Thursday, November 12, 2009

Damned Houthis Ask For Truce, the New Love-fest

Gayle Lemmon
Greig & Enterline

“If you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less,” - Eric Shinseki

What looked like a dire situation yesterday, ready to engulf the Middle East in Armageddon, has lessened considerably this morning, as the Yemeni rebel leader has asked Saudi Arabia for a cease-fire and talks: "We call upon Saudi Arabia to stop its military attacks and start negotiations," he said, adding, "Our war is not with Saudi Arabia." Ahh well, at least I got to work in a William Butler Yeats poem into the whole mess.

Reading the little bit of Arabic press that is translated into English is venturing into a world of wonderful new ways of cursing your opponent. Here is a glimpse from an opinion piece published in today's al arabiya: "Today, the Huthists have decided to "sell out" every meaningful and valuable attribute, part of history, and legacy for the sake of money and whims. This is a result of them falling into deception. They have come to believe and are convinced of the nonsense that they are capable and worthy of change and that they are a real and effective factor that can influence the future of Yemen, or part of Yemen as an independent and separate state." Take that, you squirmy dogs...

Yesterday Iran sent a warning to Saudi Arabia about engaging the Houthi rebels, saying that they were prepared to "support" the Yemeni government to restore stability, meaning that they were ready to invade and annex Yemen anytime soon. The Yemeni government responded by saying no thank you, this is an internal affair and we are not asking for your help anytime soon, and please stop sending shiploads of armaments to the rebels.

Iran then responded cryptically: "Those who pour oil on the fire must know that they will not be spared from the smoke that billows." I'm not familiar with that particular proverb. My favorite saying comes from the Yoruba: "He who shits on the road will meet flies on return." Now I ask you, which one contains more practical wisdom?

come on people, everybody get together...

When they're not threatening to obliterate each one off of the face of the earth like the Arabs and Kurds are doing to the minorities around Kurdistan, it looks like an actual love-fest is going on. Turkey is trying to normalize relations with its neighbors, Israel has offered talks with Syria, the Saudi King is offering an olive branch to his critics, and even Hamid Karzai is trying to set up trade with other Arabic countries. Of course, he wants to get the US off of his back with all that pressure of being honest and caring for his citizens, and you can't be bothered by those inconsequential things when you are trying to set up a dynasty. Why it can make a royal go mad, and some are wondering if Hamid is letting the stress affect him... something is rotten in the state of Kandahar; alas poor Abdullah Abdullah, I knew him well... Anyway, the only things we can really count on are the age old hatreds that no-one wishes to erase.

decisions, indecisions...

I watched Seymour Hersh on television last night, and he said something very interesting that affects the heart of our foreign military strategy. That there is a cabal of West Point graduates making waves within the establishment right now. They all attended West Point at the same time and have helped each other through the years, and are feeling their oats right now. They are David Petraeus, Ray Odierno, and Stanley McChrystal. McChrystal feels that he doesn't need to report through the normal chain of command anymore, and even has his own press conferences not approved by the President.

So far, Barack Obama isn't very pleased with the four scenarios for more troops in Afghanistan provided to him, they all project out to years and years of engagement. He wants one that allows for an eventual withdrawal within the next few years. He is beginning to realize the cost of sending our children over there is that many won't make it back. We have more veterans missing limbs and who have head injuries than ever before; I wouldn't want it on my conscience every time I met one, realizing that I ultimately was responsible for their infirmity.
"CBS News is reporting that President Obama has decided to send 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Obama says it's all part of his plan to finally deliver on the campaign promises made by John McCain" –Jimmy Fallon

I'm looking forward to the political campaigns in 2010, just around the corner. Maybe some third party will rise from the GOP's ashes, allowing us to have a rational campaign based on mutual respect... Naahhh, we'll end up with more staged demonstrations, more anger and really inappropriate signs being waved around, and much more silly antics with stupid people making blunders in front of cameras and reporters. I look forward to every humiliation and embarrassment. I can't wait for Sarah and Michelle and Mit and Mike and Tim trying to come up with an attitude that will energize the voters. It will be time for parties and drinking games, almost as much fun as the old Luke and Laura parties held at the local bars way back when...

some late night political jokes:

"You guys hear this? In a speech yesterday, New York Governor David Paterson said that New York will broke by Christmas broke unless it begins cutting jobs. New Yorkers were like, 'Good call, let's start with the governor.'" –Jimmy Fallon

"40th anniversary of 'Sesame Street.' Yeah, this is big. First Lady Michelle Obama was on 'Sesame Street' today, showing children how to plant their own healthy vegetable gardens. Isn't that nice? Yeah, then the kids said, 'Screw the vegetables,' and they barbecued Big Bird" –Conan O'Brien

"NASA's been on a campaign to ease people's fears about the end of the world in 2012. Does anybody really think this is going to happen? No, this true. NASA announced that the movie '2012' is fiction and the Mayan calendar is wrong. And there is no mystery planet headed towards Earth that's gonna destroy it. People believe this stuff. They say the only thing that can really destroy the planet by 2012 would be, I guess, Countrywide Mortgage, AIG, and Wall Street." –Jay Leno

"Bad news for New York. Governor Paterson, the governor of New York, announced that by the end of the year, New York City will be broke. Yep. So we're going to have to make lots of cuts. The Midtown Tunnel. That will be by appointment only. Call ahead. Let them know you're coming through. Metropolitan Museum has laid off three mummies. And the city temporarily has stopped constructing potholes" –David Letterman

"It's the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down. Before that, the only way to get from East Germany to West Germany was your dad would have to put you in a balloon." –David Letterman

"Google has announced that they’re going to give free Internet access in airports all across the country. It’s fantastic! Up until now, the only way to see something pornographic at an airport was to follow a senator into the bathroom." –Craig Ferguson

"Former Miss California, Carrie Prejean, got into trouble for making a sex tape. She’s the only one in the tape. But I think this could be innocent too — last time for the racy photos, she said the wind blew her vest open . . . so maybe the wind blew her into some sexy positions and made her do some sexy gestures." –Craig Ferguson

Carrie Prejean is in the news again. She’s the beauty pageant contestant who spoke out against gay marriage. She’s a very family-values-oriented woman who, in her spare time, made a pornographic video tape. She says it is not a sex tape because she’s the only one in it. It’s s solo sex tape. It’s the first female solo sex tape . . . she flies solo. She’s like the Amelia Earhart of the naked." –Jimmy Kimmel

"She's trying to downplay the incident. In pageant terms, it was a swim-suit competition minus the swim suit but with a lot of baton twirling." –Jimmy Kimmel

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