Plan X,Y& Z
For Victory in Iraq & Iran
The original Plan A was actually:
But each new centerpiece has been blown up by a growingly effective insurgency:
“FOX News – BAGHDAD: U.S. soldiers are building a three-mile wall to protect a Sunni Arab enclave surrounded by Shiite neighborhoods in a Baghdad area "trapped in a spiral of sectarian violence and retaliation," the military said. ... When the wall is finished, the minority Sunni community of Azamiyah, located on the eastern side of the Tigris River, will be completely gated, and traffic control points manned by Iraqi soldiers will provide the only means to enter it, the military said” (Full Story)
So construction of the wall has been halted – another off-center, centerpiece. Another failed plan.
So, what's the next plan to be, the lastest centerpiece of strategy that will finally produce victory in Iraq? Since the administration's own plans seem to be getting sillier and sillier, I am emboldened to suggest my own.
Since the Iraqis are clearly determined never to become a harmonious can of mixed nuts, we need to think outside that box.
Pizzo's Plan X: Freeze-dried Sunnis.
Wait, think about it. We freeze dry the entire Sunni population. There'd be no need for a wall, no reason for Shiites to blow up cars in Sunni neighborhoods or gas Sunnis with chlorine, or drill holes in them with electric hand tools. Because the Sunnis - in all their freeze-dried lifelikenesses -- would be rendered harmless peaceful, serene, "reconciled" at last.
Then John McCain could really stroll Sunni streets withoutunce of protection. Bush and Cheney could finally claim – this time honestly -- that violence between Shiites and Sunni had dropped to zero. Mission Accomplished!
There would be some minor ongoing maintenance required, of course. In the now peaceful Sunni neighborhoods municiple crews would have to bring freeze-dried Sunnis indoors when it rained and return them to their shops and sidewalks when the sun came back out. And due to that desert sun, they would likely have to replace their clothing a couple of times a year.
Of course there would have to be some preconditions imposed on the Iraqi government. The US would insist that at least 20% of the seats in the Iraqi Congress be occupied by freeze-dried Sunnis, of which at least some must be freeze-dried female Sunnis. Because there's no way America could claim victory in Iraq unless Iraqi women enjoyed full political representation.
With the Sunni population “reconciled,” that leaves just the Kurds and Shiites to settle their differences. Since the very notion of freeze-dried curds is gastronomically revolting, another plan is required:
Pizzo's Plan Y: Hire the Kurds.
Put the Kurds on the US government payroll. Let the Shiites have all the oil and simply pay the Kurds a few bucks more each year than they would have made off Iraqi oil.
Pay them to do what? Well, Iraq is a big and dusty country. For starters the Kurds could be paid to take care of all those freeze-dried Sunnis. Because -- Allah knows -- if that job were left to the Shiites it would be only a few days before freeze-dried Sunnis would be sporting funny hats, their pants on backwards, placed in compromising positions or standing around gnawing on pork chops. (Those Shiites!) The Kurds don't have those kind of “issues” with Sunnis and could therefore be trusted to keep the freeze-dried Sunni population nicely dressed and regularly dusted.
Kurds could also be paid to make nice with their neighbors in Turkey so we don't end up with another war on our hands between those two goombas.
That leaves Iran. We really can't leave that region until we have a solution to the Iranian problem. The Iranians are kinda like Oscar the Grouch. If their noses are not out of joint about one thing, it's another. But above all else Iranians bristle at being called Arabs – (they're Persian, you know!) While they are not Arabs, Iranians nevertheless believe they should call the shoots for the Arab nations in the region – kinda like they are the Persians retarded cousins or something.
And of course the Iranians hate the US, (AKA, “The Great Satan.” ) We've taken that kind of name-calling abuse for too long. Time to teach those "Persians" how wrong they are to believe their Mullahs have the market cornered on crazy.
But what'st he best way to do that? Bomb them? Nah. That would be about as effective as throwing a firecracker into a hornet's hive. I have a better idea.
Pizzo's Plan Z: Convince the Iranian people that they are covered by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.
This propaganda campaign would be run by an organization that has, time after time, proven it can succeed even under the most blood-drenched circumstances – the National Rifle Association. The goal would be to convince every Iranian man, woman, child -- even the mentally ill – that they too possess the inalienable right .. no.. the DUTY ... to own at least one semi-automatic weapon. The CIA could air-drop bumper stickers with the picture of Wayne LaPierre dressed as a Mullah on them:
“They'll have to wrench my AK47 from my cold dead fingers,” (in Farsi, of course,)
The only plan that could have worked from the start was to haul the guys who came up with Plan A off to the nearest mental facility and put them on Thorazine I.V drips.
Sen. Harry Reid was a right as rain last week when he declared Bush's war in Iraq lost. Because Iraq was never ours to win in the first place.
