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August 21, 2003

Today's the anniversary of Quantrill's Raid. For those not in the know, it's that day during the Civil War when 400 Southern sympathizers crossed the border from Missouri to Kansas, poured into the small, but fiercely abolitionist town of Lawrence, Kansas, and killed two hundred men and boys before burning most of the town to the ground.

Bushwhackers are what they called these guerilla troops in those days.

I think remembering things like this is important. For one thing, it's only been about a decade since the Kids of the Konfederate (or somesuch asinine group) demanded and received Quantrill's remains so they could bury them, with full (Konfederate) military honors in Missouri. He's a hero to those folks, you see.

It's amazing, it's painful and embarrassing, how many throwbacks in our society today are still arguing over the events of 1860 or 1865.

Few if any of these people would have the guts to stand up today and say that they think slavery shouldn't have been abolished. No one with any brains thinks the South's economy wouldn't have collapsed under its own uneconomic structure before long anyhow. Anyone who pays attention to world events understands that we wouldn't be who we are, with the comfortable lifestyles we possess (even most of the very poor in our society are a hundred percent better off than people in third-world countries), had we not struggled for and achieved unity among the states.

(We wouldn't have, and currently be squandering, the ability to make every citizen's life secure and prosperous, but that's a different rant.)

And yet, a handful of loudmouthed jackasses around the country are still acting like the North somehow did the South an injustice by enforcing the twin mandates of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

People who maybe need their brain-chemistry analyzed continue to gather together in small hate-groups where men frightened by pretty much everything and determined to make the world a place of black-and-white issues to be handled with crass brutality preach to the equally bigoted and dispossessed that they can achieve heaven on earth if they can just stomp enough of "them" down into the ground to create a platform the righteous can climb to heaven on.

It's been 140 years and there are people in this country who'd still pick up guns and start fighting the Civil War again at the drop of an opportunity. There will probably still be some of them around three hundred years from now, too.

When you hear yourself complaining that "those people" in the Middle East should stop fighting wars and holding grudges for stuff that happened five hundred years ago, remember this.

When you contemplate the current Administration's approach to foreign policy, don't forget this. And don't forget that your President is a man famed for preferring "black and white issues" to complex morality and whose solution to the problems of the world is simple brutality.

And speaking of the world, let's all celebrate. Today's Afghanistan's Independence Day.

Local celebrators marked the occasion with murder light-hearted gunfire at various targets. Not long ago, the USofA added our bit to the festivities by firing a rocket at a jeep carrying six civilians. At last count, terrorists local celebrators have sent about 90 people to that big party in the sky in the last week and bombs and missiles fireworks are going off all over the place.

Sad to say, it seems that our lackluster contributions to taming the party aren't winning us many fans in the area. Doesn't it seem odd to you that our selfless offer of democracy to the Middle East isn't getting a better reception? I mean, we went into Afghanistan and destroyed their government and large portions of the country's infrastructure, giving them a pretty, clean slate to start over on. And to make their lives fun and exciting, we installed an unpopular warlord without widespread support as their rules. Anyone would think these people would prefer to handle their own problems or something. Kids today, I swear. No gratitude at all.

I want to see this. I want the UN to step in, take the situation away from the USofA, and implement a real coalition that works for a real independent government in Iraq. The creation of the Administration's dream puppet-state isn't going to do anything but sow the seeds for the next 9/11 and if we're honest, we'll all just admit that.

When it comes to the Palestine/Israel conflict, no one is right. A Palestinian rebel suicide bomber kills 20 Israelis on a bus. Israel retaliates by killing a major figure in the same Palestinian group. Palestine rebels denounce this and announce that the "cease-fire" is over, as though they hadn't themselves broken the cease-fire first.

That's the trouble with an un-aimed missile, which is what these suicide bombers are. They've been wound up and set in motion and now the rebel groups have no control over what these people will do or when. There can be no true peace until the mindless carnage stops but I think the world mistakes the rebel leaders' contact with and/or control over their members.

Israel isn't blameless. What were they doing targeting a "moderate" among the Palestinian leadership only hours after a promised clampdown?

We're under attack. Finally.

The heads of 10 leading law bodies around the world have called on the United States to give a "fair and lawful trial" to prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay.

I wonder if the Bush Administration will be able to hear the protests over the sounds of construction on Guantanamo's new execution chamber?

Of course, it's always possible the entire problem will become moot if the prisoners continue to try and kill themselves with such regularity.

And, speaking of executions, I'm glad we got that truck before it became a big problem for us.

Seriously. I do not want to be barraged with a hundred Chevy commercials next year, showing how we can all float to the promised land if we buy the right truck.

This is the kind of thing that can ruin your day. Stories about overzealous and under-monitored "intelligence" agents who commit human rights violations, and break laws, on the same day we're publicly admonishing the world about human rights violations and the rule of law.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:30 AM


<heh> Most excellent.

Posted by: John at August 21, 2003 11:52 AM