George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New London,
RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section. It will offer fresh,
quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in
this rapid-fire world of ours. Of course, as in military campaigns,
a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed
by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction. Charge that to
"the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or military
campaign must maintain to be effective. But the mission will always
be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported
by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.
That's all I promise.
to return to the current Rapid Response list
FRIDAY through SUNDAY, July 29 through
Fort Trumbull, New London, Ct. Now the Governor has it right.
See "Rell Shifts Stance On Fort Trumbull", by Kate Moran, The Day,
today, pA1. "Governor advocates integration of homes with development
plan." "Her staff was quick to point out that the statement was not
a directive aimed at local officials...It's a case of the governor expressing
a desire for folks to reach the most amicable solution possible.
It's not anything more than that." Well then, let us reason together,
within the realities of the available funds and the integrity of the redevelopment
plan. No one is being vindictive here...just realistic and within
the confines of the law.
Bush and Bolton. Go for it, Mr. President. It's for
decisions like that that you are getting "the big bucks". And above
all, keep getting back to the Texas ranch. There's nothing like the
Western landscape - and home - as a battery charger.
And then there is the U.S. Congress. The Energy Bill:
not bad, but still a proverbial camel instead of a horse. The bill
protecting gun manufacturers from civil suits relating to the use
of guns. A no-brainer. Next we'll sue auto manufacturers for
the consequences of their products being used by drunk drivers. We'll
call it "The Trial Lawyers Retirement Benefits Act". And then we
have Democrats and pseudo-Republicans all excited over Senator (Doctor)
Frist's recent statement regarding stem cell research.
I have so far heard only part of his statement, but he appears to be clearly
following the approach I urged in my last Rapid Response...an honest approach:
this man is pro-life and acknowledges that "the embryo is a nascent human
being", no different from any of us. And he seems to be referring
only to a new use of long-frozen embryos who are the unused products of
in-vitro fetilization procedures and who are doomed anyway. There
are still proofs to be offered regarding the necessity for their use (vs
other sources), their utility, and all the alleged applications for stem
cell use. Dr. Frist does not appear to be "creating comodities out
of embryos" as suggested by Rep. Tom DeLay. This certainly does not
appear to be the "very, very profound change" that Sen. Arlen Specter called
it...unless honesty in Congress is considered "a very,very profound change".
More on that soon.
While we in America appropriately debate a fairly effective and safe Patriot
Act, the British are rushing to come up with something similar
to reverse their "suicidal" excessive tolerance of treason and sedition
in their midst. See Charles Krauthammer's article on the subject
a few days ago. Freedom of Speech should never include the freedom
"to shout 'fire' in a crowded theater". This is an apt analogy for what
some Imams and their followers are doing in free countries around the world.
Any society has an inherent right to defend itself.
And from the goofy fringe come Jane Fonda...again, and Tom Cruise.
Celebrities and wanna-be's are like high energy, delicate plants that must
have constant bright light in order to survive. Of course, Darwinian
rules apply to them also. Then there is the secession movement in
Some States tried that awhile back, folks.
SUNDAY through THURSDAY, July 24
through 28, 2005
Islam, Muslims and Terrorists. As noted in an offering last
week in this section, this obvious connection is finally beginning to be
addressed by Muslims themselves. See "Why Not A 'Million Muslim
March'"?, by Ahmed H. al-Rahim, WSJ Tuesday, July 26, 2005, Opinion,
pA24. Also, today there was aired an interview with a Professor of
Islamic Studies who regularly monitors Muslim media. He noted a recent
discussion and poll taken on al Jazirra (?spelling) wherein 36% of those
voting on the question stated that today's terrorism is based directly
on the way Islam is taught. He thought that this may be the beginning
of a remarkable awakening and taking of responsibility.
But then, what about Israel and Palestine? Combined flaps
regarding Pope Benedict XVI's recent statement about terrorism, omitting
this issue, and the continued difficulty that the U.N. is having in coming
up with a definition of "terrorism", show that Israel - Palestine is a
special case, not neatly discussed under the rubric of "terrorism".
