It's not like this news will break hearts all over America, but I'll be cutting back to two columns per week for a while. This is partly because of other pending projects, and partly because the issues I'm tracking are becoming so complex that writing about them requires quite a bit of research to get the "latest" information and square it with what's been said or done before.
It's also becoming more and more difficult to sort out fact from "sanctioned leaks" in the big media, particularly with Alberto Gonzales' recent statements about prosecuting reporters for revealing "classified" information and tapping their lines to identify their sources. We've reached a point where information attributed to any "anonymous government source" is susect of being propaganda deliberately channeled through the outlets of our supposed "watch dogs."
Further, the information environment will become even noisier as the November elections approach. As much as possible, I'll be avoiding discussion of specific races, but as I often say (perhaps too often) there's really no such thing as a separation between foreign policy, domestic policy, and electoral politics, and that may be truer now than ever.
In 1997, the neoconservative Project for a New American Century (PNAC) proclaimed that foreign and defense policy under President Clinton was "adrift." Almost a decade later, America's foreign and defense policy have run amok, thanks to key PNAC members of the Bush administration like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, John Bolton, Lewis Libby, and Zalmay Khalilzad.
No measure of future success in Afghanistan and Iraq can make up for their ill-conceived and tragically incompetent execution to date. Our so-called "diplomatic" efforts with Iran are doomed to failure. Our insistence that Iran give up their claims of a right to enrich uranium is a sort of "reverse Godfather" approach: we're making them an offer they can't accept. Our standing in the world has taken a drastic nosedive since young Mister Bush took office, and the effectiveness of our military, diplomatic, and economic power has diminished alarmingly.
No amount of deck chair shifting in the administration will reverse this trend. The only way to check the Bush machine's pursuit of absolute power and insistence on continuing to pursue failed policies and strategies is for we the people to restore our constitutional system of checks and balances by taking away the GOP's control of Congress.