Things That Make You Go Hmmm………(8-19)
March 20, 2003 - Shock and Awe......
Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, officials in the United States armed forces described their plan as employing shock and awe…
Limited bombing began on 19 March 2003 as United States forces unsuccessfully attempted to kill Saddam Hussein. Attacks continued against a small number of targets until 21 March 2003, when at 1700 UTC the main bombing campaign of the US and their allies began. Its forces launched approximately 1700 air sorties (504 using cruise missiles). Coalition ground forces had begun a "running start" offensive towards Baghdad on the previous day. Coalition ground forces seized Baghdad on 5 April, and the United States declared victory on 14 April.
Jan 20, 2004, State of the Union Address –
“All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you. Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.”
These are the words of President Bush in his inaugural address on 20 January. Bringing freedom and democracy to the world, beginning with the Arab world, is now apparently the primary focus of US foreign policy.
Meanwhile, back in America.....
Nov. 4. 2008 - Anti-marriage constitutional amendments
Anti-marriage amendments were on the ballot in Arizona, Florida and California this election, and passed in Arizona and Florida. In California, as of 3 p.m. (EST) on Nov. 5, Prop. 8 had a margin of 52 percent in favor and 48 percent opposing it, with 95 percent of the precincts reporting. Voters in Arizona approved Prop.102 by a 56-44 percent margin, banning legal marriage for same-sex couples. In Florida, voters passed Amendment 2, which would not only ban marriage rights for same-sex couples, but would also limit any partner recognition rights to unmarried heterosexual and same-sex couples.
Aug. 15, 2009 – 'Don't ask, don't tell': Retreating from a mistake – LA Times Editorial
'Don't ask, don't tell," the policy delusion that acknowledges that gays and lesbians serve in the military but pretends they aren't there, is in its final days. Sooner rather than later, this discriminatory law is going to be overturned…Nearly 13,000 servicemen and servicewomen have been discharged under the policy -- 287 since President Obama took office. The armed forces have spent more than $1.3 billion to kick them out and to pay for the investigations that justify their expulsions. Among those who have been discharged are almost 60 Arabic linguists, weakening our national security in order to pursue a policy of exclusion.
Aug. 18, 2009 - Anchorage Mayor Vetoes Anti-Discrimination Ordinance –
The city’s Assembly approved it; the local newspaper applauded it; GLBT residents testified as to its need. But newly elected Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan vetoed it, killing an anti-discrimination bill….Anti-gay Baptist pastor Jerry Prevo has fought against GLBT equality since the first attempts by the Assembly to provide for gay and lesbian residents, the article said, and he expressed approval that Dan Sullivan had followed in his father’s footsteps in vetoing the measure.
Aug. 18, 2009 – "A Spreading Campaign of Torture and Murder" Against Gay Iraqis
Human Rights Watch has released a report confirming what Care2 members have been aware of for some time: Iraqi militias are "carrying out a spreading campaign of torture and murder against men suspected of homosexual conduct" in Iraq.
Released Monday, the 67 page report confirms many of our worst fears as to the situation for gay Iraqis after the fall of Saddam. The report documents 2009's "extrajudicial executions", kidnappings and the horrific anal glue torture gay men have been subjected to and, as we reported quite some time ago, points the finger at Moqtada al-Sadr's militia, a group aligned to a particularly vehement anti-gay cleric.
It would appear that Mr. Bush did have at least one success in his administration. He managed to export the US version of “democracy” – with liberty and justice for some – to Iraq. The Iraqis have learned to preach democracy and practice a deadly form of homophobia with impunity. Looks like George Bush’s Great American Adventure will leave quite a legacy in our world.
The Rev. Harry Scott Coverston, J.D., Ph.D.
Member, Florida Bar (inactive status)
Priest, Episcopal Church (Dio. of El Camino Real, CA)
Instructor: Humanities, Religion, Philosophy of Law
University of Central Florida, Orlando
If the unexamined life is not worth living, surely an unexamined belief system, be it religious or political, is not worth holding.
Most things of value do not lend themselves to production in sound bytes.