There is plenty of blame on both sides there, in what amounts to a civil
war. And of course, no one remembers the maxim: "He who seeks
equity must do equity". But there are some hopeful signs....
The Federal Energy Bill is on its way to becoming law. But,
after all the horse-trading, is it better than nothing...or is it just
another gravy train for special interests? Another example of the
need for legislative reform is the evident unwillingness
of Congress to address the ills of the pharmaceutical industry and
of the Federal agency that it has now polluted...the FDA.
What is needed is real election finance reform, without mamoth loopholes,
and the transfer of legislative district formation and oversight to
the Judiciary. Only massive public outcry will produce any of
this. What we need is Nader 2.
The abortion issue...that cancer in our national psyche and polity.
As noted earlier in this section, it does not have to be this way...nearly
as severe as the division produced by slavery in this country. A
little honesty would go a long way. Just acknowledge that a human
being exists from conception; then deal with possible mitigating and extenuation
circumstances. In addition, "If 'Roe' Were Overturned", by Laura
Vanderkam, outlines how little would change if the issue were returned
to the individual States (USA Today Wednesday, July 27, 2005, The Forum,
More and more information is surfacing regarding the root causes of this
country's health insurance availability and affordability issues.
Of course, all that was obvious to some of us from the late 1970's (see
my offerings and those of others on this web site under Health Law and
Managed Care categories). In a word, isolation of the patient-public
from any concern over the costs of medical care that they were seeking
was a stupid and gross error. Witness, for example, General Motors'
payment of 100% of the health insurance costs of their work force!
Health Savings Accounts and other reforms are finally making their way
out of the mine field placed in their way by insurance and managed care
organizations for the last two decades. See also "Cheaper Health
Insurance", the editorial in WSJ monday, July 25, 2005, Opinion, pA14.
Once again, for a real failure of public policy during the last three decades,
we have to return to Public Education in the United States.
See the many offerings on this subject on this web-site. See also
a recent article that is right on target: "Autocracy Lives In The U.S.
Public Schools", by Ann Carr Bingham (The Day Sunday, July 24, 2005,
Voices and Views, pC3). And yet the politicians continue to prostitute
themselves to the teachers unions and to "educator" cretins. Even
Governor Jody Rell is beginning to reveal that there may be less than
meets the eye there with her endorsement of a Connecticut legal challenge
to the Federal No Child Left Behind Law. "Say it isn't so",
Governor. We need someone in State government that we can believe
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, July 22 and
So many opinions. So little time!
The nomination of Judge John Roberts by the President was inspired:
it was both responsible and politically sound. It will be shown to
have completely undercut any effective invective by the ultra-liberals
and by their castrated "Republican" fellow-travellers. It was sufficient
to quiet the ultra-conservatives. Now we will all have to wait to
see whether or not yet another President has been flummoxed by his nominee...now
or twenty years from now.
The Energy bill currently being "crafted"...or mutilated, depending
upon your point of view. See the National Geographic article entitled
Oil...Powering The Future" (August, 2005, p2). Let's see if our
Federal legislators can do anything "for the common good"...or rather just
Immigration policy. Another colossal mess that Congress is
failing to address. America continues to be a nation of immigrants,
beginning long before the Mayflower...perhaps even before the "Native Americans"
if the bones from the banks of an Oregon stream bed are finally allowed
to reveal their secrets. Can't we get at least this right,
after all these centuries? See "Fortress America", WSJ Editorial,
Wednesday, July 20, 2005, pA12). See also "Embracing Illegals",
by Brian Grow, Business Week, July 18, 2005, p56.
In the same vein, the recently concluded TV movie series by Steven Spielberg
entitled "Into The West" highlighted our worst effort:
Concentration camps called "Reservations"; and our own home-grown form
of "ethnic cleansing". Yes, a little hyperbolic. But you get
the valid point.
