Sunday, July 08, 2007

Is anyone looking at the big picture?

As I sit here, sometimes I wonder in the long term. On a personal level will Cassie do well in this or that... How will Elizabeth and I spend our time in 25 years? There are various other personal long-term goals that always have to be examined. Will social security be in existence when I retire? Will the city of Miami look like something out of a 1960s science fiction motion picture, as Cassie starts Harvard in 2022? Will the Republicans ever admit that global climate change is an issue we as a country/world need to at least consider? What will New Orleans be like in 2025, or 2050?

As I said sometimes I wonder in the long term. Regardless of my political leanings sometimes I wish the Administration would do the same. For example, the Administration went to war in Iraq to rid the Iraqis of weapons of mass destruction. Did they find any weapons of mass destruction? The simple answer to that question is no. The better question is what consequences the Administration was prepared for? O.K. so they did not seem to prepare for the sectarian violence, which could appropriately be called Civil War in Iraq. A bit of forethought might have helped the Administration.

It also doesn't seem difficult to see people taking advantage of opportunities. When I was young, if my brother got away with something, I tried to get away with the same thing. If he can do it I should be able to do it as well. Well, the Kurds in the north of Iraq are getting antsy. The Shiites and Sunnis appear to be getting ready to create their own countries, the Kurds feel they should be allowed to do the same in the North. There are inherent problems with this.

The Administration is holding on tightly to the idea that Iraq will continue to exist as a singular country. They do not appear to have the forethought to prepare for the possibility that it might turn into three smaller countries. Considering that this country was formed at the whim of the British in 1932, it does not seem that unreasonable to believe that this country might not be very unified. A bit of forethought might have helped the Administration.

Then President Bush decided to commute Scooter Libby's sentence. For a moment let me disregard the fact that President Bush stated "... [I] will not intervene until Libby's legal team has exhausted all of its avenues of appeal ... It wouldn't be appropriate for me to discuss the case until after the legal remedies have run its course." My question is why did he consider this sentence overly harsh, when it was within the sentencing guidelines. And more importantly, now don't other defense attorneys get to use that argument in challenging the sentences their clients get? A bit of forethought might have helped the Administration.

One last point, as a teacher I've seen numerous elections some fair others not so much. I even saw a student stand up and say " Vote for me .... Just vote for an (expletive) please"... Elections of this sort are simply popularity contests. High school elections are small scale; they have no institutions that create a democracy. Unfortunately, the high school analogy can be brought to the world stage. It appears that some of theses elections of Hamas and Maliki brought no more democracy to their countries; than student council elections bring to your local high school. Who the heck could have seen that?

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