Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Small steps.
#1 When the UK stepped back from allying itself with the US on proposed military action in Syria.
#2 when President Obama decided to take his case for military action in Syria to Congress for approval.
#3 The suggestion by Putin that if Assad allowed inspectors to quarantine and destroy his store of chemical weapons that would preclude any US military intervention.
#4 President Obama, in his speech, hastily re-jigged due to fast-moving changes, postponing Congressional vote on the issue, agreeing to await outcome of proposed solution.

Small steps which would, ideally, have been taken in reverse order - beginning with efforts to solve the crisis without force and further pain and bloodshed in Syria, this time at our hands. But as always, we take what we can get and feel thankful for the breathing space, with hopes that a crisis can, for once, be solved peacefully.

I did watch President Obama's speech on Tuesday evening, unusual for me, because what he says usually bears no relevance to what actually happens, so I tend not to bother. I was curious to see how his speech writers would have managed to spin the re-jig in light of fast changing events.

I called out to the screen just twice, towards the end. Once when the Prez said
To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people with those images of children writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor, for sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough.

I shouted back: "And what about the children lying dead or writhing in pain as a result of your kill lists and drones Mr Obama?"

Then at the end of the speech, when he said:
That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth.

I shouted "You are not exceptional, and you are not humble. Simple as that."

But.... small steps can lead towards peace, so we'll take whatever we can get!

Received this a few minutes ago with request to share wherever


LB said...

Twilight ~ Agreed, even small steps towards peace are a very good thing.

When the president spoke of humanitarian concerns based on "our ideals and principles", it reminded me of how many more opportunities there are for all of us to make *moral* decisions on a variety of issues, both here and abroad - including our use of drones, bombs, war, torture and detainment, and ways in which our country's leaders and citizens can do better here in the States when it comes to ensuring privacy, civil liberties, social justice, affordable healthcare, education, job creation, workers' rights, living wages, housing, financial regulation, safe food supplies and protection of our environment.

I took my own "small steps" this morning by phoning several of our elected representatives to let them know I support a peaceful resolution that doesn't include any use of military force that might further aggravate the situation and lead to more suffering for the people of Syria and elsewhere.

Did you happen to see the recent interview with Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver? As personally difficult as the congressman's decision to follow his conscience seemed to be, it represented a small step that was both encouraging and inspiring (in a BIG way):

Twilight said...

LB ~ Yes, so many areas are in need of attention. I think that's part of our problem - people simply feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems. Thank you, though, for your personal efforts!

I hadn't seen that video - thanks for the link. It has to be extra heart-breaking for Obama's African American supporters who were so euphoric at his election and re-election, to have to criticise him, but I'm relieved that some of them are doing so now, after having given him the benefit of the doubt for a long. time.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Truthdig had a link to an article that appeared in The Guardian, "Obama's Rogue State Tramples Over Every Law It Demands Others Uphold":

WOW. Some of it I was aware of but not all. These are some of the reasons the US and our leaders have lost credibility, though you won't find anyone discussing these particular details on any of the mainstream news channels.

Not to diminish the value in phoning our representatives (and making mindful choices), but the people whose courage and effort I most appreciate are the ones who're willing to risk it all to bring us the truth, as well as all those who work diligently each and every day to create meaningful change. They inspire me to want to try, even if what I do seems relatively *small* in comparison.

I appreciate what you do too, Twilight.:) Posts like this may help to inform and challenge people.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Thanks for that - I do this mainly to let off steam myself, but any other result, however small, would be a great bonus! :-)

That's a very good article by George Monbiot. I've read his pieces in the past and been impressed.

I had thought, how brave of an American to write these things - but now I find he's English. Hmmm and he has the same birthday as me - 27 January (different year). Good! Another decent Aquarius! Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Glen Beck and John Roberts all Aquarius Suns were, I felt, letting the side down - but then, they'd probably think the same about me if they had any respect for astrology (which is doubtful).

anyjazz said...

Sometimes I wish I knew all there was to know about political situations. But most of the time I don't. One can't make intelligent comment on current affairs based on the "news" we get from our controlled media and in this case, professional political speech-writing teams.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ Mainstream media and presidential speeches are not to be trusted, agreed. I prefer to read online articles and, importantly, the comment threads of some of the better sites where people who know a lot more than I do often clarify things, relate to past events and associations, and enable a more rounded perspective.

It's always a good and enlightening thing too to read articles of respected writers from outside of the USA "bubble" : for instance John Pilger and as LB mentioned above Gorge Monbiot (who I'd thought was American).

mike said...

Twilight, I tried to find your "Breaking Bad" post, but couldn''s a link to Jimmy Fallon's's may not recognize many of the actors, but try:

It may take your mind off of Syria for a couple.

Twilight said...

mike ~~ Great stuff - they sure went to a lot of trouble to make that, and obviously with the blessing of the real show, otherwise Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul wouldn't have joined in the fun from the audience.

They even had the trademark symbol of pink for death in the soft toy in one scene. Pity they didn't include a female though, there are two very parody-able female characters in BB. :-)

I LOLd a lot - thanks Mike!