by das monde
Wed May 30th, 2007 at 01:08:30 AM EST
"Every great magic trick consists of three acts. The first act is called The Pledge: the magician shows you something ordinary, but of course, it probably isn't. The second act is called The Turn. The magician makes his ordinary something do something extraordinary. Now, if you're looking for the secret... you won't find it. That's why there's a third act, called The Prestige. This is the part with the twists and turns, where lives hang in the balance, and you see something shocking you've never seen before."
The Pledge. Tony Blair is wondering why Iraqis are angry on American and British troops, after so much was done for them.
[Tell] me exactly what they feel angry about. We remove two utterly brutal and dictatorial regimes; we replace them with a United Nations-supervised democratic process and the Muslims in both countries get the chance to vote, which incidentally they take in very large numbers. And the only reason it is difficult still is because other Muslims are using terrorism to try to destroy the fledgling democracy and, in doing so, are killing fellow Muslims.
What's more, British troops are risking their lives trying to prevent the killing. Why should anyone feel angry about us? Why aren't they angry about the people doing the killing?
Indeed, why Iraqis are not grateful for all the opportunities the invasion and occupation has brought them?
The Turn. The last wonder of the world: the American Embassy in Baghdad.
The new US embassy in Baghdad is, despite its name, a base. It is set inside a 104-acre compound, making it "six times larger than the UN, as big as Vatican City, and costing $592 million to build." It will be defended by blast walls and ground-to-air missiles, and have its own apartment buildings, along with its own electricity, water supply, and sewage system. (In a dry aside, Johnson notes that "like the former American embassy in Saigon, the Baghdad embassy will have one or more helipads on the roofs.") Life will continue here as it already goes on in the US-enforced Green Zone, complete with its swimming pools, dry-cleaning outlets, and around-the-clock availability of pork in the mess canteen, as cosseted and disconnected from the surrounding reality as Happy Valley was from the rest of Kenya.
Visit the headquarters as designed by Missouri's BDY. As they have put it on their website, "We understand how to involve the client most effectively as we direct our resources to make our client's vision a reality."
The Prestige. Will George W leave the White House in 2009? Let us have a look at the National Security/Homeland Security Presidential Directive of May 9, 2007:
(1) This directive establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. This policy establishes "National Essential Functions," prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.
Ughh... What continuations need to be continued that were not successfully continued under guidance of the Constitution for 200 years? Is it not surprising that "national essential functions" and "continuity requirements" are to be defined by a President? Is a national emergency being anticipated?
(b) "Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions;
Regardless of location... "or government functions"... Isn't this a damn broad formulation?
(4) [...] As a result of the asymmetric threat environment, adequate warning of potential emergencies that could pose a significant risk to the homeland might not be available, and therefore all continuity planning shall be based on the assumption that no such warning will be received. [...] Risk management principles shall be applied to ensure that appropriate operational readiness decisions are based on the probability of an attack or other incident and its consequences.
(6) The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA) [...] The Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the Homeland Security Council staff [...]
Will the President be allowed to act preemtively? Where do those Continuity committees come from?
If George W wants do it and can do it, wouldn't he do it?