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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Iran's Hostages

This week I made an appearance on Houston TV to talk about Iran's capture of 15 British sailors. An article has come out in Russia which claims the capture was planned. It probably was.

I was almost in Iran in 1978 when Americans ended up being hostages for 444 days - it cost Pres. Carter his job. I had been scheduled to be a contract attorney on a naval base being built for the Shah. Luckily, another job came along instead or I could have been one of the hostages.

This episode could drag on. The importance to the U.S. is evident. It could wider the Iraq war or result in a greater loss of life. My thoughts of how this could play out are on the TV clip.

The "persistence of the unforeseen" and events beyond anyone's control could sweep the U.S. into a deeper mess in the Middle East...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Attacking Iran: Another Bad Idea

A news article suggests that the U.S. should bomb Iran's nuclear facities "before the end of this year" to avoid potential fallout from something that may not happen for years. This is another bad idea - remember Iraq?

If people think that attacking Iran won't come with some "payback" then they are really mistaken. Iran could fire a supersonic missile that would sink an aircraft carrier with 5,000 Americans on board - and that's just for starters.

If our government leaders buy in to this stupid argument, then Iraq will look like a child's game compared to the body count that a conflict with Iran would generate.

Come on guys, you have to be more creative than bombing people you don't like. Russia has been providing Iran with its nuclear technical help. They need to quit - and we need to make that attractive.

We don't need another war based on wishful thinking and stupid assumptions that result in a bigger mess in the middle east. Iran is a long way from being a threat.

Despite the article urging Iran be bombed "by the end of this year" no bombing needs to happen this year. We have more time than that. People don't need to be stampeded into another foolish war. We already have our hands full in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In case no one has noticed, bombing Iraq has not fixed any problems.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

China Beats NASA in the next Moon race?

China Beats NASA's return to the Moon? It could happen.

It’s important to us as a nation and here locally in Houston because this is NASA’s home. It's important because whoever owns the “high ground” --and space is the highest ground-- will have a vital advantage over all other countries. Weapons in space threaten all.

China has come from the country of bicycles that I saw on my first negotiating trip to Beijing in 1982 (I’m the long haired guy on the right in this photo taken in the original Peking Hotel during pollution control technology negotiations. The chief Chinese negotiator was Ms. Wang, the woman facing me) to only the third country on the planet that has put people in space and brought them back safely.

NASA’s funding from Congress in past years has been a roller coaster ride. It needs a steady secure flow of funds to take us to the next level. As it stands, the shuttle will retire years before its replacement is ready. Business would never tolerate letting a model become obsolete before having a replacement ready.

I just read where our primary satellite for tracking hurricanes is about at the end of its life – but NO REPLACEMENT has even been ordered -- although it will take 4 years to build one! Is anyone competent running our government? A hurricane satellite for the millions of us living near the coast is a necessity, not an optional expenditure. Many lives are at stake as we found out during Katrina.

What happened to common sense planning? The lack of it could cost us the next Moon race. The lack of a satellite could increase the loss of life during the next hurricane.

Real leadership, with some foresight, is needed…

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pakistan Lawyers Riot

Did you see the news about 3,000 LAWYERS Rioting in Pakistan? What an amazing sight. It's a protest over the firing of the country's top judge by the dictator-President Musharraf'.

Apparently the judge wasn't doing the President's bidding. In the U.S. courts are independent, not puppets to the President or Congress.

All the lawyers got out and boycotted the courts. We Americans who truly believe in justice, democracy and freedom should support them in their cause.

At last report Justice "Chaudhry has been confined to his official residence in Islamabad and journalists are barred from meeting him. The government denies reports that he is under house arrest."

President Bush should also voice his concern about this anti-democratic development in Pakistan. Remember, this is the country where Osama bin laden is reported as hiding out in the remote, autonomous regions across the border from Afghanistan.

If Pakistan's legal system becomes an unjust instrument controlled by the President instead of the people, Pakistan's leader (and key American ally regarding Al Qaida) could be replaced by a Khomeini-type extremist -- just like what happened in Iran when the U.S. supported (and corrupt) Shah fell. Or he could be ousted by another military dictator that lacks democratic ideals or public support.

It would benefit the U.S. to see justice done by supporting these Pakistan lawyers. they are fighting for an historic American tradition - justice and fairness.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mistreatment of Vets – Putting the Incompetent back in Charge

People seem to be missing the point on the scandal enveloping the treatment of Iraq war vets at Walter Reed. It seems to be an endemic problem, as reported by soldiers and their families from around the world.

You can’t blame that on just the guy who was in charge the last six months. The solution? They put the former head of the unit in charge! How long under his command has the same thing been happening? Why put back in charge one of the people who was either incompetent or indifferent to notice rats and filth in his hospital, designed for the vets returning from hell in Iraq? Is anyone thinking?

I don’t think the answer is putting back in the same people who created and/or ignored the problem. A whole new leadership team needs to be brought in.

Congress is missing the point by focusing only on the last person who had just dropped into the driver’s seat. NONE of them bothered to go look at their own facilities, or they would have seen the rats for themselves.

We need intelligent, hands on leadership, not more blind bureaucrats…but that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?