Field Notes

I know the entire Blogosphere has already linked to this, but that's because the monkey is so right:

Maybe it's just, I cast my eyes back on the last century ...

FDR: Oh, I'm sorry, was wiping out our entire Pacific fleet supposed to intimidate us? We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and right now we're coming to kick your ass with brand new destroyers riveted by waitresses. How's that going to feel?

CHURCHILL: Yeah, you keep bombing us. We'll be in the pub, flipping you off. I'm slapping Rolls-Royce engines into untested flying coffins to knock you out of the skies, and then I'm sending angry Welshmen to burn your country from the Rhine to the Polish border.

US. NOW: BE AFRAID!! Oh God, the Brown Bad people could strike any moment! They could strike ... NOW!! AHHHH. Okay, how about .. NOW!! AAGAGAHAHAHHAG! Quick, do whatever we tell you, and believe whatever we tell you, or YOU WILL BE KILLED BY BROWN PEOPLE!! PUT DOWN THAT SIPPY CUP!!

... and I'm just a little tired of being on the wrong side of that historical arc.

We're now almost 18 hours into the ceacefire between Israel and Lebannon and Hizbullah, although heck if I know how it's supposed to hold:

He said Israeli forces — apparently about 30,000 soldiers now — would stay in Lebanon until an international force arrived.

Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, said his militia would abide by the cease-fire blueprint, but said the guerrillas would keep battling Israeli troops while they remained in Lebanon, calling that “our natural right.?

From where I'm sitting, it'll take at least a few weeks to get an international force in place. In the meanwhile Israeli forces will dig in throughout south Lebannon, Hizbullah will revert to its original mandate to drive out occupying Israeli troops, and the guerilla war will proceed apace. But at least the cross-border shelling ought to quiet down for the time being.

Finally, last week when the British calmly arrested a cell of would-be airplane bombers and the Bush administration launched seamlessly into another round of Chicken Little, I speculated as to whether the timing had been orchestrated around the Connecticut primary or the Levant debacle. My officemate mocked me for the assumption that Bushco can actually control these sorts of things.

Of course, it is now emerging that that is exactly what happened. Man, these screw-ups used to at least be good at keeping secrets. Except that it sounds like the British authorities are severely pissed at the interference. Probably because of the ones that got away as a result.

The narrative, as best I can speculate from the developing threads, is that Cheney et al pressured the British to go ahead with the arrests last week (the timing suggests a connection to the primary, but that's purely circumstantial at this point). Scotland Yard et al nixed the suggestion on the grounds that the plot was far from consumation, so as to gather more evidence, identify additional conspirators, and generally bolster their case -- wise, considering that in the UK, as opposed to, say, here, the accused would eventually have to be proven guilty. However, one of the ringleaders was in Pakistan, and since Musharraf knows where his bread is buttered the Pakistani authorities were happy to pick him up early at the US's suggestion. Then the British had no choice to act, lest news of the arrest lead the rest of the cell to either scatter or try to carry out the plot early.

Since it is not generally illegal to sit around shooting the breeze with friends about how easy it would be to take down an airplane, the very real possibility exists that several of the conspirators will walk free for want of hard evidence that they'd actually done anything wrong. For instance, some reports say that Scotland Yard was waiting for at least one of them to buy tickets for their practice run, or to acquire bomb-making materials. This is in addition to the plotters already known to have escaped the dragnet, quite probably tipped off by the arrest in Pakistan. So one can imagine why the British might be annoyed, and thus be leaking about Republican interference to the press.

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on August 14, 2006 5:09 PM.

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