Meanwhile, the terrorists have declared war on the world, including
the latest attack in Egypt. What will the world do? It is now clear,
to me at least, that...in order to avoid having to address this problem
as the West did one thousand years ago, the Islamic world is finally going
to have to embrace its own Renaissance, six hundred years late, as well
as its own "Protestant Revolution". As honestly reported this week
in a WSJ Opinion piece by a Muslim, Muslims will themselves have to address
the fact the elements inherent in their Religion, however distorted by
fundamentalists and terrorists, undergird the terrorist world-view.
A revolution of sorts must take place, peaceful or otherwise, for Muslims
to solve their problem - and ours. (See also "Expose Words Of
Hatemongers And Truth-Tellers", by Thomas Friedman, The Day (theday.com),
today, Commentary, pA7).
And now, some local fun-and-games. This New London City Council
is showing itself to be one of the most inept in my 43 years of resident
memory. It plods from one disaster to another, leaderless and
clueless. WAKE UP! There are some things more important
than the next election...like your personal reputations!
Then there is (or was) UTOPIA. ("Utopia: a visionary, impractical
system of political or social perfection", a dictionary definition).
How else to view this now evidentally defunct grandeose proposal that failed
to involve the two 800 lb. gorillas within sight of its site? And/or
was it all just chutzpa from the very beginning? And then, NLDC
/ Kelo v. Fort Trumbull: RIGHT CAUSE; WRONG CASE. NOW WE MOVE!
MONDAY through THURSDAY, July 18
through 21, 2005
A number of issues to get off my chest. Some may say that it is
only GAS. But that would also be true: those are my initials, never
again used after I first etched them onto my first grade school bag.
And that's my "Weltanschaung" for now.
The former "......istan" Soviet provinces, now sovereign nations,
can still feel the hot breath of the Russian bear. They are seeking
from the U.S. a timetable for our removal of modest bases established there
in the last few years since 9/11. Let's not upset them. We
need their oil more than we need their bases.
Afganistan. Is it being taken over by the Taliban again?
And is Russia giving us a dose of our own medicine? That can't be
allowed to happen...but we will need more than a few Navy Seals here and
there to deal with the problem. You've been hearing this refrain
from me now for the last two years. It's the best I can do.
Iraq. My analysis has not changed. For other opinions,
see two opposing viewpoints published in Time Magazine, July 18, 2005,
p48, 49, by Daniel Benjamin and by Charles Krauthammer. On the larger
issue of Islam, three excelent sources follow: 1) "The Smell Of Fear",
by Caleb Carr, WSJ, July 19, 2005, Opinion, pA14; 2) "Britain's Bombers
Shared A Familiar Profile", by George Melloan, WSJ, ibid, pA15; 3)
At War", by Yaroslav Trofimov, Holt and Co.
Israel and Palestine. Is there cause for hope, at last?
Only if the leaders of both sides do their duty and control their own dissidents.
My prognosis is one of guarded optomism.
Iran. Can't verify...don't trust. Keep up a steady force
of economic and political pressure. Iranians are intelligent people.
How long can they stand to be suppressed by a government out of the Middle
Turkey. The secular government there exists mainly at the
pleasure of the military, and under increasing pressure from its Islamic
roots. There is the laboratory to test the viability of "Islamic
democracy". Turkey must demonstrably pass that test to join Europe.
While "Old Europe" (read France and Germany) festers, "New Europe"
in the form of mations like Poland, Bulgaria and Rumania are moving forward.
in the throes of economic recession and residual socialistic policies,
will have to decide soon which Europe it wishes to be part of.
England, also too socialistic and much too liberal for a world challenged
by terrorism, also has to make some decisions about its invasion
from Islamic countries. I believe that they can be counted on to
get it right. Europe...who knows?
Africa. See my earlier comments on this sad subject.
Africa is the Balkins writ large. The difference is that former colonial
powers have a special responsibility there, having produced the mess in
the first place.
Central and South America. Also sick and suffering, but not
as bad as Africa. In addition to the scourge of illicit drug production
(mainly for white Americans), the lack of land reform is the real cancer
throughout that part of the world. Justice...then Peace.
