A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004 :::
Years ago, Bill Cosby had a television series. No, not The Cosby Show, nor I Spy; rather, one of the 47 he tried between those two hits. (Actually, it appears that there were just three.) And those other 47 (3), all failed primarily because they were musical variety hours, a format that died with the great and glorious Carol Burnett Show. In the version of "The Bill Cosby Show" that floated up in the memory of A Mind That Suits---"The New Bill Cosby Show" or perhaps "Cos"-- Mr. Cosby had a section entitled, imaginatively, "Kids Will Be Kids," in which he displayed his mastery at getting kids to Say the Darnedest Things, much in the manner of Art Linkletter, from whose catalog he ripped that particular page. And he was very good at it, perhaps better than the master.

On one occasion, he asked a very young girl something that was just beyond her reach, such as, "Where does Mr. Sun go when he goes to sleep?" She was stumped, so he asked the girl next to her, and she proudly and emphatically gave the right answer, which inspired the first little girl to look defiantly at Mr. Cosby as she pointed at her seatmate and blurted out, "You ask her; she tell you."

That story came to mind last night as yours truly grabbed a stool a Ye Olde Neighborhood Pool Hall (Atomic Billiards on Connecticut Avenue, across from the majestic Uptown Theatre). There on the bar was that morning's Post, with an article about a study released by the valuable US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute in Carlisle, PA. Said study, by Dr. Jeffrey Record, an accomplished historian and former advisor to one of the 20th Century's greatest legislators, US Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia, rips our current anti-terrorism strategy to shreds. Dr. Record manages to put every feeling and thought this writer has into exemplary form.

So ask him; he tell you.

The annoyingly liberal Carnegie Endowment for International Peace--an overendowed 501(c)(3) if ever there was one--managed despite itself to release a thorough and disturbing account of what exactly the Administration said about Weapons of Mass Destruction and what we have actually found. Since many of the countries that boldly defied the much larger Germany and France did so on the basis of the WMD threat, it behooves any conservative who wishes to see the UN "set off into the sunset" (RIP, Charles Lichenstein) to read it and consider what damage was done to our smaller allies by the over-anxious and incautious policy wonks currently in power.

In reading the Carnegie report, whenever one comes across the words "international cooperation" and "United Nations," one should just shade one's eyes and hurry past without looking. But the analysis of the WMD problem is first rate.

However, this writer must offer one caveat--a very important caveat--to his endorsement of these two reports. Both assume that we could have continued with the very effective policy of economic sanctions, "oil-for-food," and inspections.

It would not have happened.

France, Russia, and China--3/5 of the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, right there--would all have pushed for an easing and ultimate elimination of the entire system that held Saddam in check. So would have Germany, and, alas, the Vatican. It is clear from the Kay Report that Saddam was developing long range missiles--in and of itself a violation of UN-sanctioned agreements--and was capable of deploying biological weapons within six months. There was never an option to increase the pressure on Saddam and keep that "regime" of sanctions in place.

It was war or appeasement.

As it has been far too often in the last 100 years.

But not war in the style of Donald Rumsfeld, nor on his time schedule.

There is an enormous gap between what the facts have shown and what we thought we were doing, and once again, this writer expresses his deepest desire that conservatives--who, throughout the Cold War, did nearly all the heavy lifting--would once again open themselves up to a real debate. Conservatives don't have idols, unless they are named Reagan, and even then they freely discuss his failings.

In doing all the links, A Mind That Suits discovered that Art Linkletter is still with us, pushing 92. You go, Mr. Linkletter.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 4:52 PM



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