Archive for August 2010
It’s important to remember how much good can get done, because we live in such strange times where bad behavior sucks up all the attention and press. And the people who really need the spotlight: the Haitians, the Sudanese, people in the Gulf Coast on the five year anniversary.. Pakistan, they can’t get any.
The truth is, when the disaster happens, everybody wants to help, everybody in this room wants to help, everybody at home wants to help. The hard part is seven months later, five years later, when we’re on to a new story. Honestly, we fail at that, most of the time. That’s the facts.
I fail at that.
So here’s hoping that some very bright person right here in the room or at home watching can help find a way to keep the spotlight burning on these heartbreaking situations that continue to be heartbreaking long after the cameras go away. That would be an impressive accomplishment.
-George Clooney at the Emmys
Hopefully all are familiar with the flooding in Pakistan and its relevant political implications by now. DiploJournal provides the relevant facts and figures, Ghost Wars’ Steve Coll calls for Americans to recognize the “strategic as well as a humanitarian imperative” of helping the Pakistanis, and David Ignatius says, “Let’s embrace Pakistan in its hour of need”.
The floods have affected more than 20 million Pakistanis (more people than the Haiti earthquake and 2004 tsunami combined) so if you’re asking “What can I do?”, consider texting FLOOD to 27722 to make a $10 donation if you’re U.S.-based or going to the State Department’s website and finding the organization you want to donate to.
If you’re around a computer within the next two hours (the HD is never not at a computer), Steve Coll will be fielding questions at 3 P.M. E.T. today.
Greetings friends and colleagues, the HD is on the road in C-C-Canada so he’ll keep this short and savagerous. A few updates– one of the HD’s favorite bloggers and confidantes has surfaced from the abyss to resume blogging. In the coming days and weeks, look for his legendary analysis on all things IR and the Middle East where he has spent some time in Damascus, Syria.
The Wyclef Jean saga continues… after initially telling his followers to respect the court’s decision that disqualified from running for the President of Haiti, it appears that Mr. Jean will challenge the election ruling. The HD usually doesn’t endorse foreign candidacies, but it already appears Wyclef is already showing promising signs of a budding politician. The HD says go for it!
Every time I make a run
Girl you turn around and cry
I ask myself, why oh why?
See you must understand
I can’t work a nine to five
so I’ll be Gone…’Til November
This is already reminiscent of what the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, said in the hit 1987 classic, The Running Man:
I’m not into politics. I’m into survival.
One of the Ulema of Kerbela made the following trite remark to Sir A. T. Wilson, the Civil Commissioner : ” When a man pulls down a public latrine because it smells too bad, it is a mistake to build the new one with the same bricks ! ”
(Lyell, Thomas. The Ins and Outs of Mesopotamia. London: A.M. Philpot, 1923. Print. page 107)
“Don’t worry about the horse being blind, just load the wagon.” -John Madden
After Robert Gibbs initially called it a local issue, the President finally speaks (REVERSE, REVERSE) and basically echos everything that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already said. With 54 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Republicans, and 70 percent of independents against building the mosque (citation found), both the President and Mayor sure are heading into a political shit storm while knowing full well which way the wind is blowing. It’s tough to see how they come out of this smelling like roses. Maybe Nebraska native Ted Sorensen can ghostwrite an updated edition of Profiles in Courage to include this legendary test of constitutional rights, the honoring of private property, and keeping separate church and state in America’s history. Did the HD mention there might be a Muslim gay Allahu AkBAR close by? There’s also global petitions to build the Jewish Holocaust Museum in Gaza, the Daniel Pearl School of Journalism in Islamabad, and the Comfort Women Memorial in Tokyo! What a GREAT idea!
Matt Drudge weighs in.
It’s important to note that both President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg relied on religious history throughout their speeches. Mayor Bloomberg mentioned Jews being denied the right to build a synagogue in the mid-1650s, Quakers being thrown in jail in 1657, and Catholics getting arrested in the 1700s. The HD’s question is this: why should the Muslims get a free pass? If “this is America” as the President so eloquently stated in his speech, then surely Americans should be allowed to haze new religious minorities before accepting them into the great big American fraternity! THAT is the American way!
All seriousness aside, the real controversy is that, nine years later, Ground Zero is still a smoldering crater. It would be refreshing to see the Americans who are so devoted to stopping the mosque from being built work just as hard to see something (anything!) get built at Ground Zero.
Hello friends and colleagues, the HD is tucked away in his bunker writing a work, “not as an essay which is to win the applause of the moment, but as a possession for all time.” What is the critical opening phrase of this work?
“Now this is a story all about how Mesopotamia got flipped-turned upside down and I’d liked to take a minute, just sit right there, and I’ll tell you how A.T. Wilson became the British civil commissioner.”
Should be a fun ride these next few weeks.
The HD has decided to surface briefly to discuss the controversy (have you ever heard a Britisher pronounce “controversy”? Don’t do it while you’re driving or you might drive your Lolvo into a Lolcano!) surrounding the proposed building of a mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero in NYC.
In the battlosphere, Newt Skywalker and Sarah Palpatine have been markedly against buiding the mosque for a variety of emotional reasons. Indeed, the majority of the American public agrees with them (citation needed). NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has etched a legendary position based on his own person history and idea of private property and constitutional rights. Andrew Exum has also charted a similar position based on the Constitution’s First Amendment and history. The White House and State Department have been silent on the issue, but have posted Bloomberg’s speech (in Arabic, *GASP*) on their public diplomacy website. Today, Charles Krauthammer has written from the Susan Sarandon/Natalie Portman perspective that just as we don’t build a liquor store near a school, we shouldn’t build a mosque near Ground Zero. Well, Mr. Krauthammer isn’t going to win the HD with the liquor analogy. Alcohol shouldn’t be near school campuses; they should be on them!
And from a financial perspective, David Frum may have just predicted the future with no mosque being built due to lack of funding:
The more I read about Feisal Rauf, the more I see a very dangerous kind of man … no, not the Islamic extremist kind of dangerous … but rather the kind of guy who can convincingly say, “$100 million? That’s nothing! I have a cousin in Abu Dhabi who could write a check for $100 million himself! Don’t worry about anything, leave it to me, I’ll get the money, that’s the easy part. You get the zoning rights, we’ll buy you out, all cash, easiest money you ever made.” The streets of New York are littered with the carcasses of dead developers who met and believed the Feisal Raufs of this world ….
Uh oh, if that happens, cut to Daniel Plainview as he beats to death Eli Sunday!
To conclude and move closer to the HD’s true sentiments on the issue, Greg Gutfeld has proposed building a Muslim gay bar next to the mosque. Legendary, right? Wrong, says the Cordoba House (mmm, Qdoba), the proposed builders of the mosque, on their twitter account: “You’re free to open whatever you like. If you won’t consider the sensibilities of Muslims, you’re not going to build dialog”. Wow, that’s richer than the Abu Dhabi oil sheiks who aren’t going to fund the whole mosquedoggle!
The HD has already mentioned the First Amendment, that “Congress shall make no law”… no law. But who cares if the government attempts to “deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion”? Who cares if building the mosque offends the majority of Americans? This is America! Americans are in the business of giving offense abroad and getting offended at home. It’s not that we shouldn’t build a mosque; it’s that we should build a McDonald’s!
Ramadan Kareem to all the HD’s Muslim readers and financiers. May you look ravaged throughout the day, set your alarm for 2 a.m., and gorge yourself until sunrise!