Monday, September 11, 2006
The governments he toppled have been replaced with what are in effect puppet regimes, which bear more resemblance to the puppet regimes set up by the Nazis in France, Czechoslovakia, Denmark etc. than they do to real governments of liberation. Bush claims to want to sponsor democracy all over the world, but his real friends in the affected regions are anything but democratic-- or does he claim that Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait are havens of democracy?
There will always be misguided idealists in the world, there always have been-- the proper response to these individuals is to treat them as they are: mentally ill. Bush has, in his ill-considered campaign, only created a world climate that sees America as an ignorant bully. He has single-handedly reduced respect for America and its traditional ideals and actually enhanced the rise of fundamentalism.
I will be very glad to see the end of his term of office, and can only hope that his successor will be someone with charisma and understanding. Is there someone out there who can fill this gap? (Much as I respect Hilary Clinton, I feel she should be a Vice-Presidential candidate; the only individual I see on the map with charisma is Obama)
Saturday, September 09, 2006
The usual scandals and so on that feed the sensational newspapers are normally so tedious... but I find myself strangely moved by the Natascha Kampusch story from Austria. What must it be like to go through the formative years locked up in a dungeon? It is extremely rare to witness a case like this. The only parallel I can think of offhand is the case of a young girl in Victorian England who was kidnapped by a primitive tribe in Africa and grew up among them, rescued at a similar age.. I cannot remember any details, but it was quite a media frenzy even back then.
The question is, will she be able to lead some sort of normal life? Will she ever be able to find the normality she so obviously craves? She is determined to live a clean life, emphasizes again and again that she doesn't want to fall into the traps of modern living (alcohol, etc) but on the other hand I suspect that her parents may be alcohaulics themselves. She developed a bond with her jailer, shown by the simple fact that she insisted on going to the funeral home and sitting alone with his body and lighting a candle. How does she reconcile this with his actions? The question of his sexual actions (I assume he did sleep with her) is more beside the point. Her evident intelligence and astonishing clear-headedness despite the ordeal makes me hope that at some point she does write her story, I think it likely that she will, but the chances of her being able afterwards to have normal relationships seem slim.