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, January 04, 2007

Stitched together by the Middle East.

(photo by klsmith77 @ Stock EXCHNG)

The Tapestry of S's - The warp threads of Middle East news today all begin with the letter "S." Saddam, Sadat and Six for '06 are connected through the recent and current headlines of an execution, a state funeral and the scene to be presented by the opening of the 110th Congress.

Saddam - Viewing the tapestry of the Middle East these days is often ironic, painful and shocking. For instance, several searches for the execution video of Saddam brought visitors to my S/SW blog, but to no avail. I have not watched it nor linked to it, but I have written about it, and I have noted the opinions of others such as "Riverbend." In keeping my eyes averted, I hear I am, ironically, in the same camp as our current president (OCP).

Sadat - The assasaination of a Middle East leader was the impetus for a close friendship between former presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. It began in earnest as the two men from opposite political parties traveled to Egypt together for Anwar Sadat's funeral in 1981. President Carter has generously given credit to President Ford for helping to move forward the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The treaty has stood successfully since the time of its signing.

Six for '06 - was the Democrat's campaign theme launched in July of last year. David Corn, writing for The Nation, argues that beginning the 110th Congressional session today by working on this legislative agenda, is a way to avoid dealing with the war in Iraq. Common Dreams focuses on the part of the plan that will try to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Notes from Emily follows up with a blurb about women leaders in Congress.

Stories taken from one of my home pages, AT & T Yahoo! News Full Coverage, list the following pertinent news items connected to those above:
  • Saddam Hussein - with a main headline about how his execution plays with the U.S. government, news articles, recent stories off the wires, videos and audios, features, opinions and editorials, and a link to a related full coverage section on Iraq. The most astonishing news is a BBC News story about Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Malaki's dislike of his job. It is near a companion article speculating that this may be a bid for U.S. support at the time when our current president is about to present his new plan for conducting the Iraq war.
  • Gerald Ford (1913-2006) - In addition to the type of coverage listed for the above section, this one carries a full list of historical documents and multimedia, along with a list of links to related websites. The most striking aspect, among many, of former president Ford's final farewell ceremonies were the three beautiful eulogies spoken in Grand Rapids. The very personal tributes of Donald Rumsfeld, former president Jimmy Carter, and historian Richard Norton Smith.
  • U.S. Congress - This is a section very rich with links that will be useful this entire year. The lead story is about the coming installation of California Representative Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House; it carries her portrait as the section's main illustration. The most disappointing story in the Congress section is from the United Kingdom's Times Online. It is headlined, "Why mistakes made in another war have convinced Bush that he must go it alone." Author Gerald Baker asserts in the following quote,
    It is unlikely that Congress will use its powers to block the President’s goals in Iraq. Though it could, if it chose, vote against authorising necessary funds for the military, that seems unlikely — but it will surely ensure the political risks for Mr Bush are even larger than they seem now.
Stitched together by the Middle East, the specter of unresolved conflict in that region runs as a continuous thread through American history from the mid-1970's until today. Names of newsmakers thread through the years, in and out, in and out: Ford, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Carter, Sadat, Saddam, Bush I, Bush II, Malaki and Pelosi.
Separated by reputation -
Very disparate characters, whom history will judge very differently, are woven together by their headlines. These people make the news because of their positions and because we have never felt luke-warm about any of them. Except perhaps, for Ford, Carter and Bush I, when it came time to re-elect them to the presidency.
Scarcely started - 2007 will bring its own set of new stories coming out of the 2006 mid-term elections. Sadat, Saddam and Ford have all passed from the scene. The historical legacies of these three men are incredibly disparate. The latter two, ironically, were only connected by the accidental timing of their deaths.

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