At Upyernoz, there's some vedddy interesting commentary about an 'assasination' that took place in Beirut today.
It came hours before UN Security Council members got the latest report on the death of a former Lebanese PM, in which Syria has been implicated....the attack raises the political temperature in Lebanon at a highly sensitive moment.
"While the Declaration of Independence was enacted in Philadelphia, the soldiers who would have to defend the brave statement were in New York. George Washington received word on July 9 that the document had been signed. He gathered his men on the Common (City Hall Park) and had the document read to them. Afterward, Washington exhorted his men to be worthy of the newly independent nation whose uniform they now wore. The troops and townspeople then went to Bowling Green at the south end of Broadway to pull down the statue of George III."
As the Iraqi regime was collapsing on April 9, 2003, U.S. Marines converged on Firdos Square in central Baghdad, site of an enormous statue of Saddam Hussein. It was a Marine colonel — not joyous Iraqi civilians, as was widely assumed from the TV images — who decided to topple the statue, the Army report said. And it was a quick-thinking Army PSYOP team that made it appear to be a spontaneous Iraqi undertaking.
The president wishes for us to think of Iraq as we would think of the newly united and independent 18th century American colonies after a long battle and discussion of the values we wished to set down as our rule of law. In Philadelphia today, he invoked the memory of the colonists, the founding fathers and their Revolution. I don't know about you, but I'm amazed at Bush's gall, with his Iraqo-morphing of the American Revolution, trying to squeeze as much propaganda as he can possibly squeeze into a frame of the Spirit of 1776. I just don't see it.
- Though many of the founding fathers' ideas were sprung from European philosophers, Europe did not come in to occupy the colonies in order to make us "free." Au contraire - we fought against England's occupation with a verve and passion that caused us to be driven to bloody revolution. Our forefathers did not run in fear from British soldiers. They were determined - and brave - brave as hell. Bush can't even tell us that the 200,000 Iraqi troops we've trained are battle-ready. When asked for an exact count of the number of Iraqis who stand at the ready today, Bush gave a mealy-mouthed answer of "more and more." More and more? BAH! We're stuck in the middle of what is now a civil war (not a "revolution") - and the Iraqi troops are afraid to fight it on their own. U.S. trained Iraqi security troops have been known to take cover and leave the dying to U.S. soldiers when a dangerous situation arises!
- Our Constitution was not mediated by outside forces - we forged and blended our best common ideas - hard-won, independent, distinctly American hard-gut and fiercely-held ideas - and set them down - on our own terms and no other outside parties' interests.
- We knew what we wanted - there was no murderous civil war between us once we decided to fight as a united front to oust England - and we worked tirelessly, together, to achieve our goals. We didn't blow each other up in our churches or on the common.
For every grandiose idea laid out by the president today in his speech, eight words kept going through my mind:
Don't We Have Any Friends Around the World?
If the president's ideas were as great and true as he lays them out to be, why has the world isolated us? Why has Bush failed to directly call upon or appeal to the kind of human spirit and economic cooperation that would entice world leaders to join this nation in our efforts in Iraq? Is it because he doesn't want to share the unique spoils of this war?
Do you know what the extent of the president's multinational attitude was in his speech today? He hopes that the international community will "buck up" on their 13 billion dollar commitments. Period.
That is soulless and it drives the nails into a coffin of a new brand of isolationist thinking, which works in reverse of the old ideas about isolationism. As we poke our swords over the borders of our nation, crossing oceans and overthrowing regimes; carelessly creating anarchy in the name of "freedom" and hoped-for "democracy," the world isolates us. Our allies fall away.
Bush has isolated his people because he has alienated the world. He may have the greatest ideas, but if he cannot lead or inspire the world, we will all suffer for his failure of leadership.
Bush: 9/11 'Accentuated' Saddam Hussein's Threat to U.S.
In Philadelphia today, when asked to clarify the link between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein's government, the president weakly said that 9/11 changed his "look of foreign policy" and that oceans no longer protect us. (We depended solely upon Oceans to protect us? Since when?) He said that 9/11 "accentuated" Saddam's threat to America.
Accentuate: To bring out distinctly; to make prominent; to emphasize. [1913 Webster]
To emphasize is not to link. To bring out is not a reason to bring war.
The truths we have come to understand need to find their visible expression in our lives. Our every thought, word, or action holds the possibility of being a living expression of clarity and love...Wisdom is alive only as long as it is lived, understanding is liberating only as long as it is applied. A bulging portfolio of spiritual experiences matters little if it does not have the power to sustain us through the inevitable moments of grief, loss, and change. Knowledge and achievements matter little if we do not yet know how to touch the heart of another and be touched.
--Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield, Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart
The capacity for compassion is our greatest human gift. We're all brothers and sisters under the skin - and we're only here for a short time. In the end, only our conscious acts of kindness matter. It could be something as simple as a note of support you've sent to a friend - or as far-reaching as an action you've taken toward social justice when you've seen that a brother has clearly been forgotten in an all-too unforgiving world.
Thanks again to every one of you for each expression of condolence you offered to me upon the loss of my mother. I wanted to share one particular message that brought me great comfort in quiet moments of sadness:
It is said in the Islamic tradition that the love of a Mother is the closest love you can imagine to God's love. The Prophet Muhammad said that God loves us 70 times more than our mother. So imagine the grace of God! Remembering the love of the mother has great merit - and God loves it.
Thank you, Sadiq, for the words and the rose - and many thanks to all who cared enough to send a note or comment.