Saturday, December 02, 2006

Unsettling


Reuters article: A German chain of shops has removed miniature wooden Santa Claus figures from its shelves and destroyed them after complaints by customers that they appeared to be giving the Hitler salute, which is outlawed. A Rossmann spokesman said: “We were astonished. He is just pointing at the sky.”

Bush’s weekly radio address, on the other hand, pointed at Iraq. He said he “recognize[s] that the recent violence in Iraq has been unsettling.” Gosh, is that what it’s been? The victims of today’s bombings in Baghdad might have a different word for it (er, the survivor’s might, the 43+ dead obviously not so much, got carried away with my own rhetoric there), but of course he meant unsettling for Americans. Those of you who have been unsettled by violence in Iraq for quite some time might wonder about the reference to “recent violence,” but the new Bush line is that everything was going just fine up until the Samarra bombing in February. He is relying on Americans regarding anything that took place farther back than 10 months as boring old ancient history, like the Peloponnesian Wars. Usually works.

Increasingly I just want to see Bush forced to define his terms, such as the “national reconciliation” he keeps saying he wants in Iraq. “Security in Iraq requires sustained action by the Iraqi security forces, yet in the long term, security in Iraq hinges on reconciliation among Iraq’s different ethnic and religious communities.” You know what doesn’t tend to lead to reconciliation? Sustained action by security forces.

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