Tuesday, December 27, 2005

2005: Growth Amid Desolation

I have to confess that I'm not a fan of yearend roundups (though I do like the one put together by Media Matters), so I have little to offer on behalf of Daily Rev. A few things, however, are worth noting.

At this time last year, I was doing pretty much the same thing as many people in this world: trying desperately to make sense of a natural catastrophe the likes of which no one had ever witnessed. I did what a lot of folks tried to do: help as much and in whatever way we could. I also wrote a piece called "Two Questions for a Time with No Answers", which was an effort to draw some growth-enhancing lesson out of the tsunami tragedy.

But hell, I hadn't even recovered from the election of some 7 weeks before. Still, the tsunami awoke many of us to an even greater threat to humankind than the geopolitical depredations of a petty tyrant from Crawford, TX, or the neocon hegemony that had encrusted over the Constitution and its Congressional stewards. When the Millennial Assessment was published in March, a lot of us (especially those of us raising kids) saw something more disturbing than anything coming out of Iraq, or even Darfur or South Asia: objective evidence, supported by the work of some 2,000 scientists worldwide, of an impending threat to life on Earth—to our planet's life.

Obviously, this was not a surprise; but it was a shock. What was also astonishing was the near-total silence with which this news was met in the mainstream media. Had there been half the attention paid this ominous report as the death of an old relic of a morbid church had received, the Millennial Assessment would have been the top news story of the year—as it probably should have been.

Spring brought with it more dismal and tragic news from Iraq, but something strange happened in May. Some unknown politician from the U.K. arrived in Washington to face charges that he'd soaked profit out of oil deals with Saddam Hussein, and instead of groveling before the mighty neocon Senate, he laid bare every lie about Iraq that had been told and swallowed on this side of the pond. The unflinching performance of Mr. George Galloway before the U.S. Senate was a turning point in the Iraq debate; for it was closely followed by the release of the notorious Downing Street Memo. To this very day, some seven months after its release, the explosive potential of this set of documents remains to be realized.

But once the burgeoning impeachment movement has reached a more critical mass, the full force of the DSM will be unleashed upon Washington. May it be soon in coming.

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