Another picture-perfect day here in the South. I went on my bike ride around 9:30, since I slept till 8:00 this morning. I needed the extra sleep, since I haven't been sleeping well the past few nights. I had half-a-cup of wine last night before trying to sleep, and that helped alleviate my insomnia.
Well looks like we Americans are having an orgy of celebration today -- of a premature victory in the war on Iraq. Premature in my estimation, since they still haven't taken Baghdad... At any rate, the good news was the rescue of the American MIA girl (who, no surprise, comes from one of the poorest, high-employment rated areas of this country in West Virginia); and the bad news is they found 11 bodies that have yet to be identified, but suspected to be American MIAs. And then of course, we see more air bombardment, ground troops moving toward the north, so there's a lot of gloating going on in the media here.
You know, just call me weird, but I really don't understand the gloating/pride in defeating a third-world country that is, almost essentially, without any armed artillery, etc to fight our troops. Were the majority of Americans SO traumatized by 9/11 that it is necessary to beat up on Iraq in order to feel 'superior' again? Unfortunately, that seems to be what is happening.
Frankly, I get no pleasure/pride in seeing Iraqi civilians being mowed down by our jets bombing them. There had to have been a better way to remove Saddam, but Bush has no diplomatic sense -- or patience for the U.N. to have done their job. Hence, we have lots and lots and lots of deaths on our hands now, mostly the Iraqi citizens.
Here's an excerpt from a Charlie Reese column about what will happen in the future of Iraq, that I think is apt:
We will establish a military occupational government, and that will create a quagmire. Iraqis will fight us any way they can, and eventually they will drive us out, just as the Lebanese eventually drove the Israelis out. They will drive us out by making us pay a price that is more than the American public will tolerate.
I wish I could be more optimistic, but we are seeing today really the only part of the American government — the military — that works well. We are diplomatically inept and far too naive as a people to be a successful empire. President Bush has risen above his level of competence, and there is not a single member of his administration anybody would call wise. I'm afraid electing Bush president was like handing a loaded gun to a 6-year-old.
And here's an excerpt from an article in USA Today about Bush showing the strain of war -- which was so bad I thought it must have originally been written by The Onion:
He's being hard on himself; he gave up sweets just before the war began.
He's a cheerleader who encourages others not to lose faith in the war plan.
Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time, says Commerce Secretary Don Evans, a close friend who talks with Bush every day.
Scary stuff. Next Bush will be promising our soldiers 100 virgins awaiting them in heaven if they die in a war, I suppose.
And finally, this excerpt from a superb piece about the media/news we see/hear in America:
On the cable outlets, concentration is already apparent: two owners, Comcast and AOL Time Warner, serve 40 percent of cable households. All of the cable news networks — CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox, MSNBC, CNBC, CNNfn — are owned by three conglomerates: AOL Time Warner, GE, and News Corporation. Direct broadcast satellites? Two companies control virtually the entire industry, and recently, one of them (EchoStar) tried unsuccessfully to buy the other (DirecTV). Thus, most sources of news are tapped from the same old barrels.--Columbia Journalism Review
So, how impartial is the news we Americans get here? You tell me.
Oh well, just another day in our mad, mad world.