Friday, December 30, 2005

Minor 2005 Events Figure More Prominently Than We Suppose. But First the Major Seven

Now’s the time when everyone writes about the most significant yearly happenings. Mine are easy. The ten in order are: (1) the reelection of George Bush which gave impetus to a successful preemptive foreign policy that will govern our future; (2) progress on the Iraq war and its first multiparty elections in 81 years which could well be the key to winning against terrorism; (3) Ariel Sharon’s authorization of the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and four settlements on the West Bank, culminated by his leaving the Likud party. (4) the terrorist attacks outside Iraq: Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt (88 killed); Amman, Jordan (59); London (56); New Delhi, India (55); Sulawesi, Indonesia (22); Beirut, Lebanon (21 including the former prime minister); Bali, Indonesia (20); Burma (11); Tel Aviv (5) and the Indonesia beheadings (3). Notice there have not been terrorist attacks in the U.S., due to Bush’s forthright application on restraints to our promiscuously wide-open civil liberties.

(5) The natural disasters, following the 2004 9.0 earthquake under the Indian Ocean which swept the coastlines of 13 nations, killing more than 200,000 which reverberated through 2005 and Katrina which produced a failure of sorts for the feds and spectacular ineptitude of response by Louisiana and New Orleans: political reverberations of which can trigger the national rise of Rudy Giuliani for 2008 where people may well decide to shelve ideology in favor of a superb crisis manager. (6) Changes in the Supreme Court with Chief Justice John Roberts and likely Sam Alito.

(7) The wrongful death of the brain-damaged Pinellas county, Florida woman, Terri Schiavo, following the award to her husband of $2 million to care for her the balance of her life, following which Michael Schiavo asked doctors to withhold antibiotics which they refused but which he later admitted might cause her to develop sepsis and die. The Congress passed the Incapacitated Persons Legal Protection Act [IPLPA] signed by a pajama-clad President Bush. At the end appeals courts and the U.S. Supreme Court denied the habeas corpus suit and the government stood by to watch her die, denying her water and even reception of the Eucharist. The repercussions are with us yet and will remain.

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