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Featured Column
Week of 10.30.2006
Midnight thoughts
          During a recent lull between President Bush proclaiming that we will “stay the course,” and vice President Cheney saying that our goal in the Iraq war is nothing other than victory – I had a thought – When was the last time we heard some good news for our side coming out of Iraq, or Afghanistan, for that matter.
          During the past few months we have heard about the daily slaughter of Iraqis and American soldiers. We’ve heard about the “Together Forward” program, which joins the Iraqi army and our U.S. military. Most of the combined effort of the two forces will be concentrated in the Baghdad area, which has turned into a Mideast “killing field.”
          I hope we will soon hear some good news coming out of this “Together Forward” program. 
          Youths have been burning buses and terrifying residents in Paris, raising tensions as the first anniversary of the riots that engulfed France’s rundown, heavily immigrant neighborhoods, which house many of the Muslims from former French colonies in Africa.
          Problems involving relationships with Muslims have surfaced and continue in Australia, Somalia, Britain, Spain, Germany, France and South Pacific countries.
          In Iraq the Sunnis fight the Shiites, the Shiites fight the Kurds, the Kurds fight the Sunnis and the Shiites and the Americans fight the terrorists and try to keep peace among the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Kurds. Add in the meddling from Syria and Iran and we have our hands full. And we haven’t even mentioned North Korea and their particular brand of insanity.
          So, where do we go from here? It’s about time that we change the way we do some things. Obviously, what we’re doing isn’t working.
          President Bush and Vice President Cheney are stuck between the politics of holding on to Republican seats in Congress and taking action that will result in meaningful changes in the world around us.
          To begin, let’s get some things straight. The Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, in a recent meeting, told our U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, “I’m not America’s man.” What planet is this guy al-Maliki living on? It may not function and they may have a bunch of meddling, bigoted, middle-aged, argumentative men serving as their Congress, but it wouldn’t exist without America’s might. If it weren’t for America’s military strength Saddam Hussein would still be sitting in his palace, barking instructions to his stooges to drop some more poison gas on the Kurds. If it weren’t for U.S. military might Prime Minister al-Maliki would probably have been found in an alley in Baghdad, blown into 1500 separate pieces by a suicide bomber or he’d be peddling fake Rolex’s on a street corner in downtown Kirkuk. So, please inform Mr. al-Maliki that he is, indeed, “America’s man.”
          There’s more. Before America’s prestige and power around the world deteriorates even more let’s take some action that tells the world that we remain the most powerful country in the history of the world.
          President Bush can start by telling the heads of Iran and Syria that we will no longer tolerate their meddling in Iraqi affairs. Tell these guys that enough is enough – we know they’re causing us problems in Iraq and it had better stop immediately or they’re going to hear our bombers flying overhead in the next 24-hours. We don’t want to cause them havoc, but we will.
          Then President Bush should send Air Force One to Iraq to pick up the heads of the Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds. Bring them to Washington, D.C. and lay the law down. Tell them, “We’re not leaving this room until the three of you have agreed to stop the civil war, so sit down and make yourselves comfortable. We may be here quite a while, but when we’re done you’re getting back on Air Force One and flying back to Baghdad and telling your people to lay down their arms. And the first time one of your people explodes a bomb or fires a shot we will pull out every soldier and not give you another dime – all of our help ends and you and your followers will probably wind up killed – blown apart while shopping for vegetables in an open air market. And if you get us really mad you may hear those bombers flying over your miserable homes, depositing 2,000 pound “bunker busters” down your chimneys. So, gentlemen, thanks for coming to Washington and have a nice flight home.” 
           And after the President says goodby to the Iraqis he should send Condoleezza Rice to Pyongyang, North Korea to deliver a message to President Kim Jong il. In big fat letters the message should read: “Dear Mr. President, Because you are so interested in getting nuclear power for your country the United States is going to help you build a nuclear power plant to provide electric power for your people. We will even help staff the plant with a few of our experts. We will help you provide electricity for your country at no charge. Our experts will remain in your country to give continued assistance. If, from this minute on, we detect that you are using your nuclear capability to construct any weapons, even one, we will withdraw our people, bring them home and, without any further warning, level Pyongyang. Here’s wishing you a nice day. Sincerely, George W. Bush, President, United States of America.
          Isn’t it about time that Americans started feeling pride in being Americans. We all need some good news for a change.
      Ron was born in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in Southern California and lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for three decades. He attended Inglewood High School and U.C.L.A.. His youthful goal was to become a major league baseball player. In Hawaii Ron played on a series of championship softball teams. He is an active tennis player.
      Ron’s career began at the Inglewood Daily News where as a youngster was enrolled in a publisher training program. He served as an advertising salesman, circulation manager, writer and layout and design staffer. He has been a newspaper publisher at the Oregon City Oregon Enterprise Courier, the Beloit Wisconsin Daily News, the Elizabeth, New Jersey Daily Journal and This Week Magazines (Hawaii).
      Ron lives with his wife, Marilyn, in San Diego, California. His two children, Douglas and Diane also live in the San Diego area. Ron’s interests range far and wide and are reflected in his columns diverse topics.
     
Ron Cruger