July 22, 2005

The Worst Day






At first, I couldn’t decide who had the worst day yesterday. 

Was it London’s “first responders” having to contend with the less lethal, but still terrifying and possibly more troubling replay of London’s 7/7 bombings? 

Was it anyone in London who is a member of the Islamic faith? 

Was it Tony Blair (who not only has to worry about losing control of the terror situation — but must, by now, be seriously questioning why he didn’t get off the Bush bandwagon back when the main point was basically al Qaeda and Afghanistan)?

Was it our client– oops, I mean ally, Pervez Musharraf, who had the misfortune to be on T.V. dancing on the tightrope the same morning as another London attack?  (What?  Those bad boys are all London’s fault?)

Or, was it Alan Greenspan’s wife, Andrea (Mitchell), who was part of the Condi’s entourage that got roughed up by Sudanese officials who obviously lack the proper regard for reporters, State Department staff and political decorum .  (Or maybe it was Condi, who went to Sudan to cavort with these gangsters, slap a few wrists, get on the record that she’s against genocide, and then get her picture taken with about 5,000 adoring African faces in a refugee camp.)

We may be a little distracted right now by somebody’s open-ended and so-called “terror war,” the Supreme Court nomination of a guy with two first names, and Karl, Scooter and Dick’s game of Plame blame.  But it’s the Iraq situation that merits more attention than just the routine ferris wheel-like rising and falling of the story in and out of the news cycle.  Especially now — several weeks after that shameful non-accounting Bush made at Fort Bragg, and with the situation dissolving into total hell. 

After two years of this slow-motion cataclysm, I never saw a week like this last one.  With the growing Iraqi rapprochement with the Iranians, and the murder of the Sunni delegates to the commission working on the new constitution, and the dismal new Pentagon report about the profoundly insufficient capabilities and prospects for Iraq’s defense forces, and the constitution draft that sends woman’s rights back to the stone age, and the killing of the Egyptian ambassador, and two horrific large-scale suicide attacks, it’s hard to imagine a worse picture.

So, of all the bad days yesterday, nothing compares to what happened to Jalil Shaalan and his family in the Amarayah district of Baghdad.  Jalil, a security guard, was gunned down in front of his wife and children by unknown assailants just outside of the school he was employed to protect.

I mean, what the hell are we doing?




(image 1; REUTERS/Russell Boyce.  London. July 21, 2005.  In YahooNews.  image 2: AP Photo/Lefteris PitarakisLondon, Thursday July 21, 2005. Yahoo News.  image 3: REUTERS/Stephen Hird. July 21, 2005. London. From: today.reuters.co.uk. image 4:  REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood.  Islamabad July 21, 2005. In YahooNews. image 5: AP Photo/Network Pool via APTN.  Thursday, July 21, 2005, in Khartoum, Sudan.  From: YahooNews. image 6, 7 & 8: AP Photo/Hadi Mizban. July 21, 2005. Amarayah district of Baghdad, Iraq.  In YahooNews.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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