Oh friends, I’m trying to maintain my optimism (who said “reserve pessimism for happier times”?) in the face of the horrifying reports out of Iraq. I commit to two hours a day of staying informed and praying, then I let it go… so I am able to work, cook, eat and sleep. .
An illegal invasion, an illegal occupation, war crimes committed by my government in the name of bringing democracy to the Middle East (from Abu Graib prison to the blatant killing of unarmed wounded) and now, Bush appoints as attorney general his crony, Alberto Gonzales, who wrote the memo saying the Geneva Conventions don’t apply to USA in terms of torture. And as secretary of state, the woman who lied to the country over and over, (from the 911 Commission to the push for war in Iraq), who, as national security advisor, ignored warnings of Bin Laden’s plan to attack our country… what is going on here?
Al Jazeera is forbidden to report in Iraq by the American government, a journalist from Al Arabia is arrested and still detained for being “unimbedded” (this is “freedom of the press” in Iraq), a city devastated and uncounted civilian dead in Fallujah. Do read the dispatches that Dahr Jamail, one of the only independent reporters right on the ground near Fallujah, sending daily reports to KPFA and Pacifica from that embattled area http://dahrjamailiraq.com/. (Can be heard on Democracy Now at 6 and 9 a.m. and Flashpoints at 5 p.m. on KPFA (kpfa.org, democracynow.org)
Last night, I heard interviews with several young Marines, still on active duty, who are telling it like it really is, the stench of death and destruction they have witnessed, the deeds they have done. More and more of these soldiers are finding ways to articulate how they feel about the Iraq occupation, the toll it is taking on both their physical and mental well-being. They sound like hardly more than boys, and their words break your heart.
An exhibit which includes these interviews is now at the Yerba Buena center 415 . 978 . ARTS ( 2787 ) in San Francisco, and you can find out more about the artist-filmmaker at www.eliaarce.com. Her piece is called “The Fifth Commandment.”
Latest news: the Republican congressional leadership has revised their own ethics rules to allow INDICTED members, like majority leader Tom DeLay, to continue serving. How embarassing and unbelievable that the first act of these congresspeople would be to lower their ethical standards! Of course, the example comes from the top: if the President and Vice President can lie as a matter of course, and in the face of all evidence to the contrary, and war criminals can be re-elected, why should I be surprised that the Republicans would enact such a vote?
My hour is up. Until next time (to quote Jennifer Stone), “Go easy, and if you can’t go easy, go as easy as you can.”