My So Called Life - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Embrace life -- both the sweet days and the bitter...embrace the joy and the sadness...the successes and the defeats -- for all of these things, both good and bad, have made you who you are.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

I Am Glad The Democrats Won Congress - But...

Ok...I am happy the Democrats took control of Congress. I believe the country will benefit from the checks and balances placed on the President, now that there can be some congressional oversight on his decisions. I have become more left leaning in the last few years but still reside near the middle on the political spectrum. George W. Bush has that destroyed my confidence in the so called "compassionate conservatism" he espoused on his way to the White House...but with that said...

Let me initially say how disappointed I am in the choice the Democrats made in selecting Silvestre Reyes, Democrat from Texas, to chair the House Intelligence Committee. I believe that when selecting a chairman, one needs to select someone who has the knowledge and ability to weigh in on the issues facing our nation and the world. As everyone knows, in my ideas and discussion about politics I believe that you have to be fair in your evaluations and comments about both political here are my thoughts for you to ponder.

Let's begin back when George W. Bush was first running for president back in 2000. He was interviewed by Andy Hiller, a political reporter for WHDH-TV in Boston. Hiller asked Bush to name the leaders of Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan. Mr. Hiller wanted Bush to name the four leaders in these four hot spots. Bush did not know the leaders of Chechnya, India, or Pakistan and only answered partially to Taiwan, referring to the president as "Mr. Lee." The Democrats assailed Mr. Bush...attacked his ability to engage in foreign affairs and attacked his credentials to properly execute the office of President of the United States. I am not a fan of President Bush by any means but at that time, his political experience was limited to the Governorship of of course his foreign affairs knowledge would also be limited. It is true that these areas were hot spots around the world, but the United States involvement at that time was strictly political, meaning there was no direct military involvement. I seriously doubt if most politicians could correctly answer those questions even today.

So why do I bring this up...well as I said the Democrats blasted Bush for not knowing this information. And yet...they have put Democratic Representative Reyes from Texas as the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

***Rep. Reyes did not know what Hezbollah is***

Now I am sorry. I do not see this as the same situation as Bush back in 2000. Rep. Reyes has been a member of the Armed Services Committee, so his knowledge of foreign affairs should be a little better than Bush had in 2000. I mean there was a little 34 day war between Israel and Hezbollah that was blasted all over the U.S and International media during the summer. How in the hell does a sitting United States Representative on the Armed Services Committee not know what Hezbollah is? And just so you get the time frame correct, Rep. Reyes was asked about Hezbollah in early December by Jeff Stein from Congressional Quarterly so he had already known about the war that had occurred between Israel and Hezbollah in the summer. What is even worse is that in the interview, Rep. Reyes could not give any information on Hezbollah. He couldn't even identify them as a group from the Middle East. He just kept saying.."Uh, Uh" and cracking jokes about answering the questions in Spanish...whatever the that means. Jeff Stein said it best in his interview when he reminded Rep. Reyes that Hezbollah has killed thousands of Americans on U.S. soil and in the Middle East and has been front page news for a long time now.

***Is Al-Qaida is Made up of Sunni or Shiites***

Ok..yet long has Al-Qaida been in the news. How long has the U.S. and International media been talking about, discussing, and debating over Al-Qaida, the Sunni Muslims, and the Shiite Muslims. Now I am sure the average American does not know which sect of Islam Al-Qaida is....but I do...and I think most Americans should be informed enough to know. And I think it is embarrassing when the incoming Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee does not know. I mean come on...who have we been fighting for the last 7 damn years...actually even longer than that...the battle with Al-Qaida can be seen back through multiple presidencies. Rep. Reyes stated that Al-Qaida was predominantly Shiite which is of course incorrect. As Jeff Steins wrote in his article, "Al-Qaeda is profoundly Sunni. If a Shiite showed up at an Al-Qaeda club house, they’d slice off his head and use it for a soccer ball. That’s because the extremist Sunnis who make up Al- Qaeda consider all Shiites to be heretics."

I agree with one more statement that Jeff Stein made in his article...he states:

"It’s been five years since these Muslim extremists flew hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center. Is it too much to ask that our intelligence overseers know who they are?"

With all that said, I am sure that Representative Reyes will no doubt learn the differences between the sects of Islam and their relationship to Al-Qaida. I hope that he becomes well versed in his role as Chairman and succeeds to help America and the World address the threat of terrorism.

Like I said...I am glad the Democrats won Congress, and I am ready for change, that is for sure...but....ya just never know what the future will hold....hopefully for Representative Reyes and other members of the House Intelligence Committee, the future will hold a crash course in Middle East History and Current Affairs....


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