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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Outlook for 2007: Potential nuclear 9 11

I think we are going to find that Saddam’s death irrelevant. Because he’s been replaced by a bigger force – Al Qaida and Islamism.

Forces larger than Saddam were unleashed when Bush & Co changed focus from Afghanistan to Iraq. Yes, our leaders finally got rid of Saddam, -- and ironically produced yet another one as a result of this war. The sad irony is that we may be getting only a new Saddam after spending hundreds of billions and over 3,000 American lives.

The name “Al Sadr” was shouted by Saddam’s death witnesses at his hanging. The sad irony is that Moquata Al Sadr is a Shiite killer and thug no different than Saddam, the Sunni killer and thug.

In Afghanistan, Osama had little to work with (land of rocks, few people, not much to blow up). When the war on Iraq began, it opened a new opportunity for Al Qaida (home of Babylon, epicenter of the Middle East and 26 million people divided into three groups who hate each other, and lots of stuff to blow up). Despite reports to the contrary about Saddam and Al Qaida, Saddam hated Osama bin laden and vice versa. Bin laden was a religious nut; Saddam was the non-religious nut. When the U.S. knocked out Saddam, it opened the door to Iraq’s wealth for Osama’s supporters that he didn’t have in Afghanistan.

So the violence in Iraq is now nothing about Saddam. His execution will do little to change things. It is about control and Sunni vs Shiite vs Kurd.

Worse, Al Sadr has Iran as a backer. Since Iran is headed by an extremist this does not bode well for 2007 and America in Iraq.

The timing of executing only Saddam --and not his two associates who were also sentenced to death -- on a Muslim religious holy day associated with Martyrs looked odd. It looked like hasty, frontier justice. Executing him and the only two after the holidays would have worked better and avoided another instance of cultural fumbling.

Iraq has now killed more Americans than 9 11. Yet it appears a greater danger has been generated as a result of the war, and from the continued silly mistakes made in running it…

We are heading for a nuclear 9 11 if our leadership doesn’t wake up and make some key changes soon. And the biggest threat isn’t even in the Middle East.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam's Execution

"The Iraqi prime minister's office released a statement that said Saddam's execution was a "strong lesson" to ruthless leaders who commit crimes against their own people."

Let's hope so. But I don't think his death will slow the killing in Iraq. I don't see Kim Jung Il shaking in his boots. Dictators are becoming extinct - even Iran and Venezuela elect their leaders. And don't forget, the U.S. actively supported Saddam in the 80's in his war against Iran.

Note Saddam's last words, shouted from the gallows: "Before the rope was put around his neck, Saddam shouted: 'God is great. The nation will be victorious and Palestine is Arab."

That reference to Palestine points out an uncomfortable truth - the issues facing Iraq are regional. Finding a solution to the Palestinian issue is vital to reduce future terrorism and war.

Saddam's departure won't change the core problem that has created instability in the Middle East. It won't reduce the violence until we actively engage in finding solutions to the Palestinian issue.

For the past six years there has been little engagement by American leadership. Unless that changes, Saddam could have the last laugh...

Friday, December 29, 2006

James Brown v. Gerald Ford funerals

It's interesting to observe the difference as James Brown is honored at the same time as President Ford. Apparently Mr. Brown will have at least three changes in attire. That is something new. What is standard is his fans doing the "second line" - the New Orleans celebration of a life with upbeat (usually jazz) music that is last part of a funeral.

Mr. Ford will lie in State after a private ceremony for his family, and probably wearing the same suit. Two giants, so different in life and their rituals after death, but both sharing a history of having had a positive impact on millions.

In southern Texas today we are getting a series of rains coming up from the Gulf. I prefer rain to the 4 feet of snow that just hit Denver. I grew up on a farm in snow, milking cows. It (snow and milking cows) is something best seen in pictures. I can drive in the rain but on ice a car is like a pair of skies with no brakes...whoa! And I prefer my milk fresh off a shelf at the grocery store...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Will Killing Saddam Make Things Better?

December 28, 2006

We are back from New Orleans. Despite this being my anniversary at dinner tonight I found myself wondering if rushing to kill Saddam really make things better in Iraq? Will an appellate ruling made before Saddam’s trial transcript arrived for review make Iraqi justice better? It almost looks like they are trying to set a speed record.

I didn’t like him or trust him. But my gut says that killing Saddam in a rush won’t solve anything, and may even make him a “martyr” and leave us open to charges of hasty justice. Why not try him for some of his other crimes before carrying out a snap execution?

I think the most interesting thing was Saddam’s letter calling for peaceful co-existence and discouraging attacks on foreign (e.g. U.S.) troops.

As it stands, Saddam will be tried, convicted and executed before former CD 22 Rep.Tom DeLay’s first appeal is even heard on one of three criminal charges. What is that going to say to the Muslim world? Our criminals sit on death row for years. I hear reports that Saddam could be executed within 48 hours. It would appear Iraq does not have the American legal system.

I’m not sure that an execution of Saddam now will even send a warning to the world’s dictators, who face no such fate for crimes no less serious.

Bottom line: It is a judgment that needs to be made by the Iraqis, not Americans, but the timing and rush to execute may make things worse.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford: Role Model for Future Presidents

Gerald Ford

I got the news about former President Gerald Ford’s passing while in New Orleans. After driving through the 9th ward and checking the recovery effort, we got the news that John Edwards was also in the 9th ward – and will declare his candidacy for President for 2008 tomorrow.

I remember Mr. Ford taking over from President Nixon after Watergate and the tense college campuses and protests at the time. I was a university student at UT (pursuing a BBA) then. Ford’s taking over the Presidency was an immediate improvement in the atmosphere in Washington and the country when it happened. Nixon had created a strange atmosphere that split the country. He was paranoid and closed; Ford was honest and open.

I think that whoever is elected in 2008 will produce a similar change in atmosphere. We’ve been long on fear and short on hope. We’ve been long on preaching to the choir and short on making wise decisions with our budgets and international relationships. (For example, it turns out the Saudi’s –not Saddam--are the source of radical Islam that is mass producing Osama bin ladens.

Mr. Edwards is but one of many who will enter the 2008 contest—Democrat and Republican-- with ideas for our future. People are hungry for fresh leadership. Too bad our laws prevent Arnold schwarzznegger from running for President. He’s taking a leadership position on global warming, etc.

The battle of (Presidential candidate) ideas is starting early. The next administration inherits staggering deficits, global economic challenges from China to India and a Middle East being consumed by radical Islam. Anything could happen.

With the Bush administration being so lame duck and offering nothing new to pay attention to, I expect the public will be increasingly focused on surveying the upcoming Presidential beauty contestants and their talents in question is what they will do with New Orleans, an important oil/shipping port for the U.S.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Secret of An Nil

I happened to catch a CBS News report last night about a neighborhood in Baghdad that has been spared the bloody violence sweeping the rest of the city. It’s called An Nil, a mixed area of Sunni, Sunni and Christian. They have lived together for decades and became friends as well as neighbors. They are protecting each other now.

That’s the secret. Only by people of different groups living next to each other – instead of segregating each group – will this insanity stop. Otherwise we more senseless killing will continue ad nauseum.

It’s not unlike the same weird thinking that had Protestant’s and Catholics shooting each other in Ireland until a few years ago. There is nothing worse than people proving the superiority of their religion by killing other people. They lived separately and isolated lives. Hate breeds in such environments.

The policy being discussed by some U.S. officials to favor only the Shiites because they are the (80%) majority will be a disaster if implemented. It will fuel the separation and the “ethnic cleansing” already going on. The minority Christians, Muslim Sunnis and Kurds will suffer. I don't think it represents the American model of diverse groups each having a voice in government.

The An Nil neighborhood is a model of what needs to be replicated on a country-wide basis if there is to be success in Iraq.

An Nil also happens to describe what makes America a success. In my neighborhood and neighborhoods across this country all ethnic groups, including Muslim and Christian, peacefully coexist as neighbors. We need to encourage MORE of it, not less. Without it, more troops won't change anything.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Riding the Stick Pony

It appears that the people of Iran have given their extremists a “thumping” and voted against Ahmadinejad’s hard-line cronies, favoring moderate conservatives instead.

This is a good sign. It shows that even Iranians are tired of extremists running the government and messing with them.

By the way, why are we negotiating with North Korea but refusing to do the same with Iran and Syria?

Last night my wife took me to “Fajita Flats” in Stafford for my birthday (a mere 57). They put on my head the largest hat I’ve ever seen – it must have been four foot across. At least they didn’t make me ride the “stick pony” around the place as they did with a friend of ours from church. LOL. You know what a stick pony is right? The pony's head is on the wooden stick.

I read that Mr. DeLay has said in his blog that he predicts the next President in 2008 will be….Hillary Clinton. Wow. It’s rare for me to agree with him, but I think he’s calling that one right. We’ll see. The sight of her as President would be shocking enough to the women-hating extremists like Ahmadinejad that he may end up riding the 'stick pony' if the Iranian people don't beat her to it...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Chinese Underworld and U.S. Immigration – Iran and the Holocaust

I was watching a TV program on the people smuggling operation run by Chinese criminal gangs, like the Triads. The peope smugglers are called Snakeheads. Charging $40,000 to smuggle desperate Chinese into America where the worst place is still better than the best place in their village, it fosters an entire criminal enterprise exploiting these people in our own country. They don’t just dump them. They spend years in America paying off the Asian smugglers who brought them here. Imagine their market - 800 million poor Chinese.

