Government History

Not saying stop is not the same as saying go

In some ways I regret my Peaceblog no more writing, not because I don’t believe what I wrote — I do. And not because I feel like I’m selling out — I’m not. It seems to me this issue is on the minds of other people who marched and worked for peace. And it’s not an easy issue to discuss either.

I am aware that there are some people who are unhappy that I’m not continuing to protest the armed conflict in Iraq. That doesn’t bother me, as I knew that there will be people protesting the war until the end and that some will understand where I’m coming from, others won’t. I can accept this.

No, what does bother me is that others see this as a form of support for the war, as some sort of right-thinking move. (I hate that term with a passion, almost as much as I dislike neo-con.)

Let me be blunter: I am still against this war in Iraq. I believe, strongly, that the United States has no right to make what amounts to a unilateral invasion of Iraq. People are suffering and dying because of super inflated egos who have worked out a ‘strategy’ on paper and who refuse to acknowledge that they don’t have all the answers; in most cases, they don’t even know what the questions are. No, I believe the US screwed up.

However, I am also most interested in focusing my energy on what we can do to help the people of Iraq as soon as possible, as well as minimize the anger in the rest of the Arab world. In my opinion, this means establishing an interim government that will be acceptable to the Iraqi people and the majority of countries in the Middle East. At least until the Iraqi feel comfortable enough, as a whole, for everyone to “please just leave now”.

To me, this interim government should be overseen by more neutral parties, in my opinion, something joint between the Arab League and the UN.

I think the worst possible thing will be for the United States to continue in any form of controlling position in this country. Not only will this increase the stress and the anger in the Middle East, quite bluntly, I don’t trust the current leadership of this country not to screw up.

I also want to ensure that the US does not invade any other countries without cause. Not on my watch at least.

Now, taking all that, and borrowing from Jonathon’s upcoming “‘How to Respond to Idiots’ for Dummies” book, I don’t know how one gets from being sadly resigned to the belief that pulling troops out at this time would do more harm than good to the Iraqi people to I am now behind this war to give freedom and human rights to the Iraqi people.

However, there may be some confusion because of a mixed message I’m sending. After all, I am behind a war for freedom and human rights; it’s just that this war is being fought within the United States, not Iraq.

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From the Ashes arises the bird of converse

Sheila probably spoke for many yesterday when she declared no more war. The anger and bitterness surrounding the issue of the war in Iraq can drain even the most energetic of people. However, my hope is the war of rhetoric has managed to burn itself out, and from the ashes can come true conversation.

Soldiers are heading to Baghdad, and eventually, this city will be in US hands. This isn’t to say the ‘war’ will be over — this is not a typical war, fought by typical warriors. The question was asked — what next? Steve Himmer made a start on answering this question, without rhetoric, providing practical suggestions as to directions. In particular, his suggestion of the UNESCO loan program is a viable, reachable start to helping the people in Iraq. However, equally important, in my opinion, was that he was making an attempt to bridge differences between people with different views of the war in Iraq. And doing so in a non-confrontational manner.

Jonathon Delacour commented on Steve’s efforts, in the same writing where he responded to an accusation of racism levied against him in his comments. His remarks are about the most rational and effective response to that type of accusation I have seen. Rather let loose a stream of invective, and wade in with shirt sleeves rolled up, ready for a virtual showdown, he calmly refuted the accusation; managing to deflect the anger of the accusation, not back at the accuser, but outside the conversation, completely.

That’s what we need to do.

Primarily because of Steve’s reasoned response, Jonathon has also re-directed his discussion about protest marchers into expressing a specific issue rather than the use of more colorful and rather pithy adjectives.

Their conversation, and the comments associated with them give me hope. Hope that could only be increased if other voices join in.

(Hint. Hint.)

There is a conversation waiting to be born about the presence of the US in Iraq, about UN involvement, and the makeup of an interim government. There is also a conversation waiting to re-born about human rights at a global level — a closely related topic. Allan Moult pointed to two documents detailing human rights abuses in the world, including violations in this country. These are a start.

(How poetic that the twin issues of freedom and human rights for the people of Iraq are the same issues that we need to address here in the United States. )

From these conversations, common agreements can be found, perhaps even unified, positive actions. At a minimum, we may come away with a better understanding of our own reactions to the war, the UN, the US involvement, and human rights in general.

It’s just too bad we’re all so burned out. And I’m fresh out of Burningbird magic Rising from the Ashes Pixie Dust to sprinkle about.

And as I was finishing this, I looked up and out the window at a sky filled with black smoke. But it was just a fire at an auto shop nearby.



I’m going to go back to talking about my squid. Or reading about my squid. My squid was fun and exciting and provided adventure and mystery.

Think of it, we talk about voyaging into space but there are creatures in the deep of this world we know nothing about. We just found a member of a species of squid that could provide truth to all the legends of the Kraken since the dawn of time. There’s a whole universe under our boats we know nothing about.

Isn’t that worth at least a ‘Ooh. Neat.’?

When we stop wondering about the mysteries of life, we’re worse than dead – we’re boring.

Events of note Photography

A bit of excitement today

I was working at my computer when I noticed a black cloud in the direction of the apartment complex office. I could hear the sirens of a lot of fire vehicles. So I grabbed my camera and headed in the direction of the smoke.

The fire was not in the office but the Dobb’s auto place, in the strip mall at the corner of Laclede’s Landing and Watson, about 2 blocks from my home. The tires in the back had caught fire, which was burning hot enough to endanger the surrounding area. They closed off Laclede just by my apartment.

There were onlookers in the strip mall lot and people across the street, but I noticed a bunch of journalists in the lot near the auto store. So I joined them. What the hey, I have an online publication – sort of.

Three helicopters monitored the fire, and all the networks were represented, though I noticed Fox News was too late. Several print publication folks, too. Engine companies from at least three communities were present: Brentwood, Kirkland, and St. Louis. I counted at least 4 ladder trucks, 3 aid cars, and several other assorted fire and police. Three firepeople were overcome by the heat and fumes at one point, and came outside, sat on the cement for a bit. No problem though, just a hot day and burning tires – bad combination. Hack, hack. I know.

Right now the fire’s under control but the TV cable’s out and there’s a thick nasty cloud of smoke over everything. It’s enough to choke you. Choke me. Zoe is very unhappy about all the noise and fuss.

Here’s some pics.

P.S. Air quality sucks wormy green apples at the moment. Hack, hack. But, it was a lot of fun playing journalist. I could get used to this.
















Quiet day in the neighborhood

Just a quiet day in the neighborhood. More in a bit.