Guess Who's Back?
A lot has happened since my brief and unintended hiatus from the blogosphere. Most importantly I discovered something useful on YouTube.com:
That, my friends, is the trailer for season six of 24. I also discovered the prequel to season six (what happened between 5 and 6).
So here is what I found based on clips of the first several episodes. 18 months (the trailer says) after the season 5 finale, Sec of Defense James Heller is now President (with Fmr President Logan in jail). How the hell did this happen, you ask? I dont know, here is the presidential line of succession: (1) Vice President, (2) Speaker of the House, (3) President pro tempore of the Senate, (4) Secretary of State, (5) Secretary of Treasury, (6) Secretary of Defense. So unless all those people died/resigned, Im assuming Logan's Vice President was sworn in as president, then put Sec of Def James Heller in as VP, then died/resigned and Heller became President. Who knows.
Also the biggest suprise, since most of the main characters are dead they brought back an old one, Chase Edmunds. How this will play out I dont know, but from what I saw in the brief clip, his right hand looks natural and apparently not robotic. The wonders of science/scriptwriting!
CRISIS IN THE MIDDLE EAST!!!!
As an American who recognizes what everyone outside the USA sees, that this is a US/Israeli action, not just Israeli, I am particular concerned about the obvious; that the campaign is a serious detriment to the security of the US and Israel. As the NYT pointed out today, Nasrallah (head of Hizbullah) has become a huge hero in the Arab world, rising to the likes of Abdul Nasser (famed Egyptian dictator who led the cause of Arab nationalism until humiliating 1967 defeat, see "History of Middle East" in archives.) The attacks have succeeded in what the invasion of Iraq didnt even do, which was unite Sunni and Shiites against the US/Israel and apparently the vast majority of Lebanonese Christians are now in steadfast support of Hizbullah. Thats quite an accomplishment. So what we've accomplished is destroying about 1/3 of Hizbullah's rocket capabilities (which Im sure will be replenished) in exchange for giving Hizbullah massive and unprecedented support across the Arab world, gave Hizbullah's leader celebrity/legend status, and created a new motivation and recruitment pool for terrorist attacks against Israel and the USA. Thats quite an accomplishment!!!
So I still suspect the war has more to do with the egos of Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz on the Israeli side, and the idiocy of George W. Bush and his neocon fanatics on the American side. And according to the Israeli press, not only is the Bush Admin strongly pushing Israel to go all out on this, but they are also pushing Israel to attack Syria as well. The good people at Gush Shalom sent out word of anti-war protests in Tel Aviv where one man held a sign saying "We are not Bush's puppets." Amen to that, at least some Israeli's recognize the Bush Admin is trying to use Israel to do their dirty work.
Speaking of Bush I read an article in newsweek recently (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14206642/) that quotes an unnamed senior official as saying that if Iraq does fall into civil war (it isnt already?) then Bush will pull all American troops out so they they are not "caught in the crossfire." Aside from the obvious irony of contingency planning for a situation already occuring, I wondered if this was an intentional leak or not. Because Bush has said repeatedly he doesnt want a time table for withdrawal because then insurgents would then wait for American troops to withdraw...and then, Im not sure because the whole point of the insurgency is to remove American troops so saying you wont withdraw until they stop fighting is kind of pointless. But anyway, if you now say that the American troops wont leave unless there is a civil war, doesnt this give Iraqi's incentive to increase sectarian violence? Especially Iraqi's who are both for civil war and against American occupation, the signal here is start killing more Sunnis/Shiites (depending on who you are) and then the Americans will leave.
Also there was much hubaloo about Hillary Clinton and her SCATHING rebuke of Donald Rumsfeld last week, afterwhich she called for his resignation. As always Hillary Clinton is rather transparent and I was dismayed to see liberal anti-war blogger celebrate her actions. She is still very pro-war and never backed down from that; I think she just tried to be testy with Rumsfeld because its A. An easy target, everyone, even pro-war people, recognize he is incompetent, and B. A way to shore up the liberal base (perhaps in lieu of '08) especially calculated timing since Joe Lieberman is facing an uphill primary battle tomorrow against anti-war challenger Ned Lamont.
And heres to hoping Lamont defeats Lieberman tomorrow! If so I will celebrate by getting really drunk this weekend