Saturday, October 29, 2005

Reality -- the anti-climax

This week has sort of been like waiting for the senior prom date to show up. Shopping, shaving your legs, getting dressed, experimenting with make-up, chatting on the phone with the girls. And then there's the knock at the door, your mom calls and you realize that the guy holding the wrist corsage is a real geek and that you've committed to spending the next three or four hours with him, in close proximity, dancing cheek to cheek. Was the week of anticipation and waiting really worth it?

The week was full of anticipation and eventful in its own right: Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to The Supremes (why did she remind me of my first husband's second wife and was that the real reason I didn't like her?), the casualty count in Iraq surpassed 2,000 (but no one is counting the Iraqi dead or the Americans injured or the babies on both sides that will be born with horrible defects because of the use of depleted uranium), Karl Rove's face was plastered everywhere (again, I can't see him without thinking he's the illicit love child of Barbara Bush and either the Pillsbury Doughboy or Ariel Sharon -- God, I'm an awful person), and I ran around the house each morning, pretending to be the Red Queen and shouting "Off with their heads!" scaring my dogs and tripping over my oxygen tubing in the process.

Yet, the actual reality of the five indictments against I. Lewis "Scooter" LIbby did not feel like a victory. Patrick Fitzgerald was brilliant, thorough and a gentleman, as was Joseph Wilson. But the indictments themselves felt small, insignificant and anticlimactic -- kind of like the prom date with the wilted corsage.

It doesn't roll back the calendar and add the five or twenty or few million more anti-war activists who might have made a difference or bring back even one dead American, one dead Brit or one dead Iraqi. It doesn't repair the Baghdad infrastructure or restore electricity, water and sewage, and it certainly doesn't restore American credibility in the world. It's just the very first step towards a long process -- sort of like growing up.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

After Plame-Gate

It's probable that Fitzgerald will hand down indictments in the Plame-gate affair next week. It is also highly probable that Bush will pardon anyone close to him, even at the risk of tarnishing what he believes to be his legacy and losing whatever "political capital" he things he might have left less than a year into his second term, simply because he is loyal, to a fault, and stupid beyond belief.

I have been watching this drama unfold for more than two years, ever since Joe Wilson first appeared on Democracy Now! I actually had my Google homepage set to send me e-mail alerts with anything that had Valerie Plame's name in it and nothing would pop up for months at a time. It is only now that the media has taken an interest -- after one journalist was sent to jail and another banned from CNN for swearing -- that this case has caught the American imagination.

So the glee that will come with whatever is revealed next week in the indictments (and over the coming months, should prosecutions move forward) is, in fact, a hollow and Pyrrhic victory, at best. We are still at war (with the world), our children are still dying, and we're still killing thousands of innocents around the world with our policies and hatreds and greed and xenophobia.

And none of this will address the questions still open, some of which I list below, in no particular order:

What horrific type of torture is happening on the Island of Diego Garcia that we're not supposed to know about?

Is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi still alive or has he become a convenient composite cartoon for anything that goes wrong in Iraq?

Did anyone ever identify the "John Israel" mentioned in the Taguba Report or is he simply another composite contractor who happens to speak both Arabic and English? Am I the only one for whom alarm bells ring at his name -- the Israeli equivalent of John Doe or the Arabic equivalent of M. Fulaan? And how many of those non-American composite "contractors" are still working as translators and/or interrogators?

Just how many "top lieutenants" and "seconds in command" to al-Zarqawi and bin Ladin can we kill or capture before we get to the lower echelons and is anyone really fooled by this rhetoric?

Whatever happened to the investigation into why the U.S. bombed a wedding in the western desert of Iraq?

Whose idea was it to have Iraqis vote during the Holy Month of Ramadan and to ban cars during the voting so that everyone had to walk to the polls during daylight hours when they were unable to eat, drink, or even brush their teeth?

Where are the wives and families of the Chalabis and Alawis and Jafaris and all the fat cats who sit in the relative safety of the American controlled Green Zone? Do they live in Baghdad and go shopping and hang their laundry out on the balconies when there's water and electricity to even attempt to do laundry and there are no bombs falling out of the Baghdad sky? Or are they ensconced safely in Bahrain or Qatar or London? Shouldn't having one's family in country be a requirement for candidacy?

When did the media and talking heads realize that Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen was not the same as "Abu Abbas" and why did they persist on this Freudian slip (which was never challenged) throughout his first stint as Prime Minister under Arafat?

Whose idea was it to put Karen Hughes in charge of diplomacy in the Muslim world and to send her out on a meet and greet during Ramadan? And couldn't she at least taken a course in basic Arabic (or cultural sensitivity) before leaving? Just how many diplomats have we trained in Arabic over the last four years? It's Arabic, guys -- not rocket science.

And whatever happened to the idea of having Laura Bush head up a task force to reduce gang activity among American youth? That's been just about as effective as No Child Left Behind (which in Belenistan means No Child Left in School since abstinence only is taught in our sex ed classes and childbirth is the major industry here in central New Mexico).

Just a few thoughts on a Saturday -- a no news day.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

With baited breath

Still waiting, with baited breath (what does that mean?), for more shoes to drop. Looks like Wilkerson is giving an insight into the workings of the Oval Office in the run-up to and the early days of the war (including the abuses at Abu Graib) while lawyers for Libby and Rove are busy pointing fingers in eachother's eyes. Why do I feel that this Administration is still back in the school yard?

Good posts at, including an interesting commentary by Ray McGovern. Worth checking out.

By the way, no posts from "River" (Baghdad Burning) since the day of the referendum. I check almost daily to know that she is well and am thrilled with anything she posts simply because I know another soul has made it through the night.

Hope to keep this updated with news and look forward to comments. Feel free to forward the link to like-minded souls. Much love.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Other Shoe

One eye on the internet, another on CNN, waiting for The Other Shoe to drop... Will Cheney be indicted along with Libby and Rove? Will our Prez be an unindicted co-conspirator? Will anyone bother to point out that having an election, even a referendum, in Iraq during the middle of Ramadan and during a blackout might have been a bad idea? Or that if we can't train the army or even keep the road to the airport open, how can we expect a good result from that election ...

The questions just keep on coming. The answers are few. But I'm just starting this blog so I guess that eventually there may be answers.