Thursday, December 23, 2004

Supporting Troops: My column at American Street

Supporting Troops: My Column at American Street

My American Street column for Thursday, December 23, is here: Supporting the troops with concern and truth at Christmas

It’s because I want a strong military and because I support our troops that I would appeal to our leaders to rethink the Neocon democracy-utopianism that has brought such tangible and disastrous result in Iraq. We are virtually hanging solo out on a limb in the Middle East by our own choosing. The nations that border upon Iraq are not our strong diplomatic partners. I’d wager, in their hearts, the governments of those nations want to see us fail in Iraq. We aren’t going to get very far with an overstretched military and no support from the nations that exist all around Iraq’s young and fragile democracy.
“…Meanwhile, Syria endeavors to strengthen its solidarity with other Arab and friendly countries as a “first choice” under pressure and its efforts seemed to have paid off. President Assad made visits to Turkey, Spain, China, Iran, in addition to trips to neighboring countries, during which he reasserted his country’s principled stances and garnered support.
Arab foreign ministers on Sept. 14 voiced “full solidarity” with Lebanon against any attempt to sever Lebanon-Syria ties and renewed rejection to a unilateral US sanction against Syria. LINK
There is no adequate or realistic effort on the part of Iraqi citizens to stand up and fight the insurgents, even with the mighty support of the US military. In his press conference this week, President Bush said: “The Iraqi force is not ready to fight.” [...]

[..] As Christmas approaches, I want all our troops and their families to know they do have a friend in those who would question the way this war is being handled by Washington D.C. It’s my firm belief that it’s people like us are the best friends and supporters of the men and women who would give all and anything - for us. We watch each other’s backs. We fight for freedom, even if freedom requires debate and dirt-honest truth.

My Christmas wish for the troops is that they come home safely and are asked to serve only for truth and high moral purpose.

As for Iraq, if we can’t get it right, then GET THEM HOME.

Patty Ann Smith has a holiday message about our troops at Hope4America.

The Real Grinch

The Real Grinch

Rabbi Michael Lerner reveals the real Grinch who has stolen Christmas.

"There is a beautiful spiritual message underlying Christmas that has universal appeal: the hope that gets reborn in moments of despair, the light that gets re-lit in the darkest moments of the year, is beautifully symbolized by the story of a child born of a teenage homeless mother who had to give birth in a manger because no one would give her shelter, and escaping the cruelty of Roman imperial rule and its local surrogate Herod who already knew that such a child would grow up to challenge the entire imperialist system. To celebrate that vulnerable child as a symbol of hope that eventually the weak would triumph over the rule of the arrogant and powerful is a spiritual celebration with strong analogies to our Jewish Chanukah celebration which also celebrates the victory of the weak over the powerful. And many other spiritual traditions around the world have similar celebrations at this time of year.

The loss of this message, its subversion into a frenetic orgy of consumption, rightly disturbs Christians and other people of faith.

Yet this transformation is not a result of Jewish parents wanting to protect their children from being forced to sing Christmas carols in public school, or secularists sending Seasons Greeting cards. It derives, instead, from the power of the capitalist marketplace, operating through television, movies and marketers, to drum into everyone's mind the notion that the only way to be a decent human being at this time of year is to buy and buy more."

Internet Quiz-What crappy gift are you?

You Are a Losing Lottery Ticket!

*Geez, I've never been called a cheap letdown before. Really, I haven't.

Full of hope and promise.
But in the end, a cheap letdown.

tip of the hat to dot.