Quick musings

Civil war, world war. What are we doing in the Middle East? Certainly "stabilizing it" ain't the answer. The Taleban seems to be taking charge again in Afghanistan. With foreign fighters from Pakistan, Syria, Egypt and other countries streaming into Iraq and Afghanistan, we're apparently only succeeding in achieving a massive two-fer: we started a civil war in Iraq while simultaneously starting if not a world war, then a Middle East-wide conflict. Am I exaggerating? Maybe. But consider: with the bombing of a UN building in Baghdad two weeks back, it's clear even the UN isn't safe in Iraq. Then who is? Not Shiite Muslims who now find themselves warring against each other: Shiite supporters of the US-backed Iraqi government were the target of last week's mosque bombing, an act allegedly perpetrated by anti-US Shiites. The "Roadmap to Peace" is in shambles, with bloodshed continuing to occur in Gaza. On top of it, with the American economy floundering, we're pissing away almost $5 billion a month on a losing venture in the Middle East.

Get out the vote. Campaigns left and right--literally--will be spending untold fortunes on get-out-the-vote efforts. Looking to Howard Dean's grassroots methods of shoring up base support, Republicans, too, are trying to keep their traditional supporters in their sights. Thing is, too many people are pissed off: environmentalists, minorities, women, even American Muslims are working to make Congress hear their voices. I think there's great opportunity: the Muslim community, like Kucinich/Dean democrats, are making civil liberties a core issue--something Bush and the Republicans can never claim. Hopefully these progressive voter movements will gel across race and interest lines.

To get involved, check out William Upski Wimsatt's list of voter-rights groups from this month's issue of Yes:
NAACP National Voter Fund
Future 500
League of Women Voters
Youth Vote Coalition
Project Vote
Voces del Pueblo
Rock the Vote
and others.

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