Politics and Policy:

  • MSNBC: Terror attack risk raised to ‘high’
      Even before Ashcroft made his announcement, Vice President Dick Cheney left the White House for a secure, undisclosed location, canceling a speech Tuesday night and sending the disappointed audience a videotaped address, instead. Cheney’s schedule for Wednesday was uncertain.

      White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Cheney also spent Monday night at a secret spot “based on an ongoing review of information that is received, as well as out of precaution.”

    During the last year Cheney has often been kept at a different location from President Bush. But, this time reading this news blurb it hit me . . . what would the world be like if he was President? It so unfathomable to imagine the horror of a Presidential assasination, but it is even more ghastly to imagine what a Cheney Presidency under such circumstances would be like.

  • Newsweek/MSNBC: Nelson Mandela – “The United States of America is a threat to world peace”
      Newsweek: Why are you speaking out on Iraq? Do you want to mediate, as you tried to on the Mideast a couple of years ago? It seems you are reentering the fray now.

      Nelson Mandela: If I am asked, by credible organizations, to mediate, I will consider that very seriously. But a situation of this nature does not need an individual, it needs an organization like the United Nations to mediate. We must understand the seriousness of this situation. The United States has made serious mistakes in the conduct of its foreign affairs, which have had unfortunate repercussions long after the decisions were taken. Unqualified support of the Shah of Iran led directly to the Islamic revolution of 1979. Then the United States chose to arm and finance the [Islamic] mujahedin in Afghanistan instead of supporting and encouraging the moderate wing of the government of Afghanistan. That is what led to the Taliban in Afghanistan. But the most catastrophic action of the United States was to sabotage the decision that was painstakingly stitched together by the United Nations regarding the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. If you look at those matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace. Because what [America] is saying is that if you are afraid of a veto in the Security Council, you can go outside and take action and violate the sovereignty of other countries. That is the message they are sending to the world. That must be condemned in the strongest terms. . .

      Newsweek: Do you think that the Bush administration’s U.N. diplomatic effort now is genuine, or is the President just looking for political cover by speaking to the U.N. even as he remains intent on forging ahead unilaterally?

      Mandela: Well, there is no doubt that the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like. And of course we must consider the men and the women around the president. Gen. Colin Powell commanded the United States army in peacetime and in wartime during the Gulf war. He knows the disastrous effect of international tension and war, when innocent people are going to die, young men are going to die. He knows and he showed this after September 11 last year. He went around briefing the allies of the United States of America and asking for their support for the war in Afghanistan. But people like Dick Cheney… I see yesterday there was an article that said he is the real president of the United States of America, I don’t know how true that is. Dick Cheney, [Defense secretary Donald] Rumsfeld, they are people who are unfortunately misleading the president. Because my impression of the president is that this is a man with whom you can do business. But it is the men who around him who are dinosaurs, who do not want him to belong to the modern age. The only man, the only person who wants to help Bush move to the modern era is Gen. Colin Powell, the secretary of State.

  • NY Times: F.C.C. weights a sharp easing of size limts