Well to start the new year here's a droll story from France,found on the BBC web site:
French marchers say 'non' to 2007 :
Hundreds of protesters in France have rung in the New Year by holding a light-hearted march against it.
Parodying the French readiness to say "non", the demonstrators in the western city of Nantes waved banners reading: "No to 2007" and "Now is better!"
The marchers called on governments and the UN to stop time's "mad race" and declare a moratorium on the future. The protest was held in the rain and organisers joked that even the weather was against the New Year.
The tension mounted as the minutes ticked away towards midnight - but the arrival of 2007 did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm.
The protesters began to chant: "No to 2008!"
Then I read with interest an op ed by Walter Shapiro over at Salon entitled:
A decisive year for "the decider",
in which he says:" Nearly four years after the statues of Saddam Hussein were toppled in Baghdad, 2006 was the year that reality set in about the Mesopotamian mess. Outside the closed-loop universe of conservative talk radio and Fox News, there no longer is a constituency for vaporous visions of victory. "
And about the election: "Eleven months later, the seismic rumbles are still reverberating, as the Democrats won 29 new House seats, won six Senate seats and took over six additional governorships, including those in New York and Ohio. The most stunning statistic: Not a single Democrat running for reelection was defeated for Congress or governor."
That single statement alone undercuts those who say the democrats didn't win, it was the Republicans who manuvered themselves into a loss.
Meanwhile I find myself inclined to agree with Sen. Joe Biden. Here is a capsule of his statements this week:
" Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said yesterday that he believes top officials in the Bush administration have privately concluded they have lost Iraq and are simply trying to postpone disaster so the next president will "be the guy landing helicopters inside the Green Zone, taking people off the roof," in a chaotic withdrawal reminiscent of Vietnam."
I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost," Biden said. "They have no answer to deal with how badly they have screwed it up. I am not being facetious now. Therefore, the best thing to do is keep it from totally collapsing on your watch and hand it off to the next guy -- literally, not figuratively."
Thus the surge is a stop gap measure to postpone the collapse until 2008, at which W leaves and then blames the mess on the Democrats when a pullout finally happens. Cynical, - - - perhaps.
Yet as Tim Dickison at Rolling Stone notes when commenting on Biden's statement:
"It sounds like Biden’s given up on this war, which I take as a definitive sign of defeat. Say what you will about Biden, he took the costs and responsibilities of this war seriously. Unlike others in his party he really did try to focus on this as an American committment, not the president’s war.
Accordingly, he doggedly attempted to help the administration right the course in Iraq. But it’s now clear to him, and to everyone who saw the Saddam snuff film, that there’s no Iraq to be redeemed.
Vengeful sectarianism has trumped any overriding sense of national unity. And there’s nothing our military can do now to turn that tide. By supporting the Maliki government we’re simply sanctioning the actions of the Shiia Death Squads also known as the Interior Ministry.
There are no good solutions, but Bush’s plan to put more fingers in a dike that’s about to burst will not save his legacy from the harshest judgments of history. "
Okay 2007, here we go. It will soon be the Tibetan year of the Fire Pig. Whoa!