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February 01, 2005

Out Of Bondage

Lovely David Brooks column. It ties in with my earlier thoughts about how scenes of joy have come from such horror, and what it has taken to bring that about:

...what we've witnessed in Iraq is a people's zigzag efforts to climb back from nihilism toward normalcy, from a universe in which the ballot is already filled out for you to a universe in which you make your own mark. This is not a small step.

When Saddam was first toppled, liberty turned immediately into anarchy. But as Michael Rubin, who has spent much of the past two years in Iraq, observed yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, gradually the habits of moderation have begun to develop - the habits of self-regulating liberty, compromise, tolerance and power-sharing.

And then came Sunday's act of mass heroism. On the Internet and in interviews, Iraqis tried to convey the tactile feel of their new migration to normalcy.

"Every person has realized that he's not fighting alone in this battle," one voter wrote. "I moved to mark my finger with ink. I dipped it deep as if I was poking the eyes of all the world's tyrants."

My, my... that is not a gentle act, is it? It is an act of defiance.

They proudly described liberating themselves, finally making themselves the initiators of their own lives.

The journey back from where these people have been is not a straight shot, which we can readily understand. In Washington, senators make facile arguments about improving the training of Iraqi troops, trying to reduce problems of motivation to problems of technique. Ted Kennedy gave a speech last week blithely insisting that the terrorists are winning the war for the hearts and minds of Iraqis. Brent Scowcroft warned of incipient civil war, denigrating the Iraqis' ability to manage their own tensions.

In fact, these are a people who voted at higher rates in the face of death than we do in the face of inconvenience. These are a people who have used the campaign as a process of therapy and self-education. These people have just built the most democratic government in the Arab world.

They will surely face more war and tension and corruption. But they did not return from hell with empty hands. They came back with their fingers stained with ink.

But by all means, let us guard against irrational exuberance.

Posted by Cassandra at February 1, 2005 02:28 PM

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Irrational exuberance?

Let us also guard against irrational pessimism. Bush is responsible for it, so therefore it is bad, turn brain off drink large quantities of vodka.

Posted by: Pile On at February 1, 2005 03:41 PM

I like leather, whips, bondage too. Those padded handcuffs are really sweeeet!

Huh? What?

Never mind!

Posted by: JarheadDad at February 1, 2005 04:02 PM

Feeling a bit sassier, I see...

I'm glad to see it, JHD.

Posted by: Cass at February 1, 2005 04:45 PM


Seriously (or not), in keeping with the mainstreaming of Ayn Rand, the cover of my paperback edition of "The Fountainhead" has a painting by Frank Connor (her husband)showing the rising sun, with rays shooting through the clouds and the skeleton of an unfinished rising skyscraper, of which the title I think, is apropos:

"Man Also Rises"

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at February 1, 2005 04:49 PM

Know what's playing on the dish?:

Everybody, listen to me,
And return me, my ship.
I’m your captain, I’m your captain,
Although I’m feeling mighty sick.

I’ve been lost now, days uncounted,
And it’s months since I’ve seen home.
Can you hear me, can you hear me,
Or am I all alone.

If you return me, to my home port,
I will kiss you mother earth.
Take me back now, take me back now,
To the port of my birth.

Am I in my cabin dreaming, or are you really scheming,
To take my ship away from me?

You’d better think about it, I just can’t live without it.
So, please don’t take my ship from me.
Yeah, yeah, yeah ...

I can feel the hand, of a stranger,
And it’s tightening, around my throat.
Heaven help me, heaven help me,
Take this stranger from my boat.

I’m your captain, I’m your captain,
Although I’m feeling mighty sick.
Everybody, listen to me,
And return me, my ship.

I'M YOUR CAPTAIN! yeah, yeah, yeah!

he-he-he! Yeah Cass, I'm up. Sorta'! Looney as a three dollar bill which means normalcy has returned! :-o

Posted by: JarheadDad at February 1, 2005 05:04 PM

Hey... that's one of the first songs I learned to play on my electric guitar :)

"I'm getting closer to my home...
I'm getting closer to my home."

Missed you, big guy.

Posted by: Cass at February 1, 2005 05:09 PM

Kennedy's speech last week truly was outrageous. He basically said, it's hopeless trying to bring democracy to Iraq, so let's just admit that our soldiers who died, died for nothing and turn the country over to al-Zarqawi. Here's the speech and here's some commentary on it. If Kennedy has any self-awareness at all, he can't be enjoying the egg dripping down his huge misshapen face in light of the very concrete evidence Iraqis have given of their commitment to democracy.

Posted by: Van Helsing at February 1, 2005 05:12 PM

Glad they got the juice turned back on JHD. Welcome back to civilization.


Posted by: Greg at February 1, 2005 05:13 PM

VH - Teddy the K is indeed self-aware, but only in the solipsistic sense. Dripping egg, like everything else in his universe, is of no import unless it "votes Democratic"...

Posted by: cw4billt at February 1, 2005 06:02 PM

From Barking Moonbat via Mike the Marine:Meals, Ready to Eat!

Just thought I'd share! LMAO!

Posted by: JarheadDad at February 1, 2005 06:38 PM

JarheadDad - You could've been laughing all week, buddy--go to

and scroll about 3/4 through the week. Open up the comments--you'll have multisensory memories flooding back.

With guest appearance by P-38 and the C-rats...

Posted by: cw4billt at February 1, 2005 07:43 PM

Yeah, I didn't want to spoil it for him.....they really SHOULD include Immodium in MRE's.....LMAO


Posted by: Greg at February 1, 2005 07:46 PM

Aw, I wasn't even coherent then! Ya' miss a few weeks and all the good stuff is already out there!

I may not be real fast but I am slow! ;-)

'Sides, I always check the Jarhead sites first. Doggie arty takes awhile to get to! BWAAAAAH!

Speaking of artillery, I'm probably a day late and dollar short here too but has anyone checked out this Marine? Warriorsvoice Good stuff!

OK, I have to go change my Depends now! :-o

Posted by: JarheadDad at February 1, 2005 10:58 PM

JHD - How do you guarantee you'll get good service in a Parisisn bistro? Order in German...

Posted by: cw4billt at February 2, 2005 08:14 AM

"Parisian"...that's "Parisian." Parisisn is actually Scottish for--.

[*thought baloon: Nuts. Forgot that excuse won't work on this site...*]

Posted by: cw4billt at February 2, 2005 08:17 AM


Sigh. Back to the muck.

Posted by: cw4billt at February 2, 2005 08:18 AM

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