Japan. Time for that nation to re-arm, in order to maintain
a safe balance of power in the Far East...and throughout the world.
North Korea. Keep up what we're doing. It may be working.
And besides, we really have no other viable peaceful options.
China. Again: Can't verify, Don't trust. Continue to
engage economically, even if they are eating some of our lunch. But
be prepared to contain militarily if necessary, with the aid of Japan and
India. Nice move by the Bush administration this week, accepting
India as a legitimate nuclear power and offering to help with peaceful
nuclear development. Since it did not start a war with Pakistan,
anything that brings us and India closer is "a good thing".
Russia. So long as we deal with the Russian people, at least
the older generations, as more Oriental than Occidental, we'll be alright.
And never mind Vladimir Putin's "soul". Just keep his hands on the
SUNDAY, July 17, 2005
NLDC AND FORT TRUMBULL. FINALLY, The Day and other newspapers
(including the NYTimes) are starting to get it right. Read The Day
Editorial today ("Needed: Light, Not Heat"), in addition to nearly
all the in-depth and factual articles which appear in the Perspective section
(Sec. C1-6). Only the incoherent perseverations of Neild Oldham may
be profitably skipped. The article by Greg Stone, entitled "Fiery
Rhetoric, Foggy Facts" ends with a sentence that says it all: "This
From today's Parade Magazine's "Personality Parade", Walter Scott
answers a reader's question regarding "Who'd you consider the Robert
Taylor of today?" "No one. Today's stars - Brad Pitt, Leo DiCaprio,
Orlando Bloom - are boys compared to Taylor, Gary Cooper and Clark Gable.
Movies used to be made for adults. Now most are made for adolescents."
More on that "defective, unreasonably dangerous" product called computer
software. See "Corrupted PCs Find New Home - The Trash Heap",
by Matt Richtel and John Markoff, in today's The Day, Nation, pA5.
I guess the really big class action lawyers are going to have to be shut
out of the now abused asbestosis and silicosis cases before they have time
to take this Internet corruption on in Product Liability.
Of Straights and Gays; of "demonic possession" and the Sciences
of Mental Illness, Genetics and Endocrinology; of tolerance and intolerance...or
at least of benign neglect until the science catches up. See "Gay
Teenager Stirs A Storm - Blogger rejects a fundamentalist 'cure'",
by Alex Williams (The Sunday NYTimes today, Sunday Styles, Sec. 9, p1).
These are very troubled times. See "In Troubled Times,
Bring On The Spartans" by David Brooks (The Sunday NYTimes today, Op-Ed,
Wk p12). He writes about "...Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy,
John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, who build their careers around courage."
He calls them "courage politicians...they're combative, difficult and
needed". Winston Churchill also comes to mind. George W.
Bush may also be in that mold; he still has three years to prove it.
But let's end on a light note. "A judge in Mobile, Ala.,
has put a 90-year-old woman in jail for selling drugs. Here's my
question: Where are the parents?" (Jay Leno, quoted in Night
Lines, Sunday NYTimes today, Wk p2).
THURSDAY through SATURDAY, July
14 through 16, 2005
Of many things, as succinctly as possible.
Iraq. Ever so slowly, the Pentagon...but not Sec. Rumsfeld,
he of the missing reverse gear, is coming out with admissions of poor planning
regarding the Iraq invasion and its violent aftermath. The most recent
is by Douglas Feith, a high Pentagon official. Of course, such admissions
are always made in the passive "mistakes were made" syntax; and even then,
admitting that we committed too few American troops sticks in their craw.
That's because of the deaths and destruction that ensued from that colossal
The United Nations. "Oil For Food" scandal; Bosnia; Somalia;
Darfur.... John Bolton, call your office immediately for an urgent
Muslims and Islam. There is a great deal of commentary about
those subjects; and some of it is even starting to make sense. The
fairly peaceful invasion from the Mid-East in recent decades, into Africa,
South-East Asia, Europe (especially Germany and France) and also into England,
is becoming violent. As has been noted by several commentators, that
is in large part because the Europeans and even the Brits have been practising
appeasment and cowardice - even to the point of trying to buy Islamic terrorists
off for some local peace. Mainly the problem is that, unlike in America,
Muslims immigrating to Europe have been marginalized and segregated rather
than integrated into the receiving societies, even across generations.
