Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Recipe for a happy new year

A happy new year to everybody who uses the Gregorian Calendar.

For those who use the Julian Calendar, the new year is still a few days off and for those of us who still use the Jewish, Islamic or Indian calendars, new year’s is a different date. But since both Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly have spent considerable time and trouble telling all and sundry that the majority of Americans are Gregorian-calendar-using Christians, and the majority can do whatever it wants, then this is indeed the start of the year.

This is the first year in decades that I don’t have to write or edit first-baby stories, or year-end stories or year-ahead stories. I hate prophesy stories. Isaiah and Jeremiah were good a prophesy. Journalists are not. Headline writers are even worse. I hate headlines that say: “Council to pass budget tonight.”

Therefore, you will get no words from me about what will happen next year, or even what we need.

Here are a few things we don’t need.

We don’t need any more scenes like last Saturday night in Iraq, with a bunch of idiots running around with a rope, anxious to hang Saddam Hussein. I don’t have any sympathy for Saddam – he deserved a much more painful death than he got. But we as Americans don’t need to be seen by the rest of the world as bit players in a Three Stooges movie.

We also don’t need to play any part in this tragedy that Iraq has become. Saddam is dead and George H.W. Bush is not and can now stick out his chest and say he’s the winner of the 1991 fight. We can now allow the Sunnis, to be led by the insurgents and backed by Syria and Saudi Arabia to duke it out with the Shiites, led by Iran.

I just hope the Kurds have the good sense to stay out of it. By their actions in northern Iraq, they do have the good sense. If Turkey will give them a break and some land, then Kurdistan an be molded from northern Iraq and northern Iran and a bit of Turkey. Then they can live their own lives and not bother anyone. And we can bring home our troops.

We should leave enough troops in Iraq to cover our pullout and then say good riddance to a bad idea. Don’t worry, Bushes, your companies can still buy oil from whomever wins the fight.

Other things we don’t need:

Chris Dodd, John Kerry and others who have little or no idea about Middle East negotiations, trotting off to Syria to encourage talks with the U.S. or Israel.
In the Middle East, little is as it seems. Can second and third level talks be going on among Syria, Israel, Jordan and Egypt while their leaders publicly say no to negotiations? Nobody who knows anything about the region would doubt that they could and probably are. What good will come of it? Who knows. Anyone who has successfully bargained in an Arab market or even an Israeli souvenir shop knows that talks take a long time and seldom if ever take a straight course.

We don’t need potential presidential aspirants muddying up the works. Kerry is a bull in a china shop and Dodd showed his true colors in his actions during Joe Lieberman’s independent run for Senate.

Much Jewish and Druze blood was spilled securing the Golan from Syria during the 1967 war. The area is the home to much agriculture, including a wonderfully growing wine industry. Israel isn’t going to give it back, anymore than the U.S. is going to give Arizona and California back to Mexico.

We don’t need more fools running around saying they feel Jewish.

Michael Richards, the comic who fell apart on stage and starting shouting racial slurs, tried to show his ties to minorities by saying he felt Jewish. He’s not Jewish. We don’t need any more friends like Richards. Jews have Mel Gibson to contend with and don’t need friends like Richards.

Let’s hope next year brings happiness, better news, some hope for political stability in the Middle East and elsewhere. Let’s hope the incoming House and Senate in Washington have the fortitude to make good laws and that there are enough Republicans on board to make this effort veto-proof.

Again, happy new year to all.

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