Man, the flu sucks.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
One week remains until the Iraq election, in which 16 million registered voters will risk life and limb in order to elect their 'transitional' legislative body, from a long list of parties whose names are not known (not to mention any of their platforms). So, uh, good luck. Personally, this does not bode well for either the Iraqi people or us. It looks like we're headed for disaster here, with 20% of the population already effectively nullified (after the Sunni parties pledged to not take part), and a sectarian civil war appearing nearly imminent, as many commentators have noted. I guess we'll have to see, then, but I hope the new government will be recognized as legitimate, and the elections free and fair and not just seen as such. But this, I admit, is a tall order for a country in the middle of war with no real democratic tradition whatsoever. At least we're putting in place a process, so it doesn't matter if only 50,000 people actually vote, right? Of course ...
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Bush was coronated with much fanfare and excessive 'security' entailments today. The number of guards was astounding, which formed a thick black line from the aerial view that effectively barred any sort of mass participation. Nonetheless, protests shown through, though marginalized. In his second inaugural speech, Bush in his 17 minutes at the podium did not have the time to mention the war in Iraq or begin to address the serious situation we are in but found the ability to throw in the word 'freedom' 25 times (not counting 'liberty' or 'free'). As many expected, myself included, nice, pretty words to mask uncomfortable if not disturbing realities. One sentence had me almost laugh out loud, in which we are told that our government (or, in his world, 'America') "will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling." What? Perhaps it was some, I don't know, transcription error or something: he couldn't of said that, could he? Anyway, it was a speech completely void of meaning and emblematic of the duplicity and opportunistic hypocrisy that we have come to see in the past four years. And (I had thought that I would never have to say this) also for the next four. Having won just about 50.73% of the popular vote, our duly-elected President strides as if he indeed has been given some sort of mandate with which to change the world, and our future. The door is open to the second term. Knock it out the park. Let us get out of your way first ...
Monday, January 17, 2005
Today commemorates the birth of one of the greatest civil rights leaders in our history: Martin Luther King. It is tragic that his words that preached nonviolence appeared to have amounted to little toward that direction, and quite ironic that the rulers at the top take their holiday in his name while doing everything to subvert his dream of peace and tranquility; in particular, their classic divide-and-conquer method that granted them a slim majority in the 2004 election. Was MLK an idealist? I don't know. All that I can hope is that we serve his memory well by pushing for change in this new century that will benefit all, and not benefit some at the expense of all others.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
President-elect George W. Bush has said that November's election has shown that the American public has 'ratified' his policies, in particular that which led to our embroiled presence in Iraq. Moreover, according to today's Washington Post, he honestly believes that there is now "no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath."* The first claim is just not true, and the second is sickening and outrageous. Yes, Bush won election with a narrow majority of electorate, but this is not a clear-cut affirmation of his policies. Any serious poll can demonstrate that the majority of the American people have serious reservations, if not tacit opposition to, his domestic policies, and that the majority have turned against the Iraq war. Secondly, what is all this about there being "no reason" to hold the public leaders that sent our soldiers to die without just cause accountable? Holding the government accountable is one of the hallmarks of our democracy, especially when we launch an aggressive war that has effectively crippled the fight against al Qaeda and increased the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Not to mention, of course, the 1,350 American and 16,000 Iraqi dead. Alas, no accountability . . .
*Jim VandeHei & Michael A. Fletcher, "Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy," 16 January 2005, A1.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Sunday, January 02, 2005
The hiatus is over, as is 2004. A miserable year that was. And what a horrible note it ended on. I am very sorry that I did not talk about it, but what was there to say? After all, no one is really reading this, right? (Scratch that.) Anyway, my fellow bloggers at the scene fulfilled their roles; I failed mine. I couldn't think what to say, really. It is a tragedy. A major tragedy. I think the toll is nearing something like 150,000. Jesus. Anyway, happy new year.