"properly practiced, knitting soothes
and it doesn't
hurt the untroubled spirit either."
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
For those of you not interested in political ranting, please feel free to scan through this blog. There are some cute critter pictures scattered throughout.
For the rest of you who are either sympathetic to--or willing to put up with--a liberal/progressive/Democratic opinion, here goes.
I don’t claim to be an international relations expert. I don’t even claim to have had a great political science education (thank you, public school). And yet, I know enough to be livid right now at the Democrats in Congress.
How could they capitulate and give the president a blank check to keep the troops in Iraq with no plan, no way out, no benchmarks, no responsibilities?! I am so disappointed. I really thought that when they took over after last year’s elections that they would be making drastic changes. And in those first 100 hours, they really looked like they were going to do it.
But now I am losing confidence. I don’t want to, of course, but when the president gets the opportunity to do a press conference where he claims that they all worked together and compromised (meaning he got everything he wanted, and the ones who will ultimately pay are the troops), well, my heart sinks a bit more.
This weekend The Boy and I watched the entire Band of Brothers series. If you haven’t seen this, please do. It is an amazing portrayal of what WWII troops went through in combat. I know that in some ways combat today is better, in others worse (the pros and cons of technology and field medical advancements), but I don’t imagine that the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are any lessened.
And while watching this heart-wrenching series, the message that kept coming home to me was that at least the brave men of WWII knew what they were fighting for. They had a purpose and a genuine enemy. They were not responsible for attacking a sovereign nation that had done nothing to them. They were not being forced to serve in the middle of a civil war. They were often greeted as heroes and liberators. Not as bait.
Watching BofB made me even more angry about the unjustified and illegal war that we are ensnared in right now. While you can argue the appropriateness of war at all (I am generally a pacifist, myself), I don't think you can argue that the Nazi party should have been stopped. When Easy Company discovered a concentration camp, I lost it. I sobbed and cried for (what my high school English teachers liked to call) "man’s inhumanity to man." The concentration camp was the catalyst that broke the dam, and I cried for all of the soldiers lost; I cried because I cannot believe that the lessons of WWII and Vietnam and Korea, etc., have not penetrated the minds of so many Americans.
A few years ago I went to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. I walked away from that experience further baffled that anyone could treat another human being as less than equal. How could you see the evidence of what was done to the men and women whose only crime was being an artist, being gay, being Jewish--and not be changed? I was fortunate enough to be raised by parents that instilled in me from birth the equality of all human beings regardless of color, religion, or any other arbitrary differentiator.
So how do we today justify the wholesale slaughter of innocent Iraqis as though they are worth less than we are? How do we condone a war that is predicated on the belief that we and our governmental systems are better than theirs (particularly when many of our leaders never bothered to learn the history or historical politics of the region)? How do we take sides in what has become a civil and religious war? Day after day we hear that our soldiers are stuck in the middle between Shiite vs. Suni factions.
And the Democratic majority decided to let it go on instead of fighting for what they know is right.
Ugh. Then today I hear that Congress is talking about pulling troops out in September after General Petraeus gives his official report. Because they already know it will be bad and that the surge has failed. The surge that failed before it ever began.
"By September, when Gen. Petraeus is to make a report, I think most of the people in Congress believe, unless something extraordinary occurs, that we should be on a move to draw those surge numbers down," said Republican Senator, Jeff Sessions, longtime Bush and war supporter.
So, Democrats, I fear we can kiss goodbye any hope of retaking the White House in '08 unless things change, or 'unless something extraordinary occurs.' Because now the Republicans and the White House will get to be the good guys who bring our troops home following the monumental failure in Iraq. All because the Congressional Democratic leadership decided to allow Bush and his 28% approval rating to prevail, instead of supporting the vast majority of Americans’ opinions and digging in, taking a principled stand and being willing to die for the cause (metaphorically; while the soldiers do so literally).
I am so mad right now; I am just beside myself.
Now...for those of you who stuck with me through my diatribe, or those who skimmed through for critter pictures, here's two more--a cat after my own heart:
Max Sniffs Yarn
And one more, 'cause he's cute:
The Little Prince
Photograph #1: Please disregard the evil-looking red eyes. I'm no photographer. She's actually quite sweet. This is the work rabbit--we all rescued her (she was probably 'set free' on the campus). She lives clandestinely in a large cage in our office and comes out to visit everyone in the afternoons when we close our door for 'meetings.'
Photograph #2: Cute bunny butt!
Photograph #3: Inari hanging out in her new bed.
Photograph #4: Max stuffs his head in my sock knitting bag. It holds alpaca; his favorite.
Photograph #5: Max climbed up on top of the pile of throw pillows. There seems to be very little point in organizing the throw pillows on the couches. Our house is ruled by the cats, and they would rather that we build them caves with them. So we do. He is perched on top of just such a cave.