Dear friends and supporters,
If the former residents of Mosul had had a vote, if anyone, ever, had thought to ask them – “is war an acceptable way to give you political freedom?” – my guess is, most of them would have said no, try something else.
This would have been a vote when it counted, before the war to expel the Islamic State from their city was a devastating fact. When the question would have been more abstract.
Now, they and we know better what war in the 21st century looks like. It looks like Ramadi, it looks like Fallujah and Aleppo, it looks like West Mosul.
And as the war extends past Raqqa to smaller places in a whack-a-mole game to “finish” ISIS, it will create smaller waste zones you and I will never see or hear of. But people in the Arabic-speaking, Islamic world do hear about it, do see on TV and the internet what war can do to their people.
For more than enough young people in the Islamic world, the real impact of the war will be a strong motivation to keep the ISIS idea of anti-Western jihad alive. In today’s information (not to mention disinformation) environment, war cuts both ways like never before. One side’s triumph is the other’s unforgivable provocation.
Another reason to find another way.
Wednesday, our host station KSFR FM broadcasts the Santa Fe City Council Meeting. A good day to check the davemarash.com archive to see what you’ve missed.
On Thursday, we bring back Patrick Malone of the Center for Public Integrity, whose work on persisting problems with safety in America’s nuclear weapons industry has been on the front pages of the Washington Post and USA Today. A few weeks ago Patrick described a series of potentially disastrous mistakes in handling or shipping radioactive materials at Sandia National Laboratories, Idaho National Labs, the Hanford site, the Nevada Test site, and most repeatedly at Los Alamos Nation Labs. This time Patrick will describe the system run by the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration which enables and sustains slipshod approaches to safety that threaten Lab workers and innocent bystanders at distant locations.
I know, it’s piling on, but Patrick’s stories are more reasons to study, hard — “War? No more!”
On a more cheerful note, I rediscovered this week the artistry of Sidney DeParis, a trumpet player whose every recorded solo (that I’ve heard) has been impeccable, a sweet-dark-coffee toned sound, clear melodic intentions, and irresistible swing. He made dozens of records with his trombone-playing brother Wilbur’s “New New Orleans Band” in the 1950s, and almost as many more in the Forties in the company of even greater musicians like Sidney Bechet, the first great master of the soprano saxophone. There are other fine soloists on all these records, but see if, every time the trumpeter steps out, your ears don’t tune in. Straight beauty doesn’t make you famous but it does endure.