The groups change constantly. It occurred to me that our system guarantees gangs like this business, because there are very few ways for people to come legally and work. Yet we don't want to have 800 million people move here either.

Other global smugglers promise women jobs and force them into prostitution instead. Children are forced into the global sex trade.

American agencies need to work closer with their counterparts in Asia, Europe and around the world to fix this. We need a new approach to international legal enforcement –and immigration-- to put these crooks out of business.

Without it, the global trade in human cargo will continue. Little is being done.

On Iran and the Holocaust - The sight of Iran's Ahmadinejad hosting a conference with David Duke for the absurd purpose of delaring that the WWII Holocaust is a "myth" shows the danger of letting any country be run by a religion and its extremists. It would be funny if it weren't so serious. It also proves that extremists come in all colors, and so does prejudice. None of it is good.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Global Threat: Muslim vs. Muslim War

A new report says that a majority of Americans support the Baker Report’s recommendations on Iraq. “Fifty-seven percent believe Washington should reach out to its adversaries Iran and Syria in an effort to stabilize Iraq. And 61 percent believe Washington should launch a new and sustained effort to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Apparently the President is not one of them. While Al Qaeda is a tiny fraction of the trouble in Iraq, he wants to focus on them. Killings by Sunni and Shiite extremists are the bigger threat to security. However, Mr. Bush doesn’t want to talk to Syria and Iran even when the fire is getting out of control. This is not a good sign.

Neither is the fact that we have the beginnings of a medieval Muslim vs. Muslim regional conflict beginning to take shape – Sunnis versus Shiites in Lebanon, Iraq, etc. The Saudi Sunnis are adding fuel to the fire by sending money to the Iraq Sunni insurgents. Hezbollah is ready to take over Lebanon. Most of us could not tell the difference between Shiite and Sunni (frankly, they all look the same), but it’s a big deal to them. It’s the same blind ignorance that fed the Catholic vs. Protestant mindless killing in Ireland. But with 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, it could be much a bigger problem.

This could even bring in the Islamic part of Russia into this spreading war and ignite separatist moves by Kurds in Iraq, Turkey and Iran, etc.

Meanwhile, the President seems to be tossing the Baker Report into the trash cam. If so, Iraq could become the flash point for a Muslim on Muslim war that won’t give Israel, the U.S. or anyone any security.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Baker Report on Iraq

The Baker Report says that the situation in Iraq is grave and getting worse. Yesterday I got a call from a local TV station and today I went in to Fox to talk about the Baker/Hamilton findings.

They always hit you with questions you have no time to prepare for. One thing I recall saying was that we still have very few intelligence specialists. I saw a recent video where the heads of our government agencies in charge of intelligence could not tell the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, etc. How comforting to know our intelligence chiefs are clueless on the Middle East four years after 9 11. We need a Manhattan project on intelligence, since we have so little of it running our government agencies.

If the President does not follow the Baker report recommendations, then the Pandora ’s Box in Iraq that was unleashed by this administration will produce even more horror on a larger level, even globally.

Our government’s policy so far has been an airplane crash. All we can do now is to try to salvage what we can and move on…I have a suggestion. Maybe Bush should invite Iran's Ahmadinejad to a girly show to start the negotiations! If they end up at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, anything is possible!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Richest 2% Own HALF the Wealth

It's been reported that the richest 2% now control ONE-HALF of the world's wealth. If this trend continues in the U.S., the Middle Class that is the backbone of this country will be destroyed - and our economy will become like a third world country (yes, like Mexico, etc.). And check this out: While the "average wealth" in the U.S. is about $144,000 in Japan it is $181,000!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Fresh Start With Bolton Departure at UN

The President has an opportunity to make a fresh start with the resignation of John Bolton from the UN post. He was the wrong person, at the wrong time, with the wrong approach. He needed a Dale Carnegie Course. He basically told everyone else they had bad breath and big faults while not admitting our own. That’s not exactly the way to win friends and influence people.

This is a chance for the President to “move up” and appoint someone who can turn things around, like the replacement of Mr. Rumsfeld with Mr. Gates. We need someone with the skills and personality to forge a better relationship with the international community at a time when it can only go up.

In the past that person would be someone like former Sec. of State James Baker. I doubt he’d want this job, but we need someone like him as UN Ambassador – a realist who can talk to a diverse crowd. It was Baker who helped the first Pres. Bush assemble the broadest coalition ever assembled during the first Gulf War. Let’s hope the President picks someone of Mr. Baker’s caliber instead of another narrow ideologue who irritates people and does further damage to America's image.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Kidnappings in Mexico and Our Drug Policies

I just published an article on the kidnappings of Americans in Mexico - and how it is tied to our failed drug policies that generate billions for criminals. The problem is getting worse, not better. This article provides more background on the problem.

Now for something completely different. Check out this piece on a 2,000 year old computer. Wonder who the original Bill Gates was?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Immigration solutions

For a great article on immigration --and potential solutions--check out this article.

I sent out an article today on the ties to the kidnappings of Americans in Mexico by drug gangs --and how U.S. policies are generating hundreds of billions to international gangs. The link to the article is at:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mayor's Plan on the Homeless

I heard Local 2 news report tonight that Houston has 14,000 homeless and that it would take “$25 million to solve homelessness in Houston.”

The reporter said that number is “impossibly high” to reach and only $1 million will be invested. Really? Now $25 billion would be impossible. But we spend more than $25 million on pet food in this city. If we can solve homelessness for that modest investment, then private and public cooperation should make it so--now. Mayor White, to his credit, has a plan that calls for using abandoned apartments etc for this effort. It should be pursued.

If you haven’t had to sleep on a street or in your car, then maybe it doesn’t matter to you. It matters to me because I came close to homelessness in the bust of the 80’s. It matters to the families living on the street. If we are to be truly civilized, making this modest investment is a plus for our community.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Raining in Houston as President Circles the Planet el al

It’s raining in Houston and the President is in Estonia, the first U.S. President to visit. Bush is becoming an internationalist finally. Meanwhile, the Iraqi leadership is meeting the Iranian Prez. Iraq is falling apart and a regional war is very possible. In the absence of American leadership talking to the Iranians, Iraq’s leaders are doing the right thing. They are looking into the abyss of a civil war that is already happening, whether we admit it or not.

Actually, this is something the Iraqis need to be doing instead of having the U.S. trying to do it for them. But we still need to talk to these countries one on one as well. We have issues with Iran in nukes and Syria on insurgents coming across the border intent on killing American soldiers as well as their brother Muslims, so we still have a vested interest in our President’s team meeting with these countries among others. Lebanon is close to sliding back into hell, mostly due the Syrians.

While all of that is unfolding, I spent a good part of today trying to get a new desktop computer to talk to the printer at the office, while the laptop refused to connect to the wireless. Phones were acting squirrelly also and I had no umbrella handy when the skies opened up. Mondays after a holiday aren’t Iraq, but they are hell in their own way…lol.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Nov 22 - Reminder of JFK. We need another one in 08

I still remember what I was doing on this day in 1963 – the day JFK was assassinated and our world changed forever. I was a 14-year old student in class in Rockwell, Iowa. We were stunned when the news came – that the President had been shot and killed. One kid laughed, but only one. I’ve since learned that some people laugh inappropriately when nervous. All I knew then was how mad it made me to hear someone laugh. All of us were in shock. The whole country went into shock that day. I always remember all these things, and JFK, every November 22. It’s one of those special dates that is branded in your brain, like the day in April when my father was killed in an auto accident just before finals at UT.

Remembering November 22 also reminds me how pitiful our leadership has become. Politicians have replaced statesmen. Respect and intelligence have been replaced with dogma and picking loyalists over competence. I miss having a JFK in office. He represented someone vastly smarter then us – smart and witty at the same time. I no longer feel our leaders are smarter than us, or witty. JFK brought us hope and color visions of space and community. Today, it’s all about fear and refusal to talk—while the Middle Class is abandoned. Even Ronald Reagan talked to the Soviets, the axis of evil at that time. Our leadership has wrecked our budget, allowed lobbyists to double in two years after more than 200 without them, and has put too many incompetents in key positions that are costing too many innocent people their lives. One example: Mr. Bremer was sent to Iraq but no one bothered to read former Sec of State James Baker’s (Baker Institute) paper on how to run post-conflict Iraq. If he had, he would have NOT fired the Iraqi army -- and sent them home with their guns to kill our own troops. Apparently not even the President read it. If he had, why did he allow it? The President has attacked Syria over the latest assassination in Lebanon. Yet he says nothing about Russia’s Putin -- who is doing the same thing as journalists are killed along with his critics and private enterprise and American oil investments are being confiscated by the State Look into his eyes again George. He’s still ex-KGB, and he didn’t fall off a turnip truck.

I feel like our team is still sitting in the turnips. I miss JFK. In 2008, we need another leader of that caliber. We need a fresh, global Presidential team with a real strategic plan to address the burning global issues that affect our future. I want to hear McCain’s plan, Mr. Giulani’s and Mrs. Clinton’s, etc.

I want to know who would be on their team and what they can do to correct the mess we are now in, now that we are trillions in debt and trapped in Iraq…Who is the next JFK for America?

Monday, November 20, 2006

President 2008 - Only those with Global Expertise Please...

I think it has become evident from 9 11 and events in Iraq, Iran, Korea, etc. that our next President will need global experience before taking the office.

