Friday, February 29. 2008
Three items from the Wichita Eagle this week.
Feb. 28: "Israelis retaliate with attack on Hamas in Gaza":
Israel has used Palestinian rocket attacks to justify collective punishment of Gaza, targeted assassinations, and random retaliation, so they must be pleased that Hamas has so indulged them. As the cycle makes clear, neither preŽmptive attacks nor retaliation prevent the rockets. The only thing that has worked has been a cease fire, which Hamas had in place until they wearied of unanswered Israeli attacks. What's notable about this piece is that it at least offers a bit of context, showing the rocket attack as a response to an Israeli attack. The arithmetic is still a bit of a problem: the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in this 24-hour period was 30.
Also in Feb. 27 issue, a piece by Kevin G. Hall (McClatchy Newspapers) called "Highest cost of war yet to come", about the new book, The Three Trillion Dollar War, by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes. Note the White House response:
Courage? That seems all the more kneejerk because it has no conceivable relevance, unless Fratto means his dogged conviction to ignore the consequences of the war regardless of cost. I have no idea how to calculate the "cost of failure," but if such were possible Stiglitz should add it to his $3 trillion baseline, because failure is one of the few things that seems assured.
The "cost of doing nothing" is more hypothetical because we didn't do nothing. What would have happened had we not responded to 9/11 with Bush's Crusade is open to debate, but whatever it is would have to be gauged against the $3 trillion baseline -- Stiglitz's scenarios go up to $7 trillion, and he probably hasn't factored in the full 100 years McCain is hoping for.
The Feb. 27 Wichita Eagle had an article by Jonathan S. Landay (McClatchy Newspapers) called "Pakistan to try talks, not fighting":
A dangerous idea, sure to be anathema to Al-Qaeda and the US alike. They are, after all, so much alike.
William F. Buckley, Jr., died, age 82. His father made a fortune in Mexican oil, so he was born rich, a beneficiary of US imperialism. He spent his whole long life defending his class and race, extolling his religion, and promoting the militarism and imperialism that made his pampered life possible. Or at least until recently, when the Iraq war got to be a bit much, even for him.