Sunday, January 30, 2005

RE: Jack Random's Lines in The Sand

By Jake Berry

A wonderful article and I think a hopeful one because ultimately it takes us toward the inevitable realization of the irrelevance of the Bush administration. The irony of the "mission accomplished" banner was that it really advertised a failure. In an administration that purports to export democracy, that declares "freedom is on the march" it has done little more than destabilize world politics and the global economy. It succeeded in removing Saddam from power only to leave a violent breeding ground for terror and hatred. It removed the Taliban only to return control of the country to warlords and terrorists. And these are their greatest successes. In all other respects, they have publicly, abjectly failed. They have no tools left but violence, and even that violence will now be irrelevant because no one believes in whatever reason they give for the violence. Not two weeks into his second term and the U.S. and the world read Bush as a thing of the past, a sputtering relic of failed policy. Whatever the Iraqi's can do to end the occupation, by voting, writing a constitution, will be a good thing because not until the occupying forces leave can they get an honest glimpse of what lies before them and what is possible for them. The neo-conservatives had hoped to Americanize, to Disneyfy and Wal-Martize Iraq. Even they now realize that the degree to which these things may or may not happen lies completely beyond their control. We are spectators to our own disaster and the November elections assured us that for the next four years there is little we can do but watch the edifice crumble. There is hope in this. Because now, once again, the world is on its own and American imperialism is realized for what is truly is: a defunct comedy, bankrupt, shut down and laughed out of town.

[Note: Lines in The Sand is posted on -- Government & Politics ]


By Chris Mansel

Don’t Look In The Mirror, It Don’t See You Anymore

(for Betty Jo Tucker)

The deepening wound of what is going on in Iraq is that now, right now, we know it is wrong. We know it is wrong now and in fifty years, it will still be wrong. Time will show that this was a war fought for the sole purpose of greed. For our troops, for the civilians in Iraq who must try to live day-to-day it is a horror, a true horror. Remember the footage of the women and men in Kosovo running in the streets after doing their shopping, hoping the snipers would not get them? What the snipers didn’t get the onslaught of ethnic cleansing did.

From the Oklahoma City bombing to the elections in Iraq we have watched as our eyes glazed over with panic and ignored that shaking in our body so that we have become accustomed to the sight of bodies lined up on the street or parking lot. Mourners gather and placed flowers in Oklahoma City, in New York at the site of the World Trade Center. America was moved and the media exploited even that. We saw daily photographs of the notes, the cards, the flowers etc. In Iraq, it is a different story. I can imagine Iraqis lining up to place the flowers they don’t have on the site of a bombing and being hit by the shrapnel of another bombing just a few feet away, those that manage to make it home are bombed accidentally by an American plane that had mechanical trouble. I heard on the news today that gunmen took over a school that was to be used for a voting place. They drove everybody out of the building and then blew it up. Where exactly does this fit into the budget of rebuilding Iraq and its allotment for education? An estimate of three hundred billion dollars has been spent on a war that could not wait for diplomacy.

President Bush cannot dig enough graves on this earth and that aftershock you feel is not an earthquake but the earth trembling not only in fear, but also in sorrow. That shaking is the center of our only planet’s heart breaking.

- Chris Mansel