Sunday, April 30, 2006

Warning, cynical pundintry ahead

Three years ago today President Bush (version 2.0) proclaimed the Iraqis free of tyranny. I certainly am not qualified to speak with authority on the topic, given what information I have on the situation in Iraq comes filtered through the eyes and ears of Jon Stewart and NPR, but I will say this much: I hate that so many people, US and Iraqis have died. I hate that so many of our soldiers are still there.

It also really sucks that the gas prices are $3 a gallon.

Is that the fault of the war? Did Katrina have really bad timing? (Can you imagine the White House last year? "That damn effing hurricane! As if we needed more impact on oil and natural gas!") We really can't blame the brewing confrontation with Iran on the decision to invade Iraq, and that is affecting oil prices. (Holy crap if the situation doesn't seem eerily familiar, UN inspectors, sanctions, radical Islamic western hating leader...)

Certainly many places in Iraq are better off now than they were before we came in and invaded their country disposed a dictator. But so many have died since that banner hung on the USS Lincoln, and so much instability still exists it's hard to not look back to three years ago and shake your head at the hubris shown by a government that seems to be flying without net right now.

In contrast, this past weekend marked another war-related anniversary. It was on April 29th, 1429 that Joan d'Arc arrived at the siege at Orleans to inspire French troops to take back the country from the British for Charles VII. Joan was sort of the insurgency of the 15th century. Except of course she didn't blow herself up to kill British. She did want them out of her country though.

I just thought it was an interesting contrast given how many people critical of US policy call the Bush administration "imperialist". I mean that's a stretch. We're just trying to spread democracy. And drive our cars.

Damn this is way too serious for a Monday morning. Let's all go back to bed, and when we wake up, I'll make us all bacon and eggs and we can have mimosas.

I did learn this famous story about her trial in Wikipedia when I was reading up on her history. (Of which I knew little before this posting.) During her trial for heresy, she was asked if "she knew she was in God's grace." It was a trick question, for if she said yes, she would be implicating herself as a heretic, if she said no, she would be admitting her own guilt. Her answer apparently stupified her inquisitors: "If I am not, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me." Brilliant huh? She was very intelligent for an illiterate farm girl. Being burned to death---the thought makes me shudder.

Today my town is voting on whether or not to authorize a spending override. We need the money badly for the schools and other town services like the library and public safety. I actually participated in the campaign to win support for it. I held a big sign at the major intersection in town and made phone calls. It felt good to do something. Certainly nothing like Joan, but we all lead the charge in whatever way we can right? So you book club girls who I know read don't forget to VOTE!

Oh- and P.S-hameless self promotion. I posted my submission for this week's What if? exercise. Go read it. :)

5 comments:

MyUtopia said...

gas prices went down this weekend here. I think it is greed that has brought it up to $3.

krysten said...

*yawn* its definitely monday...about the only thing i followed was the bit about the bacon, eggs, and mimosas. lol

Lisa said...

Ooooh...that breakfast sounds gooood....especially after sleeping til I cain't sleep no more...

Joe said...

Careful, I heard they're considering burning the supporters of the override at the stake. After they ask a trick question about being in the good graces of your fellow townfolk, of course.

Bee said...

mmm. . mimosas