See the recent article by Thomas Friedman in the NYTimes, and also today's
article in The Day by Charles Krauthammer entitled: "Homespun Terrorism",
pA7. Beyond all that, this is a problem for all of Islam. Muslims
have to decide finally whether to enable and support a viiolent, radical
fundamentalist expression of their religion, or whether to suppress that
in their midst and return to the Islam of peaceful co-existence which the
Prophet preached. That is their choice and their responsibility.
And there will be serious consequences to whatever their choice will be.
Bernie Ebbers, of WorldCom infamy. The conviction was right,
since the jury said so. The sentence regarding jail time was over
the top, and should be reduced on appeal. Should he pay in jail time
for all of the corporate greed and fraud out there all by himself?
Ten years of actual time served would be a right number, in my opinion.
Connecticut and reform. It looks like the State legislators,
especially the Democrats, had their fill of reform when they saw former
Governor Rowland sent to jail. No surprise.
"Into The West". This on-going TV movie series by Steven Spielberg
is telling a fairly accurate story, otherwise known as "How The Indians
Were Screwed". But it waxes too poetic about the tribulations
of the native americans and under-plays both the acidic relationships between
and among different tribes and also the almost inevitable consequences
of "Manifest Destiny" embraced by the original and following immigrants.
However, there is finally a bright spot. "Report:Tribal Casinos
Earned $19.4B in 2004; Connecticut's two casinos grossed more than $2billion.",
by Ken Ritter, AP, in The Day yesterday, pC7. There are at least
367 tribal casinos in the country now...and growing. Now, if we can
just help to get our brothers off the sauce, we should all feel better.
The NLDC and Fort Trumbull. The Facts and the Law won.
Now move it!
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, July 11
through 13, 2005
There has been a lot of commentary since London, 7/7/05.
The most important relate to the increasing presence of Muslims,
and particularly of fundamentalist, insular and radical Muslims, in Europe.
See the articles referenced below. This development is made more
worrisome by the actions...or rather inactions...of those European governments
in dealing with the increasing threats thereby posed, explained under some
overriding sensitivity to civil rights. There are no civil rights
without a civil society; and there is no society with security. When
will Europeans get over their collective "post-traumatic stress syndrome"
following WWll and come to their collective senses regarding this
21st century and its new set of dangers? They would do well
to heed the words and actions of President George W. Bush and his Neo-Conservative
- Realist advisers...and the sooner, the better.
"The Neoconservative Convergence", by Charles Krauthammer, ACFR
NewsGroup No. 575, Wednesday, July 6, 2005, Part 2;
"As Muslims Call Europe Home, Dangerous Isolation Takes Root", by
Ian Johnson and John Carreybou, WSJ Monday, July 11, 2005, pA1;
"London Under Attack", in The Economist, July 9-15, 2005, p9.
SATURDAY and SUNDAY, July 9 and
1) This is about newspaper coverage by The Day (theday.com) of the
Kelo v. New London case after the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Why not instead use this teachable moment to give our citizens a civics
lesson about this country's separation of powers, with the legislature
making law, the courts interpreting the law, and the executive administering
and enforcing the law? And while we're at it, when did a "home" become
just a plot of land and a pile of mortar and building material...rather
than "a place where a person or family lives", as defined by Webster and
as experienced by most of us?
When does giving accurate factual information get replaced by printing
scores of often uninformed and ignorant "piling on"?
When does that become pandering?
When do those activities, obviously coordinated among several reporters,
approach "incitement to riot"?
2) The Roman Catholic priesthood. Two stories
continue to "have legs", as they say in journalism. We learn today that
the total outlay from the sexual abuse scandals will cost the Church
- meaning us Catholics - between 1 and 2 billion dollars. We have
also learned that most of the abusers were seminarians in the 1960's.
