Monday, January 09, 2006

Syriana in Iran

For a simple how-to-guide on CIA assassination technique, please refer to George Clooney's film Syriana, or, even better, to the recent news in Iran:

December 6: A plane with over 80 journalists from the state broadcasting agency crashes in downtown Tehran, killing all aboard.

January 9: A plane carrying the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and ten other high level military officials mysteriously crashes near the Northwestern city of Orumieh

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A Crack in the Wall

"This is the first sign of some sort of activity in his brain," Ariel Sharon's doctor said today. Indeed. Ariel Sharon (nee Scheinermann) is alive, if not well -- lying in that political limbo that is neither martyrdom nor threatening. Nonetheless, it seems more than likely that Sharon will never again be able to resume his office, leaving hope for many that this crack in the wall of Israeli leadership will open the way to more positive relations between Israelis and Palestinians.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Abusing Childhood Innocence

To take advantage of the innocence of a child is beyond any minimum of decency held by any culture in the world. These ever present scandals involving Catholic clergymen and young boys, the employment of young girls for forced prostitution, the kidnapping of young African children for armed guerrilla warfare -- all of these are unforgiveable signs of humans' capacity for inhumanity. Even the supermarket abuse we witness from time to time by angry mothers debasing and sometimes physically harming their children in the cookie aisle is a troubling sign that we as a society and as a world have not yet sustained civility as a way of life and thought.

In California this week, a 9-year-old boy was left to fend for himself and his younger, autistic brother as their father and his new wife took off to Vegas to enjoy the holidays. "They shouldn't leave us alone, " little Joshua Calero told the police officers who came to rescue him and 5-year-old Jason. The boys' real mother, who died of cancer in 2003, would turn over in her grave if she knew that this was the person she entrusted her sons' lives to -- a man who managed to find a pet sitter for his puppies but not a babysitter for his boys. The justice system will no doubt proffer some punishment against Mr Calero, but nothing will ever erase his cruelty from the minds of his two children. "I thought they loved the dogs more than us," Joshua said, not knowing that such people simply do not love at all.


The End of Sharon

W. Horvath: "Spiral of Violence I: Ariel Sharon". Oil on canvas.

It's been a lifetime of controversy -- but Ariel Sharon's prominent role in the longstanding crisis that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appears to be at an end. The Palestine-born leader of Israel is out of commission today -- having suffered his second massive stroke in as many weeks. In the unlikely event of his recovery, his extreme faiblesse would not afford a resumption of his post as one of history's most polarizing figures. While news agencies have refrained from discussing the future of Sharon's leadership, the reshuffling of his government has already commenced and both Israelis and Palestinians are braced for a new era in this neverending saga of division.