We cannot afford to have another President finding out about how the world works “on the job.” One doesn't learn much about the planet in a motorcade. One sees the world differently --realistically--when you've been across the negotiating table in venues around the world.

It was those global trips for a Fortune 500 company that introduced me to Saddam in 1979 and the evolution of China. Which brings me to the next point: The next administration needs to have a global strategy – not just a domestic one. And no more just “making it up as you go.” In other words, what will the next President do to expand trade and reduce global tensions? World events are as much of being President as dealing with tax policy and domestic issues.

What we don’t need is someone who is guessing what Russians, Chinese, Koreans, Iraqis, etc. are really like and following advisors theories. We don't need paranoids on the right nor blind optimists on the left. The NeoCons made assumptions about Iraq that any international negotiator who has made deals in the Middle East would never make. Because Mr. Bush had never been in those countries before taking office, he believed his advisors and their (flawed) theories. He has paid a high price for it.

To the contrary, his dad, Bush 41, HAD been "out there" and has a realistic view. That is what we need back in office. We, as the most powerful country in the world, cannot afford to elect a new "Captain of our ship of State" in 2008 --Democrat or Republican-- who has never sailed the global seas before taking office. As we have seen,the learning curve is too steep, too expensive and too prone to cause dramatic failures and a loss of U.S. image when our top officials are strangers to the world in which we live. The same can be said about our Congress reps.

Keep that in mind when the hordes of (Presidential) candidates emerge... It's the global, 21st Century and we'll need global, 21st Century Presidents for the rest of this century, and beyond....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Finding Nukes on a Laptop

An unemployed U.S. Citizen was arrested in Detroit after they discovered over $70,000 in cash on him – and a laptop with nuclear information. He had been in Nigeria and came back via Amsterdam, and was heading for Phoenix. How weird is that?

I’ve been to Amsterdam and Nigeria – not your normal nuclear hotspots. Very strange. It is the spread of nuclear technology that poses the greatest risk to all of us. A few years ago I did a TV program which talked about people from Columbia being discovered with nuclear material in Germany. There is a global black market that our government needs to monitor very closely.

I see where our temporary Congress rep, Dr. Sekula Gibbs, had seven aides quit today—all who had been employed with Mr. DeLay, who resigned after an indictment. They said she was “mean” – and she says they may have destroyed files. A soap opera doesn’t get any better than this. Stay tuned for more strange news from Texas...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Getting Security - From airport to Iraq

When I came back from Iowa, my “Old Spice” cologne was confiscated at the Minneapolis Airport check in. I am now watching local TV tell me how they stopped seizing liquids. UMMM. Someone didn’t tell the folks in Minnesota.

The BIG question now is what to do to “fix” Iraq. Baker’s group is about to release their report. A major course correction is a certainty. It will be a tough row to hoe since sectarian violence (Muslims killing Muslims more than Muslims killing American troops) has become the bigger problem.

Expect regional negotiations, including Syria and Saudi, to be called for – that’s my guess.

Setting a specific time to pull out is risky but the troops will have to come home at some point. The trick will be defining it.

Robert Gates is a great pick to replace Rumsfeld.

The President should also replace UN Ambassador Bolten. Again, I wish it could someone like James Baker. It wouldn’t take much to be an improvement over Bolten. Imagine you had a neighbor that told everyone how awful they are, then came around demanding respect and support. Doh! Bolton apparently missed the Dale Carnegie "How to Win Friends and Influence People" but seems to have a degree from the Saddam Hussein School of Diplomacy...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lessons from this Election

As a former candidate for District 22 who ran against DeLay before it was fashionable, it is my opinion that this election has the following lessons: Voters hate extremes and the sad truth is that the GOP has been dominated by extremist partisans like DeLay for too long.

The GOP has forgotten the middle class and regular people. It focused on the top 10%, the lobbies and the so-called Christians like Mr. Haggard, who condemned gays while being one, and Mr. Robertson, who called for assassinating a foreign leader and called for a bombing of our own State Department.

We are a nation of many colors and many religions - not just one. It is time for common sense Centrists to be in leadership. The Democrats were the wise ones who moved to the middle - as centrists. If they stay there, the people will prosper and we will finally address critical issues like the greenhouse gases killing our global home, prescription drug costs, etc. that were ignored by the GOP majority.

I ran as a Centrist Republican had lost, even after Mr. DeLay was indicted. What kind of denial is that? What kind of values? I ran as a Centrist independent, which dropped DeLay to 55% in 2004 and started his downhill run. Until the control of the GOP moves back to the moderates and they start selecting Centrists instead of extremists, I will put my trust in centrist Democrat candidates in this and future elections. This GOP has no tolerance for Centrists or moderates, so they might as well switch to Democratic party. We don't need one subgroup of one religion running the GOP (as it is) and our country like they do Iran. We don't need a personality cult in the White House that only listens to 'yes men' nor do we need any one religion running our government. America was founded to get away from that in England.

I supported and voted for Nick Lampson as one of those fair minded centrists that are missing in the DeLay type GOP. He was picked by voters. The GOP candidate was picked in a back room instead of the voting booth this year, thanks to Mr. DeLay.

Voters around the country felt the same. That is the lesson in this election...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Brave New World

It’s a brave new world folks.

The amazing thing about American democracy is how well grounded the public is. They automatically pull politicians back from the extreme. They are the Captains of this American ship of state. Extremes left or right are not tolerated. It is as if they are the ballast that keeps us on an even keel.

On election day I was at a lunch listening to Colonel Kim Olson at the World Affairs Council describe what happened when she was with Gen. Garner in Iraq – when Mr. Bremer came in with orders to dismantle the Iraq army, etc. That act created an instant insurgency of hundreds of thousands of angry, unemployed men who were discharged with their weapons (and they knew where all the ammo dumps were). Gen. Garner was so angry, he said: “You’ve just bought 2,000 body bags” and walked out.

He was right. We’ve lost over 2,000 so far. Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation is a step in the right direction.

I wish Mr. Gates good luck. Col Olson felt that there is still time to “save” Iraq. Let’s hope so…

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Election & Conviction of Saddam

I’m glad the political ads are about to go away. There comes a time to stop the campaigning and just VOTE to see what a majority of the people want to do. I predict BIG changes tomorrow, in many unforeseen ways as well. Change can be good -- and is often necessary to break out of a rut.

I went to my stepfather’s funeral this weekend, in Iowa. When the military honors team handed my mom the flag, I could see the emotion in that man's face. I knew that Pete had been part of their team for many years, doing this same thing for countless others. I could tell that it was not just an official statement, but a personal one that each of those men felt. They had lost a friend. They saluted his casket on his final trip. Pete was a great role model as a stepfather. He shall be greatly missed.

The trip also provided time to visit my 98 year old grandmother, Lydia, who lives in nearby Garner –everything in Iowa is 10 miles away, without traffic. I couldn’t believe how nice that was. Grandmother will be 99 in February and looked really great.

On Saddam’s death penalty: Big surprise. But if they execute him, as much as he deserves it, I believe it will further divide Iraq. It already is widening the rift between Sunnis and Shiite, guaranteeing a civil war and a failed state.

If they want to start the reconciliation process between Sunni and Shiite which will be necessary to get a stable country back, a compromise will need to be worked out --perhaps life in prison without possibility of parole.

No question that Saddam deserves a cruel death, but there is already plenty of that in Iraq. We also need to take into consideration that it was our own government that helped create this monster – we supported Saddam in his 80’s war against Iran (during the Reagan administration) and sold him weapons, some of which he turned against his own people. Mr. Cheney was visiting Saddam as late as 1998 on behalf of Halliburton. Killing him won't make our guilt less or solve the problems in Iraq. Besides, we should worry to be on the same side as the Ayatollahs of Iran, who have called for Saddam's execution, overlooking their own brutality, such as sending boys as young as 5 to walk the minefields as a way to clear the path for their tanks in that war... No one has clean hands...

But Saddam's fate is the Iraqi peoples’ call, not ours. Our role is not to be world dictator. But they need to find a way to reduce the anger. Further alienating 20% of the population by executing Saddam won’t stop the bloodshed. In fact, it could increase it even further as things spin out of control by bad decision after bad decision….Go ahead. Don't believe me. They didn't listen when I talked about terrorism coming to the U.S. in the 90's either.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Goodbye Pete

My stepfather, who was 81 and a very fine man, passed away yesterday. Pete served in WWII and married my mom after my dad was killed in a car wreck when I was a junior at UT Austin. I know he is with God and with Henri, our beloved dog.

With all the deaths in the family in the past couple months I have paid little attention to the political campaigns (when you are no longer a candidate the thrill is gone). I believe the Democrats will end up with control of the House--due to Iraq--and that both sides will have to find common ground in the middle. But the only ground I will be covering is a funeral in Iowa tomorrow for a WWII vet who was a great role model as a stepfather...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Iraq War's Impact on Jordan - & the U.S.

I just got this email from a Christian friend in Jordan I'll call "Duane" that put a chill down my neck:

“Hi Mike,The situation here in Jordan is tense. A number of Iraqis have come over to Jordan. This has had mixed results though. Some come with money and businessskills, which can lead to higher prices as demandincreases. But many of the Iraqis do not have a good income, and they are (mostly) not permitted to work orsend their children to public schools here. Imagine having children at home with you all day, not being able to continue their elementary or secondaryeducation!Jordanians are mostly negative about the impact. Rent and gas and basic food prices have all gone up in price. But my hope is that as many of them are secularly minded or Christian, the influence on Jordan will be positive in the long run.”
(End of email)
Wow, I thought when I read it. This is news we rarely get here in the U.S. It should tell us that the spill over effect of the Iraq war is trouble and could destabilize some of the surrounding countries like Jordan –because of the economic cost.

