S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Passing from the scene

The Iraq war 2000+ death toll will soon pass from the scene - The ball will drop in New York's Times Square, and perhaps a few days later there will be a DOD confirmation that the 3000th military fatality in Iraq has passed from the scene. And all of us who have opinions will post again about that awful statistic. It seems, however, that bloggers do not agree with comparing another set of statistics about the death toll, according to Sonia Smith's Slate Magazine column titled, "An unjustified comparison." To quote, "Bloggers are bristling at comparisons between the lives lost on 9/11 and soldiers lost in the Iraq war."
Likely to soon pass from the scene via execution is former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Iraqi law imposes swift justice, merely 30 days from the verdict. In the U.S. appeals would continue for years. I have no idea which is more just. From Reuters, came this story of a letter written by Hussein, in which he says he "faces death without fear." A quote from the letter appears to set him up for future martyrdom:
"Here I offer myself in sacrifice. If God almighty wishes, it (my soul) will take me where he orders to be with the martyrs," Saddam said in the hand-written letter obtained from his defense lawyers in Jordan.
"If my soul goes down this path (of martyrdom) it will face God in serenity."
Will Iraq's civil war pass from the scene if Saddam is gone? Neither the Iraqi people (FT story) nor soldiers in Iraq are unanimous in their opinions of what will happen as a result of Hussein's death. The Santa Barbara News-Press carried this 12/27/06 story, from which a quote follows: "Some U.S. soldiers patrolling Baghdad's dangerous streets Wednesday cheered news of the execution order for Saddam Hussein, but others worried his trip to the gallows could spark a surge of insurgent attacks."
A very good man passes. Sharing the same Reuters feeds page as the Saddam Hussein story, is an article about the passing from the scene of our oldest former president. President Gerald Ford died Tuesday night. But vestiges of his administration lived on through current Vice-President Dick Cheney and (now former) Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. I remember when Gerald Ford took over from Richard Nixon. We all breathed a big sigh of relief, and I saw no reason at the time to have a fit over Nixon's pardon. An impeachment or trial would have further damaged the nation. The Reuters story begins simply,
Former U.S. President Gerald Ford, who took office after the Watergate scandal and later stunned the nation by pardoning a disgraced Richard Nixon, has died at his home in California, aged 93.
A path-breaker passes from the scene. Soul singer James Brown died on Christmas day. My roommate, "Seven of Eight," was a hard-driving drummer who loves jazz. While traveling in St. Louis in the 60's, he saw a James Brown concert and was "blown away," as he told me at the time. He knew then what a leading influence Brown had over the music world. I quote from the current USA Today story,
James Brown — the Godfather of Soul — whose hard-driving rhythms and impassioned vocals put millions of fans on the good foot, was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.
The year 2006 will soon pass from the scene and become 2007. And it seems that a Bush fiction is about to pass from the political scene. The current administration may be about to stop its denial of the global warming phenomenon. All they needed was to find the correct "hook," which appears to wildlife. The Financial Times reported that the U.S. government now admits that polar bears are threatened by the melting of the Arctic ice sheet. To quote,
Ed Markey, a senior Democratic lawmaker on the House energy committee, said that the development “may signal the beginning of the end” of the Bush administration’s policy of “global warming denial”.
“After giving the cold shoulder to conservation, Kyoto, and better fuel economy standards, they seem to be warming up to protecting an icon of American wildlife,” Mr Markey said.

  • President Gerald Ford - full coverage: Yahoo! News

  • "In the blogs" column - Michael Weiss at Slate Magazine

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