Im kind of wondering what the US response will be to all of this terror plotting. Will this be the final straw on the camel's back that will make us invade Iran? Would you support such a thing?
I suppose a lot of people would say that I'd be singing a different tune if the plot had been successful, or if one of my loved ones had been due to fly home from Britain today.
You'd be wrong.
After 9/11, my biggest fear, apart from new attacks, was that we would go off and war with someone.
Just curious where y'all are.
NPR's On Point might be of interest today... It's a discussion between Israelis on how best to handle what's going on there right now.
Aharon Valency, head of the Upper Galilee Regional Council
So, a little after I first started this community, notspam suggested that I start posting to the community promo ... erm... community. So I did.
What my posts lacked, which the other posts all had, was a pretty picture above or below the community summation. I feel that a pretty picture would draw the eye, and maybe attention.
Now I am not skilled in these things...plus, I thought it would be interesting to see what pictures everyone came up with that they thought would be representative of this here thing.
What do you think?
Not exactly about peace...although I suppose it could be an effort to spawn peace between meat-eating, capitalistic carnivores and hippie-ite, veggie eating, erm, hippies. Let's see what you make of it.
So, Hummer has a new commercial out. It's another in the series of "hey, if someone pisses you off, go trade in your current car for a Hummer so that you can run said people over and make them into road pizza!"
This newest installment begins at a grocery store check-out line. The first guy we see has tofu, soy milk, all that kind of stuff. The guy behind him has piles of steak and ribs and pork and, well, you get the point.
Now, this is where the story falls apart a little bit. The veggie guy is apparently either very pissed off or very disgusted by the buying patterns of his neighborly neighbor. So, he goes and trades in his car for a Hummer, and then loud and angry music comes on.
I think this is a very interesting commentary on society...I'm just not sure which commentary it's supposed to be making.
Option #1: You are not manly if you are a vegetarian, so you need to buy a Hummer to feel adequate.
Option #2: Even if you are a vegan and believe that no human life should be damaged for your own personal good, buying a Hummer, a loud, gas-guzzling, pretty bulky vehicle is okay.
Option #3: If you are a vegetarian, you can afford to go buy a Hummer. This may be true. I am mostly a vegetarian because I can't afford meat most of the time, but maybe there are people out there who purposefully save money for Hummers by not buying strip steaks. It's possible.
Color me confused about this ad. No matter what the option is that you choose, or if you choose another one, I'm not necessarily sure that Hummer is highlighting a whole lot about itself. It's big and intimidating and really really really really really expensive. Um...I don't know. Maybe they need a new marketing ploy. Help?
I posted this in my own journal, but thought it might be relevant here as well.
I was going through youtube trying to find some clips of Dressed to Kill, and I came upon Jon Stewart's speech post 9/11. Such are the wonders of Youtube.
I watched the clip, even though I was looking to laugh, and the speech, I knew, had made a funny man cry. I recalled the speech as being one of the most powerful I heard during those extremely troubling days, but I have never gone back to listen to exactly what was said.
I know that a lot of people don't or can't watch The Daily Show. Whatever you think of Jon Stewart's comedy stylings (or lack thereof even, depending on what you think of him), I implore you to take a look back, as we head towards the 5-year anniversary of this event. I feel oddly empowered by watching this again, because of the facets of those days that Stewart was able to capture with his words. It is a snapshot of hope revealed, and in the context of what is happening today, hope lost.
World hunger, AIDS, nuclear proliferation, energy crisis, global warming, national security, campaign finance reform, healthcare costs, gang violence, pollution, gun control, illiteracy, etc. Are they all inter-related? Would solving one of these alleviate any of the others? How do we prioritize these needs? What did I leave out?
At least once a week I ponder this question.
I think it's odd that so many situations are sort of steaming up at the same time. We had the train bombing in India, then the situation in the Middle East started going crazy almost the same week...we had the missile launches from North Korea, Iran's chest-pounding regarding nukes, and now we've had gunfire between the Koreas.