We don’t have the luxury of waiting much past Nov. 8 to hear the Baker-Hamilton commission’s recommendations on Iraq. Our troops are facing burnout – and the military is so thin it could not respond to another global crisis, say if North Korea and China get hot.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Europe Delegation -- Terrorism & Rush Limbaugh

I gave a briefing to a European delegation from 11 countries yesterday. Very fascinating people, representing countries from Macedonia to Austria. While the briefing was on terrorism and trade issues between the U.S. and Europe, they mostly wanted to talk about terrorism issues.

My view is that we have always had terrorism and will also have it – even if it is a nonreligious nut case like Tim McVeigh or a religious nut case like Osama bin laden --but with more powerful weapons in the future.

We will need to cooperate internationally to avoid future acts of terror with more deadly weapons that could include compact nuclear bombs. It affects not just the U.S. but all countries, as we saw in the bombings in London, Madrid, etc.

The numbers of terrorists may grow or decrease, depending on how things are handled.

If people like Rush Limbaugh continue to mock those with diseases like Michael J Fox, then the number of people who want to blow us up will increase-- especially if they think we are like Limbaugh. Limbaugh made fun of Michael J Fox who has Parkinson's and wobbled in an ad. Limbaugh wanted drug users to be jailed and executed until he became one (on Oxycontin). Maybe “Rush” needs a dose of a disease like Parkinson's to get a little empathy beat into him. Maybe Limbaugh needs to change his tune or spend some time in jail for drug use if we are going to apply the same rules to everyone. Or do the rules not apply to the rich or radio hosts?

Michael J Fox could go low and mimic Limbaugh on Oxycontin use, but Mr. Fox is a decent guy who doesn’t have the hypocritical meanness that has become standard in today’s leaders.

I have had enough of arrogant, stupid people and policies. They demean our values and our country’s greatness. That is why I tried to convey to the Euro delegation that America can be a leader without being arrogant or stupid.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

TX Senior Senator Breaks with Bush

This is huge. Texas Senior Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, is splitting off from Pres. Bush on Iraq. She says she would not have voted for the war if she had known then about the WMD situation (they didn't exist). But her idea to split the country up into separatist regions for Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis only makes it more likely to draw in Turkey and Iran to a larger regional mess. But hey, who’s listening? It’s like hearing the Captain of the Titanic say: “Stay the course!”

And now I see where there will be a GOP ad showing Osama bin laden’s face. Why?

Is this to be a reminder that Mr. Rumsfeld & Co. failed to catch bin laden when they had him cornered at Tora Bora –and sent in warlord troops instead of our own? Or that the Anthrax killer is still at large 5 years later? (I still believe the Anthrax killer was NOT a Muslim but was an American with a sick mind. We don't know because "he" is still at large...) On the political front, many conservatives I know are telling me that they are voting either independent or Democrat this year.

Friday, October 20, 2006

"Ethics and Being a Christian Attorney"

Yesterday I got a unique opportunity to speak to aspiring law students at TSU about “Ethics and Being a Christian Attorney in the U.S. and Internationally.”

Since they represent the future I thought it was a valuable investment in time. TSU has young, bright, diverse group of students from everywhere.

I told them a lawyer should “treat people the way you want to be treated, with respect” and “do not let emotions of a client cloud your own professional judgment.” Focus on solutions. Don’t file Motions for Sanctions on frivolous things – it cheapens the process and dilutes your credibility.

They asked insightful, astute questions. One asked if being a Christian made it difficult to work with Muslims. I said no, that there was a difference between ordinary Muslims and extremists. I had been to Mosques in Houston as well as churches, Jewish temples, etc. When you get to know all the religions, the sermons are all about being better, doing good, taking care of your family. People everywhere basically want the same thing –peace, opportunity, family and food. The extremists are a tiny minority – and they don’t like anybody outside their small circle.

Then we had the best part – lunch…!

On another subject, I see where the “terrorist threat” to hit 7 stadiums with dirty bombs was an idiot competing with another idiot to see who could come up with the best “story.” Don’t these clowns have a life? And these were white men, if I have the facts right. If there is a jail for morons, they are serving life terms…

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Houston's Image in Turkey -

I was at an international real estate lunch today where a lady was talking about a recent visit to Turkey.

She said that people are not really fond of Americans in that area, but when they found out the lady and her group were from Houston, the Turks warmed up considerably! Apparently, what Houstonians did for the evacuees from New Orleans made a deep, positive impression even in remote parts of Turkey. The lady was told that Houstonians are viewed as kind, generous and good (vs. ugly) Americans…Imagine that!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

James Baker "Hard Work, Study and Stay Out of Politics"

I went to hear former Sec. James Baker speak at the World Affairs lunch today. There must have been over a 1,000 people in the ballroom at the Hyatt downtown.

To my amazement, I went down, before the crowd arrived, to see where my table “6” was located. A young woman was putting name cards on it. When I saw “James Baker” on one of the cards I realized I’d been put at the speakers table –either it was an honor or a mistake. I decided to check. Apparently someone at the table had invited someone else at the last minute so they gave me another seat at table 9 (the flip of 6).

His new book is entitled after a saying of his father: “Hard Work, Study and Stay Out of Politics.” He gave an interesting talk. He talked of the pain of losing his first wife to cancer at 38 and how Bush 41 got him into politics right after that. Despite losing that first election still led to serving four Presidents.

He didn’t want to discuss Iraq since it had potential to be an election issue and his report "remains unwritten despite what you hear" and won’t be coming out until after the election. At the Q&A, people were sparse at the microphones at first, despite the huge room (or because of it) so I went up and said:

“Mr. Secretary, my name is Michael Fjetland. I have to say that I wish I’d read your book BEFORE deciding to run for Congress.” That got a laugh, even from the Secretary of State. Then I asked something about Iran and North Korea and sat down. People started lining up at the mike after that. Mission accomplished.

I found out from someone who read Mr. Woodward’s book (State of Denial) that Woodward thought Mr. Baker should take Rumsfeld’s job. That was the first I’d hear of it -- funny to think we both thought of the same thing independently. I suspect a LOT of other people have had the same thought lately as the news from Iraq gets more discouraging.

It was great to hear someone who really knows how to make the U.S. look good and manage global issues with the skills of a lawyer, negotiator and diplomat all rolled into one...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The (Coming) Next Nuke Race -

The Next Global Nuclear Race – About to Begin

One reason I’ve always said that our leadership needed global expertise is that without it they can’t see the storm coming – that is what caught them flat footed on 9 11 (that and failing to listen to those who did see it coming and take action --like firing missiles when that August 6 memo turned up that Al Qaida was planning an immient strike on the U.S.).

North Korea’s centrifuge technology to enrich uranium came from Pakistan, before Dr. Khan was booted in 2004. By then he had visited 18 countries~!

So we are looking at the prospects of a second nuclear race –this time among regional powers.

Our leadership can avoid this but hasn’t. That is the challenge we face. If we screw up and let countries from Syria to Nigeria go nuclear, we end up with less security from terrorists who can gain access to fuel from that many more sources globally.

We need to reform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of its so-called “Atoms for Peace” that has created these baby nuke powers that could grow into serious threats as Sunni Saudi Arabia and Egypt decide to go nuclear to counter Shitte Iran, South Korea and Japan do the same, etc.

We need to see that IAEA ends its “Atoms for Peace” program….it is inconsistent for the same agency to both prevent and promote nuclear technology at the same time! Where is the U.S. on this? Check out this article on how to deal with North Korea...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A "third way" for Iraq?

Polls have arrived in Iraq, so we can gauge how Iraqis feel about issues. In a recent one 75% said it was time for U.S. and foreign troops to go. They felt that the presence of the troops was now contributing to the violence.

If we are a democracy that listens to the majority, then why isn’t anyone listening to what the ordinary Iraqis think? After all, it is they that are paying the price, and will pay the price in the future. Former Sec. of State James Baker is said to be working on a "third way" to deal with Iraq, which has cost nearly a half trillion dollars so far. But the question begging to be answered is: Why not listen to the Iraqi majority? Isn't that following democracy instead of dictating to them?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

NY Plane Crash - N Korea

I was calling a local radio station yesterday about the Governor’s race after Democrat Chris Bell had asked independent Kinky Friedman to “drop out” which is something I disagree with--the more candidates the better. That was when I heard the news about the plane flying into a New York building. Although it reminded people of 9 11 it wasn’t, but it is a warning.

It was not terrorism but shows how easy it could have been one.

The real mystery is why a private plane would be allowed to fly so low and close to Manhattan after 9 11 -- and why it went out of control with Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle at the controls.

His plane has a parachute which can be used in an emergency, but wasn’t. As a pilot, it is hard to say that pilot error was not involved. As a counter – terrorism advisor, I think it shows that Homeland Security has got some major holes yet. Pack a small plane with military explosive and it would have been a major event.

I have more info on what went wrong with North Korea. Unfortunately, the nuke threat is increasing, not decreasing. The Bush administration act in cutting oil supplies to a desperate Kim Jung Il in 2002 pushed the wrong buttons – instead of keeping him from developing his nukes, it pushed him further toward development, exactly the opposite of what our geniuses in DC intended…now they want to sanction North Korea, which has nothing left to lose. Kim's people are starving but our attacking him will only increase his domestic support - people always rally around a leader when their country is threatened. We need some smart answers this time..

