Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In Memory

Today is Monday, 29 January 2007.

Well, for the moment, it seems Blogger likes moi, so I'll post yesterday's column.

One friend suggested the reason I had a recurrence of my bleeding ulcer on Wednesday morning last was watching most of the State of the Union address the previous evening. As that may be, the meds are clearing up the situation and I feel up to writing again.

Saturday last, 27 January, was the 34th anniversary of the 1973 ceasefire between the USA/USE/USSA and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the National Liberation Front, which ended most direct combat by Americans in South Vietnam.

Sadly, the terms of the ceasefire were virtually identical to the terms which the Nixon regime was offered when it seized power in January 1969. Nixon’s megalomania (“I won’t be the first President to lose a war”) led to the senseless deaths of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, primarily civilians, and the deaths of thousands of American military. Some 1.7 million Cambodians also died, as a result of the American-sponsored coup which paved the way for the Khmer Rouge dictatorship.

We can only hope that the megalomania of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfailed, etc. will not lead to tragedy on a similar scale.

Yesterday a staunch opponent of the war, Rev. Robert Drinan, S.J., died at 86. A law school dean and human rights activist, he became in 1970 the first and only Roman Catholic priest to become a voting member of Congress, leaving that post only when forced to by John Paul II.

JP2 decreed that priests shouldn’t be involved in electoral politics as legislators. JP2 didn’t mind reactionary and brutal lay Catholic involvement, as when he endorsed, as “good Catholics”, the dictators Pinochet in Chile and Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti.

As for today, it is the anniversary of the release, in 1964, of the greatest Cold War film satire, Doctor Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.


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