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2003-10-19 - 1:06 p.m.

Another article in my little AOL pop up window pissed me off today. The headline is "We Knew Occupation Risk, Study Foresaw Iraq Mayhem, Military Largely Ignored Report."

Of course, the article had very little to do with the military and everything to do with the Defense and State Departments. It talked about how we prepared for such things as numerous oil field fires, a massive humanitarian crisis, threats from Iraq's neighbors; in short, things that didn't happen to "any great degree." What we should have prepared for instead was cheifly widespread looting and related security threats, which the State Department study predicted.

I thought to myself, what about the papers that predicted the oil field fires? What about the study that predicted threats from Iraq's neighbors? The article seems to think that the U.S. Government can predict the future, but is too stupid to do anything rational about it. I'm sure there's papers and studies out there that predicted everything that could have possibly happened in Iraq. How easy is it to throw studies around after the fact? We can't possibly act on every single study that was done and plan for every possible contingency; even if every living being in the world was in the U.S. military, it still wouldn't be enough to plan and act upon and thwart every potential threat. The fact is that Iraq is full of humans, and there's no 100% fool proof planning for human behavior. We can always surpise each other.

And another thing... maybe all the planning we did for oil field fires, a massive humanitarian crisis, and threats from Iraq's neighbors actually prevented those things from happening. Doesn't the fact that there isn't a massive humanitarian crisis in Iraq right now mean anything?

Note to myself: key word MASSIVE. I'm aware that the humanitarian situation isn't great over in Iraq right now, and many people don't have such things electricity and running water.

I think that's something people need to look hard at before they condemn Bush too much. There's no way to prove he prevented any more attacks on the U.S. such as the World Trade Center attack in 2001. I read somewhere that the courts are having a hell of a time prosecuting someone who was only planning on doing something. There's no way to prove they would have actually gone through with it! Think of all the terrorists and Al Qaeda members Bush has rounded up. Would any other president have been able to round up or kill all these guys? What would have happened if he hadn't? The attack on the U.S. World Trade Center was SUCCESSFUL. It really wouldn't be too difficult to think up a new plot that would cause just as many deaths, and the people that we have either incarcerated or have killed would have been just the people to do it.

I don't know if I really believe that or not. I'm really dissatisfied with Guantanamo Bay and how we're treating our prisoners there. Holding them without charges? But it's something to think about; there really is no way to prove you prevented something. And how do you charge someone for plotting?

What a mess! I don't have any answers.

In other news, and by news I mean only relevant to my life and maybe a few others, Jimmie has started trying to teach me how to drive a stick. I've never been able to learn. One of two things happen: a falling out in the relationship between me and whoever's teaching me, and the lessons stop, or I can't handle being so bad at something and I discontinue the lessons. I have a problem sometimes where if I'm not instantly good at something, I don't want to do it anymore. Especially if I'm trying to learn how to do something that someone else performs as second nature. I feel like such a moron and instead of learning so that I won't feel like a moron about it, I'll stop learning and just never do it again. But in the case of driving a stick shift, I feel like a moron for not knowing how. I'm ready to feel like a REALLY big moron for a little while and thus not feel like a moron in the future; I can finally take the big step: stick driving lessons.

Of course, it's only been one lesson so far, around a church parkinglot, and I've had lots of one time only lessons. We'll see how this goes.

The other thing I don't like about learning how to drive a stick is that I sweat excessively. I'm not sure why I felt the need to record that for posterity. Maybe to make sure I don't wear a sweater next time.

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