Again I say, bring in James Baker along with former President Carter who has met Kim Jung Il, and knows his character better than those who are operating in the dark…This is no time to make false assumptions like those made prior to invading Iraq. Unlike Saddam, Kim has missiles and could kill a million South Koreans in 30 minutes if we do something stupid…(like dropping a bomb on North Korea).

Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korea's Nuke Test - a U.S. Fumble

North Korea’s Nuke Test

I have said for years that we would not prevent North Korea from becoming nuclear by NOT talking to them. The policy of not talking just failed with North Korea’s nuke test.

Prior dialogue in talks between the U.S. and North Korea could have delayed or even avoided it. Now the genie is out of the bottle.

Our leadership needs to learn talk to our global neighbors to address these issues. Had we done so before this test, the U.S. would have had greater influence. Now it has less.

Diplomacy and dialogue were things people by former Secretary of State James Baker knew how to do—and had the world on our side.

That was also the great hallmark of the President’s father, George H.W. Bush, a man of the world who was a statesman who would talk to everyone in the pursuit of global solutions to difficult issues.

So far, it has been missing in this administration. Unless it changes soon, the legacy for Bush 43 will not be a pleasant one.

In a nuclear world, we cannot afford party loyalty above mistakes and failures to communicate…because those can be deadly mistakes.

Too many mistakes have been made already, and Iraq could be a failed state as a result. We don’t need more mistakes with Iran and North Korea. Anyone remember the result of the last Korean war?

Or the fact that our entire army is now in Iraq… (bombing N. Korea would get tens of thousands of South Koreans killed since they live within artillery range of N. Korea, so that is not a real option).

I wish we had people like Jim Baker and Bush 41 and Bill Clinton running things now.

I was on Fox TV Houston in 1998 when Clinton shot missiles into Afghanistan right after one of our African embassies was bombed by Al Qaida. If Bush 43 had done the same --shooting missiles at bin laden’s camp in Afghanistan and following up on an FBI’s agents warning on Mr. Atta, et al. in flight training schools after getting the August warning –and done it by September 10 --then 9 11 may have been cancelled and never would have happened.

We can’t afford any more mistakes by our leadership in this global nuclear age, including leaving child predators in Congress whose attentions are misguided… Another great opportunity was missed with North Korea by this administration. Americans will pay a high price as a result...(Note: PLEASE LET JIM BAKER HAVE RUMSFELD'S job --TODAY). AND - Start talking to Iran, make America the global good guy (it should be) instead of the country run by arrogant tin ears like Rumsfeld who get their facts wrong. We have over 20,000 service members wounded from IED's made by ammo from all the stockpiles of known weapons Saddam had -no one guarded them during the invasion because Rumsfeld had too few troops to secure them or even the Iraqi nuclear plant. His mistakes have wrecked a lot of lives..!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A New Technology to Protect People and their Pets ..

Many of you know of my time doing TV analysis on terrorism.

About the time Henri started getting sick, I discovered a new technology that will protect ordinary people. For over 30 years I have worked with technology around the world from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurs. This one got my attention like no other.

It is a solar film that will make windows hurricane proof and keeps glass from flying all over your home or office. It costs not much more than regular solar film which does not offer that protection. It also comes in clear if you already have solar tinting.

I think of it as something that will protect people, our records, computer systems and animal pets since most people are more likely to be ravaged by a hurricane force wind than a human terrorist attack.

But the technology can be used for that also. A stronger version of the film will keep a 9 mm shot as close a 15 feet from penetrating the window in recent tests. They even used an AK-47 on it with thick glass -- and the bullets were stopped.

I want to do something that does more on the private sector to protect people. Running for Congress was an attempt to do that on a public level. I stuck with it until a corrupt incumbent left office (who was the Majority leader when Rep. M. Foley was going after male underage pages). This new technology has set me on a new course. I’ll be posting info on the web site soon. There is an email link on the website if you what any details.

This also gives me a new focus after losing our Henri, who was with me during four Congress campaigns and during the period I had a home office…

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Obit for Henri

Henri with buddy Louis XIV

Henri Masquelette-Fjetland, 6, died of Lymphoma after a valiant fight on September 27, 2006. He is survived by his human mom and dad, Laura E. Masquelette and Michael Fjetland, sister dog Lexie, male cat friend Louis XIV and his female cat nemesis, Fleur de Lis, a.k.a. Petite Minou.

Henri was a lost puppy who came into our life July of 1999. Named after a federal judge who was single-minded in his devotion to the law, Henri knew what he wanted. He served with distinction as the official alpha leader of the guard dog team during many legal and political adventures. He also was his dad’s shadow who would run off with a pair of shoes or newspaper to use as barter for kitty food. If you didn’t notice, he’d shake the item until you did. He ate the antique french couches as a puppy and mom’s bamboo knitting needles as an adult and used up at least three lives from prior close encounters. Henri had a rough start in life with little food and abandonment issues, but became a loving, kind friend who loved to eat anything (including Lexie’s food). He would open doors to go outside or, in the end, to sit in the van whenever he needed to see his favorite doctors.

Henri will be missed by his surviving family, and many friends, including the Christian Legal Society at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law and the Daughters of the King at St. Francis Episcopal Church, Houston. Special thanks to his doctors and staff at the Greenway Animal Clinic, Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, and Gulf Coast Emergency Clinic. Contributions in honor of Henri’s life may be sent to Gulf Coast Veterinary Foundation, Inc., St. Francis Episcopal Church, or the charity of your choice.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

In Memory of Henri

Today the doctor called and said Henri was having kidney failure. The news hit right before I had a court appearance. Somehow I got through it before walking out of the courthouse with tears streaming down my face. The last time that happened was when JFK was assassinated.

We saw him one last time and it was evident he was suffering. So we consented for them to put him to sleep. I have lost the best friend I've ever had. He taught us a lot about life.

He is with God now - my wife's grandmother Mamaw passed away a couple weeks ago at 102. She says he's now with Mamaw in heaven. I think so too. I feel numb. I thank those who have posted kind comments...I'm spending the rest of today thinking about my little friend who had a rough start in life but turned out to be such a unique member of the family...

Two kinds of people - Beware

9/27/2006 5:14 AM

My wife and I got back at 11 last night from dropping Henri at the Gulf Coast Emergency clinic. He had a chemo shot day before yesterday and yesterday he started going out for a break and not coming back. I found him flat under some bushes near our fence. We got him into the house to rest. But later, I heard the kitchen door bump open and saw Henri slowly disappearing in the direction of the van. He was sinking fast and wanted a car ride to the doc. By the time we reached the clinic we needed a gurney to carry him in –90 lbs of dead weight (down from 100 lbs when this started). They got him an IV and stabilized him.

I’m finding that there are two kinds of people out there – the ones who treat their animals medically no matter what (Henri has cost over $5,000 so far and I am scrambling to make enough to keep doing it) – and those who just ‘pull the plug’ without a second thought even if the animal has a chance.

I avoid the latter. Someone that heartless is going to cheat you on a deal in my opinion. If they care so little about animals do you think they really care about cutting short humans?). If I find that out about someone I won’t do business with them. I prefer working with decent, honorable people – which is why it is just as well I didn’t end up on Congress. LOL. As long as Henri has a chance, like any of God’s creations, we will help him. It’s the human thing to do..

Henri still has a chance but it is still touch and go. I think I’ll write in Henri’s name for Congress in the Special Election. He has more guts than anyone and he’d be just as effective as anyone who servesg just two holiday months (Nov/Dec.) making the party rounds in DC. Henri loves FOOD (although he hasn’t eaten in the past 3 days)…that qualifies him for Washington. LOL.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Henri and Congress District 22

Henri and District 22
Monday, September 25, 2006

Henri is flat, under my feet. He skipped breakfast, which concerns me. Henri not gobbling down food is like boys not thinking about sex. His breathing is somewhat better but labored. He did go for some RICE.

Henri has been with me since my first Congress campaign in 2000. As many of you know, I was the first to challenge Mr. DeLay in the GOP primary in years. Many things have happened since that time. With elections drawing near, it’s time to say a couple things about the District 22 race that I think snoring Henri will agree with:

In 2000 I raised the issue of international issues that affected America’s future – I talked about it on the campaign in front of rooms full of Republicans that had never heard DeLay mention global issues. I had done several videos on terrorism in the 90’s and gave copies to both Mr. DeLay and Vice President Elect Dick Cheney eight months before 9 11. Neither one of them had an aide respond with even a question.

I contend that we must elect Congress representatives who have global knowledge if we are to succeed as a nation and in the “war on terrorism.” So which candidate in District 22 has more of that than the others?

That is the issue – NOT whether they are this party or that. The GOP picked a pest control guy last time –he slept even after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. This time they picked a skin doctor, a dermatologist. Do we really need an expert on skin rashes in the House of Representatives keeping us “safe”? How much global expertise does Sekula Gibbs have? Same question for the others. Pick the one with the most if you want to be safer. 9 11 happened because Mr. DeLay ignored the world and had no expertise in it.

I hear politicians say they will “keep the borders safe” yada, yada. Talk is not experience. Where was Dr. Sekula Gibbs in 1994 when I did a video with Dr. Ron Hatchett about the potential of nuclear terrorism coming to the U.S.? Where was she when I was negotiating in over 50 countries worldwide? Where were the other candidates?

