A Yellow Sea For Roh

Downtown submerged by a tsunami of yellow ribbons, arm bands, hair pins, hats, and balloons.

Not at the Gyeongbokgung today : the color of Roh Moo-hyun's campaigns was strictly forbidden at the site of the official ceremony.

Also forbidden : Kim Dae-jung's eulogy for his successor. This request from the family was turned down by his successor's successor... a measure of respect to other former Presidents according to Lee Myung-bak, a setback for democracy according to the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Also forbidden : Seoul Plaza, closed to mourners until today, for fear of a remake of last year's massive demonstrations. Roh sympathizers improvised the first altar just across the street, in front of Deoksugung's gate, the very morning when he died*. Local and foreign V.I.P.s waited for a more exclusive altar to be opened, a few days later, at the Seoul Museum of History. Both sites felt silent, but one did sound a little more sincere than the other.

Above, the head of the convoy on Sejongno, as it leaves Gyeongbokgung for Seoul Plaza and Roh Moo-hyun's Yellow Sea of supporters.

Right, Roh's collaborators, following the deceased and singing the song that cemented their cause for democracy.

* See "Roh Moo-hyun follows Pierre Beregovoy".
initially published on SeoulVillage.


Roh Moo-hyun follows Pierre Beregovoy

When I read this morning about the tragic fate of former President Roh Moo-hyun, I thought about Pierre Beregovoy, Francois Mitterrand's last prime minister who supposedly committed suicide while under investigation for corruption.

Suicide or not suicide, this not the issue here. Both Beregovoy and Roh came from modest backgrounds, succeeded in politics as outsiders, and ended up in a tragic fate, soon after leaving the top, their main asset, the positive image on which they built their successes, shattered to pieces.

This morning, I made this stupid dream* that Roh's final bow could wake up Korea, help it reconsider politics, put down the guns, and start a vast operation of transparence. To help talents truly motivated by change emerge from the crowd, but also to protect them as they climb to the top of this beautiful yet slippery mountain.

* see the blogule : "
Roh Moo-hyun, le promeneur du champ de mai"


Memo : the case is about abuses in Gitmo, not about closing Gitmo

In an unsigned tribune ("Bush's Gitmo Vindication" - 20090522), the Wall Street Journal accuses President Obama of vindication against President Bush's Pristine Heritage in his great speech delivered yesterday. According to the unknown author, closing Guantanamo was a mistake.

"Obama still hasn't said where the worst terrorists will go".
=> Well. After seven years of outrages, Guantanamo still hasn't said whether detainees were terrorists or not. Obama just took office a few months ago, remember ?

To Jim Webb, who said "We spend hundreds of millions of dollars building an appropriate facility with all security precautions in Guantanamo to try these cases. There are cases against international law", the courageous author adds "That was the Bush Administration's point all along."
=> First, a reminder : Bush's Amerika spent hundreds of billions of dollars building an
inappropriate war in favor of terror instead of an appropriate war on terror.
=> Second, what Obama and the World point all along is this : of course terrorists are against international law ! But Gitmo abuses were against international law, the Bush Administration was against international law, Bush's Amerika was against international law. The case is not about closing Guantanamo but about what went wrong there.

"Mr. Obama called all of this a "mess" that he had inherited, but in truth the mess is of his own haphazard design. He's the one who announced the end of Guantanamo without any plan for what to do with, or where to put, KSM and other killers".
=> It's like the economy, stupid. You need to stop the wrongs but it's not that easy because the mess is really deep and nasty. What did you expect Obama to say in front of the collapse of the World economies last autumn ? "Good job ! Keep Going" ? Same here : we first say this must stop, and then we work on a solution.
=> "Haphazard design" is not deciding to close Guantanamo. "Haphazard design" is deciding to promote torture, committing Abu Ghraib abuses, and giving a boost to worldwide terror in the process.

"Tell us again why Gitmo should be closed?"
=> my pleasure, dear unknown fascist coward : "We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals".


Open Season for Yosemite Sam

The Congress voted 279-147 to allow guns in national parks.

Don't ask why representatives tackle such priorities in times of recession. I guess not every NRA card holder can afford paying for meat in his or her local Wal Mart. Who knows ? Some may even want to check if their mortgaged machine guns can still fire correctly.

Anyway, this votes marks a bipartisan "victory", since 105 Dems joined what happens to be a GOP initiative ("yes, we can have initiatives").

Dick "Yosemite Sam" Cheney plans to invite his closest friends to celebrate. The bang of a party in ... deed.

Bambi sadly commented on the vote : "The buck stops here".


India : no change means change

Congress Party claimed victory in the Indian election marathon, strengthening the positions of Manmohan Singh, party leader Sonia Gandhi and even her son Rahul Gandhi. A crushing desillusion for radicals from the nationalists and fundamentalist sides.

Yes, moderates can win. Even after Mumbai*. Even after a Bush-Cheney victory at the 2009 Israeli elections.

Maybe Indians are smarter and wiser than Israeli. Maybe they are simply more sensitive to demagogy that promises a more humane development instead of demagogy that promises more inhumane treatments. Go figure.

Mir Hossein Mousavi Khamenech is definitely smarter and wiser than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A reformer with the experience of a conservative war Prime Minister, he would get rid of Iran's Moral Police, restore some basic women's rights, open the media to private entrepreneurs, and put the country back on the diplomatic map. A poor score of Hezbollah in upcoming elections in Lebanon could be a good sign for reform in Iran.

Stability and calm in such big countries as India and Iran could radiate around, even as Pakistan and Sri Lanka threaten to fuel future fires while crushing Taliban or Tamil Tigers.

We've been used to electoral calendars overwhelmed with bad news and this year already provided its share, but should the trend be confirmed, even Israel would be forced to reconsider its suicidal stance.

* see "Lessons from Mumbai ?"


Rove v. Pelosi v. Rove v. America

In his latest biweekly piece of revisionism*, Karl Rove pointed his bloody finger at Nancy Pelosi : YOU supported waterboarding and EIT ("Enhanced Interrogation Techniques"). YOU supported what you liberals call 'torture'.

First thing, Karl : whatever Pelosi did or said, waterboarding IS torture. Not 'torture'. And certainly not your edulcorated "EIT".

Second : many Americans (including some Democrats) supported the Patriot Act, the invasion of Iraq, and even voted for George W. Bush in 2004.

Which doesn't mean they were in favor of torture, Abu Ghraib, or
that dangerous fundamentalist who wrecked world peace and for whom you used to work for as "The Architect" (or more intimately as "Turd Blossom").

This only shows how powerful was your system of bold lies, wild propaganda, and indecent Weapons of Mass Disinformation. Pelosi was lied to and misled, like all Americans.

But I'm actually glad you raise this issue, Karl.

We are not only about to expose what that infamous administration of yours did, but also the propaganda machine that made it easier to swallow by a people who was supposed to live in a model democracy.

I'm having great fun listening to you giving lectures on torture Karl, but I'm also keeping my eye on the ball. And it's time for you to give some answers to Justice about those attorney firings...

* "
Congress and Waterboarding" - Wall Street Journal (20090504)
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