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Two Op-Eds I Read

Saturday is always the bonus day for guest op-ed contributors at the nation’s finest rags. Today is no exception.

I find little fault with historian Joseph J. Ellis’ “Finding a Place for 9/11 in American History.” In it, Ellis berates the Bush Administration for putting 9/11 on a pedestal (inherently satisfyingn the terrorists) although it hardly stands in Ellis’ “top tier” of events thath were legitimate threats to American security.

He also debunks the Patriot Act as a farcical measure with little historical relevance on par with the Alien andn Sedition Acts, and the short-lived proliferation of McCarthyism.

It’s an eyebrow-raiser to read; The New York Times definitely sways out of its WMD-hunting non-gov’t-bashing comfort zone. Robert Schlesinger dissects it at HuffPo andn Ranting Prof, while not shocked, delves into the “analytical smoke and mirrors.” Much praise for Professor Ellis aside, Right Wingn Nut House will not stand for this historical contextualization of 9/11.
Even farther out, is? Beshara Doumani’s piece in Ssaturday’s L.A. Times titled: “Hamas in Charge.” In it, Doumani, author of Rediscovering Palestine lays theh blame squarely on Israel for the faltering Oslo agreement. I have heard this argument before and do not entirely disagree that Israel had a role in the eventual success, if not in the creation of Hamas. However, Doumani’s analysis reads as qwuite extreme, especially on the pages of the L.A. Times with its conclusion: ” Still, the Hamas victory will make it much easier for Israel to sell the ‘no partner for peace’ line.”

I am on the hunt for further analyses of this piecein the blogosphere and encourage discussion (as always) in the comments section below.

Adding to this The Texas Observer‘s Ronny Dugger’s call to “Impeach or Indict Bush or Cheney” (hat tip: MBlog)


State of the Union Preview

presented by the Upright Citizens Brigade, LA.

funny stuff. (watch).

UPDATE: From Radio Open Source, your invite to Blogs of the Union (If you don’t have a blog, feel free to write yours here):

Write your State of the Union ? a paragraph, a post, your description of how America?s doing ? and include somewhere the acronym ?BOTU.? Leave a link in the comment thread below, or we?ll find it on Technorati.

Words and Phrases you may not use:
Bush, Administration, Iraq, Liberal, Conservative, Progressive, Republican, Democrat, FISA, Abramoff, Culture of Corruption, Culture of Life, Cultural Inheritance, Inheritance Tax, Treason, Kerry, Rove, Israel, Palestine, Sunni, Shia, Kurd, Shari?a, Gore, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, MSM, CIA, FBI, Dean, James Frey, Kanye West, Katrina, Fox, Liberal Bias, Mehlman, Delay, Unemployment, Interest Rates, Housing Starts, Schwarzenegger, Kennedy, Adjustable-Rate Mortgage, Red State, Blue State, Shriver, Darwin, Cindy Sheehan, Freedom on the March, Cut and Run, Boots on the Ground, Michelle Malkin, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Flyover States, East-Coast Elite, Middle America, the American People or Synergy.

For further shits ?n? giggles, truthout presents the Bush Speech Drinking Game:

Drink a beer after every lie. Drink a beer every time Bush says ?freedom,? or talks about September 11 as if those attacks had anything to do with Iraq. Drink two beers after every wildly unrealistic assessment that has no basis in fact. Drink a beer and a shot every time he says ?Nukular.? Two beers, a shot and a kick to the head every time he thanks the troops around him for the sacrifices ?we? know must be made.


Hijacking Democracy (updated)

I can’t help but fault BushCo’s misconception of “democracy” and how incredibly difficult and unnatural it is to force it upon the complex, old world societies of the Middle East.?

Did the administration not read up on their history? Democracy can never thrive if its open to all. Islamic radical movements have historically exploited democratic elections to gain theocratic power. See Iran and Algeria in the 80’s, among others.

Mubarak has wisely resisted political reforms despite the nudging of the U.S.?– the recent Egyptian election displayed wide support for candidates affiliated with the muslim brotherhood.

Likewise, Bush cannot encourage democracy while allowing for racist or terrorist candidates in the vein of Hamas or say, the KKK or David Duke.

Perhaps he’s subconsciously realizing his inabilities to uphold the basic tenets of democracy?

I definitely felt tinge of hypocrisy when Rice said democracy and terrorism don?t mix. The so-called “Quartet” more formally addressed this issue today: “?there is a fundamental contradiction between armed group and militia activities and the building of a democratic state.”

But just last summer in Cairo, she said: “Now, we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspiration of all people?.”

No, Abbas doesn’t have to step down? but consider him powerless hereafter. Especially with Fatah taking it to the streets.

Hamas won because of it’s ability to allocate “blood money” to social welfare and religious community causes. Can they tame themselves?


U.S.: Female Iraqi Detainees Freed…. No Connection to Jill Carroll

The U.S. does or does not want to free journalist Jill carroll? Argue all you want, journalists in Iraq shouldn’t be martyred as heroes more than soldiers…

Truth, however – soldiers aren’t heroes because they dissappear, they do not return in flag-draped coffins as far as the public can see…

Sounds like Ms. Carroll did just fine on her own — why release Iraqi detainees and claim no connection to the still detained Carroll… is it a “negotiating with terrorists” taboo from the same government that gave birth to quasi-enemy Hamas???

Friday’s Guardian:

The US military freed five women detainees in Iraq yesterday, but officials denied any connection with the demands of kidnappers holding the American journalist Jill Carroll.

The women freed yesterday were among about 420 detainees due to be released after a US-Iraqi review panel decided there was no reason to hold them. “The case of the women detainees is a legal case and it has nothing to do with the case of the American journalist,” an Iraqi justice ministry official told al-Jazeera television.