Sunday, March 16, 2008

Toil And Trouble

John Burns of The New York Times remembers his five years in Iraq here. Unsurprisingly, he's pessimistic about the future. His chastened tone resonates, although he bends over backwards to find a semblance of non-existent balance. He also badly misses the point when writing of "instances when American intentions were betrayed by its troops, with the abuse and torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib." I submitted this letter to the editor in response:

When, regarding the atrocities of Abu Ghraib, John Burns writes that "America's intentions were betrayed by its troops," he perpetuates the "bad apples" fallacy foisted on the public by the Bush Administration. Abu Ghraib was the inevitable end of high-level policies and attitudes articulated by Attorney General Gonzales when he termed the Geneva Convention "quaint," by Vice President Cheney when he asserted that the United States needed to work "the dark side," and by President Bush when he claimed that Geneva Convention proscriptions against outrages to human dignity were "vague." Certainly, the soldier-torturers of Abu Ghraib are responsible for their actions. But the betrayal of America began at the top and worked its way down.


Well, I'm off to Boston next week to visit Bill, with a stop in Brooklyn to see Patrick Stewart in Macbeth. Check out the video promo here, (don't miss it) and an affectionate Times profile of Stewart here. In it, he makes this memorable observation about acting Shakespeare:

“I have this theory that these roles, the really great roles — there are elements of them in all of us. And that is part of the greatness of this dramatist, that he taps into something which is entirely human. You feel him reaching out his hand and saying to you as an actor, ‘Come on, it’s easier than you think.’ ”

Poet and lover-of-crows Premium T. liked the close of the article even more. Let the hurly-burly begin!

1 comment:

Scrumpy's Baker said...

Great letter, K.

Have a great adventure!