Whatever Nancy wants, Nancy gets?
It seems like everyone wants something. The Saudis were delighted when we drove Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in 1991 and happy when we toppled him from power in 2003. But the Saudis (who have relatively little military force) do not want U.S. troops to leave Iraq because, now that Saddam Hussein is gone, they fear Iran (with its large military forces and soon-to-have nuclear weapons), will become the new Saddam Hussein of the Middle East.
The Saudis do not want Iran to dominate the Persian Gulf through which flow over 20-percent of the world’s oil supply, to include Saudi oil. By the way, the Saudis like to think of the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf. Syria wants Iran to keep sending money in return for letting terrorists and their weapons slip into Israel. Iran, Syria and the Palestinians want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
As long as it continues as one of the largest recipients of American foreign aid, Egypt does not care much either way. The Turks do not care either as long as the Kurds keep to themselves in Iraq.
Russia wants to play both Iran and the Saudis against the U.S. and foster trouble for the U.S. in Iraq as a way of keeping the price of oil high enough that the notoriously inefficient Russian oil industry can still make a profit.
The Israelis just want to be left alone, free from attack by their Arab neighbors, the Iranians and Jimmy Carter.
House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, just wants the U.S. Air Force to fly her back and forth between Washington and San Francisco, non-stop, in an aircraft that has a distinguished visitors (DV) cabin complete with private bedroom where she can kick off her heels, stretch out and rest from the stress and fatigue of surrender.
The 89th Airlift Wing, which provides Air Force One plus long-range aircraft for the Secretary of State and others representing America abroad, has a small fleet of bizjets for in-country travel. Before Speaker Pelosi, the 89th provided previous House Speakers with the smaller bizjets; however, they cannot reach San Francisco non-stop, and they have open seating. They do not have private bedrooms or bathrooms with vanities.
She could, of course, hitch a ride on the C-9 (MD-90 Nightingale). But that might be upsetting because many C-9s are used to transport wounded GIs from one hospital to another. That could be awkward if she had to come face-to-face with wounded GIs whose support she is trying to cut off.
Then, there is the C-20B (Gulfstream III). It is a nice, cozy executive-type jet that seats 12; however, it only has a couch, and the toilet is cramped, like those in a commercial airliner.
The C-22B (Gulfstream IV) has a DV section, but only a couch. The DV section holds 24 plus a 42-seat passenger compartment. But 66 seats for just the Speaker might rile environmentalists.
The C-137C (Boeing 707) has two semi-private staterooms and a lounge. But no beds. It seats 58. Environmentalists might think the four-engine C-137C burns too much kerosene.
The C-32A (Boeing 757) has a DV suite with a bedroom and en suite bath. But, like the C-137C it is replacing, this 55-seat airplane might contribute to global warming.
The C-37 (Gulfstream V) would be perfect for Speaker Pelosi. It has a private bedroom, a bath, and only seats 12. Unfortunately for Speaker Pelosi, Department of Defense (DOD) regulations prohibit the use of ANY of these aircraft for her own private airline.
She could, of course, threaten to withhold DOD funds. But then, she is already planning that. Or, as third-in-line-to-the-Presidency, she might get her Democrat colleagues to pass legislation forcing the DOD to give her what she wants.
Multiple choice test [check one]: (1) She will pass special legislation to get her way. (2) She will cut off the funding for our troops in Iraq. (3) All of the above.
Bottom line: Everyone wants something from Uncle Sugar.
Syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and a former research fellow at the U.S. Military History Institute of the U.S. Army War College. He is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2007. William Hamilton.>