And he was right about something else too; that Bush and those around him know it's lost. The real centerpiece to their Iraq strategy now is to stall until they get out of town a year a half from now. Then they can claim they victory in sight, before “the Democrats pulled the rug out from under our troops.”
Reid should have said one more thing, that would have also been right. That every American soldier's death from this day forward is a politically motivated murder.
How IVF labs handle embryos or zygotes that are not implanted in a woman's womb:
|With donor consent||Without donor consent|
|Handling procedure||Numbers of labs||% of labs||Numbers of labs||% of labs|
|Cultured to demise (allowed to die) & discarded||107||46.1||28||12.1|
|Donated - research||55||23.7||0||0|
|Donated - diagnostic purposes||27||11.6||0||0|
|Donated - training||52||22.4||9||3.9|
|Donated - another patient||43||18.5||0||0|
(Some percentages total more than 100% because some labs employ multiple disposal methods.)
Weekend Lecture Series
Folks on the political right claim we Americans must give up some of our most cherished freedoms in order to protect our freedom from terrorists. They say we have to give up a our absolute right to privacy, water down the separation of powers, deny the right of an accused to face his/her accusers, challenge the evidence against them, or to even have a public trial.
Folks on the left have their own list of cherish freedoms they say we must protect, and that the only way to do that is to trim back other freedoms -- like freedom of speech when it comes to the utterance of touchy, controversial, unpleasant, potentially offensive subjects and terms. They change the meaning of words, like "illegal immgrants," which becomes "undocumented immigrants." Laws were broken, but should no one is guilty.
Then there's the rest of us in caught in dead center of this growingly furious societal crossfire.
I worry where it's all heading. Ben Johnson once wrote, “Speak that I may see thee.”
His meaning was clear. And over the years I have learned there is no better way to judge a person's intellectual depth, education and character than by simply listening to what they have to say and how they say it. As a journalist it was imperative that I was able to quickly and accurately take the measure of a source. So I let them talk. I listened. And it never failed me.
Now what? Increasingly the morality police on the right and the political correctness police on the left are successfully shutting down speech they don't like. They are bullying those they disagree with to either shut up or self-censor. Those who refuse are forced, like Don Imus, into exile. The mainstream media is now so intimidated by this trend that they have willing adopted a form of media shunning of it's own.
Will any of this make America more moral, inclusive or tolerant? Or will it simply drive the uncomfortable, inconvenient truths, dark thoughts and desires into the shadows? How will I take measure of talk show host's true character if he/she cannot, or dares, not speak freely? He may say all the the “right” things, while not believing them. That's easy. Politicians do that already, and look where its gotten us.
If the thought and morality police ever get the power they clearly want to control the national discourse, racists, porn and women haters won't go away, they will simply go into the closet. They will stop speaking, which means we will no longer be able to “see” them. They will no longer expose themselves to us.
Is that a good thing? Possibly. But I doubt it. After all, members of the KKK hid the faces behind hoods for a reason. They didn't expose themselves, but they were still there. They did their dirty work from the shadows.
Speak that I may see thee, please. Because if the right's morality police and the left's politically correctness hall monitors a allowed to succeed in purging controversial speech, America will not only become a really boring place, but a nation unable to honestly confront its real problems. Because sometimes the real reasons for real problems are real touchy subjects.
For example, read what British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said out loud yesterday, and then try to imagine who on the radio, much less in Congress, would dare utter such a thing today:
"When are we going to start saying this is a problem amongst a section of the black community and not, for reasons of political correctness, pretend that this is nothing to do with it?" Mr Blair said there needed to be an "intense police focus" on the minority of young black Britons behind the gun and knife attacks. The laws on knife and gun gangs needed to be toughened and the ringleaders "taken out of circulation." (More)
Here in the US there's plenty that can and should be said about the real problems that continue plaguing our own black communities. Some of those problems are everyone's fault, and those problems have the stamp of approval from the thought police – we have permission to talk about our common guilt. What we dare not talk about are the self-destructive ideas, music and behavior that exacerbates those problems, the fault for which lays entirely within the black community itself.
But how to get at those problems and the contributing factors. Here is where I find myself in a schizophrenic quandary. While I hate gangsta rap, and I believe it contributes mightily to the problems that plague urban black communities in the US and Europe, I resist the temptation to demand it be banned. Because if we did, gangsta rappers wouldn't go away, because you can't make stupid go away. If banned they will simply go underground where they will be even harder to monitor and where their banned status will likely make them even more popular.
No, the only way to fight stupid -- white stupid, brown stupid or black stupid -- is with heaping doses of smart. So we need to talk more, not less. We need to speak and feel we can do so freely.
Because when we speak to one another we teach, we learn, but most importantly, we expose to one another who we really are.