Quick Notes Or, If You Will, Quickies

Chertoff Wrong Again, But He’s The Boss…

In Parade magazine this morning, there is a brief interview with Michael Chertoff, the skeletal head of the Department of Homeland Security.

[P:] What are the biggest terrorist threats to the U.S.?

[C:] The largest threat is still al-Qaeda, but we’re also focused on international criminal gangs that are working with terrorists and drug traffickers. These groups, which are highly organized and possess strong technological capabilities, have great potential to inflict harm on us.

It’s probably too simple-minded to point out that international criminal gangs and drug traffickers are unlikely to commit terrorist acts against the United States, which is, after all, their biggest market. Those folks are much happier seeing us fat and happy and paying attention to American Idol and Survivor than focusing on their criminal activities.

As for al-Qaeda, or whatever it has become, they’ve pretty much been on a winning streak since the United States invaded Iraq. It’s hard to think of anything that could have done more for them than invading Iraq and opening torture hellholes like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

Of course it’s also probably too simple-minded to suggest that one powerful way to cut the legs out from under international terrorism and criminal gangs and drug traffickers would be to legalize and regulate drugs, and provide effective rehabilitative and other support for addicts who want such support. That would be far cheaper than the ludicrous so-called war on drugs, it would provide tax revenue, it would make taking drugs a lot less romantic and attractive and exciting, and perhaps then we would also be spared the sight and sound of shave-headed cops hopped on steroids crowing about taking a vial of crack or a stick of marijuana off of some poor sod they’ve got on the ground in cuffs. Not to mention the costs of imprisoning hundreds of thousands of people for so-called crimes that amount to little more, and probably less, than going on an alcoholic bender on the weekend.

Cheney-Bush Message To The Palestinians…

Dick Cheney went to Israel, sat down with the Israeli government, and told the Palestinians they should have a ‘new beginning’.

How many ‘new beginnings’ at the hands of a brutal and sadistic Israeli occupation, enabled and supported by a United States wallowing in the mythology of Jewish victimhood and Israeli chicken-soup goodness, can the Palestinians stand?

World War II is over. ‘Never again’ has proven to be a false promise time and again, even today, in Darfur. And while Jews were the primary civilian target of Hitler in that war, the world has easily forgotten the other six million people murdered in the camps – the Gypsies, the gays, the politicals, the retarded, and all the other inconvenient humans. The world also seems to have forgotten that some of the most effective anti-Nazi guerillas were Jewish partisans, who numbered some twenty to thirty thousand.

Perhaps it’s time the world stopped viewing the Israelis as victims of past crimes and started looking at them as accountable actors in an ongoing crime. If a child is beaten and abused, we don’t, when he is an adult, forgive him for murdering the neighbors and burning their house down.

If the world won’t hold the Israelis accountable, there cannot ever be peace in the Middle East. To blame all the problems there on Palestinians fighting for their homeland, with rifles and rockets and mortars against a modern, mechanized army, and to ignore Israeli crimes against Palestinians, guarantees a perpetuation of the violence, and means keeping open the abyss that swallows all efforts to bring peace to the region. But that is, unfortunately, American policy, and, as usual, Cheney and Bush have got it wrong.

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