Yet another lingering stain from the Viet Nam era, as damaging to this
country as was the Civil War. The other story, probably related,
is the progressive reduction in priestly ordinations needed to replace
those priests who retire or die. There are three possible solutions,
besides praying for more vocations, only one of which is currently being
embraced by the Vatican: second career priestly vocations; conversion of
the "Permanent Diaconate" to one that could lead under proper circumstances
to priesthood; and implementing finally the mandate of the Second
Vatican Council in the 1960's to greatly enlarge the role of the laity
in the affairs of the Church. Will His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
be the leader to effectively address this challenge?
3) We are once again starting to see more agitation for a "single
payor system" for the delivery of health care in this country.
Will some people never learn? Just look at the "single payor
system" called Public Education.
FRIDAY, July 8, 2005
What makes a good newspaper great is its editorial consistency
and its ability to marshall evidence and opinion on a fast-breaking story
immediately...without waiting for results of a wet- finger-in -the-wind
test. Enter the Wall Street Journal, and today's offerings,
all in the Opinion section, ppA10 and 11:
And a vignette on the front page of the same edition is emblematic of what
should be the personal attitude of each of us, preferrably after we have
implemented the proposals described in yesterday's Rapid Response: "London:
When a bomb exploded yesterday morning near his hotel, Howard Kelsey was
shaving. It sounded just like World War ll, says the 84-year-old
retiree, who lived through the German bombardment of Britain in the early
1940's. He kept on shaving. 'If they were aiming for me, they
missed,' he says. He and his wife went downstairs for breakfast
before heading out to attend a conferernce on politics".
"London Pride", by Andrew Roberts;
"Our Politics Fiddles While London Burns", by Daniel Henninger;
"Don't Count On Argentina To Help Fight Terror", by Mary Anastasia
TUESDAY through THURSDAY, July 5
through 7, 2005
Another day of infamy. At the current pace of our actions against
world terrorism, the Los Angeles Police Commissioner is right: it's not
a question of "if", but of "when" the next attacks will hit us and other
At the risk of sounding very naive about the likelihood of the following
plan of action being implemented, here goes:
When in danger of attack...ATTACK!
Declaring a corollary to the Bush Doctrine of Pre-Emptive Self-Defense,
we should (preferrably but not necessarily with our traditional allies)
advise all nations that they are either with us or against us in the war
on terrorism...or are neutral (which position specifically precludes giving
any direct or indirect aid to any terrorists). Those on the wrong
side of this divide would be subject to severe economic and also possible
military injury, at our option;
When engaging in military action, we should use forces adequate
to establish security first of all, not the way the Afganistan and Iraq
actions have been pursued;
Terrorists and their supporters - anywhere - should be killed,
or jailed subject to summary military justice, and not to traditional "due
process" or Geneva Convention rules;
Domestic anti-terrorism agencies should have the tools they need
to be effective, starting with a several-year extension of the Patriot
Act in its present form;
In order to implement the above, we Americans should be required to
participate in this war on world terrorism, probably over decades,
by establishing a fair selective service draft and by establishing
a rationing system for oil and gasoline. Only in this way
will our intentions be believed...by the world and by our own citizens.
We should continue to give as much humanitarian aid as we can afford...but
only to countries that will distribute it as intended, with American and
U.N. oversight. That would be a far cry from what has taken place
MONDAY, July 4, 2005
Independence Day. There are rare occasions when I
stop taking our freedom in this country for granted, and actually try to
imagine how it would be without it. There are plenty of examples
around us...and they are not pretty. Thank God.
There is another group that we are in the habit of thanking...the
French. But wait! Let's take another look at that.