There are some who are saying that these are the beginning spats that will lead to World War III, and I suppose you could make a case for it. After all, Iranian representatives were apparently at the North Korean missile launch. The leaders of both countries prefer to be in the spotlight, and they get very pouty -- read nucleary, when they are not the center of attention.
And then of course, there's the US involvement in Iraq, which is going worse and worse, it seems.
Are all of these things interrelated? Is our world really shrinking so that a conflict in one isolated area is actually a conflict that affects numerous countries at once?
My last post in here was not as much about whether Israel made a mistake or what have you, although that's the direction a lot of the comments ended up taking.
The question was, are any civilian deaths on both sides going to be, in part, on the hands of the US and Britain because we refused to back even a temporary cease fire?
I think it's easy to examine this conflict as just being between Israel and her neighbors, but my hunch is that the rest of the world is viewing this as US and iranian proxies fighting each other, much like Al Qaeda was helped out by the US back in the 80s against the Soviets. All very quiet and hush hush, but gosh, how did Al Qaeda end up with such great weaponry and training techniques? Hmmm.
What is the role that the US is playing in this? As my friend thharwood so eloquently pointed out, the US is not quite in a position to put our hands on our hips and say, "Hey, you're over-reacting a bit, arent you?" I mean, how many countries have we attacked and/or threatened since 9/11? I've almost lost count.
Is this mess something that we have created? Are we pressuring Israel to act now? Do we want Israel to completely eradicate Hezbollah and Hamas because it will make us AND Israel feel better about the state of the world?
These are the questions that are not getting much coverage on the regular news.
So Israel bombed a Lebanese village called Qana. The target, whether intentional or not, was a shelter of some sort. About 65 people have been killed, mostly women and children.
And I think to myself, if the US and Britain had not stood in the way of a cease fire, maybe this wouldn't have happened. Maybe Lebanon would not be refusing diplomatic channels now. Maybe an angry mob in Beiruit would not have gathered around UN headquarters.
Is whatever happens next on our heads and hands?
I am struggling with something. Maybe y'all can help me.
Actually, it's kind of a bifurcated sort of deal.
So, I was driving home from work the other day and there was this story about John Bolton. It looks like he is going to be nominated to be the official US delegate to the UN. During the hearings that were going on, an activist stood up and stated her opinions. The radio played her outburst. Whether or not the outburst was going to be for or against Bolton, this woman's voice, her pleading, and her courage really is sticking with me. Not only do I admire her, but it makes me realize how all of this posting I'm doing--it's a cop-out. She got arrested. I do things from the comfort of my own home, where the only danger is that the NSA or the FBI or someone else will take offense at something I have to say. What am I *really* risking by saying this or that? Nothin'. Intentionally nothin'. So...any time I post about apathy, or about how I want to change the world, well, I'm wondering here, does that make me a totaly chicken hypocrite? Cuz I'm not the real deal, that's for sure. You won't be reading "lj from a Birmingham jail" any time soon.
The other issue I'm having is something that could alternately be called empathy, sympathy, or charity. During the late 19th and early 20th century, Christian missionaries went out to Indian reservations to save the poor heathens and help lead them to better, more noble lives. Of course, it's easy for me to see, in that scenario, that that kind of "help" was exactly what was not needed. But there are other scenarios that play out where the issue does not seem so black and white. What is charity, and what is condescension? What is sympathy, and what is being melodramatic? Do I cross the line in negative ways? Is my wanting to make care packages for Christmas for a local women's shelter something that will really help, or will it help me sleep better at night and just offend the women who receive them? When does charity become offensive? When does charity become pity or patronization?
Burt Bacharach sings that what the world needs now is love, but how do we show it? Life is not like a Charles Dickens novel, where all good deeds are seen via the prism of intent. How can you know that your good intentions will be enough?