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Thursday Thuggery

Thursday, Jul. 03, 2008 3:48 AM

There's a vast assortment of adjectives I could use to describe the decision of school officials in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, but I think I'll settle on idiotic.

They've decided to form a committee to look into whether or not certain standards should be applied to commencement exercises - like requiring they be in English only.

The reason? Because co-valedictorians Hue and Cindy Vo, Vietnamese-Americans, cited a single sentence of parental advice in Vietnamese.

According to board member Rickie Pitre, to whom the idiotic label seems particularly fitting, "... there�s some inconsistencies I think the board, or administration more importantly, needs to address. I don�t like them addressing in a foreign language. They should be in English.�

Vanity Fair's Christopher Hitchens offers this opinion about waterboarding: Believe Me, It's Torture.

After an article critical of FOX News Channel, it appears someone over at FNC got a little overzealous with Adobe Photoshop, altering photos of two New York Times' reporters to include dark circles under their eyes, yellow teeth, and other exaggerations that most of us have outgrown by 2nd grade.

And then there's word that the Bush Administration shepherded the negotiation of contracts between major oil companies and the Iraqi government.

Because, like, we're in Iraq to fight terrorism. Or something.

From the There's No W In Eloquence Department, President George W. Bush on why casualties have risen in Afghanistan:

"Y'know, one reason why ... uh ... there have been more deaths is ... because our troops are taking the fight to a ... a tough enemy."

Really? A bunch of nutcases hopped up on Allah, hiding in caves, is more than a match for the U.S. military?

America needs to remember that this administration has seen us embroiled in two wars, neither of them concluded, and there's no accountability from a man who insists on unchecked privileges as the nation's Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief ... only an endless string of stuttering excuses.

We have no excuse for failing in Afghanistan. We knew well the challenges it presented, and the lessons learned by the Russians during the 80's. Historically, Afghanistan also defied the might of the British Empire. But, just like our efforts in Iraq, we've gone in with sketchy plans and a seeming ignorance of the threat we're facing.

And we're reaping the consequences - a reconstituted Taliban; a weakened Pakistan, with the implications that holds for that nation's nuclear arsenal; and a drain on our military effectiveness that would have been difficult to cope with even at the height of defense spending.

Should there be another terrorist attack within the United States, will it be the fault of those who seek to redress critical blunders of policy, diplomacy, and military action? Or should we rightly conclude it's the responsibility of an incompetent and his cabal of thugs, who have left us overextended and vulnerable?

The real shame is that even if Bush, et al were impeached, convicted, and thrown in jail to rot, it won't be enough to cleanse the stain or stench from America's image.

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