Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I can take a hint

After reviewing my FB page, I think I need to move all my rambling thoughts to this blog.  To whit, a commentary on the events of this past weekend.

Congratulations to William Wales and Catherine Middleton.  It was a lovely wedding.  
Allow me a few moments of complete superficiality before I delve into the political.  The dress was beautiful, she looked beautiful, and Alexander McQueen would never have made that dress if he were alive today.  McQueen designs clothes that look like this, not the very safe dress worn for this wedding.  Don't get me wrong.  It was totally appropriate for the event and her station in life but a signature dress it was not.  There are some dresses that will forever be linked to the women who wore them and referenced and copied for generations.  There is a reason so many people immediately likened the dress to Grace Kelly.  Kelly wore a dress that would forever be referred to as the "Grace Kelly wedding dress."  Diana Princess of Wales also wore a dress that would forever be referenced as the "Princess Diana wedding dress."  This was Catherine's opportunity to create a singular look that would become synonymous with her.  She didn't. 

Congratulations and thanks to our military and our leadership for finally bringing Osama bin Laden to justice
This was an emotional turning point in the war on terror.  We are still learning more details about the operation and the facts are still being sorted out as I write this.  What we know is that this day could not have come about without the hard work, patience, and sacrifice of many people; including members of the intelligence community, our military, and our political leadership.  I know this may come as a shock, but I even tip my hat to our former President Bush. 

Right now, the pressing question on the minds of serious thinkers is the role of Pakistan and the nature of our partnership with that nation.  By now, it's clear that bin Laden had help from people inside Pakistan.  The most innocent explanation is that he either had well placed moles or sympathizers in the government and the ISI but that knowledge of his whereabouts were not known at the highest levels of Pakistani government.  At worst, the government knew and played the US for as long as they could.  Either way, this is a terribly awkward moment for the Pakistani government. Still, on the balance, I think the operation and the manner in which is was conducted is a win-win for the Pakistani government.  Osama bin Laden is not around to rally the locals into violence against them and they can tell the Arab street with absolute veracity that they do not have bin Laden's blood on their hands. 

I would hasten to add, despite any initial push to cut our ties with Pakistan, we need to be very cautious about this relationship going forward.  I posted elsewhere that the sad reality is that the current government in Pakistan may be the least worst option.  Recall that Pakistan is only just emerging from decades of military dictatorship.  It also has nuclear weapons.  As disreputable as the current regime may be, they aren't arming themselves or our enemies for nuclear war against us or Israel or the Gulf Oil states.  It would be understating the issue to say it is important for US interests that a nuclear state be our ally as opposed to our enemy.  The danger of cutting and running from Pakistan is the real threat that the regime would collapse and fall into the hands of people who actually hate the US, as opposed to corrupt and greedy leaders who merely want our money.

Sarah Palin needs to go away and take her wingnut friends with her. 
Look.  Osama bin Laden is dead.  For all those morons squawking about seeing the pictures I say this.

When the world saw pictures of our war dead being dragged and mutilated through the streets in Mogadishu and in Iraq, we raged at the lack of respect for the dead. I for one believe we ought to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We do not display the dead bodies of our enemies as war trophies.  We are the United States of America and we are better than that.

The US military does not carry bb guns into combat. They carry high powered high caliber weapons. These weapons, when discharged; especially at close range as in the case of bin Laden, will leave a huge gaping hole. In short, massive amounts of the man’s head would be missing. It is not an image that should be seen except by those who are required to view it.

And I just want to add that I think it’s a sad statement of our public discourse that some among us choose to think the President is lying about such an important issue as the death of Osama bin Laden. Really? Really? Believe me, if he were making this all up, al-Quaeda would have put out a proof of life video just for the opportunity to humiliate Obama and the US. So yes, the man is dead.  Let's all be relieved and grateful and get on with building the kind of free society bin Laden and his ilk tried to destroy.