Wednesday, January 01, 2003

So, at about this time last year, the warblog crowd was preening over American success in the attack on Afghanistan. It was perhaps a bit embarrassing that Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar had escaped capture, but al-Qaeda at least was not a functioning organization, and the rest was a matter of time. Concern that the victory might be temporary, and that with the Taliban gone, the warlords we had sponsored would revert to the anarchic infighting which made the Taliban look attractive by comparison, was dismissed as the carping of left-wingers who had been shown up by the boldness and sagacity of the Bush administration. And the notion that the failed oil pipeline deal with the Taliban might have anything to do with subsequent events was dismissed as pure conspiracy mongering, and far-fetched at that. When would these liberal pantywaists admit they were wrong?

Cut to the present. Bin Laden and Omar are both still at large, and both apparently alive, witness that tape with bin Laden's voice discussing current attacks. Al-Qaeda has picked itself up and put itself back together; they haven't blown up anything in New York again, but the nightclub bombing in Indonesia was on a scale comparable to anything they'd done before that. As to Afghanistan, the best you can say about the Karzai regime is that it's well-intentioned, and holds uncontested control over most neighborhoods in greater Kabul. Meanwhile, Dubya shows his sagacity by building up for an attack on Iraq, which poses little immediate threat to anyone outside its own borders, as if it was the single greatest threat in the world today, pooh-poohing North Korea, which has started up a nuclear weapons production line, has been recently caught selling its first-rate missile technology to Arab governments of questionable integrity, and has generally done everything short of threatening directly to nuke Tokyo or Seoul, both well within range of its missiles. But the pipeline deal --- that's in place. (Funny how you don't see much about it in the American press). When will these preening conservative blowhards admit they were wrong?

Speaking of oil-driven politics, here's a Reuters story which pretty much tells the world that the US is planning to take over the Iraqi oilfields, and (if you scroll down all the way) divvy them up among major Western energy companies. Perhaps that's what makes Iraq more dangerous than North Korea --- they have oil, while all the Koreans have is plutonium...

(Links via Bitter Shack and Ruminate This).


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