Posted: 3/10/2010 6:55:19 AM EDT
This was mentioned on Bill Bennett's radio show the other morning by the guest host as they were talking about the Iraqi elections.
The last two paragraphs are damn priceless.
Just thought I'd share........
KUWAIT CITY –– Today is Kuwait's Liberation Day, celebrating
the anniversary of the day 12 years ago when U.S. and allied troops
rescued this small, soft country from the pleasures of life as Iraq's
19th province. The promenade by the harbor was to be the scene of
parading and flag-waving, and already in yesterday's waning
midafternoon heat, a few boys and young men were out strutting with
their Kuwaiti and American flags.
last time I was here was on the occasion of the liberation, and on that
day, and for several days thereafter, the whole city was a parade and a
party. Everyone was in the streets, cheering and screaming, and driving
around 10 to a car, madly honking and shooting guns in the air.
You could easily find grief and wretchedness, though. To be part of a
country that has been raped by an invading force is nearly
incomprehensible –– incomprehensible at least, to a modern-day
American; it is a routine part of life's education in many places at
many times. To begin with, Kuwait City itself had been savaged –– shot
up, blown up, torched and, of course, thoroughly looted. The major
buildings of state and commerce had been used for artillery practice.
The beaches had been salted with land mines and strung with concertina
wire. Garbage and human filth were everywhere, and the place stank.
About 400 Kuwaiti civilians had been killed during Iraq's seven-month
occupation, and many more had been brutalized in one way or another ––
ritualistically humiliated (forced to urinate on the Kuwaiti flag or on
a photograph of the Kuwaiti emir, for instance), robbed, beaten, raped,
tortured. Some of the subjugation, rape and torture had been
professional: the work of Iraq's terrible special security units and
aimed at specific individuals annoying to the regime. But more had been
the work of enthusiastic amateurs –– poor-boy soldiers let loose in a
rich land suddenly realizing that if they wanted to make some well-fed
banker watch his wife and daughters get raped, why, they could just go
ahead and do it. Shattered people were everywhere: I watched one
torture victim, a big, strong man, being interviewed in the place of
his torture by a BBC television crew –– weeping and weeping, but
absolutely silently, as he told the story.
Twelve years later,
Kuwait City is an utterly different place, and the great difference is
the abundance of the mundane. You can still see bullet pockmarks here
and there, but mostly everything has been patched and painted up. The
country's pride, a 372-meter telecommunications tower that was
half-built and badly damaged when the Iraqis invaded, was completed in
1996. It is popularly known as Liberation Tower. It has a revolving
The Bank of Burgan is building a new office tower, a
curvilinear slab of gray-green glass and gray-silver metal. On a drive
around town, I counted 14 other major commercial buildings under
construction. There is a new Museum of Modern Art, and a new kidney
dialysis center, a new marina, a new fish market and a new shopping
mall by the seaside that stretches along for blocks of knock-off
neoclassical arches and pillars and broken pediments, just as cheerily
affronting to those of delicate sensibility as anything you could find
in Palo Alto, or even Houston. The promenade has been refurbished with
red brick sidewalks, marble edgings and "old-fashioned" green metal
streetlights. Everything, at least in the downtown and seaside areas,
is spotless; foreign labor is cheap in Kuwait.
The fish market
is full of fresh tuna, mullet, flounder, drum, bass, shark, sardines
and prawns; the meat market rich with bloody halves and quarters of
lamb and mutton and goat; the bins of the fruits and vegetable market
bulging over; and likewise, no shortages of herbs, spices, dates, nuts,
olives, pots, pans, clothes, toys, perfumes, watches, jewelry,
McDonald's burgers and Mercedes-Benzes.
Tyranny truly is a
horror: an immense, endlessly bloody, endlessly painful, endlessly
varied, endless crime against not humanity in the abstract but a lot of
humans in the flesh. It is, as Orwell wrote, a jackboot forever
stomping on a human face.
I understand why some dislike the
idea, and fear the ramifications of, America as a liberator. But I do
not understand why they do not see that anything is better than life
with your face under the boot. And that any rescue of a people under
the boot (be they Afghan, Kuwaiti or Iraqi) is something to be desired.
Even if the rescue is less than perfectly realized. Even if the rescuer
is a great, overmuscled, bossy, selfish oaf. Or would you, for
yourself, choose the boot?
You listen to Bill Bennett?
You listen to Bill Bennett?
Yeah, his show starts right as I'm leaving for work. I usually listen to the first hour.
I mainly listen cause he hits off the main political stories.
He does seem to be a bit too friendly w/ the left though.
I like his show better when he has guest hosts fill in.....