Friday, March 18, 2011

I Have Not Been Writing About Current Events This Year

-- because my head has been elsewhere. I have a lot of posts in the pipeline for the next week: none on current events. (All on poetry, actually: it's Accidental Poetry Month™ here at Attempts!) Which is perhaps all the excuse I need to link to this beautiful, anguished meditation of Chris Floyd's on living in a world that invites political despair, yet which has so much beauty in other areas. That's not precisely why I've not been writing about politics -- but it's not entirely disconnected, either.

But somehow the internal dybbuk of keeping-current is whispering in my ear loudly enough that I'm just going to say one or two things -- in part about why I'm not saying anything. There will be no links for a lot of this stuff because you've already seen it -- or can do so just as easily as I can link.

1) The revolution in Egypt was one of the most thrilling and positive events in recent history, and one that will likely be remembered for years; the devastation in Japan was one of the most horrific and negative likewise. I have been riveted by both, with opposite but equally strong emotions. But I've posted on neither because I having nothing to say on either except that, in the case of Egypt, I am delighted, and Japan, horrified -- that is, the obvious felt by everyone of good will.

2) I wish we weren't going to war in a third Middle Eastern country -- although it seems we are.

2a) It's particularly depressing because the person initiating the war was the one I voted for in no small part because he'd opposed the last war. More fool I.

[Update: 2b) I should say I do see a significant moral difference between our attacking Libya now and our attacking Iraq in 2003, which is that in Libya the fighting is already ongoing. We're not starting the shooting. I think this is very important. So I don't feel that it's clear that an intervention would be immoral. (It might become so (or be revealed to have been so to those of us who know diddly about Libya) as things go on; but it's not obviously so now.) What I don't see is that it is any wiser than intervening in Iraq was, nor a sensible means for humanitarian ends any more than Iraq was.]

3) Of course Congress needs to declare war if we're going to attack Libya. This is utterly obvious. (Candidate Obama said so, just to name one relevant person.) If Obama attacks Libya without Congressional approval, it will be an impeachable offense so far as I can see.

4) Of course, Obama already belongs next to Bush at the Hague, on trial for the war crime of torture; in Obama's case, he's doing it against an American citizen who has not been convicted of any crime -- and who's crime, whistleblowing, was praised by candidate Obama back when he was trying to win my vote. The normalization of torture in this country is one of the truly horrifying things of the past few years -- and Obama, who I had hoped would push back against it, has instead ratified it as part of the normal political consensus.

4a) Steve Randy Waldman had a particularly a propos comment on Manning's detention: "Oddly, Manning's treatment helps to justify his actions ex post. Is a govt that would do this a govt we should trust to act in secret?" Consider this a retweet. (Via)

5) Oh, and by the way we're still burning down the house of our planet.

...back to poetry tomorrow morning.

Actually, no, fuck it: I think that a poem sums all this up pretty well:
Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

-- Robert Frost
See how whatever I do this March it comes back to poetry? Accidental Poetry Month™ continues!

Back to politics free poetry tomorrow.

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