Wednesday 17th of April 2024

tears of a somnolent majority .....

‘We have reached a deplorable state where an injured horse
elicits a stronger response than a dead or maimed fellow American. 

Recall for a moment the soldier cited in the film who lost
both legs and an arm. He won’t ever again ride a bike as he did as an energetic
young boy. He won’t be able to take leisurely evening strolls with his wife. He
won’t be able to practice tackling or jump shooting with his son. And he won’t
be able to walk his daughter down the aisle on the most important day of her
life as he "hands" her off to the man of her dreams. 

But in this case the dream our future bride will live with
will be a nightmare - seeing her father suffer and struggle while remembering
that her fellow Americans cried for a horse.’ 

Crying For A Horse

A horse for my diner date?

Distracting the punters from the real follies of their masters...

My name is Caligula... A horse for my diner date? Or was it a horse on my diner plate?

Vietnam Street

From Newsweek, Washington’s New Watchword: Containment:

... The U.S. military is already gearing up for this outcome, but not for “victory” any longer. It is consolidating to several “superbases” in hopes that its continued presence will prevent Iraq from succumbing to full-flown civil war and turning into a failed state. Pentagon strategists admit they have not figured out how to move to superbases, as a way of reducing the pressure—and casualties—inflicted on the U.S. Army, while at the same time remaining embedded with Iraqi police and military units. It is a circle no one has squared. But consolidation plans are moving ahead as a default position, and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has talked frankly about containing the spillover from Iraq’s chaos in the region. ...

Ted Rall, and A bloody mess by Steve Bell.

Hopefully things will improve

From the New York Times

Iraqi Charities Plant Seed of Civil Society

BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 22 — In the wave of lawlessness and frantic self-interest that has washed over this war-weary nation, small acts of pure altruism often go unnoticed.

Like the tiny track suits and dresses that Najat al-Saiedi takes to children of displaced families in the dusty, desperate Shiite slum of Shoala. Or the shelter that Suad al-Khafaji gives to, among others, the five children she found living in a garage in northern Baghdad last year.

But the Iraqi government has been taking note of such good works, and now, more than three years after the American invasion, the outlines of a nascent civil society are taking shape.

Since 2003 the government has registered 5,000 private organizations, including charities, human rights groups, medical assistance agencies and literacy projects. Officials estimate that an additional 7,000 groups are working unofficially. The efforts show that even as violence and sectarian hatred tear Iraq's mixed cities apart, a growing number of Iraqis are trying to bring them together. "Iraqis were thirsty for such experiences," said Khadija Tuma, director of the office in the Ministry of Civil Society Affairs that now works with the private aid groups. "It was as if they already had it inside themselves...
Gus would comment:
It is impressive that the Iraqi people are trying to help themselves via community organisms... To call these "charities" is an Americanisation of the "business of giving". For example, there is little charity in Cuba because most people, except the greedy ones, share... they SHARE their lives... they talk to their neighbours... They live their lives without the need to shaft something or somebody... Of course there are exceptions but they are the exceptions not the majority...

A society that relies on charity for its needs and on the government for its bombs is a sad society indeed...