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Var. and sundry

I am house- (and cat-) sitting for certain loved ones, and find myself a bit more thoughtful and distracted, and less drawn to the electro-verse, for the moment, at least. I have some thoughts on various things I'd like to share, though. (Imagine that.) I guess I thought I'd just put them here:

  • It looks like we're going to war.
  • I saved a bird a couple days ago. It flew into the kitchen windows — twice. The cat, the young cat, the killer, who's now 10 years old or so but was born here and is truly lord over all, except maybe the raccoon, the possum, the coyote and the fox, was up like a shot, over to the kitchen door (which is glass) to see. Then, in nothing flat, away, through the kitchen, to the hall, down the stairs, into the basement. I had one up on him, I knew how to open the kitchen door. He had one up on me, he didn't mind walking barefoot in the snow. He came around the side (there's a cat door in the basement). I stepped out. He approached. I hissed softly. He hesitated. He came closer. I hissed again. The bird was beneath a window, on a small porch. The cat could get there without coming closer than five feet from me. I knew it. He knew it. He weighed his options. I hissed louder. He looked. I stepped out with my other foot. He turned, he moved away. I tossed some snow near him. He scat. I went inside, got some shoes and gloves, and removed the bird to a weeping spruce, where it stayed for some 10 minutes, and then disappeared while my back was turned.
  • There is a certain logic to going to war with Iraq. One of the critical failures preceding Sept. 11, 2001, was a failure of imagination. We never imagined anyone might fly airplanes into skyscrapers; and even if we had, we still never would have imagined anyone actually would. It may not be the right policy in the end, but in some ways it does make sense to conclude, We cannot imagine every way they can hurt us, so the only way to stop them is to hurt them first. George Bush sees Saddam Hussein as an enemy who will strike him if only he devises a way how. "Not on my watch," says George.

    That said, the world is paying a high price for the Bush administration's continued failures of imagination. They seem not to have imagined that their words and actions might cost them, or us, anything.

    Ironic is not the only word I would use to describe this result, but it is perhaps the nicest one.
  • I am glad for the warm weather. It feels good to be outside. (And I feel guilty heating this entire house (just the downstairs, even) just for me.) Mainly I am ready for spring. I want to feel things coming back to life. It is time, I think.
  • I wonder if Bush gave Saddam 48 hours to depose himself, which Bush knows he will not do, so as to tell anyone contemplating a coup that it's now or never. I wonder if, were a coup to fail in the 11th hour, Saddam would have time to execute the plotters and their families anyway, or if he'd be too busy fleeing to his palatial bunker, or wherever. I wonder what potential plotters might be thinking — if they think they have anything to lose, at this point. I wonder if anyone will even have an opportunity, even if they would hope to try.
  • I wonder if "Shock and Awe," the conveniently leaked plan to begin the war against Iraq with a barrage of some 3,000 missiles, isn't at least partially a misdirection. Would the Iraqi defense's expectation of such an unmistakable announcement that festivities had begun delay their response, even for just a minute, to another sort of attack, perhaps an attempt to secure certain resources, like oil fields, that will not be targeted in that initial aerial onslaught?
  • I cut the skin on my finger just behind the nail with the root end of a piece of garlic last week. A real cut, I'm not kidding. It was partially peeled, and the end was real sharp. No, I can't quite believe me, either.
  • The media's consensus that the upcoming war will "make or break" Bush's presidency is frustrating. After leading us to an unprecedented collapse of international diplomacy; gutting the federal government of funds for such nearly universally desired objectives as solvent state governments, after-school programs, homeland security and defense, and whatever else I'm forgetting, in order to cut taxes and still push the federal budget deficit past record levels; and completely failing to successfully promote any economic growth whatsoever, all he has to do is sit back and let the unrivaled might of the U.S. armed forces propel him to presidential glory?

    It's not that simple, I know; and, too, the media is in some sense merely predicting that public opinion will rally behind Bush, regardless of everything else, should the war be quick and decisive. But the media is also forming public opinion by presenting the war as it does, and it is not doing anywhere near justice to the failures of Bush's presidency so far.
  • I suppose if I were a proper weblogger these would all be separate posts.

March 18, 2003 3:09 PM

Comments (and TrackBacks)

"... the media is ... forming public opinion by presenting the war as it does, and it is not doing anywhere near justice to the failures of Bush's presidency so far."

so true. thank you for this nugget of pure value.

Posted by d on March 18, 2003 5:10 PM

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