Ernest Cassara

Victims of American Air Raids

You, no doubt, have heard that the Americans dropped bombs on a "suspected" hideout of the Taliban, which is showing signs that they are alive and doing very well in Afghanistan.  The problem — as is usually the casse — is that the bomb killed many men, women, and children, who had nnothing to do with the Taliban.  Conclusion: American forces are too afraid to approach such places on the ground, thus the killing of innocents by dropping bombs on them.  Not exactly a good way to win the hearts and minds of the people.

The Imperium Expands

It has been announced that the U.S. is to be allowed by the Bulgarian government to establish a military base in that country.  Where next?  Outer Mongolia?

The Law of Unintended Consequences

The Israeli government originally supported Hamas, as a counterweight to Fatah!

Since it is complained that Hamas does not recognize Israel, I wonder whether Israel recognizes Hamas!

Oh, and by the way, Prime Minister Olmert put a good face on his actions, when he met with President Bush and spoke to a joint session of Congress, but, not long ago, he was saying that he had no one to negotiate with on the Palestinian side.  When have we heard that before?  From Arafat on down, it has been the Israeli refrain.  Now, we shall see whether Olmert will try that with President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Media Suckered

Check me on this, but I think that the media have bought President George W. Bush's deliberate conflation of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and whatever he chooses to call "terrorism."  Time and again, I have heard TV reporters and pundits fuse the two.  The war on Iraq is a war of choice, as was that against Afghanistan, not a fight against "terror."

If you find I am incorrect on this, please let me know.

And, speaking of the media.  Now that Bush and company have their sights on Iran, you might note that the media begin their reports of disagreements between our two countries as stemming from the hostage crisis in the presidency of Jimmy Carter.  This is a huge error.  The Iranians date the disagreement from the overthrow of their democratically-elected  government of Dr. Mohammad  Mossadegh by the CIA, in cooperation with British agents, and the coup by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in 1953.

If we recognize this, we better understand the seizing of the U.S. embassy personnel as hostages on the overthrow of the Shah in 1979.  And, of course, the U.S. was rewarded by having to deal with the Ayatollah Khomeini!

Another media mischaracterization.  Some have fallen into the bad habit of referring to Palestinian land occupied by Israel as "disputed."  Needless to say, if one country seizes the land of another people, that land cannot be labeled "disputed."  It is "occupied."

When in Rome . . .

I see that the Vatican denounced the movie version of Dan Brown's novel, The Da Vinci Code, and urged Romans not to see it.  Result? An overflow crowd attended.

Can't help but wonder why so many are upset with the content of the book.  Lighten up, folks! It IS a novel!

It's Greek to Me!

I once heard of a student who attended a Shakespeare play.  When asked his reactions, he answered, "Well, it was just a string of quotations!"

That is how influential old Will has been on our language.  Let us list some of the sayings we have picked up from him:

"It's Greek to Me!"
"in a pickle"
"vanish into thin air"
"teeth on edge"
"short shrift"
"cold comfort"

And, you can probably think of more.

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