Friday, December 29, 2006

Blood for blood

So, Saddam Hussein is dead. I will shed no tears for his passing. He truly committed acts of great violence and malice, and the harm he caused will be felt for decades to come. Nor will I rejoice. His death, however just one may deem it, will not save lives, nor will it bring to an end any sooner the violence and destruction in his former country. That there are those, including, I am sure, our supposed leader, who will feel glee and celebrate this moment, is sad, and speaks ill of us as people.

Punishment may have come, certainly too late, to one man. To a country, to millions of lives, to a world where hatred and anger are given nourishment by far too many for far too many reasons, justice is still nowhere to be found. Our nation's part in the brutal decay of another will be written in the history books for our children to read. This death will be no more than a clause in a sentence. Our shame is burned into our very core and is written in rivers of blood for all to see.

They don't make heroes like they used to

According to an AP poll, 13% of Americans consider Der Chimpenfuehrer their "hero of the year."

I have but two questions:

1) Who are these people and

2) Can I play poker with them?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hang in there...

"When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."
Dr. Samuel Johnson

So Saddam is to die by hanging.Regardless of how one feels about the death penalty, the execution of this sentence under these circumstances in a horrible idea. The execution would take place under the authority of a government viewed by many Iraqis and observers throughout the world as a failed American stunt devoid of legitimacy, following a trial that didn't even rise to the level of a sham. Iraq right now is this:

An execution would be this:

Turn him over to the Hague, hold a trial with full due process and let any sentence be carried out under the auspices of international law.

A couple of housekeeping details

Readers/commenters: I decided to turn the annoying letter box thing back on. I know it seems redundant with the comment approval, but we were getting dozens of spam comments every day for Russian brides and Mr. Happy pills, etc. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Team members: Looks like I jumped the gun, Blogger isn't ready for us to switch to the new format yet, will advise when that happens.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Happy Holiday to All

"A merry Christmas, Bob," said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. "A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year. I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob. Make up the fires, and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i, Bob Cratchit!"

Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.

He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Three of these things....

Three of these things belong together
Three of these things are kind of the same
Can you guess which one of these thinhs doesn't belong here
Now it's time to play our game (thanks Sesame Street!)

12,000 Iraqi policemen killed since '03

6 U.S. Soldiers Die in Bombing (editor's note:Good God, six more slaughtered on Christmas Eve)

Ethiopia launches offensive against Somalia

“I must tell you, I'm sleeping a lot better than people would assume”

And the war came (or we went looking for it)

"... and the war came"
Abraham Lincoln

".. how to win this war in which we find ourselves"

George W. Bush

"War is the extension of politics."
Karl von Clausewitz

The first two quotes suggest presidents who found themselves almost passively confronted with the horrific reality of war. However, the last quote goes a long way toward explaining the differences between them.

War may indeed be an extension of politics. In the case of the war faced by Abraham Lincoln, political decisions postponed by the framers and profound political changes unforeseen contributed to this horrific conflict. The founding fathers pushed the question of slavery onto future generations, and certainly never anticipated a mechanizing, urbanizing nation with a population spreading from the original colonies afar afield as Texas and California. Growth, urbanization, industrialization and the emergence of a democratic culture from the strictures of an aristocratic republic presented challenges and unanswered questions that may well have required this ultimate drama to resolve. Abraham Lincoln saw the war come, and he led his nation THROUGH it.

George W. Bush's war also was an expression of the political, but it was not the result of both an inexorable march and a response to sudden jarring changes. Rather, it was the fouled fruit of a political ideology founded in American imperial hubris, of bending the world to our will (while generating huge profits for friends and patrons). Mr. Bush, we did not "find ourselves" in this war. You wanted it, sought it and embraced. Unlike Lincoln, you led us TO it, and you show no desire or ability whatsoever to lead us THROUGH it as did your esteemed predecessor.