|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
Wednesday, October 4th, 2006
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|In which many things are explained.
Former Florida Republican congressman Mark Foley was an enthusiastic supporter of Clinton’s impeachment for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. He called Clinton’s behavior with Lewinsky “vile.” But even though Foley resigned his office in disgrace this week for preying on underage boys, the one time ornament of the Republican party is not a hypocrite.
True, he made himself the head of a House caucus on pedophilia, but he was only seeking self-knowledge. As for the Lewinsky-Clinton affair, the congressman was being perfectly consistent. It wasn’t sex qua sex that he found vile; what he objected to was straight sex between consenting adults.
State Department records confirm that former CIA director George Tenet gave an urgent briefing on imminent terrorist attacks to Condoleeza Rice on July 10th, 2001. Tenet told Bob Woodward that Condi gave him the brush-off on that occasion, with unfortunate consequences for the nation and the world.
But Condi behaved with perfect propriety and merely followed protocol. She was the National Security Advisor at that time. It wasn’t her job to stop terrorist attacks. That’s the responsibility of the FBI. So Condi isn’t to blame at all. 9/11 was George Tenet’s fault because he briefed the wrong official.
The Baghdad body count is rising steadily for all sides, Sunni and Shia, military and civilian – we lost eight soldiers on Monday alone. Our principal allies, the British, have had enough. Their generals want to redeploy to Afghanistan, where they feel they can accomplish something. At the risk of redundancy, it’s become obvious even to the most dim witted Republican that sectarian warfare is raging and our troops are caught in the middle of it. The solution, even for a half-wit president, is equally obvious: pack up our kit bags and come home.
But this president is no half-wit. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Surveying the upcoming mid-term elections, he hasn’t failed to notice all the Iraq war veterans running for office, nearly every one of them a Democrat. What would happen if he brought home all one hundred and forty thousand military personnel? An instant army of angry veterans, many of whom might run for office, most of whom would vote, nearly every one of them a Democrat. So our troops are staying in Iraq, where the GOP is safe from them.
Twice now Mr. Bush has suggested that history will look back and see the Iraq conflict as a “comma.” His remarks have generated universal incomprehension. Does he mean that the invasion and occupation of Iraq is insignificant, optional punctuation in the paragraph of life? Some are reminded of French right wing politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, who says that the Holocaust was a mere “detail of history.”
But as usual Mr. Bush is being mis-underestimated. This is the man who once asked “what is our children learning.” Who thought Sunni referred to a style of frying eggs. Who applauds the natives of Greece for giving the world the stuff that makes hamburger buns moist. Whose solution to the mideast crisis is to get ‘somebody’ to ask the participants in the conflicts to “stop that shit.” He is actually quite the thoughtful scholar, as his characterization of Iraq amply demonstrates. Lepidoptery turns out to be one of his many varied interests. He knows, even if you didn’t, that Commas are butterflies of the genus Polygonia. His point is simply that in its former state Iraq was a caterpillar, crawling about in the dirt. Thanks to his invasion, the country has taken wing and burst forth in a blaze of color, mostly reds and blacks from the fires, bloodshed, and smoking ruins. It’s a poetic image, and an accurate description, and is further proof that the president has the situation well in hand.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2006
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