ADDICTED TO FAILURE. Bush says today's plots serve as a "stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists." If anything, it's a stark reminder of the reverse. A stark reminder that this isn't a "war" at all -- you don't foil a plot like this with armored personnel carriers and JDAMs. We're also not going to capture the capital city of "Islamic fascism" -- not Kabul, not Baghdad, not even Teheran and Damascus -- and force our adversaries to surrender.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: SPILLS OF WAR.Christopher Moraffreports on an ongoing environmental disaster in Lebanon: a gigantic oil spill off the Mediterrenean coast caused by Israel's bombing of a power plant three weeks ago. The total spill could rival the Exxon Valdez catastrophe of 1989 -- and the continuing war is preventing government and international agencies from fully addressing the situation or containing the damage. Read the whole thing.
GRATUITOUS SHOT. You'd think, having just complained that The Nation and other lefty media outlets ought to be more focused on the increasing influence of rightwing Christian Zionism than on AIPAC, that I'd be delighted by this new piece by Max Blumenthal. And I am pleased to see Blumenthal's comprehensive reporting on the influential new group Christians United for Israel (CUFI), and the Armageddon-based philosophy of its founder, John Hagee.
TERROR PLOT: NO OPPORTUNITY WASTED FOR POLITICAL GAIN. President George W. Bush could have moved to reassure the American people, in his statement from Green Bay, that their well-being is first and foremost in the minds of public officials -- that the government will leave no stone unturned in its quest to maintain the safety of American citizens. Instead, the president decided to play politics.
TOUGH NUT TO CRACK. As Haroldpoints out, the dawning realization on the part of the right that Iraq is facing a civil war puts enormous strain on the administration's justifications for U.S. policy there. A new National Revieweditorial provides an example of the kind of anguish and addled prescriptions that emerge when conservatives try to square the circle of remaining committed to the American occupation and the administration's war aims while also grappling with the reality of an Iraqi civil war in which we have no interest in picking a side:
BRITISH AIRPLANE PLOT. Breaking news isn't the political blogosphere's strong suit, but suffice it to say we have noticed the plot to blow up airplanes that the British government says it foiled. I'm sure at some point more information will come out that I might have opinions on, but at the moment there's not much to work with. Jim Henleynotes that the never-made-sense "flypaper theory" of the Iraq War makes less sense than ever now.
TERRORISM TAKES BACK SEAT TO CRONYISM. With today's word of an apparently foiled plan for a massive, mid-air terrorism plot against airliners heading to the United States from Britain, I find myself trembling with fear at the fact that Michael Chertoff -- who proved his callous ineptitude during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath -- is the guy charged with protecting you and me from the likes of al Qaeda. The only possible explanation for Chertoff's continuing tenure as secretary of Homeland Security is his ability to keep the contracts flowing to Bush pals (even those known to have soaked the taxpayers) and away from local economies.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: PATRON STATE.Josh Kurlantzickpoints to a player to watch in Cuba, looking forward: China. With Fidel Castro ailing and his brother Raul stepping up to take the reins of the Cuban regime, Beijing's influence in the country will likely grow.
WHAT CENTER?Jon Chaithas some issues with David Brooks� column advocating a McCain-Lieberman party of the center (Unity '08, anyone?) -- I have some problems of my own. Namely, on national security issues what's centrist about this party?
KEVIN'S LAW.Kevin Drumproposes a new principle of net-based discourse: "If you're forced to rely on random blog commenters to make a point about the prevalence of some form or another of disagreeable behavior, you've pretty much made exactly the opposite point."