Thursday, June 03, 2004
"I'm doing alright for Country Trash." Johnny Cash
“Memories strike home, like slaps in the face….” Philip Larkin
"If most people were born twice, they'd improbably call it dying." ee cummings
"books...like broken glass:
I wouldn't wipe my ass with 'em
yet, it's getting
darker, see?" --Charles Bukowski
-----------------------A Ship Is Never Run As Tight As When It Is Swimming In A Bottle
There's something to be said when "the most secretive administration" in recent times gets its pants pulled down by an Iraqi opportunist on their pay bill, leaks a cia operative's name to the press, and has its CIA chief resign now instead of waiting for the elections. I would be inclined to think "secretive" and "sloppy" would be a match made in Hell, but then I would have to accept the consequences of "secretive" and "effective". This, though desired in the intelligence realm, may in fact be infinitely worse in the sphere of policy management.
Personal reasons, of course. If one thing is clear, its that Tenet didn't want to exit with the usual cabinet-shuffling during elections. He made a stand (either by ego, or principle). Its hard to come to a conclusion other than that. As to whether he was ordered to resign at this date by the administration, I find it hard to believe. If that was the case, it was a huge risk at best and a retarded move otherwise.
Notice that he thanked the President personally, but did not extend the thanks to the other "wonderful men and women" in the adminstration or cabinet. Maybe its not a big deal, but the speech was all about family--CIA and otherwise--not about W or WH. He talked more about partying with his son and instant messaging his friends than he did about the President.
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
-----------------------Slate's Kurdish Sell-out Watch
A couple of weeks after Fred Kaplan's Kurdistan-Turkish invasion remark (see May 5th below), Slate finally began to realize that Turkey wasn't as deluded as pundits have claimed (see the Torque for alternative commentary). The problem is this has been apparent since the Irbil bombings at the beginning of the year. At that point it was also reported that the terror brought the two parties closer together. The Iraqi Kurds had previously mantained that Turkey has only been interested in them in light of the fight against the PKK separatists. Otherwise, Ankara ignored them. This was a valid complaint. The Turkish Daily News also reported that a "senior Kurdish official" admitted that they appreciated Turkey's consistent frankness, saying that Ankara had always told them what they liked or didn't like in a direct manner. This seemed like a slight directed at the US at the time. As good as the cooling down of Iraqi Kurd and Turkish relations look, the unpleasant truth is that these relations are dependent on increasing terror attacks against Iraqi Kurds. Such a basis for an improvement in relations is not to be cheered.
What's also clear is that more and more news organisations are losing the ability to take the pulse of the countries and populations that are involved in the war on you-know-what. It's almost as if they're taking what droplets of information they have and extrapolating it into luscious waterfalls.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
-----------------------New York Times Lameness
They reported the attack took place in a "Saudi Oil Area" which is the last thing Oasis compound or Khobar itself actually is. Its a normal city where everyone's job is indirectly or directly related to oil. The only way an attack wouldn't be considered in an "Oil Area" in Saudi Arabia is if it took place in the middle of the desert. Even then it would be dubious. An attack in an "Oil Area" would be sneaking into Aramco and putting explosives in the fields. This is a by-the-book shoot up.
The Muttawa comes through again:
Three others escaped, as they always do, because that is how it is foretold in the old prophesy from the Sage of Riyadh
"Tho' many be surrounded,
and the surrounding be complete,
all shall escape
but the one with bad feet".