After Boston, a new, more balanced outrage

Events unfolded rapidly in Boston this week, from the bombing on Monday to release of photos of the suspects on Thursday to the citywide manhunt for one brother and the killing of the other. While we now know that the two young men are ethnic Chechens who spent time in Kyrgyzstan, we know nothing as yet about why they did what they did.

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Cheer Up, America! The Economy (and the Country) Is Much Better Off Than You Think

Barely had the counting ceased in last week's presidential election when the news took a somber turn. Two of the next day's headlines read "Back to Work, Looming Fiscal Crisis Greets Obama" and my favorite, "America has Sown the Seeds of Its Own Demise." Politicians either celebrated or decried the results, but regardless of party affiliation most warned of formidable challenges and a perilous future.

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Bush’s Chickens Come Home to Roost

The Russian invasion of Georgia and the inability of the United States, NATO, the United Nations — not to mention Georgia itself — to do anything about it has cast into sharp relief one of the most disturbing consequences of recent American policy in the world. Having focused obsessively on the threat of terrorism — and not simply on terrorism, but terrorism conducted by radical Islamic fundamentalist groups such as al-Qaeda, the United States and the administration of George Bush have de facto ignored a series of other pressing global issues. It’s been said that governments and countries fight the last war; in the case of the Bush administration, we’ve fought the last war several times over, with strategic incompetence. As a result, our future security has been seriously jeopardized.

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And on the Other Side of the World....

Dominating the headlines in Asia, this just in from Xinhua on-line, the Reuters of China : “Over 570,000 Evacuated as Saomai Approaches!” Huh? Didn’t they get the memo about Lebanon, Iraq, and the terror plot to destroy airplanes using liquid explosives? Apparently, an approaching hurricane-force storm and its devastating potential is more important than the wars of the western world and the intractable struggle between some Muslims, some Christians and some Jews.

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They’d Better Do Better Than We Can Do Better

Libby indicted! Miers withdraws! Polls register vertiginous drop in support for Bush, the war, the Republicans in Congress. Rove not off the hook, a prosecutor who, gasp, does not leak - everything seems to be breaking in the Democrats’ direction. But remember the last time the left side of the aisle was this giddy? The fall of 2004, when Bush seemed to be sinking himself and Kerry appeared on the verge of victory. Certain that the Republicans would implode, the Democrats forgot that they had to actually do and say something that someone would find meaningful.

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The Winds Are Blowing From the East As Well

In the past weeks, the commentariate has been focused on the weather. Two major stories have dominated the agenda – hurricanes in the Gulf and the political winds in Washington, buffered by two Supreme Court vacancies and by the political storm that followed the first actual storm – Katrina.

Both of these storms deserve attention; so do larger issues of the United States in the world, the on-going war in Iraq, and the shifting sands of the questionably named “war on terror.” But I suspect that years from now, the story we will tell will be less about the stories we are telling and more about the ones we aren’t.

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