A World Spinning our of Control
A Lebanese MP is killed. A Lebanese broadcast journalist "gloats" about it not knowing that her microphone was "live" and she and the person she was talking to were sacked. Some Lebanese soldiers were killed in an attack on a refugee camp -- how can there still be a refugee camp holding those that left Palestine in fear of the Jewish people. Correction: how can there be a second and surely a third generation of people descended from those who left Palestine who are still in a refugee camp? That was 60 or so years ago. Is their presence there due to their belief that they will soon or someday get to return and don't want to put down roots elsewhere or because life is good in refugee camps in Lebanon (that is not a serious question) or what?
We move to Gaza where Hamas has driven out those Fatah military and political leaders they have not killed. And quickly on to the West Bank where Fatah is going after Hamas leaders. This will surely mean that Israel cannot possibly make peace with a Palestinian state since there will be two of them and Hamas is very unlikely to want to deal with Israel and conversely. Meanwhile, Israel, in what has to be an act of desperation has made the 283 year old Simon Peres President. I may be off on his age a bit. Israel still has clearly not recovered from their very costly "victory" over Hezbollah.
Moving over to Iraq we find that everyone is at war with everyone else. It is impossible to sort out what the dynamics are there. At least, from this chair I can't figure out how Islamic militants can bomb Mosques that have been in place for a very long time because they are being used by some other group of Muslims. The US did its best not to bomb a mosque when it won its great victory in Iraq by toppling Saddam. This is a paradigm case of a Pyrrhic victory. I do not know who we are fighting against, if anyone. Apparently it would be bad for an infidel state to bomb a Mosque but okay for a rival Muslim group to do so. So far, at least, the Syrians, Egyptians, Jordanians, and Saudis have not condemned this sort of thing (as far as I know). Occasionally I read about the US killing some insurgents but there are at least two sorts -- the pro-Al Queda group or set of groups and the non-pro-Al Queda group or set of groups. Are we trying to fight Shiites too? I did read that Sadr has suggested that Shiites loyal to him should cool it. Meanwhile, I have read that Turkey has invaded Iraq. They, of course, are terrified of a union of some sort between Turkish and Iraqi Kurds. I gather we did not rush northward and start shooting at Turks. They are our allies after all.
Meanwhile much of the West is condemning Iran for this, that, and the other thing. The most remarkable thing I have read about Iran is that "Fifty-seven Iranian economists have launched a scathing attack on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." I hope that they are not killed. If not, this would be the one good thing I have read about the Middle East this morning. I am grateful to learn that the US Secretary of State, Condy Rice, opened an Iranian art show or, rather, an art show featuring Iranian artists in the US. There have been interactions between American and Iranian wrestlers as well. This brings to mind the cultural exchanges between the Soviets and Americans during the Cold War. It took a long time for those exchanges to do any good, assuming, probably counterfactually, that they did any good at all. Condy made the fatuous and totally meaningless because hopelessly false claim that art is a language and that art can help two different peoples understand each other. The claim she made is that art is "the language of peoples who need to know each other and understand each other." Art is not a language. And having an art show in the US of Iranian artists will not help Americans and Iranians understand each other. How in hell can one understand a country that has a bunch of Ayatollahs who seem to run the country, a whacked out President who seems to run the country, a Revolutionary Guard that seems to act on its own, and an elected body that manifestly does not run the country (at least as far as I can tell). To be fair I ought to concede that I am not sure who runs the US -- it is some combination of George Bush, rich people, corporations, and the religious right. I think we would have to forgive the Iranians who find it difficult to understand us.
I am going in for surgery today to have my tongue surgically removed from my cheek. This post does have something to do with language, thanks to Condy's unbelievably ignorant statement so I have not totally violated your trust.