America's Ambassador of Good Will
by Susan Lenfestey
Nothing like the morning news to deliver a swift kick to the knickers. As you may have noticed, I've been fawning over Mary Oliver, who manages to find deep soul-soothing peace in the natural world. As she wrote some years back, "I am a woman sixty years old, and glory is my work." Well, I'm a woman sixty years old and apparently glory is my temp job. I'm just a Kelly Girl in the fields of awe.
Today it's back to the slough of despond, despite the little green heart leaves beckoning to me from outside my window to join them. Read on.
It wasn't any one big dump of news that stole my joy, but the morsels. Like the headline on an AP story, "Bush brings empathy, offers of aid to Kansas." I'm sorry, but George Bush and the word empathy cannot appear in the same sentence, unless it's noting his lack of same. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, and despite Laura's assurances that no one feels the pain of Iraq more than her compassionate mate, there's not a shred of evidence that he has the capacity for empathy, starting with the gene pool on his mother's side.
And, to pick a nit, seems to me that one feels empathy, which is real, and conveys sympathy, which can be feigned. Finally, why does this all have that familiar hollow ring? Oh, Katrina and Kansas, both start with K.
Then there are the photos of the thrombotic Vice-Dick in Baghdad, our ambassador of good will, hunkering in his chair like a Hollywood caricature of evil, say the Joker in Batman, and insisting that progress is being made while the windows shake with another explosion.
Here's a glimpse of that progress, (hat tip to Leftymn) noted on May 6, (the night Bush dined with Queen Elizabeth) courtesy of Reuters:
BAGHDAD - Twenty four bodies were recovered in Baghdad in the last 24 hours, police said.
BAGHDAD - Six U.S. soldiers and a civilian journalist were killed when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in Diyala province, north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.
BAGHDAD - Two U.S. soldiers were killed in separate bomb attacks on Sunday, the military said, including one in Baghdad.
SAMARRA - A suicide car bomber killed 12 police officers and wounded another 11 after detonating himself at a police headquarters in the city of Samarra, the U.S. military said. Two U.S. soldiers were wounded after an ensuing gunbattle. Samarra's police commander was among the killed, deputy governor of Salahaddin, Abdullah Jubara, said.
BAGHDAD - A car bomb killed 35 people and wounded 80 others near a crowded market in Baghdad's Shi'ite neighbourhood of Bayaa, police said.
BAGHDAD - A U.S. soldier was killed and four others were wounded by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad on Friday, the U.S. military said on Sunday.
ANBAR PROVINCE - Two U.S. Marines were killed in combat on Saturday in Anbar province in western Iraq, the U.S. military said in a statement.
BAGHDAD - The U.S. military said it had killed up to 10 militants and destroyed a torture room during a raid in Baghdad's Sadr City that targeted suspected members of a cell known for smuggling sophisticated bombs from Iran.
BAGHDAD - A car bomb killed two people and wounded 10 others in the Mansour district of western Baghdad, police said.
GARMA - Police said they found the bodies of three policemen, shot and tortured, in the town of Garma, near Falluja, 50 km (35 miles) west of Baghdad.
KIRKUK - Major General Adnan Thabit escaped a roadside bomb attack near his motorcade in Kirkuk, police said.
KUT - A roadside bomb exploded near the house of a former member of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, wounding three of his sons in the city of Kut, 170 km (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.
KUT - Gunmen attacked a policeman and an Iraqi translator working in a U.S. military base, seriously wounding the pair in the city of Kut, police said.
BAGHDAD - The bodies of 11 people were found shot in different districts of Baghdad on Saturday, police said.
BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb killed one person and wounded nine others in the Karrada district of central Baghdad late on Saturday, police said.
BAGHDAD - Three people were killed and four wounded when a mortar round landed in the Shi'ite district of Abu Dshir in southern Baghdad on Saturday, police said.
NEAR BALAD - Gunmen killed a police colonel on Saturday in the town of Yethrib, near Balad, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
KIRKUK - Six civilians were wounded on Saturday when several mortar rounds landed in the city of Kirkuk, 250 km (150 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
Meanwhile, the Claremont Institute, what Firedoglake calls a wing-nut welfare shop for "scholars", like the boys at the Powerlineblog.com (yes, that's why we're the Clothesline, and no, I'm not providing them a link) is giving its 2007 Statesmanship Award to -- ta-da -- Donald Rumsfeld. (Another hat-tip to Leftymn) Former recipients include Rush Limbaugh, do-not-miss-this as well as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Clarence Thomas, and William F. Buckley. "The standard for The Claremont Institute's statesmanship award is high. We honor only those who look up to strive for the noticeable principles of justice, right and liberty."
Are we all living on the same planet?
At least AOL got it right. On it's home screen this morning it caught the zeitgeist. America makes a tough choice. Did Lakisha or Blake go home? Are they serving in Iraq? Because otherwise I don't give a rat.
It's a nice touch that a nation so devoid of leadership and heroes, (except in the myopic eyes of the Claremont Institute) has fixated on a TV show to manufacture faux idols -- teenagers and poseurs -- and it elicits more press coverage and more voter enthusiasm than most political campaigns.
There's much more of course, but those little nodding leaves are telling me it's time to get back to my temp job, back to cultivating astonishment.