Protest the evils of oil and polyester!
Posts from June 6, 2004
Catching up in Iraq
: I’m catching up with my reading of Iraqi weblogs. Read this from Baghdadi, an Iraqi-American, on the new government, and tell me whether you saw any of this excitement in media coverage:
The beginning for the new Iraq has started and the people of Iraq finally got a government they should be proud of. I was so happy this morning watching the new Iraqi government and the names of those ministers and of course the new president. There was one moment during the whole ceremony that equated to the moment when they announced the capture of Saddam and that is when they announced the new president of Iraq, to me that was a dream comes true. I believe most of us young Iraqis when we hear the phrase president of Iraq, we think of Saddam and only Saddam. Well, history was made today Saddam and his clans have no chance of getting the power or any position in the new Iraq. Iraq is changing and I believe it is changing toward a free and democratic Iraq. I spoke with my family in Baghdad twice today and they are so excited about the new government, my brother was telling me that we all are praying for these guys and Inshallaha god will be with them. I think this is a new era for us and for the Middle East as a whole. Listening to all the names that were announced today, you can not, but think that this new government is the most educated individuals among all the governments in the Middle East. Most of them have a doctorate in their fields of expertise not to mention a lot of them have lived and gained there experience in the west. With the help of the US and the rest of the world, I believe these guys will definitely get Iraq out of this mess.
: Steven Johnson not only gives some link charity to Spirit of America, he also seems something bigger going on here — good swarms:
But the site makes me wonder whether this isn’t the beginning of a fascinating new chapter in the web’s gift economy. Thanks to the passion of the bloggers themselves, and clustering technologies like Technorati and Blogdex, we’ve already mastered the art of locating and quickly swarming around the week’s hot news item or thinkpiece. (You know the drill: Clay posts a provocative essay about power laws on Monday, and by Friday there are fifty in-depth responses, a dozen fact checks, ten suggestions for future research, and a handful of requests for the Lazy Web.) What Spirit Of America suggests is a version of that swarming directed towards Good Causes: someone halfway across the globe (or halfway across the country, or the county) puts out a call for help setting up a wi-fi network in an under-funded school, or repairing a sewage treatment facility, and within five days they’re flooded with funds, spare parts, technical expertise, and good will. And when the network goes online, or the sewage starts getting processed again, we all get to see the results. (Maybe not so fun for sewage, but you get the idea.) And then we get to move on to the next cause.
: Scoble imagines the blogging camera:
Imagine a digital camera with Wifi built in, and with something like Radio UserLand built in. Now that’d be crazy, huh? Take a picture, have it automatically thrown up to a weblog whenever there’s connectivity (which is quite often now — even the San Francisco Giants’ baseball stadium has WiFi).
Ground Zero’s future
: The NY Times celebrates disarray in cultural plans for the World Trade Center site and in a typically self-indulgent editorial act has its own critics blather on about what they’d do there (or, actually, blather on to try to show how cute they can be).
A.O. Scott, the movie critic, ends up absurdly but starts out ok:
We already have more than our share of monuments to polite culture
Is a hero a hero only if you like the war?
: Cori Dauber reports this from Andy Rooney on Imus:
His complaint was with the practice of considering all the soldiers, airmen, Marines, sailors and Coastguardsmen serving in Iraq as heroes. Most soldiers in Iraq, he said, “they’re not heroes, they’re victims. They got trapped in the Army.”
And what about the WW II analogy? There was “no question about the ethical, moral, righteousness of our war against the Nazis.” Today’s situation is “not at all the same.” (Even if you don’t think we should have gone to war in Iraq, I still don’t understand how people can argue against the moral righteousness of the war as a humanitarian intervention. It’s just beyond me.)
But Rooney continued: “They just don’t have a righteous war to fight,” and that’s the only reason today’s military forces aren’t a Greatest Generation. “They don’t have an occasion to rise to.”
Fascism is fascism, and it is always a righteous cause to fight fascism with an appetite for global conquest.
I agre with Cori on all points and, as usual, disagree with Rooney.
These soldiers were not trapped in the Army; they volunteered.
Why is getting rid of murdering fascists in Germany different from getting rid of murdering fascists in Iraq?
And — in the context this discussion comes from, it’s Bush talking about the war on terrorism and not just the war in Iraq — this generation most certainly does have the occasion to rise to: the defeat of terrorism and Islamic mass murderers.
: And by the way, how come when a man goes on a rampage destroying buildings throughout his own town and nearly killing his own neighbors, he’s known as a “nut” while people who do that in Iraq are known as “insurgents?”