Does anyone else think that the United States and the U.N. Security Council have two completely different interpretations of what was agreed to today?
The United States interpretation
"He must submit to any and all methods to verify his compliance. His cooperation must be prompt and unconditional or he will face the severest consequences," the president said.U.N. Security Council interpretation
A senior administration official, briefing reporters at the White House, said: "The president left no doubt what those consequences would be: A military operation to get rid of the weapons of mass destruction and to change the regime."
...While the United States made some concessions to wary allies, the resolution meets the White House's key demands for tougher U.N. weapons inspections and the flexibility to take military action against Iraq if inspectors say Baghdad isn't complying...But Bush said he would not be handcuffed by the resolution, which he said addresses the concerns of allies "without jeopardizing our freedom of action."
A senior administration official, talking to reporters on condition of anonymity, said the United States would be obliged to participate in a debate over violations but that does not limit Bush's right to act without the U.N. if he chooses to do so.
China, France, and Russia issued a joint statement saying the resolution excludes any automatic use of force. The three countries said the Security Council must decide what to do if Iraq fails to meet the U.N. demands.The International Herald Tribune thinks they've got it figured out:
The new measure still leaves the United States free to attack Iraq without a formal second UN resolution authorizing the use of force. But it requires the Security Council to assess any serious violation that could lead to war.How can the U.S. be free to attack and also be bound to the assessment of the Security Council? And what violations would the U.S. consider serious?
In a speech to the Security Council after the vote, Negroponte, the chief U.S. envoy to the U.N., said "to the government of Iraq, our message is simple: non-compliance no longer is an option." Every act of Iraqi non-compliance, he added, "will be a serious matter, because it would tell us that Iraq has no intention of disarming."The resolution excludes automatic use of force (according to the U.N. Security Council), but the United States is free to act without another resolution but is first obligated to debate the seriousness of violations...but all violations are serious.
Of course the Council knew of these conflicting interpretations and passed the resolution anyway. The only reason the Council passed the resolution was fear of the loss of U.N. prestige if the U.S. acted without them. The Council reasons that if Iraq cooperates, the conflicting interpretations won't matter.
But the conflict will come to a head quickly. Iraq has seven days to communicate acceptance of the resolution. Iraq will likely communicate some form of acceptance, but will then start dictating conditions. This in the eyes of the U.S. will constitute a serious violation. So will we just start bombing or will we argue the definition of "serious" with the U.N. Security Council?
Yesterday morning on FoxNews Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe comes on bragging that 52% of Americans are waking up to a Democratic governor.
While what he said is probably technically true, this man is living in fantasy land. The election was a historic victory for the Republicans. The smarter strategy for McAuliffe would have been to admit to defeat and begin analyzing what went wrong for the Dems.
Instead, McAuliffe's spun the truth, and then went negative:
"The president got what he asked for (Tuesday) and now he will have to produce... No more blame game. No more nonsense about a dysfunctional Senate. This is his sputtering economy. He must take responsibility for it."Echos of that terrible Nixon concession speech: "they won't have the Democrats to kick around anymore."
It apparently doesn't matter that the Republican Congress hasn't even been sworn in yet. McAuliffe is already salivating at the thought of a deepening recession or a military quagmire that he can blame on the GOP.
The flip side of this security coin is rarely talked about in polite company, but it’s equally true. We are still angry about the attack. America wants to see more dead terrorists. We think a more powerful Bush can deliver this.
I remember a Clinton interview during his second term where the interviewer asked whether questions about his character bothered him. In his reply Clinton did not take issue with the characterization of his private character, but argued that his positions on public policy demonstrated his character. What utter drivel. Character and dignity are separate, apart, and beyond politics.
Please, please, please let the Democrats believe this. Let them move to the left and send Hillary out to meet Bush in 2004. It will be Reagan v. Mondale all over again.
The truth is that the Democrats were right to attempt to hide their ideology from the American people. When America is united, liberalism fades. It takes a country with deep racial, ethnic, and class divisions for liberalism to truly thrive.
For now, enjoy "Dancing Bush."
As for me, here is how I’m voting:
U. S. Senator:
Suzanne Haik TerrellU. S. Representative, 4th Congressional District
This Republican has the best chance of getting into a runoff with Landrieu.
"Jim" McCreryAnd now to wade through the constitutional amendments:
CA No. 1 (Act 1231-2001), Changes to Legislative Session
I fear change. Seriously, I don't know what difference this change would make strategically. Therefore, I'm voting against it.
CA No. 2 (Act 88-2002), Ind. & joint income tax schedule
Would increase state income tax in exchange for eliminating sales taxes. Another effort to “stick it to the man.”
CA No. 3 (Act 1236-2001), Procedure for the Legis.to adj.appropriatio
Allows reduction of spending in areas of the budget that have been "protected" from cuts.
CA No. 4 (Act 166-2002), Removal of public employees from employment
Requires the termination of state or local public employees convicted of a felony.
CA No. 5 (Act 89-2002), St.Bd. of Commerce to contract ad valorem tax
Allows property tax exemptions for up to 10 years for developers of retirement
CA No. 6 (Act 1234-2001), Budget estimate to fund law enforce.& fire
Pay raise for law enforcement and firefighters.
CA No. 7 (Act 87-2002), Homestead exemption assessment level
A 1998 amendment gave special property tax breaks for home owners age 65 or older, but it required the seniors to reapply annually. The proposed change would eliminate the annual filing requirement.
CA No. 8 (Act 1235-2001), Higher education to invest in stock up to 5
Would allow public colleges and universities to invest up to 50% of their endowment or other permanent funds in the stock market. I’m all for allowing me to invest part of my social security in the stock market. But this would allow some unknown bureaucrat to invest in certain stocks. This would be ripe for corruption.
CA No. 9 (Act 1232-2001), Permit investment in stock Med. Trust Fund
Would allow the state to invest up to 35% of the medicare trust fund
in the stock market. Again, this is just asking for corruption.
CA No. 10 (Act 1233-2001), Programs to assist farmers
Sets up a fund for groundwater conservation. There certainly room for disagreement with me on this. This would not actually raise taxes but could be a slippery slope to an expensive government program.
CA No. 11 (Act 86-2002), Exemption from ad valorem on drilling rigs
Offshore drilling rigs tax break. Written so specifically that it sounds like it was tailored to benefit one oil driller with enough pull to get it put on the ballot.
CA No. 12 (Act 1230-2001), Qualifications of Coroner, Livingston Paris
Yesterday we received the news that a car-load of terrorists was blown up in Yemen. Among the dead was a top associate of Usama bin Laden, Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi. This guy is thought to have been a mastermind behind the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. I wonder why Clinton didn't think to do this?
So, for al-Qaeda, is it safer to hijack an airplane or ride in a car?
The remaining question is who did this and how. The most reliable reports seem to be that the C.I.A. did this via a predator drone. But there is some talk that a helicopter was seen in the area. And Scott Koenig points to a report in the Arab media that quotes "Gulf intelligence sources" that state the attack was carried out by Navy F/A-18 Hornets from the USS Abraham Lincoln.
I would think that at least in the short term, westerners that remain in Yemen are highly vulnerable. Al-Qaeda is known to have a substantial presence in Yemen’s capital San`a. These guys are going to be looking for revenge within easy reach.
--courtesy Nealz Nuze (after some additions, subtractions and editing)
mrstg87 -at- yahoo /dot\ com