木曜日, 1月 13, 2005

Pissed Off

I usually keep politics out of this blog (okay, I usually don't post on this blog), but today's Weatherhead sponsored-symposium on Iraq seriously ticked me off. I went mainly to hear Professor Rosen's views on how the war is going (as he was rather coy about it during class), but had to first sit through the Distinguished Professor Stanley Hoffman's views on the necessity of withdrawing from Iraq. And why the organizers chose a professor who'd emigrated from France to represent that view is beyond me: half the time, he raised my hackles just by playing the "wise European critic". I'd just watched a production of Hamlet last night, and this was more theatrical.

To be fair, Professor Hoffman's intellect is a sun to my asteroid. Even so, there's something disgusting about a man lauding France for withdrawing from the Indochina war--by handing the problem to the Americans. And then to dismiss the consequences of American withdrawal, to not even have the grace to say, "I regret the hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese who died or fled after the fall of Saigon, but..." He generously acknowledged that Saddam Hussein had massacred millions of Kurds and Shiites, but noted that those atrocities were in the past; by 2002, Iraq was just a normal dictatorship. Apparently, mass murder has an expiration date: after a decade (or less, if you have an Oil for Food program), a tyrant no longer has to answer for his crimes.

Rosen was very credible in his assessment, especially when he castigated the administration for taking a year to get around to creating a constabulatory force. He ended, though, with a request to proponents of U.S. withdrawal: consider the consequences. If we leave now, we abandon people who have supported us, who have revealed themselves as working for democracy, who will face horrible fates in an Iraq overrun by Iran and Syria.

Hoffman rather facetiously states that he is a scholar: it is not his job to come up with solutions. Well, he should come up with some on them before speaking so irresponsibly.

土曜日, 1月 01, 2005

Happy New Year

It's 40 degrees in Taiwan, which is worse than Boston because the temperature inside the house is equal to that outside. Somehow, no one ever bothered to install a heating system. Or even insulation.

My dog has been shivering all day. Mom's altered one of my sweaters for Yoko, but we've had to wrap her up and put her under the comforters on Dad's bed. Poor girl.

Still, it's the New Years, so wishes and resolutions:

To the people of Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and too many other places: May you find healing and peace in this new year.

To Jaquandor: May you and your family, especially Quinn, enjoy great happiness this year. Good luck on the grand Arthurian endeavor.



Resolution #1: Stop being macho and put on the extra layers. I've had a nasty cold for the last week.

Resolution #2: Talk to parents more often. Also encourage brother to stay away from computer.

Resolution #3: Stay away from computer and actually get work done. But do remember to blog.

Happy New Year.