAD to do some research. I go there a couple of times a year, and invariably tease my sister (a rabid progressive) for living in an almost totally vanilla city. She always brings up the Somalis (and lately, Mexicans) as proof of their diversity. Coming from Miami, I’m not impressed.

    Here then are the data, from the Census Bureau:

    Minneapolis proper has a population of 383,000, and is 65% white.

    However, Hennepin County, which comprises the metropolitan area of the Minneapolis side of the Twin Cities, has a population of 1.22 million and is 85% white.

    Dakota county (St. Paul) has a population of 388,000, of which 89.9% are white.

    I’d say Minneapolis is a very white city.

  • Clavos


    One more tidbit:

    Miami-Dade county, has a population of 2.4 million, of which 18.6% are non-Hispanic whites.

  • Ray Ellis

    Duly noted, Clavos. I made that comment tongue planted firmly in cheek, only to stress my contention that these kind of things are not a racial issue.

  • Zedd


    Nothing ever is a racial issue at present. Its only after 30yrs or more that we see it as such.

  • REMF

    “A corrupt local government and a population of welfare leeches has managed to burn through $100 Billon+ in relief aid and are still bitching. No amount of money can help those who refuse to help themselves.”

    This may or may not be true, but it’s still more than 1/4 less than the $447.9 billion we’ve poured into that shithole of Iraq. Not to mention the 3,500 KIA and 19,000 WIA…

  • Clavos

    True, but irrelevant to Doug’s point, emmy.

  • bliffle

    It’s actually about $114billion, and it’s very difficult to find out where the money is going, except that very little is getting to smalltime end-users. For example, Mississippi got about $3billion for direct grants (capped at $150k) for rebuilding homes and only 3 or 4 had been granted as of a couple months ago. Louisiana got about $12billion and a couple dozen homeowners got grants. Where did the rest of the money go?