Servant of the Secret Fire

Random thoughts on books and life in the reality-based community

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The name I've chosen comes from "Lord of the Rings," when Gandalf faces down the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. My Hebrew name is Esther (which is related to the word for "hidden" or "secret") Serafina (which means "burning"). This seems appropriate because although I don't usually put myself forward, I do care very passionately about a lot of things. Maybe through these blogs I can share some of these passions, as well as less weighty ideas and opinions, with others.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Some thoughts on recent events (in no particular order)

Karl Rove’s non-indictment: Bummer, but as has been said, it’s always possible that it’s in return for his cooperation on going after other, bigger fish. A good question raised on one of the blogs – why won’t his lawyer release the entire text of the letter? Then there’s the interesting saga of “Sealed v. Sealed” on truthout.org. Even if it’s nothing to do with Rove, what is it about? Has anyone else confirmed that this indictment exists? (Shouldn’t be too hard for anyone with journalism experience.) And to me, what Rove’s lawyer (or Fitzgerald’s letter) said seems to be very carefully worded legalese. “In a statement, Mr. Luskin said, ‘On June 12, 2006, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove.’” There can always be unanticipated events.

Dubya’s visit to “Iraq”: If, indeed, you can call the Green Zone “Iraq.” To paraphrase Randi Rhodes, take off your coat and stay awhile, sir. Get out, see the sights, meet the people. Unless, that is, you’re too scared. He’s essentially admitted that either he’s a coward or that, after three years, the place is so dangerous he can’t make a real visit, or both of the above. And all this stuff about closing the airport for an hour and then giving the “Prime Minister” only five minutes’ notice. First of all, in a real sovereign country, no one could shut down the main airport without the leader of the country even knowing. Secondly, the five minutes’ notice just shows that Maliki, however good his intentions may be, is nothing but a lackey to be summoned at a snap of the fingers from the Emperor. The complete and utter contempt shown by that little detail, and its reporting in the media, is going to do wonders for the perception (in Iraq and elsewhere) of Maliki’s independence and freedom from American control.

The suicides at Guantanamo and the government’s reaction thereto: Disgraceful. “An act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.” I suppose that this means that those of our troops who have committed suicide will be court-martialed for desertion. And this from a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy: “A good PR move to draw attention.” Obviously a graduate of the John Bolton School of Diplomacy.

Worse than Ann Coulter: David Horowitz defending her on Larry King slandered half the country as well as, incidentally, his own party. “Conservatives...see half the country abandoning our troops in the field. You can’t support the troops and not support the war.” Evidently he isn’t aware of the Republicans claiming during the action in Kosovo that they could support the troops and not support the war, or the Commander-in-Chief.

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