The high temp for the weekend was early Saturday morning, when it was about 62°. It's just 57° right now, and the ground is wet. The sun is only now breaking through the clouds. And I have to work on Monday, of course.
I have to quote this entry from a Fiero Forum thread. I don't generally know a lot about geopolitics; I was pretty pleased with this:
Al Qaeda is too diffuse and entrenched for traditional tactics to work. American foreign policy in that region is a mishmash of band-aids and hasty fixes; we attempted to fix problems by treating symptoms rather than the disease.
For example, Jimmy Carter's response when the US embassy in Tehran was seized by terrorists was completely wrong. This is arguably the first time in US history that Islamic terrorism became a problem for us; and Carter's inaction was instructive to those behind it.
To be fair, Iran in the late 1970s was a major front in the Cold War. Carter may have felt he didn't have the luxury of declaring war on Iran...but that is exactly what he should have done. Classically, seizing an embassy has always been an act of war, whether done by an army or a bunch of free-lancers. If I get my gang to seize, say, the Japanese embassy, Japan still has the right to declare war on the US because I am a US citizen. My actions are the responsibility of the US government.
The fiction that it was "Iranian students" who seized the embassy should not have mattered. The US should have said, "Well, get your 'students' out of our embassy or there's going to be blood on the sidewalks of Tehran...ALL of them."
The terrorists knew that Reagan understood the difference between a sit-in and an act of war, and would act accordingly. He would not buy the convenient fiction that "students" had seized the US embassy in Tehran, and Iran would get a face full of US military might if the hostages were not released. That was a war they would lose, and lose badly, even with the state the US military was in at the time.
As for today, 9/11 provided a clear reason why the issue of Islamic terrorism had to be dealt with for once and for all. The issue is not as easy to resolve as it would have been in 1978, had we had a strong President; it's going to take time and money and blood to fix it now, a lot more than it would have taken if we had just faced the facts and dealt with it 20 years ago rather than try to fix things via proxies in the region. (Saddam Hussein, for example, is our mess. We pumped him up because he was at war with Iran, and an old Arab proverb says "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". In light of the events of 1990, we saw that was a mistake....)
Thanks to Steven Den Beste's blog Chizumatic I now have to come up with my ultimate anime harem. Mine won't be a theme harem, though.
Ukyou Kuonji (Ranma 1/2) (homemaker/cook)
Kiyone Makibi (Tenchi Muyo!) (the smart one)
Lum (Urusei Yatsura) (the sexy-but-dumb one)
Captain Lexshue [etc etc]* Plakia (Crest of the Stars) (the mature one)
Ifurita (El Hazard) (warrior maiden)
Koyomi Mizuhara (Azumanga Daioh) megane 'kko (glasses girl)
* Abh have long, complex names which include their titles. I can't remember all that BS. She's "Captain Lexshue" to her subordinates, and "Plakia" to her husband and daughter. Live with it.
BTW this list takes Lum, Ukyou, and Yomi-chan from the end of their respective series, when they are all over the age of 18. Kiyone is 23 when she is first introduced in Tenchi. Lexshue is at least 30 when she's introduced. Ifurita is on the order of hundreds of years old.
Hey, that actually works out fairly well. I seem to have hit all the major character types which are normally present in a harem. Yomi-chan and Ukyou are the only ones from Earth, though. And once again Yomi-chan ends up being the most normal one. I don't know what it is about Yomi-chan that gets her put on this list. Maybe it's those thigh-high stockings....