Tuesday, August 16, 2005

While Rome Burns

In case you had not noticed, President Bush is at his ranch in Crawford Texas chopping wood, going to fund raisers, and oh by the way, occasionally getting updates on domestic and global issues and crises. He has so far in his Presidency spent almost as much time away from Washington as Reagan did in his entire four years in office and Reagan set a record for being gone from the White House. Apparently, Bush would like to better his record and is well on his way to do it. For someone who spent so much effort to get elected, he certainly dislikes being in our Nation’s Capital.

Meanwhile, there are currently at least two major crises in the Middle East and a very sticky problem in North Korea. Despite the best assurances earlier by the administration that Iraq would be self-governing by now, it appears that Iraq will need some more time to get a constitution written and approved. Several critical issues remain unresolved such as who will control the oil, will the Koran be the underlying document of the new constitution, what will be the status of woman in the new Iraq and, last but not least, will the country be split into several self-governing states controlled by each of the different factions that comprise the current Iraq state or will their be a strong central government. Meanwhile, we continue to pour US treasure and blood into Iraq, with no end in site.

In Iran, we have a country which is anti-US, has a history of supporting terrorists and is increasingly belligerent in its foreign policy dealings. Iran, in defiance of the desires of both the UN and the West, is proceeding with its nuclear program; a program which is capable of producing weapons grade nuclear material. Iran recently successfully tested a ballistic missile and concern grows in the West that eventually it could be fitted with a nuclear warhead. Iran has also elected a hard line president and is becoming more and more conservative.

North Korea has broken off talks which were aimed at convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program. It now appears that North Korea will continue to develop nuclear weapons and probably already has several in its weapons arsenal. North Korea has successfully fired a short to medium range missile capable of delivering a nuclear payload.

Not to worry, Bush has it all under control from his Texas ranch. Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Bush prefers to chop wood.