The Bog:
sphagnum moss, dark water, and politics
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Couldn't Call It Unexpected No. 3:
Dolchstosslegende control.

To the Editor [of the Philadelphia Inquirer]:

In a recent column, neocon Charles Krauthammer paraphrases Ben Franklin and claims, "We have given the Iraqis a republic and they do not appear able to keep it." This statement seeks to shift the responsibility for our failures onto the Iraqi people: it is both dishonest and reprehensible.

No, the Iraqis are not helpless puppets. There are indeed political failures, merchants of violence with the basest of motives, and people of goodwill and great courage too often rewarded by slaughter. But we did not give the Iraqis a republic. We gave them chaos, and demanded of them leadership we now seem unable to muster,

I wish with all my heart that the people of Iraq had had the space to build their republic of dreams, to use the title of a recent essay by Omar Fathi. I hope that one day they can awake from the nightmare that traps them - and us - today. It is easy to muse on what could have been, if we had 'done the war right." Too easy, I think. The war we have happened because politicians, the media, and too many citizens abandoned their responsibilities. Whether out of fear, rage, greed, opportunism, a lazy and unfounded optimism, or those famous best intentions, we traded the most solemn obligations of democracy for a handful of flimsy fantasies. Without the lies, the insinuations, and the rationalizations, without the manufactured threats and empty promises, we might have had a better war. More likely we would have never had a war.

I, and so many others, had the common sense to see where we were headed, and tried to stop it. I wish I had the wisdom to see how we could get out of it now. But I think I can guess where people like Krauthammer are going. Except for trite and empty phrases, they will never take any responsibility for what happened, for the disaster they so eagerly cheerleaded. Instead, they will blame others abroad, and their fellow citizens at home. The "liberal media" and the "terrorist sympathizers," they will tell us, betrayed our troops, stabbed them in the back. It's a refrain we've heard before, here after Yalta and Vietnam, and elsewhere with horrible consequences.

We know better.

posted by Dan S. on 9:12 AM | | link

what is a bog?
Definitions, definitions
1. ". . . one of North America's most distinctive kinds of wetlands . . . characterized by spongy peat deposits, acidic waters, and a floor covered by a thick carpet of spagnum moss." *
2. A relentless, hard-driving mix of political commentary, recipes, idle ramblings, and so on.

More about bogs here.

why "the bog"?
Something about the blog format made me think of spagnum moss slowly growing, forming layer after layer of peat deposits many feet thick, sometimes preserving (in Europe) ancient bodies . . . Also, it rhymes.

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Songs currently stuck in my head
despite all my best efforts

"My Happy Ending," by {yech} Avril Lavigne:
"Let's talk this over,
It's not like we're dead . . "

and "Laiska" by Varttina:
Laiska luotu laulmann
oikosormi soittamaan
yskin oita viettelen
unetonna laulelen

Toppling off the bedside book-pile:
Classroom Management for Middle-Grades Teachers , C.M. Charles & Marilyn G. Charles
Teaching U.S. History as Mystery, David Gerwin & Jack Zevin
Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska, William W. Fitzhugh & Aron Crowell
Arctic Crossing: A Journey Through the Northwest Passage and Inuit Culture, Jonathan Waterman
Northern Tales: Stories from the Native People of the Arctic and Subarctic Regions, Howard Norman (ed.)
Life in the Cold, Peter J. Marchand
Wandering Through Winter, Edwin Way Teale
The Winter Vegetarian, Darra Goldstein

Teas of the week:
Tea of Good Tidings: Winter Fruit Blend,
The Republic of Tea
Russian Caravan,
Jacksons of Piccailly

on the web:
Land of links:
The American Prospect
Common Dreams
FAIR: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
The Nation
The Progressive
Washington Monthly

Organic Consumers Association
Eat Wild (pasture-based farming)
NOFA: Northeast Organic Farming Association
Consumer Supported Agriculture
Edible Wild Kitchen


Blogging away:
Vassar blogs
And yes, we've been co-ed since '69...
E's Den
Useless! Worthless! Insipid!

Other blogs
Alas, A Blog
Atrios' Eschaton
Body and Soul
Daily Kos
Digby's Hullabaloo
Dispatches From the Culture Wars
Echidne of the Snakes
Feminist Blogs
Interesting Times
Late Night Thoughts asleep?
Long story; short pier
Making Light
Mouse Words
One Good Thing
The Panda's Thumb
Respectful of Otters
The Sideshow
Sisyphus Shrugged
Matthew Yglesias

old peat (archives):
December 22, 2002
December 29, 2002
January 12, 2003
January 19, 2003
February 2, 2003
February 16, 2003
February 23, 2003
March 2, 2003
March 9, 2003
March 16, 2003
March 23, 2003
March 30, 2003
April 6, 2003
June 8, 2003
October 5, 2003
January 16, 2005
October 22, 2006
November 5, 2006
November 12, 2006
November 19, 2006
November 26, 2006
September 16, 2012
December 23, 2012

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