By William Markiewicz
(As other short items may follow, I've decided to group them together.)
Artist -- What Are Your Rights? (4/17)
In an artists' forum, I read a dialogue about a buyer who wants to pay for the work of art and then change it himself, perhaps ending in destruction. The buyer is a poet and sounds like Lord Shiva Destroyer. This brought to mind my aphorism:
God, are you a craftsman or an artist? If you are a craftsman, I am your object. If you are an artist, I am, like all works of art, independent of my creator.
If the work of art is independent of its creator, then even more it should be independent of the buyer. If you adopt a child, can you destroy him/her?
Could Gadaffi Win? (4/14)
At the beginning of the revolt, Gadaffi's situation seemed desperate. The world considered Gadaffi a madman for trying to hold on at any price. Suddenly his situation improved; the world forgot Gadaffi's unlimited resources. He continued with mercenaries who are professionals of war and who will continue as long as he pays -- and he will.
Nato decided to intervene and his position worsened. But the strange desert situation seems to favour those on the defensive. Now there is an apparent stalemate but still Gadaffi keeps certain advantages. Gadaffi is old, he has no future, only the present, and his present is to continue. The same can't be said for his adversaries; they are normal societies with families, jobs, children. They can't afford to carry on with no end in sight and the end seems far off. Fatigue and deception will work against the rebels. Gadaffi may operate with universal power of corruption calling it 'negotiation' in his language.
Nato Didn't Know? (4/09)
Nato explains the casualties they inflicted on the rebels saying that they did not know the rebels have tanks. Is there such confusion in Nato's information services or does somebody at the top prepare for alliance on both sides?
"Tell me, Brahmaputra" (3/29)
Years ago an older lady told me a short story. I don't remember if I've already written about it in Vagabond. As a young woman this lady had a friend, mother of an eleven year old son. This boy was very interested in the culture of India. In India there is a river, the Brahmaputra, which people apprently consult about their future. The boy wrote a poem of which she remembered only the first two lines which I translate from Polish.
"O mighty river of joy and sorrow
Tell me, Brahmaputra, about my tomorrow."
For those interested in his future: gas chamber and crematorium.
Pest or Cholera -- What's Better? (3/26)
We recently learn from competent circles that Al Qaeda elements fight Gadaffi alongside the rebels. If two enemies of freedom fight each other, it becomes infinitely more difficult for us to take sides. Perhaps it's easier for women to prefer Gadaffi, because his doctrine and power are not misogynous.
Two Weights, Two Measures (3/20)
Ahtisaari (who contributed to the statue in Finland glorifying the SS), was designated Nato negotiator with Milosevic and gave him an ultimatum: "You have to agree to it in every part." "Milosevic took the papers and asked, "What will happen if I do not sign?" Ahtisaari replied …< >"This is what we will do to Belgrade." A moment of silence passed, and then he added, "There will be half a million dead within a week."
So, if killing civilians was Gadaffi's crime, killing Serbian civilians was a glorious tactic to use against Milosevic.
Comparing Milosevic to Gadaffi is slander against Milosevic: Has anybody ever seen a dictator who lost an election?
Excerpt from a Letter to a Friend (3/17)
If America wanted to get rid of Gadaffi, they had a bigger opportunity than ever before. For the first time traditionally anti American Arab public opinion was on the side of America and Western democracy, or at least their idea of Western democracy. But I feel that America didn't want to get rid of Gadaffi. America wants to deal with operetta kings like Gadaffi, "emperor-of-Bahrain" and Saudis, Emirs and so forth. For the first time, Arab public opinion, many young, internet savvy, and – what's new – women -- in solidarity a bit everywhere, pouring blood of martyrs. And all looked with hope to the West, America in particular. In this situation, there was also new hope for Israel because America could push for its own conditions including recognition of Israel. But, America wants the status quo, negotiating with the super duper class. It is a repetition of old Holy Alliance. And the Arabic masses, having no choice, turn to the other extreme, Al Qaeda. America and its allies made a great mistake. History will tremble. Get rid of Gadaffi and start to talk with the Arabs in all their locations. This occasion will not soon repeat.
Murder on the West Bank (3/16)
Terrrorists have stabben to death a whole family in a settlement; father, mother, children. Apparently Gaza's population celebrated it. As a consequence, Netanyahu has promised to increase the number of settlements. The idea of peace between Israel and Palestinians already belongs to the remote past. Can Israel remain victorious in an eternal war with Arabs? It seems to me equivalent to crossing the Atlantic back and forth by canoe. It would be unbelievable, especially when the name of the canoe is "Likud."
Tsunami in Japan (3/12)
A while ago, during the catastrophic floods in Pakistan, I commented in Vagabond that lower grounds should be considered no-no places for living and construction. Only activities able to survive deep water periods should be considered for those places. Japan is pretty small, but hilly. The valleys and the high grounds are in close proximity, and those having security in mind should do everything possible to situate themselves on the abundant Japanese heights. In technically advanced Japan, even the next to impossible should/must be achieved.