Sunday, September 17, 2006


First a word of explanation for those who ask about the title of this blog: otherjones is a salute to an American heroine and to the magazine that bears her name; but also, looking forward, a statement about otherness: accepting it is the real challenge of the 21st century.

Now on to A and non-A (with humble apologies to the mathematically inclined):  At the same time as some 117 (or however many) non-aligned countries were meeting in Havana to thumb their noses at the United States, our President continued to behave as though this country had already transported itself to another planet.  Much was made on the Sunday talk shows of his unsurprising preference for being strong and wrong rather than right and weak.   No one linked the two facts.

One thing that finally did emerge from the primordial darkness that covers the most powerful nation on earth is that (someone said it quickly, softly) there was no exit strategy for the war in Iraq because we weren't planning to leave.

On "Meet the Press" the Democratic challenger for a Senate seat for Virginia, former Navy Secretary Webb, forced incumbent Senator Allen to explain why we're building permanent bases in Iraq if we're not planning to stay.  Allen was no more convincing on that score than on why he called Webb's cameraman "macaca".

Is it unpatriotic to wonder whether the reason why 130,000 American and 130,000 Iraqi troops can't overcome 5,000 insurgents (or even 10,000) because the deal is to give the United States a so-called reason for staying in Iraq indefinitely?

Whatever bottom line eventually revealed by leakers and/or history, the non-A's (who include most if not all the major oil producing countries) manage to fit in their tent people of all persuasions.  They are brought together by the common determination to oppose the A's  - whom they supply.

Richared Clarke, in his "Against all Enemies" has some interesting things to say about our past relations with Iran, in particular Dick Cheneys role in oil politics.  I'll dot the i's next time.

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