Henri agrees. He wants his chemo treatment, but he also wants the people of District 22 with the best representative who really knows the world we face. Since I’m not on the ballot, which of those left fill that role the best?

That is the question for voters this November 7 in District 22…Because of DeLay’s leaving the GOP slot empty and the impossibility of a write in, it is evident that the next representative will be Nick Lampson. But in the Special Election, voters should ask the question – which candidate is the best qualified to sit as our Congress rep during Thanksgiving and Christmas – a whole 2 months! Henri says he’ll run for that…

Henri and Congress District 22

Henri and District 22
Monday, September 25, 2006

Henri is flat, under my feet. He skipped breakfast, which concerns me. Henri not gobbling down food is like boys not thinking about sex. His breathing is somewhat better but labored. He did go for some RICE.

Henri has been with me since my first Congress campaign in 2000. As many of you know, I was the first to challenge Mr. DeLay in the GOP primary in years. Many things have happened since that time. With elections drawing near, it’s time to say a couple things about the District 22 race that I think snoring Henri will agree with:

In 2000 I raised the issue of international issues that affected America’s future – I talked about it on the campaign in front of rooms full of Republicans that had never heard DeLay mention global issues. I had done several videos on terrorism in the 90’s and gave copies to both Mr. DeLay and Vice President Elect Dick Cheney eight months before 9 11. Neither one of them had an aide respond with even a question.

I contend that we must elect Congress representatives who have global knowledge if we are to succeed as a nation and in the “war on terrorism.” So which candidate in District 22 has more of that than the others?

That is the issue – NOT whether they are this party or that. The GOP picked a pest control guy last time –he slept even after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. This time they picked a skin doctor, a dermatologist. Do we really need an expert on skin rashes in the House of Representatives keeping us “safe”? How much global expertise does Sekula Gibbs have? Same question for the others. Pick the one with the most if you want to be safer. 9 11 happened because Mr. DeLay ignored the world and had no expertise in it.

I hear politicians say they will “keep the borders safe” yada, yada. Talk is not experience. Where was Dr. Sekula Gibbs in 1994 when I did a video with Dr. Ron Hatchett about the potential of nuclear terrorism coming to the U.S.? Where was she when I was negotiating in over 50 countries worldwide? Where were the other candidates?

Henri agrees. He wants his chemo treatment, but he also wants the people of District 22 with the best representative who really knows the world we face. Since I’m not on the ballot, which of those left fill that role the best?

That is the question for voters this November 7 in District 22…

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Henri Update and Osama

We thought Henri was OK when we picked him up from Gulf Coast yesterday at noon, but he passed blood before we got out the door. They gave us more pills for that. By nightfall he was breathing hard. We ended up going to the emergency room from 7:30 pm (running down 59 with the 4 way flashers going) to after midnight. They observed him but said his oxygen was OK and to take him home. We got into the van in the rain and he quietly sat in the seat behind me.

He’s been grumpy today-- not eating much beyond part of a tortilla I gave him. He kept rejecting the pill we slipped into some pound cake (apparently cancer dogs like sweet cake). He was lying FLAT under my desk and growling when we approached when L suggested “Walk” -- THAT got him excited. He had not had a walk around the neighbor in years. Now, he likes the ladies (call him a "ladies dog") and it is men that he growls at, including the doctor at the emergency room. Doc laughed and called in the women to give Henri his check up.

The exercise got Henri going and he finally ate the pound cake with the hidden pill. L discovered he wound eat bread. But he's not eating much.

The news all weekend is that Osama bin laden may be dead from typhoid, somewhere in Pakistan. All I can say is that it no longer matters. Bin laden started 9 11 hoping to get the U.S. to overreact and create a “jihad” movement that would fuel more terrorism. Bush did exactly that by jumping into Iraq. Now intelligence sources say that Iraq is fueling the growth of terrorism. Bin laden got what he wanted and Al Qaida will continue without him. In Afghanistan we had them beaten and world opinion was on our side. We lost all of that with Iraq and intelligence reports it has increased our threat. We need a smarter way to deal with it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Why the heck not?

We got to see Henri tonight. He visited us for awhile – then he turned, went back to the door and scratched – his signal he was ready to go back into the hospital! Apparently he felt it wasn’t time to leave yet. The doctor said he couldn’t believe the change in Henri. He had been “down” all day, then suddenly “he just lit up and came alive” this afternoon. He’s staying in the hospital tonight.

The doctor said that when he or one of the men walked past his cage, Henri would growl. But if one of the girls came by, he was Mr. Friendly. He loves girls. Funny dog.

Might get him back tomorrow. Gulf Coast has done an incredible job. But you learn to take it one day at the time. This has been a very aggressive cancer…we’ll see.

By the way, I think it would be interesting to see President Bush take the chance and debate the President of Iran. If he can debate Sen. Kerry, why not Mr. Iran? Instead of avoiding him at the UN, George should have strolled up to him and invited him to Crawford for BBQ, just like he did when he was Governor and made peace with Democrat Bob Bullock, the Lt. Governor who controlled Austin. Why the heck not?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Henri - the Great Communicator

September 21, 2006

Henri is in animal ICU tonight. He wasn’t supposed to see the doc until tomorrow but this morning I heard Henri throwing up downstairs. Then he went outside and laid on the cool cement. I could not get him inside but the minute I opened the van side door he was up and crawled in. He would not get out so I took him to drop my wife at the Park n Ride. He just sat quietly on the seat behind me and watched instead of his usual habit of trying to climb over the seat to sit in my lap.

I went home to shower and he still wouldn’t get out of the van—he was still sitting in it when I was presentable, so I drove him to the vet where he promptly jumped out and went in to see the doctors.

That Henri knows how to get things done. He knew he couldn’t wait until tomorrow to go in -- and he figured out a way for me to "get it." I have learned some valuable lessons about life from Henri, like being persistent.

The doctors won’t know for a day or two if they can stabilize him. We’ll treat him as long as possible, and as long as he isn’t suffering.

After dropping Henri at Gulf Coast, I went --for the first time-- to the Bay Area commercial real estate lunch (BACREN). The speaker was Luke Romero, an international real estate broker, who gave a great talk on international investors who make up of a huge percentage of investors coming into our markets – and are rapidly growing. Over 1/3 of our loans now come from foreign capital! Americans are going overseas to invest and foreigners are coming here to invest. It’s a global economy. Today I met Americans setting up deals from Costa Rica to Panama, Americans building condos and resorts.

Between Henri, lunch, phone calls and a run to the courthouse, I didn’t even catch the news. I have a portable TV in the car so I can listen to it when on the road. But once you have a cancer patient in your family, the news doesn’t seem to matter all that much. The only news that matters is how your family member is doing day to day.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rumsfeld Corrected by US Troops - An Embarrassment

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

8 p.m. Bad day for Henri. He has been flat all day. No appetite – so unlike Henri who ALWAYS loves to eat. Not even is favorite—bread—got him to rise from the dining room floor at noon. He did go out and took a potty break. I watched him straining and some diarrhea. Poor guy. In 3 weeks of treatment this is the worst he’s been. So far he’s been eating well and feeling OK, due to the miracle of modern animal medicine. But today was not a good day. He’s flat on the doorway of my study now, resting and “helping” as always. It seems to be very similar to what people go through with cancer.

The pope has started a furor with comments about Mohammad. Unlike John Paul who was a “uniter,” this one could be a divider. That makes the world even more unstable. Pope Benedict found fault with another religion -- but failed to mention his own church’s role in the Crusades that led to mindless attacks on Muslims by Christians centuries ago, not to mention its pedophile Priest problem (I was raised as a Catholic).

We’ve had a President who has presided over the biggest drop in America’s global reputation of any administration, and now a Pope who is throwing stones. Our ministers like Pat Robertson call for the assassination of foreign leaders. None are building bridges.

Tomorrow I get to go a lunch at which Gen. Colin Powell is speaking. He is a leader I can respect. Gen. Powell is someone we should elect if our country is too succeed. Appointing political hacks to run our agencies (like Michael Brown at FEMA, etc) and prizing blind loyalty over competence does not guarantee success in running a complex world, or prevailing in Iraq. Iraq is a mess because of the incompetent people selected to set it up.

I just read about a military meeting in which Donald Rumsfeld told our troops that 95% of the house searches were now being done by the Iraqis. OUR troops shouted him down, its on video, and informed him that 95% of the house searches are still being done by U.S. troops, not Iraqis. That is how out of touch with reality Mr. Rumseld is –our troops are having to correct him on the actual facts. By keeping him, Pres. Bush is sanctioning his incompetence -- which started with too few troops to guard the ammo dumps and no rebuilding plan. How brilliant is that?

Rumsfeld’s conduct created the Iraq mess. A President who really cares about American competence would sack him, and replace him with someone who knows who is conducting 95% of the searches in Baghdad--someone who is not just another party hack who is clueless about what is going on around him. American taxpayers deserve better than that. All Americans deserve better than that.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

best person in each slot gets my vote - no straight ticket

This election we need to vote for leadership with common sense. I don’t want any more whacko agendas.

Nor do we need one party controlling ALL branches of government. That always leads to extremes regardless of party. When I ran for Congress, I had people emailing me that they hoped the Iraq invasion would led to Armageddon, and the person was not the only one who felt that way. That was someone voting for Tom DeLay in the GOP primary. We won’t have a future if we keep electing people who think like that.

