January 9, 2006 |
THE PROVISIONAL results of the December elections in Iraq are already in dispute, but that doesn't stop Washington from pointing to the vote as a success in its quest to create a peaceful, stable and free Middle East. But the mere fact of an election cannot change a fundamental truth about Iraq: Saddam Hussein governed as a brutal dictator not simply because he was cruel but also because of the treacherous political landscape that destabilized his relationship with his own military.
December 14, 2005 |
Inside a ruined pyramid in the Guatemalan jungle, archeologists have unearthed the oldest known Maya painting, a brightly colored 30-foot-long mural depicting the Maya creation myth and the coronation of the Maya's first earthly king. The paint-on-plaster image, 3 feet tall and nearly 2,100 years old, is several centuries older than other depictions of the creation myth.
May 29, 2005
Re "Don't Buy the 'Peace and Love' Party Line," Opinion, May 22: Shintaro Ishihara's article on China is bigoted and unfair, as evidenced by a number of his statements and omissions. He absurdly states, for example, "It is a historical fact that before communism, mainland China lacked a civil society." What is "civil" or not depends entirely on a particular worldview and perspective (civil by whose standards?), so it cannot, by definition, be a "fact" of any kind. Also, during certain eras of China's long history (say, the Han dynasty of 2,000 years ago, certainly "before communism")
May 22, 2005
Re "A Mushroom Cloud Hovers Over a Bush Judicial Nominee," Commentary, May 18: After reading Patt Morrison's column, "tone of dismissive arrogance" would have been an apt lead, it seems to me. As an American history teacher in an earlier life, I marvel at the discussion today of what characteristics are important in a nominee for a higher court appointment. Morrison informs us that judicial nominee California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown "lectures her colleagues," has a "tone of dismissive arrogance" in her writings and dealings with colleagues, has a "compelling life story" and zings sardonic critiques, etc. Obviously, she's not made of the right stuff.
January 19, 2005 |
Michael Henry Adams' epiphany came in the quiet stillness of the Akron Public Library. Hanging on the wall were photographs of the Harlem Renaissance era by James Van Der Zee. "There were images of blacks who were every bit as polished and elegant as Clark Gable or Cary Grant," Adams says. "That was a revelation for me, and also a justification. Before that, I would have felt that to identify with the style of Fred Astaire would have not been something that reflected blackness."
December 18, 2004
Other than meting out an ounce of revenge, I ask you, how does the death penalty and mob mentality that followed the death sentencing phase of the Scott Peterson case ("Jurors Say Scott Peterson Should Die for 2 Murders," Dec. 14) serve to advance what we perceive as a civilized society? It seems to me we are no different from the person perpetrating murder. Dennis Berman Huntington Beach Re "Slow Ride to the Death Chamber," editorial, Dec. 15: So what if it costs more to condemn Peterson to a death sentence that might never take place than a life sentence.
November 12, 2004 |
By all accounts, the battle of Fallouja has been fierce. But it is hardly the conclusive showdown with Iraq's insurgents that, in a simpler war or in a simpler world, it might have been. Even if the small Iraqi city once harbored a large body of enemy fighters, including the notorious killer Abu Musab Zarqawi, there are plenty of reasons why we should no longer expect to find them there.
May 21, 2004 |
In the domain of the Rodriguez Saa brothers is a town that dared to defy their rule. The brothers had it erased from official maps. The brothers have changed the course of a river during their quasi-omnipotent reign. They ordered a new airport built in the middle of a stretch of pampas, a gleaming terminal that is empty because no airline will fly there.