of cigars and turkeys

Thanksgiving has, in recent years, become a controversial holiday in some quarters. While most Americans are content to simply gorge themselves on the barnyard animal of their choice, some people choose to focus on some of the more unpleasant historical events surrounding this holiday.

I’m not one of them.

While it is true that I am not shy about ocaisionally courting controversy, on this subject I prefer to keep my world view as uncluttered as possible. To put it simply, I love Thanksgiving.

I love having a paid day off to spend with my family. I love going to my mother’s house to gorge myself on turkey (dark meat only, by the way, ’cause it’s the best), stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. If you’re wondering why there’s no mention of vegetables, it’s because I don’t eat them. A slice or two of cherry pie, and some hot black coffee goes down nicely by way of dessert.

And finally, the best part: a cigar with my Dad, along with a wee tipple o’ the Irish (Bushmill’s Black Bush, for those of you who care about such things).

And I have much to be thankful for: family and friends who care about me and put up with me even when I’m being insufferable. I’m thankful that I live in a country where I have the right to openly criticize my government without fear of reprisal, and where I have the luxury of doing something as ridiculously self-indulgent as expressing my views on a blog, at a time when there are many living in parts of the world that are so dangerous that the citizens can’t even take it for granted that they will still be alive at the end of the day.

For all of things and many more, I am truly thankful. My warmest Thanksgiving wishes to all!

-Smith

“taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood”–Dr. John H. Watson

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Giving Thanks Is For Iraq, Too!

I don’t know if President Bush will make a surprise visit to Iraq this year, or not. Personally, I hope he has the opportunity to spend this holiday with his extended family, and enjoy his many blessings. One of his blessings is now being bestowed on Iraqi citizens, as they begin to return from exile, in large numbers.

The figures are hard to estimate precisely but the process could involve hundreds of thousands of people. The numbers are certainly large enough, as we report today, for a mass convoy to be planned next week as Iraqis who had opted for exile in Syria return to their homeland. It is one of the most striking signs that not only has violence in Baghdad and adjacent provinces decreased dramatically in recent months, but confidence in the economic and political future of Iraq has risen sharply.

Road From Damascus.

Displacement and Migration Minister Abdul Samad Sultan told Reuters that 1,600 people were returning to Iraq every day. As many as 2 million Iraqis have taken refuge in other nations, mainly Syria and Jordan.

Tearful Iraqi refugees return, hoping for safety.

While I, and many others, view the developments in Iraq as a blessing, of course, there are others who view the developments as a curse, such as the conspirators in the failure of U.S. policy in Iraq, Al Qaida, the U.S. Democrat party, and radical leftists all over the world. What is good news for America, is bad news for those who view this as a curse. They should be accustomed to bad news by now, as these events are a progression of events, beginning last year, even before the Gen. Petraeus surge began.
Just a few reminders of posts from this blog since January, in descending order:
10 Jan 07 Winning Hearts And Minds In Al Anbar.
13 Jan 07 Why 21,500 Additional Troops Is Actually Enough.
17 Mar 07 Iraq:Much Is Happening
I’m not clairvoyant, or even a good prognosticator, but a believer in the force of good over evil, the forces of freedom and liberty over despotism and tyranny, and of the ability of our President to convey what is important, and of our military to establish their mission based on a belief in what they are fighting for.
Need another example of “Hearts and Minds?” Then check this article, if for no other reason, the wonderful photo.
President Bush has been called every name in the book, and some that are too disgusting to be included in the book, and he has been criticized for every imaginable human failing extant. He has never waivered, nor has he faltered in his focus on what he believes is right, and now, even some of his harshest critics are beginning to(reluctantly) admit, that his plan is working.
I’m not here to be his cheerleader, for one thing he doesn’t need me too, he can stand on his own due to his accomplishments, and I have many bones to pick with him, but not on his approach to the GWOT.
I came across this quote from Amir Tehari, that seems appropriate, even though he was referring to Afghanistan:

In every war there comes a time when victory chooses its camp. That choice may take some time before it becomes apparent to those involved, but the more perceptive recognise it as soon as it appears on the horizon.

Victory chose it’s camp in Iraq over a year ago. Only now are many willing to acknowledge it has.
The Iraqis certainly are, and for this, our President, our military, our citizens, and the Iraqi people, can all give a heartfelt thanks.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING……EVERYONE!

TIME NEVER DIES

Sercan Ondem

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