France took the side of the revolutionaries at least as much to pursue
their perennial wars with England as to help us. And their chronic
annoyance with America began soon after that victory, when we began to
prefer England to France in our dealings. They kept trying to re-gain
a foot-hold in North America, but could not afford to pass up the Louisiana
Purchase. They resented the Monroe Doctrine. Then they sided
with the Confederacy in the Civil War, and they sent their surrogate, Prince
Maximillian of Austria to Mexico to gain a position there. Then they
took our involvement in the Spanish-American War as a threat to all European
powers. They accepted our invaluable help to end WWl, and then
placed draconian demands on Germany in the Treaty of Versailles - against
the urgings of President Wilson - thereby sowing the seeds of WWll.
They promptly surrendered to Hitler at the beginning of that war, and cooperated
broadly with the Nazi's through their Vichy Government, including sending
thousands of Jews to their deaths in concentration camps. After we
had to fight French soldiers in North Africa, they accepted our help to
win the war...although many of their many French Communists held that the
Soviets had won that war. Then came President Charles de Gaulle and
his incessant efforts to undermine American and other world political initiatives,
especially involving efforts to end African colonialism. Even after
it was forced to free French colonies, notably Algeria, France has continued
to meddle in and profit from the anarchy that is that sad continent.
France's efforts toward Arabs, Arafat and Hussein - including up to and
beyond 9/11/2001, with the corrupt involvement of the U.N., have greatly
damaged and complicated America's efforts to address world-wide terrorism
- which France astoundingly continues to ignore.
"The Arrogance Of The French", by Richard Z. Chesnoff (Sentinel
- Penguin Group, NY, 2005). read it and weep...or get enraged, as
you see fit. Maybe, instead of Iraq we should have invaded
France. In any case, whatever debt of gratidude we ever
owed the French...it's paid in full.
FRIDAY through SUNDAY, July 1 through
First a word about being informed and/or partisan. You
can be partisan either way; but being informed is the better and more honest
way. To that end, our sources of information can skew that information
by omission as well as by commission. That's why it is so important
to "cross-read"; that is, to seek information from multiple sources,
all of which have some axe to grind. For me to restrict myself to
The Day and to the New York Times would result in being only partially
informed...and also probably a stroke victim. That's where the Wall
Street Journal comes in...even though I may agree with their editorial
positions only 50% of the time. In like manner, The Economist and
Foreign Affairs flesh out the usual fare offered in Time and Newsweek magazines.
All this suggests a choice represented in the following statement: "There
are three kinds of people: those who make things happen; those who watch
things happen; and those who are constantly muttering 'Wha hoppen'".
The last offering in Rapid Response expressed concern about the enigma
called China. Articles regarding China's current take-over Unocal,
and America's related options, are pertinent here. So is an article
in today's Sunday NYTimes entitled "O.K., Japan Isn't Taking Over The
World. But China...", by Eduardo Porter (The World, Wk p 12).
However much we were worried about Japan in the 1980's and early 1990's,
China is no Japan. The threats are much worse.
Amid all the singing and dancing taking place world-wide for Africa
- Aid, experience and history should prevail in America's approach.
world leaders meet this week and discuss increasing aid to Africa, they
face a sobering reality: sending all the money in the world won't accomplish
much without peace, security and a functioning state. And the nation
at the continent's core has none of the above - The Congo Case....The U.N.
may be able to stand up to warlords, but what can it do when faced with
a political culture that is corrupt, mendacious and self-perpetuating?"
("The Congo Case, by James Traub, NYTimes Sunday Magazine today, p35).
Also relevant here is the following quotation from the recently published
book by Richard C. Cheznoff entitled "The Arrogance of the French" (Sentinel
- Penguin Group, 2005): "The history of France's recent role in Black Africa
is particularly repugnant. Having reluctantly granted independence to their
former colonies less than half a century ago, successive French governments
simply created a subempire by weaving a web of neo-colonial rule that enabled
them to sustain control over these benighted nations and exploit their
resources - often pumping both French private and party coffers full at
the same time. In exchange for a continuous flow of manifold bounties,
the French offered protection and support to a long list of African dictators
in such countries as Gabon, Togo, and Congo who brually suppressed and
murdered any opposition and looted national treasuries to a degree that
made other corropt world leaders appear magnanimous" (p20).