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Sabre Dance?

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008 3:47 AM

If Iraq is such a big success, why didn't President Bush visit it during his little jaunt through the Middle East?

Mr. Bush also granted the U.S. Navy an exemption to an existing ban limiting the extent of their sonar testing off the U.S. coast. The Navy had previously admitted that such tests were responsible for a mass beaching of whales and dolphins off the Bahamas in 2000.

The explanation is that the exemption is for reasons of national security. Apparently, we're worried about terrorists deploying in mini-subs to wreak havoc upon coastal cities - a seemingly credible threat, until you consider that we're supposedly winning against al-Qaeda in Iraq, and that Iran's fleet consists of two Russian Kilo-class and eight North Korean subs purchased in 1993. (The rest of their surface fleet is also believed to be in poor repair and manned by inexperienced crews.)

At some point, the gibbering fear that seems to be passing for intelligent security policy becomes ridiculous. While an active patrol for a mini-sub that might be smuggling a 'briefcase nuke' or perhaps a biological agent makes sense, smart security must include a response plan for the possibility of an enemy success - protecting first responders and making sure we recognize important indicators.

Merrill Lynch is expected to announce losses for the past quarter, joining the Citigroup and J.P. Morgan.

Recession? What recession?

I know it was likely a ceremonial sword without a real edge, but only the smirking dope of a frat boy masquerading as our president would perform a ritual sword dance while holding his sword with the edge facing his own neck. (Saudi's Prince Salman, on the other hand, kept his blade facing outward or upward.)

To recap, Saudi Arabia got $20 billion in military equipment. Bush got on his figurative knees to beg for lower oil prices and received a medal and a sword dance.

And a resounding 'no' from King Abdullah regarding oil prices.

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