It’s not our job to play God on when the world ends. It’s our job to try to keep it from happening. Right now we have leaders who say they care about life while voting down children’s health care, education, etc. They don’t care about children or the future because they think there is no future.

We need leadership with a real vision and plan to develop a brighter future – someone who actually knows what the hell is going on in other parts of the planet before we elect them!

The pest control guy who has never been to the Middle East or anywhere but Congress is not serving the people’s interest with his ignorance of global affairs (but has great expertise at shaking down corporations for donations) that will affect our future.

So folks, let’s vote for some real leaders for a change, whether they are in a party or independent. A diehard conservative once told me that he thought a split Congress and Executive branch was best for conservatives, because it produced “gridlock.” It certainly keeps things from getting radical left or right.

I am going to be a ticket splitter this election – best person in each slot gets the vote. That can only help our democracy improve….

Friday, September 15, 2006

Passing of Gov. Ann Richards

Governor Ann Richards passing in the middle of one of the most peculiar elections in Texas history is having its own impact – one can’t help but compare her style with today’s candidates. She was only the second woman elected Governor in Texas' long history. I’m thinking we need another woman in the Governor’s chair today since Ms. Richards term ended in 1994. She did give us the lottery that is putting $1 billion a year into our schools.

Compare that to Perry’s nutty plan to take 1 million acres of Texas land for a super great Trans-Texas Terrorist Dream corridor. Those pipelines in the middle of the freeway should roast motorists just fine with just one small bomb. Where do these guys come up with these crazy ideas?

For readers outside Texas, or checking in from another planet, our next Texas Governor will not be elected by a majority, but something less. Instead of just one Democrat and one Republican duking it out, we also have two independents (“Kinky” and Grandma) stirring the pot with the potential to win –or they could collectively pull enough votes from the Democrat to keep in office a weak Republican Governor who is presently scoring under 35%. It looks like people need to pick the one with the best shot of replacing the Perry peter principals.

Ann opened the doors for women and many minorities that had been left out. Women have been left out a lot lately, and Grandma has been making a lot of sense. We need a Governor that represents all Texans, not just the few members of the “club.” Ann was one of those and shall be missed.

Finally, I see headlines that Bush says that capturing bin laden is “not our top priority.” What? Why have a “war on terror” if the No. 1 rat who planned 9 11 (Osama bin laden) is not a “top priority” ?? It will probably take women in that office as well to get the priorities straight…

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

U.S. Embassy Attacked in Syria

Even Syria is having a problem with terrorists. Several just attacked the U.S. Embassy in Damascus Syria. I was there a few years ago on a kidnapping case (photo) --a 12 year old Texas girl was being held in Sidon Lebanon and Damascus was as close as we could get. You never know what to expect next…

Monday, September 11, 2006

How to Honor Those Who Fell on 9 11

Five years ago today I spent the entire day at a TV studio (Fox 26 Houston) as a terrorism expert, trying to figure out what had happened that awful day. I started to watch the events today but just wasn't up to reliving that awful day again.

I think the best way to observe 9 11 is to find a sense of common purpose by Americans. That purpose, in my opinion, should be to make the world a better place.

I agree with the military command that says that we cannot win the ‘war on terror’ with bullets alone. It will take a political solution. It will take rebuilding and bridge building with Americans reaching out worldwide. I would rather they remember us for something we built instead of something we destroyed.

Highlighting those Americans who are making the world a better place is the purpose of the “Global American” award announced today on my Global American Yahoo Group website. You can get to it via my website.

The best way to remember the fallen of 9 11 is not to live in paranoia and fear but to take action to build a positive future for America and the world on the ashes of hate.

To do it will take our having allies around the world. We have too much to lose in the age of terrorism in the nuclear age without kicking our allies in the teeth. We need better working relationships between us.

Our future depends on it…

P.S. Henri gets his 3rd chemo treatment Friday. He has been responding well...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Standby for a Crazy Election in Texas

I highly recommend the Gulf Coast Vet clinic on West Loop in Houston. Our vet sent us there with Henri vomiting etc from cancer and they worked a miracle. He would have been gone by now if not for their talents. Now he’s gobbling high protein puppy food and barking at tree shadows on the fence again.

Having a cancer patient in the family, even a dog, totally changes your perspective. It has made me more aware of the people around us who have cancer and the medical miracle drugs we now have to give them a fighting chance. A friend of my wife’s is taking chemo for breast cancer.

For Henri they started with a shot. Now he gets a couple of pills morning and night. It has given him a new lease on life. We’ll take it, even if it lasts a year. He’ll get a check up in a few days and we’ll see. One noticeable change - he now whizzes so often he reminds me of a 50-plus year old man.

Texas is gearing up for a crazy election cycle this fall, from cigar smoking independents to write-ins.

If you wrote a novel about what has happened in our Congress district (TX 22) so far the past year no one would have believed it – it would have been considered to far out even for fiction. Who would believe that an indicted Congressman would take his donations and bail out on his own party after winning a primary, leading to attempts at replacements, write-in campaigns and a last minute Special Election call).

It’s guaranteed the next Texas Governor will get less than 50% of the vote.

And it appears the first GOP seat to become Democrat will be this one. Even a majority shift is possible. Change is in the air…

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Doctor called yesterday and said that they know what Henri has – its Lymphoma, a cancer. They can give him chemo but when I asked how much time Henri had, he said; “Maybe a year.”

We started him on chemo…

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Most Conservative dog in Ft Bend County

I haven’t been online due to a family emergency. Our dog Henri, the 100 lb lab mix we rescued from the streets a few years ago, is in emergency treatment. The doctor said today that he thinks Henri may have been poisoned. His liver is off the charts. He’s never been sick and this happened almost overnight. I haven’t been able to think about much else. Someone asked me to run in the Special Election for District 22. No. Why be a two month Congressman? That is silly. Gov. Perry flipped flopped after saying he wasn’t going to call for one. My priority is my family and Henri is really one of the kids. I’d rather invest the money in him then any campaign. We used to joke how Henri was the most conservative dog in Ft. Bend County, a county that loves to tout its conservatives. Any change, even a fallen chair, would set him off barking until it was put back. He has been my shadow, but it got me when all he could do was lie under my desk and groan because he felt so bad. Our vet referred him to the best clinic in town, where he is tonight.
I feel like I've had a ton of bricks hit me. That should make the DeLay diehard fans happy; they always hated me for running against him to give voters a choice on the ballot. It forced their guy to campaign and work harder in his district -- even though that is was what democracy is all about.

But there are some genuinely nice people out there, praying for Henri. I care about him more then any politician, indicted or un-indicted, for sure.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Terrorism strategy vs Disaster Recovery

With Hurricane Ernesto bearing down on the U.S. it is a good time to look at our level of preparation.

We have focused so hard on terrorism we have forgotten that more peoples’ lives are adversely affected by mother nature than Al Qaida – Hurricane Katrina killed over 1,500 people, about half the number of people who died on 9 11 and substantially more than those killed in the London and Madrid subway bombings.

A major earthquake in L.A. or San Francisco would kill many more. The Christmas Tsunami killed over 250,000 in Asia less than two years ago. Are we prepared?

I don’t think so. In Houston we live downwind of a nuclear power plant, yet I have not heard of any emergency plan if there is an accident. But I have heard of people with zero terrorism expertise (but good political connections) being put on bioterror committees and the like. How that makes us safer is beyond me.

We need to be as focused on disaster relief from natural disasters as we do from potential terrorism. FEMA should be removed from Homeland Security for that reason since HS focus is on prevention and FEMA’s is on recovery efforts –totally the opposite focus of each other.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

No Bubble in Houston - The World is Investing Here

I am meeting some really fascinating people, including self made entrepreneurs who own several businesses in different countries and others who are planning to build multimillion dollar projects in some exotic places (places like the Caymans, etc.). I love this type of stuff – each country has totally different laws, unwritten rules, etc.

One investor told me last night that the election in Mexico will shake lose a lot of investment from money leaving the country -- and much of it will come to Texas. He’s already bought land for it. I see money pouring into our area from around the world.

The buzz is that the Houston real estate market is going UP for at least the next two years while the rest of the country is going DOWN. We have no bubble in the Greater Houston area – people are moving here because it is still inexpensive to get property or live on the coast. And our population is doubling the next two decades!

In between all of this running around, I took our cat Louis the XIV to the vet for a shot. He is a black and white tabby who is getting old and his system needed a cortisone shot. The dogs went wild thinking that THEY were getting to GO somewhere, so it is always a zoo to keep them from running into the garage and jumping into the van. If you aren’t thinking two steps ahead of them, it is chaos. Henri weighs over 100 lbs and Lexie bounces off the walls, so taking them to the vet is like a mini version of the Ringling Brothers circus. Louis XIV loves the dogs and will put his nose in their ears. The other cat, Minou, is small and will not let a dog near her. They seem to be lobbying for a vacation lately by trying to get into the car if I leave a door open.

I feel bad for the people going through the bombings and killings in Iraq. It appears that a religious war has begun that is killing thousands of people. Sunni’s are having to move out of Shia areas and vice versa. It is re-segregation. Iraq was a secular state and women could dress western. Now it is becoming another Iran, run by radicals in each group -- and women have to cover up or face the nut jobs running around. It is a step back. It reminds me of the story of opening Pandora’s box.

