Friday, November 28, 2003

Here's how I spent Thanksgiving: Checking up on the news, blogging, mild translating, alleged working on what I'm writing. No celebration. First, I hate holidays. I know it's a party-pooping attitude, but I refuse to make a big deal out of pretending I'm happy if I'm not. That's hard for some of us to do. So don't invite me to any holiday celebrations. We'll all be better off. And if your happiness depends on my presence, isn't there something a little wrong with you? We can see one another any time you want. We don't need some damn holiday to do that.

I've also been to Thanksgiving parties over here. They go one of two ways: a) everybody gets really loaded, or b) no one really knows anyone else because you're all the "new guys" and somebody's invited you because you might not have anyone to spend the holidays with. As for choice A, if you want to get really loaded we can probably find more congenial places to do it than somebody's living room, and as for choice B, I feel like the kid with cerebral palsy who gets invited to the Christmas party with the other "special" children. These parties are always hosted by rather motherly American women, who are very nice people, of course.

As for Bush and his Thanksgiving visit to the troops, well done. First, the C-in-C needs to at least approach the troops occasionally. Second, they were able to keep it a secret. Nobody leaked. Third, hey, it is a great photo op. Terrific propaganda coup.

Another couple of things I wanted to point out: first, we haven't heard too many casualities coming out of Iraq for the last few days, and there haven't been any widely publicized--or maybe any at all--killings of Iraqis either. Let's hope this is a trend. Second, for all everybody is saying about how horrible and evil the Americans are, people vote with their feet. Where are all the refugees fleeing Iraq, like you get with any other war? Remember the Kurdish camps inside Turkey last time in '91? The boat people or the balseros? Those who fled the Khmer Rouge or from Ethiopia or Somalia? Or Bosnia or Kosovo or Croatia? Ruanda or Burundi or Congo? Or like what they had to deal with after World War II, with millions of "dispersed persons" all over the place who were eventually settled in somewhere? Those who fled East Berlin, forcing the Communists to put up the Wall?

Repeat: Iraq. Occupied by the Coalition. Refugees: Zero. Somebody is doing something right.

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