Friday, December 29, 2006

Are You Pondering...?

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

As the President spends the Holidays pondering the way forward in Iraq, I find myself pondering a variety of politically-related observations.
  • On December 26th, the number of U.S. soldiers killed while serving in Iraq exceeded the number of casualties on 9/11. The number of Iraqi civilians killed during this war remains unclear and the reported numbers vary widely. One source reports that 300 people were killed in the last week.

  • On a side note, it appears that the casualties in the Korean War (a three year conflict) were roughly ten times higher. I also note that number of local civilians killed in that conflict is reported simply as "millions." What a waste of life and opportunity, both then and now.

  • A month ago, it was reported that we've been involved in the so-called War on Terror longer than we were involved in World War II. That runs a chill up my spine.

  • Speaking of chills, did anyone else catch the posthumously published interview Gerald Ford (may he rest in peace) had with Carl Woodward? I can appreciate the man's discretion, but wouldn't it have been nice if someone of his stature had taken the current administration's Iraq policies to task publically before the Invasion?

  • Today, Reuters reports some confusion regarding the timing of Saddam Hussein's pending execution. I'm not sure what to think about this development. I don't think anyone seriously believed he would be acquitted, but something doesn't feel right about the rush to carry out judgment. It's their country and I respect that. Still...

  • And, it seems Representative Virgil Goode, Jr. (R, Virginia) feels we should adopt stronger immigration policies because newly-elected Representative Keith Ellison (D, Minnesota) wants to take his ceremonial oath of office on the Qur'an. Goode apparently believes that unless we tighten immigration rules, we will eventually have more Muslim Americans serving in Congress and this would undermine the country's fundamental beliefs.

    Rep. Goode's remarks seem ill-considered given the following:

    1. Rep. Ellison's American roots go back at least to 1742. Since he was born in Detroit (Michigan), it seems inappropriate to link his decision of faith to immigration.

    2. Many other officials have not used the Christian Bible while taking their ceremonial oaths of office. Many members of Congress, such as Joseph Leiberman (I, Connecticut), Barbara Boxer (D, California), Arlen Specter (R, Pennsylvania) are Jewish and are therefore unlikely to take their oaths of office on the Christian Bible.

    3. In 1997, Gordon Smith (R, Oregon) included the Book of Mormon in his ceremonial oath of office.

    Given that religious freedom is one of this country's fundamental values, it appears that Rep. Goode is creating a teapot tempest in order to push a personal agenda. It's too bad he's chosen to borrow tactics from McCarthyism. Let's hope that as the 110th Congress convenes, Rep. Goode finds the true meaning of diversity and bi-partisanship.

It's all politics as usual, I suppose. *Sigh* Perhaps we should find leaders who seem less, well, Looney.

(If you're not familiar with Pinky And The Brain, this site may help explain the theme for today’s post.)


Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Well-stated observations, love. Sometimes it baffles the mind that we are living through such times.
...sigh. xo, JP

6:47 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

This line says it all: "...Perhaps we should find leaders who seem less, well, Looney." Hear,hear! When I hear about people like Rep. Goode, I just want to scream at the stupidity (of him and the voters who elected him).

And yes, I think the execution was carried out a little too swiftly, without the proper legal channels, appeals, etc. But Sharia law is different than our law in the West and no one could argue Saddam wasn't guilty of numerous crimes against humanity. And some would argue that Saddam got a better deal than he ever gave anyone else Still, the execution seemed awfully rushed and staged - like trying to meet George W.'s proclamation of SH being dead by year's end. It just didn't seem right, particularly before the EID. (And for the record, I oppose the death penalty).

3:13 PM  
Blogger Tim ID said...

Despite Saddam's crimes, I didn't really feel any satisfaction at his execution. One more death won't right the terrible wrongs that have been done in that country. I cringe when I hear we are spending $1.5 billion a week to fight the war. Just think of what good could be done with that money.

9:27 PM  
Blogger THE Michael said...

It will be interesting to see who gets to pardon Dubya in order to allow the nation to "heal".

It will be interesint to see if once again, a rich white lawyer will be choosen as president over a white woman, and black man, or any idiot thinking we're gonna elect another republican.

And, it will be interesting to see if ANYTHING is done to repair the damage already done.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Parisparfait said...

Hey you! Happy Birthday! Hope it's your best year yet!

10:10 AM  

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