Archive for December, 2006

Brave New Year

December 31, 2006

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Saddam Hussein execution this weekend and have a few observations about it. First, I do not agree with the death penalty under any circumstances, even for dictators. Especially when it is so plain that the defendant was tried by a victors’ kangaroo court with no right to cross examination or true appeal.

The US media repeatedly trumpeted the “fact” that Saddam was executed by Iraqis outside the Green Zone, with NO AMERICANS PRESENT. It only took one day for me to find an article stating that the execution took place on an American military base (!), in a building which houses the site of the former regime’s military intelligence organization. Which begs the question, “How can no Americans be present when the whole thing is being conducted inside the wire of one of the occupiers’ bases??” What, were they outside the door?

The US media showed a lot of video of Iraqis celebrating the death of the dictator, but I learned today that there was a surprising LACK of celebration in the streets. In fact, according to some observers, the execution of Saddam on the holiest day of the Muslim year, the Eid al Adha, is likely to make him a martyr in the eyes of Sunnis, and possibly a prophet. The execution, carried out by the United States and the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government, is very likely to further inflame ethnic tensions and sectarian violence and increase Sunni attacks on their American occupiers, all so George W. Bush can get his rocks off. Read what a well-known female Baghdad blogger nicknamed Riverbend has to say about all of this.

I recall Bush talking tough about the murderers who kill their victims on camera and then post the videos online as a further act of terror. Now Bush himself is posting his own snuff films on the “Internets”. WARNING: This cellphone video of Saddam’s execution is real and WILL be disturbing to most viewers!!

Lastly, I note that the last day of 2006 also saw the 3000th officially acknowledged dead American servicemember in the Iraq occupation. How much larger is this number going to be by the last day of 2007? And after that?

[Postscript: When I first posted this article, I used a photo that I created from one frame of the “unofficial” video of Saddam’s hanging, the cellphone video that leaked onto the Worldwide Web within minutes of the execution. I decided to take the picture down because I think it might be a little too much for the casual visitor to this site to see a man swinging from the end of a hangman’s noose. I have posted the image here if you still want to look.]


Urban Coyotes

December 10, 2006

Two different neighbors of mine have seen coyotes in the neighborhood this week, one of them in my driveway. Having lost a beloved cat under mysterious circumstances (but not coyotes) last year, I was immediately concerned about my remaining cat becoming lunch for a canis latrans. The manager of a place in the neighborhood told me she has lost two cats to coyotes in Portland. So Lance is going out quite a bit less frequently and only during the day when I am at home.

Iraq Study Group: “We’re Screwed”

December 6, 2006

Now that Daddy Bush’s big boy friends in the Iraq Study Group have stepped in to assert some parental authority over George the Lesser’s colossal failure in the Middle East, one has to wonder: Why didn’t one of these adults sit George down on their knee BEFORE the war, and explain the following risks, which appear in the Report?

The Report says: “If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences could be severe. A slide toward chaos could trigger the collapse of Iraq’s government and a humanitarian catastrophe. Neighboring countries could intervene. Sunni-Shia clashes could spread. Al Qaeda could win a propaganda victory and expand its base of operations. The global standing of the United States could be diminished. Americans could become more polarized.”

[Postscript: I thought I might clarify this post. After a couple of days of reflection, it seems to me that none of these “adults” said anything to stop the war before it started because they fully supported the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq. The only reason they are speaking now is because America’s imperial army has been ground to a halt in a foreign land and there is nothing they can do about it.

The bottom line is that “we” have already lost the war and each of the risks listed above happened long ago. If Bush cannot see this, then Congress needs to reassert its authority and cut off funding for the occupation. It would be nice to see key members of the Bush regime tried for their crimes, but that will happen shortly after hell freezes over.]