. . . if it weren't for our governments.
From a wonderfully concise post this morning at Against the War on Terror, "Don't Let Them Come Between Us":
The idea of innate differences between people is pernicious, serving only further to entrench fear and distrust. We should reject the idea that most people cannot be trusted to relate directly to each other, needing the mediation of self-proclaimed protectors or interlocutors. These leaders paint entire civilizations as inherently divided only to conceal their own lack of political imagination, and their own inability to come up with ideas that might transcend arbitrary differences.Anybody listening?
In stark contrast, two Doubleduhs, from his interview with Liz Vargas:
BUSH: I don't buy your premise that there's going to be a civil war. There's no question that the bomber of the mosque is trying to create sectarian violence, and there's no question there was reaction to it. On the other hand, I had the duty, which I did, to call these leaders, Shi'a and Sunni leaders, as well as Kurdish leaders.Makes yuh feel just all so warm 'n' fuzzy, don't it?
And the response was that we understand this is a moment that we've got to make a choice if we're going to have sectarian strife or whether or not we're going to unify. And I heard loud and clear that they understand that they're going to choose unification, and we're going to help them do so.
The presence of the U.S. troops is there to protect as many Iraqis as we possibly can from thugs and violence, but it's also to help the Iraqis protect themselves, and we're making progress in terms of standing up to these Iraqi troops so they can deal with, deal with these incidents of violence.
VARGAS: But what is the plan if the sectarian violence continues? I mean, do the U.S. troops take a larger role? Do they step in more actively to stop the violence?
BUSH: No. The troops are chasing down terrorists. They're protecting themselves and protecting the people, and — but a major function is to train the Iraqis so they can do the work. I mean the ultimate success in Iraq — and I believe we're going to be successful — is for the Iraqi citizens to continue to demand unity . . .
VARGAS: I am going to ask about a poll, just the most recent poll that's out today that does have your approval rating at an all-time low for your administration. You don't care about that, but you have talked a lot about political capital, the importance of it, the value of it, your intention to use it. Do you think you have political capital right now?
BUSH: I've got ample capital and I'm using it to spread freedom and to protect the American people . . .
As a post-script . . . writing yesterday in The Hindu ('George Bush Go Home'), Arundhati Roy says, in part:
So what's going to happen to George W. Bush? Will the gorillas cheer him on? Will the gibbons curl their lips? Will the brow-antlered deer sneer? Will the chimps make rude noises? Will the owls hoot? Will the lions yawn and the giraffes bat their beautiful eyelashes? Will the crocs recognize a kindred soul? Will the quails give thanks that Bush isn't traveling with Dick Cheney, his hunting partner with the notoriously bad aim? Will the CEOs agree?
Oh, and on the 2nd of March, Bush will be taken to visit Gandhi's memorial in Rajghat. He's by no means the only war criminal who has been invited by the Indian Government to lay flowers at Rajghat. (Only recently we had the Burmese dictator General Than Shwe - no shrinking violet himself.) But when George Bush places flowers on that famous slab of highly polished stone, millions of Indians will wince. It will be as though he has poured a pint of blood on the memory of Gandhi.
We really would prefer that he didn't.
It's not in our power to stop Bush's visit. It is in our power to protest it, and we will. The Government, the Police and the Corporate Press will do everything they can to minimize the extent of our outrage. Nothing the Happynews Papers say can change the fact that all over India from the biggest cities to the smallest villages, in public places and private homes - George W. Bush, incumbent President of the United States of America, world nightmare incarnate, is just not welcome.
(the graphic is "Embrace" by Lernie Beuler)
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