I downloaded the original report from Fred Kagen about the surge in January. According to that report, which Bush used as his model, the surge shouldn’t have been completed until December of this year. (p.38) It includes the extensions of duty that have already occured. Kagen presented the second phase of said plan in April.
Still there are deaths. I make a point of reading –acknowleding them every night on the News Hour and then again on This Week with George S. John Kerry has asked, and I think it is a quality question — who will be the last death in Iraq?
Speaking of which, Biden pointed out something that has been neglected. And on this first father’s day since the man I most admired died, I will follow up with a point about Palestinians, as well as other conflicts. While it is easy to judge from the outside, it is much more difficult to understand the problems that plague both Palestine and Africa — Darfur, Somalia and Kenya — by listening to the U.S. news. At least today Biden laid out how stupid the Bush administration haw been wrt Palestine. The Bush admin pushed for elections. Hamas got elected. Funds — including taxes collected by the Israelis from the Palestinians — was withheld. From a line in one of my favorite movies — “You don’t like the results you change the rules?” Yep, that’s what they did. So the world cuts the Palestinians off and the Israelis don’t return their tax dollars — wow — how would people like this react to something like that? With guns ablazing, I’m sure.
The U.S. is conducting military actions in Somalia and near if not in Kenya. (I’m not at work, so I can’t get to Lexis/Nexis — and anyway — they sent me a letter stating that they let law enforcement access my personal data — so I am not so happy with them — but that’s another matter.) One of my former students and current readers (I hope she still reads :) knows that things are not good in that part of the world, but the U.S. military’s intervention is not helping.
Then there is the lame Darfur thing that Bush did. Lame, limp, ineffectual, — how else to describe it?
In honor of my father — who I hope would have come around and in honor of the man, who I admired perhaps more than my own dad — given that we came so far in such a short amount of time — from him dismissing me completely to the two of us agreeing on the important things in the end. I will always remember that the last book he read — The Road by Cormac McCarthy, was one of the last books I read while he was reading it too, while he was alive, and that last Christmas, I sent him my copy of Jimmy Carter’s Palestine Peace not Apartheid, just when he wanted to send me his copy. This from a man who retired from the foreign service when Carter became president.
Perhaps my dad, had he lived to see George W. Bush become the governor of Texas, much less president, would have been more like the man I greatly admire. Perhaps he would have finally seen my side of things, unlike my mother.
I avoided any father’s day activities today. It should be for my nieces and their father — not another holiday fought over with the in-laws. Today was for those whose fathers are still alive. The two men who held that place in my heart are dead. I am stronger and more sure of myself because of both of them.
but what do I know . . . .