Friday, June 23, 2006

YOUR FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS AT WORK

According to A.P., former Head of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge declared the "War on Terror is likely to last for decades." Continuing, Ridge said "for every (Osama) bin Laden, there's a bin Laden wannabe. And for every al-Qaida, there's a like organization. I don't know if anyone in the 1950s thought the Cold War would last close to half a century, but it did. The challenge is global and it may take a generation or two or more to reduce."

Wow, Tom. So what you're saying is, we should prepare to deal with profligate spending and civil liberties squeezes for . . . well, forever? That doesn't sound like good news. Yet nothing in his speech seems to look at this revelation as deeply troubling or unfortunate. So upon whom did Mr. Ridge bestow this information, you may ask?

The RAND Corporation, "a research and analysis institution focused on policy and problem solving [which] remains involved in a range of national security issues" (emphasis added). And where, when and why? The opening of RAND's new office in Pittsburg, in Ridge's home state of Pennsylvania. Needless to say, the boys at RAND probably don't find the news as troubling as the rest of us.

Now it's true that according to its webpage, RAND is a "nonprofit" organization dedicated to finding obective solutions to blah, blah, blah. Nonetheless, further perusing of their site tells us that "federally funded research and development centers" and their relationships to RAND enable it to "work closely with the institutions responsible for our national security, helping them tackle problems that require the sustained analytical attention of many disciplines over many years." This Federal Funding "also enables staff members to provide analytical support quickly when national security policymakers must respond to world events and emerging critical issues."

Now, am I trying to say that RAND has some nefarious, venal influence on national policy? No. We have Halliburton for that. But when I read that the former head of Homeland Security attends the opening of this "nonprofit" group's new office, and he tells the boys that the endless war on a military tactic (that'd be the "War on Terror") just got a little more endless, and those very same fellas will stay busy, getting federally-funded contracts for the duration, well let's just say my antennae go up.

Way up.

11 Comments:

Blogger Weaseldog said...

Rumsfield and Cheney both have told us that we'll be at war in Iraq for decades.

bush has made it clear that he's lost interest in the war and that it'll be up to next administration in 2009 to make any changes, if they feel so compelled.

They are telling us that we don't intend to win or lose in Iraq. The war itself is the point.

We will not win, because our leaders don't want to. We don't want to lose, because that will make us sad and make bush look bad.

So we have to keep feeding the death machinem, so our leaders can feast on charnel.

I feel completely an utterly sick that so many feel we're on the right path.

"I'd rather do the wrong thing for the right reasons, than the right thing for the wrong reasons." - Ex-Sen Dick Armey (R)

12:57 PM  
Blogger DED said...

Weaseldog's right. Rumsfeld and Cheney and even Bush have said that the War on Terror will last for decades. I have no idea why this is a concept that has gone in one ear of the American public and out the other.

It's a war without end, war for the sake of war. It's a fundamental block of Orwell's 1984. And for a book that's required reading in most high schools, I'm shocked that no one has screamed about this.

Weaseldog, fortunately the last poll that I heard stated that the majority of American feel that we're on the wrong path. But which path they want to take isn't clear.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Wait a second. WAIT a second.

You mean Freedom's not on the march?

2:32 PM  
Blogger Weaseldog said...

It's a Frog March, Mike.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

The French went to Iraq too?

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The American people deserve Bushco and he deserves them. The Iraq war will never end, if anything it will move to some other oil producing region. Maybe Nigeria or Iran? Anyway, yes people want out of Iraq, but not at the expense of higher gas prices. So there you have it, they turn a willful blind eye to the injustice and tell themselves that they are basically good, god fearing people who really aren't to blame.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not anonymous, I am me, mr. xyz. Hiya mike!

6:27 PM  
Blogger ajsmith said...

OK Mike, time for a Mets entry.

Jose-Jose with a 13 game hitting streak, batting a modest .561 over that stretch, and now up over .300 for the season.

A long-term prediction (barring injury or the Bush Administration causing nuclear armageddon in the interim):

Jose Reyes, 2008 (the season he goes from 24-25 yrs old, for chrissakes) -

.315, .390 OBP, 25 HR, 85+ RBI, 50 2b, 25 3b, 90 SB, 160 Runs, gold glove.

A reach? Maybe. But in watching this kid get better and better before our eyes, tell me you think it's impossible.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous montysano said...

First of all, ded, is 1984 still required reading? My son, who just graduated high school, read it at my insistence, but wasn't required to read it at school. He's a smart, aware kid, and 1984 scared the shit out of him.

Yeah, I saw Tom Ridge's statement last week. Couple that with a letter to the editor in our local (Huntsville, Alabama) newspaper in which the author awarded honorary membership in the Iraqi insurgency to anyone who dares to question Dear Leader. So, her point would be that I'm supposed to shut up and stay the course for a couple of decades, and then we'll reevaluate? I think not.

Maybe we should just turn the Lincoln Memorial into a casino; we could carve the bones of the Founders into dice, and just forget this whole American Experiment thing.

10:33 AM  
Blogger DED said...

Montysano: Sorry, I don't know if 1984 is still required reading everywhere. If it isn't, it definitely should be. I can't think of a more important novel for people who are approaching voting age to read.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous andyr said...

I read in a column - I think on lewrockwell.com -that "1984", while intended as a warning, is instead being used as a "how-to" guide by TPTB

Maybe our younger readers who actually DO read it think it is an actual history book at this point?

12:08 AM  

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