succumbing to peer pressure

Thursday, April 17, 2003


"RYAN CHILCOTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we are actually at that ammunition plant, as you said near Karbala where the 101st believed, and as you said -- said on our air yesterday, that they had found chemical dual use chemical and biological laboratories buried under the ground here.

That was, it turns out, not entirely accurate. A team of experts from the Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, some of the best experts from the U.S. Army here in country, have been working at this site tirelessly for the last few days. And they have found that there are no chemical and biological laboratories here."

Perhaps the media should check its facts a little more carefully before declaring that the smoking gun has been found.

From Salon:

"On April 10, a day after the Saddam Hussein's regime collapsed and Baghdad was in the hands of the U.S. military forces, the National Museum of Iraq was ransacked. And American troops did virtually nothing to prevent an historic cultural disaster."

I realize that preserving historical artifacts is pretty low on the priority list, when we're concerned with saving lives and providing food, water, and medical supplies. But I think we have to stop overlooking the long-term effects of our apparent complete disregard for Iraqi culture. When we bombed presidential palaces (something I am willing to concede was probably necessary if we really believed important, high-ranking officials were hiding out below them), the Iraqi people did not view that as the destruction of Saddam and his power. That was the destruction of their culture. The devastating effects of the loss of Iraqi culture can easily undermine America's attempts to gain support in the region. We cannot underestimate the influence of cultural respect (or lack thereof) on the final result of this thing.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

More evidence from the NY Times that we have a long process ahead of us. Here's hoping that our govt. demonstrates the kind of cultural understanding that will be needed to mend this broken country.

"This morning, the ashes were still smoldering at the Ministry for Religious Affairs, where a building housing thousands of Korans, many of them illuminated and hand written, several a thousand years old, had been burned to a charred shell. It was another severe blow to Iraq's 10,000 years of cultural history, along with the looting of the National Museum and the burning of the National Library, in which countless priceless artifacts and books were lost."

"'When Baghdad fell to the Mongols in 1258, these books survived,' said Abdel Karim Anwar Obeid, 42, the ministry's general manager for administration. 'And now they didn't survive. You can't put a price on this loss.'"

"'As an educated man, I see that the future will be worse than the past,' he said. 'The British and the United States are here for the oil, and even Israel is getting its cut. They all want to destroy Islam.'"

"'I'm happy that Saddam Hussein is gone,' he said. 'I don't care if the Americans are here or not. But nothing has changed for me. I am out of jail, but I have no job, nowhere to live. These are not good times for me.'"

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Ok, so I'm not proud of this reference (yeah, like mentioning Buffy in my previous entry made me "cool," but anyway...)I was listening to "Comfortable" by John Mayer and it made me think of Dan. You see, the song includes lyrics such as:

"I loved you
Grey sweatpants
No make-up"

"Your mouth was so dirty
Life of the party"

"You knew Miles from Coltrane"

"Our love was so comfortable
and broken in"

And first I thought, that's how I'd like to be loved. Then I remembered, I was lucky enough to be loved like that. I know we tend to remember more of the positive than negative things about past relationships, and never fear, I am fully aware of just how wrong for each other Dan and I are...but it was nice to look back and be happy that I had that. That someone showed me how we all deserve to be treated...

So a girl from my high school made an appearance on tonight's episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Random. Guess I was wrong about her being destined for porn.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

"You find magic in your God and we find magic everywhere"

That quote is totally unrelated to anything I was thinking of writing about, but The Christians and the Pagans by Dar Williams just cycled through on my playlist, and I always liked that quote, so there it is.

Anyway...making my graduate school decision even more official than the e-mails and mailing the little post cards - I told my parents. I can tell that Dad is a little disappointed, but I think that stems more from him having already imagined how nice it would be to have an excuse to visit Chapel Hill if I went to UNC than out of any feeling that I've made a mistake. Talked to Grandad about it too (he said I couldn't go wrong, both schools are good) and it was fun and a little weird to hear him talk about how much he hated having to learn about Fourier transforms.

In other totally unrelated news, owing taxes totally sucks. I've been spoiled the last many years because I make so little money that I always get my taxes back. But since half my income this year came from independent contract work that didn't take taxes out of each paycheck, I owe everything all at once. Boo.

That's all. A few other barely formed thoughts bouncing around up there, but I think it's more important that I get some sleep...

Whoa. Probably too fucked up to attempt to blog. Doubt any of the numerous thoughts bouncing around will come out even remotely coherently. Turns out random friend from high school may also be moving to Atlanta. Yeah, I think that is the best I can offer at this point. Had a great time being nostalgic with the Smithies tonight...guess I have nothing else to offer...thought there were other things going on in my brain, but s'pose they aren't really surfacing enough at the moment to be useful...kay, guess it's sleep time.