It has been a busy summer, despite the intense heat. Let’s hope our quiet hurricane season stays that way. I am not up to another Hurricane Katrina/Rita repeat…I don’t think any of us are …

I’ve discovered a product that could be extremely useful when the next storm does come that could save damage in every building. Since we live on the coast, it’s only a matter of when, not if. More of that later, when I’ve got the deal signed…

Monday, August 21, 2006

Meet our New Congressman in CD22

I haven’t said much about Congress District 22 because it has been such a circus event to watch and there is not much to say.

Bottom line: The 22-year incumbent I ran against (Tom DeLay) bailed out after winning the primary – leaving the ballot spot empty. It’s like one side of a team leaving the field when after a series of wins because they were afraid to lose the game.

When the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, struck down DeLay’s attempt to substitute another candidate, he withdrew from the race anyway. So why did he run in the primary if he was not going to finish the job? He should have stayed out of the primary if that was the case – since anyone winning it would have won in November because of the make up of the district.

None of us who ran in the primary are eligible to be a write in. I wouldn’t be one if I could -- the odds of Ms. Sekula Gibbs or anyone winning a write in are closer to zero than my last vote count.

The curious thing is that few Republicans seem to realize that their guy has left them without a dog in the fight. You can’t blame the Democrats for something your own guy did (well, they can but that is like blaming the gun for shooting your foot off when it was you pulling the trigger).

So, District 22 is now going to be a Democrat Congress seat. Ironically, DeLay craved NASA out of Nick Lampson’s old district and put it in CD22. Now Nick is getting it back.

We currently have no Congressman. For those who want something done for this district, from roads to NASA, it is time to get behind the next Congressman, Nick Lampson, who is a moderate and won the NRA endorsement in three of his prior elections.

When I bumped into Ft Bend County Judge Hebert (a Republican) at an art event in Richmond a couple weeks ago, he told me that he thought he could work with Mr. Lampson…wise man.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Saturday, August 19, 2006


I have criticized them in the past, but NASA just made a novel, and very smart move.

For the first time it has contracted with the first private space companies to provide transport services to the international space station. The assumption is that private business will get us into space at far less cost and still make a profit.

It costs billions to launch one Space Shuttle. It took a measly $20 million to get SpaceShipOne, a vehicle built by entrepreneurs and visionaries like Burt Rutan, Paul Allen and Richard Branson to the edge of space (winning the X prize). Beef that up some and you have a space vehicle.

This is the beginning of private business getting into space business. NASA’s allowing it to happen while it focuses on the moon and beyond is a big step in the right direction. It will unleash the entrepreneurial genius of our private sector with faster, better, cheaper technology.

Transportation is the first link in that process. Once we have new vehicles that put people into space, a whole new level of business --space business. It offers huge potential benefits on a number of levels. Cheap transport into space will open up space manufacturing of new drugs and computer parts, satellites, and who knows what else.

Congratulations NASA for a smart move. It’s nice to know that their HQ is in my Congressional district. I loved flying so much as a kid that I had my pilot's license at 17...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Taking a Test on Terror and Safety

I gave a talk on terrorism to a Lion’s Club group in my home county, Ft. Bend. Since it was a conservative Republican type group, I asked the question: “How many feel safer today than five (5) years ago?”

Not a single hand was raised. I expected more than that.

So I talked about ways to prepare for the unexpected. One item I pointed out was that NONE of our local (regional, state, etc) governments had said anything about having potassium iodide available in case there is a radiation leak from the South Texas Nuclear plant, which is only sixty miles from Houston. Several people seemed to be ready to go get some.

Our leadership has stirred up strong feelings overseas. I think it will increase the chances of more strikes on U.S. targets, although I am not convinced that the liquid explosive threat was real. It would look pretty strange --and obvious-- to see several people trying to mix smelly chemicals on board a flight. It doesn’t sound practical. But the next one could be.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Open Congress seat TX CD22

To answer the question some of you have --No, I will not be a candidate for the now open TX CD22 Congress seat vacated by Tom DeLay, who is leaving the seat despite a court order that says he can’t be replaced on the ballot.

As a 2006 GOP primary candidate, under the law I am ineligible to be a write in for the same seat in the same year (the same applies to the other two GOP primary candidates). Only someone who didn’t run in the primary could be a write in. But anyone who jumps into a write in campaign really is in a no win situation.

The true is when the incumbent Mr. DeLay bailed out, he ceded the seat to the Democrat and former Congressman Nick Lampson, since they have a lock on at least 41% of the district. In chess, it’s check mate.

Ironically, the man who set about to secure a GOP lock on power ended up setting up his own seat to be one of the first to go into the Democrat column.

Had DeLay given it up before the primary, any other Republican elected in that primary in March would have almost an automatically won. However, by staying in the primary, then bailing out when forced to stay on, Mr. DeLay has screwed his own party and created a Democrat seat in Congress that could remain so in 2008 since CD22 demographics make it look like the UN.

The real issue is who will be around in 2008 to run. A cast of thousands on the GOP side vs. 1 Dem incumbent in a demographically diverse district….

Monday, August 07, 2006

Global chaos is not good for the USA

Global Chaos Not Good for USA

Mexico’s is still going through what the U.S. went through in 2000 – a contested Presidential election. The sore loser is Obrador, who might have a chance in the next six-year term if he handled this delicate situation without shutting down Mexico city as he is doing. Until Mexico and its southern neighbors can generate jobs, our immigration crisis will continue, wall or no wall. I didn’t see Obrador generating any jobs. Let’s hope the winner will. It will take our help.

In Israel _ A direct hit by a Hezbollah rocket killed 15 in Israel – the deadliest. Imagine the damage if they could actually aim those rockets. That will be the next development if this continues. We now know that 9 11 was triggered by our presence in Lebanon in 1983, when bin laden saw the broken tower after the suicide bomber killed over 240 U.S. troops. I still remember that event since I was traveling there for the Fortune 500 at the time.

I did a video in the 90’s warning about a potential nuclear 9 11. This latest clash, if not handled quickly in the right way could plant the seeds for the next 9 11, which could be far worse than the original.

The extremists seem to be coming out of the woodwork (and not from just one religion) and that is not a positive trend for our future security. Lebanon could generate thousands of bin ladens. Anger is boiling over. Anger overrides logic in the age of nuclear power.

I still can’t believe we are electing people who have no experience in these parts of the world that affect our future prosperity and security. Global chaos is not good for the USA, and not a trend that guarantees success and security…

Positive Quote of the Day:
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior
teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."

-- William Arthur Ward

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Visit to New Orleans - Potential Hurricane Chris is coming

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

We just got back from New Orleans, a quick vacation before my wife starts law school --and a chance to survey what has happened since Katrina hit. By chance, we drove over the day the 5th circuit was hearing the appeal on Congress District 22 which I had run in – the issue before it: whether Mr. DeLay can jump off the ballot or not. We drove past the court on the way to the hotel. It is a beautiful courthouse.

The French Quarter was busy with tourists but in Chalmette FEMA trailers sat in front of dead homes. I could smell MOLD when we drove into the area. But there were signs of life and it seems to be slowly coming back. Conventioneers were drinking and weaving about the French Quarter. They filled the bar at our hotel, the Monteleone. By luck we ended up with a nice suite with a river view.

And now there is the potential of a Hurricane Chris bearing down on us in the Gulf Coast again next week. I was glad to leave New Orleans low lying areas behind.

On the global front, the Israelis and Hezbollah are continuing their fight. While Israel has the right to defend itself, the air strikes have also been a setback in the global public relations war when large numbers of civilians are hit. The interesting part is that an administration that has not put the UN first is now putting the UN first. My, times have changed.

In the House of Representatives, the term “French fries” and French toast are back on the Menu. My, times have changed.

I have been covered up with work since the Congress campaign ended. Tonight, I rented a video on the rise of Fidel Castro in Cuba. Hopefully, his days are numbered. Times have changed...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dangerous Days

The fighting in Lebanon and Israel is distracting the world from Iran's nuclear program. It could have a major kick back effect -- and serve to ignite a much wider conflict well beyond Iraq, Lebanon and Israel. These are dangerous days. The aftermath may not be what we expect.

An excellent anaylsis is in today's column by Jim Hoagland:

I clipped the heart of the article. Here's the problem:

"The U.N. and the Bush administration also failed to press the Lebanese to live up to their responsibility to deploy forces into the border areas evacuated by Israel in 2000. Instead, Hezbollah moved in its Syrian- and Iranian-supplied rockets and its irregulars..."

And here's the solution:

This Israeli campaign will not erase Hezbollah as a force, alas. But a negotiated cease-fire could lead to two important steps:

One would be to put an international military force on Lebanon's border with Syria to police the traffic of rockets and disguised Syrian intelligence units into Lebanon.

The other is to get the Lebanese army finally to take control of its territory in the south and make Lebanon more of a real country again."

He's right...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Americans etc Trapped in Lebanon

American government slow to evacuate Americans trapped in Lebanon.

TV reports showed desperate women and children –Americans—who were told they were NOT on the evacuation list.

I am disappointed that our government is not doing more to get American in danger in Lebanon out of there. This is a HOT war already. It will probably get worse before it gets better.

We need envoys over there from our side -- taking care of the trapped Americans and working to keep things from becoming a holocaust. I have conducted kidnapping negotiations in the Middle East (I was in Damascus), and know the area.

That job is best done by Condi (Rice) at the moment…we need to act and act carefully and quickly...