The Editorial Page
Leadership found wanting
Sue Potvin

My, oh my. Where to begin? Such shocking things are assaulting our senses, almost daily, one wonders where it will all end. Will there ever be a time of peace and good will anywhere on this earth again?

Perhaps what we should most fear in the world today is the group that is ensconced in the White House. They wield enormous power, appear to have no fear and less conscience, and seem to be possessed with creating and continuing their war games. Somewhere, sometime, we did see (or hear) that they had a formal plan for 10 years of war, contrived before Bush ever got his presidential stripes.

Many of the questions we raised about Bush and his coterie in the last issue of D&D are now on the tongues of many Americans. Thank God they are waking up to the fact that their president (who is alleged to have acquired the title only through hanky panky) may not be the best thing since sliced bread.

The mainstream media has not been able to totally ignore some of the facts that have come out. But it's mainly in Canada that one hears anything much, and that, not often enough. A number of interesting stories that you will find in this issue of D&D have come from Israeli and other Middle East media. These stories (and dozens more like them) should be picked up by the media on this side of the ocean and made available to all North Americans. Why aren't they? The stories are touching. They put a human face on the tragedy that is Israel.

The stories also bring hope to the world. There must be hope when so many Israelis and Palestinians are speaking out about the atrocities and refusing to approve the actions of some of their own countrymen. If there is peaceful dialogue between 200 or 2,000 of these people today, there can be peaceful dialogue between 20,000 or 200,000 tomorrow.

It is the "leaders" who seem to be most to blame everywhere. Sadly, the people bear much blame for putting them there.

How could any people elect a leader with the murderous history of Ariel Sharon? He has been found guilty of crimes for which he has never been punished. One feels compassion for the people of Israel and the pickle in which they now find themselves. But perhaps the time has come for them to elect a leader of wisdom and justice. (Please God, they do exist somewhere?)

Since so many wars have been entered into by Republican presidents, Americans should think twice about ever electing one again (or even almost electing one). Rather than trying to improve the image of his country that his predecessors have created around the world, this president and his administration are deepening the anti-Americanism with their bullying tactics and their disdain for the rights of any other country or its people.

What value can one give to the American word when a president can summarily remove a former president's name from a signed agreement? Can one respect an administration that has no respect for any of the accords that are being put together to better the worsening environment and other problems that face the world?

Can we Canadians feel any bigger than ants when we see the American president slough off, like one would a mosquito, the unnecessary bombing deaths of its neighbours' soldiers? A neighbour, we might add, who has only come to its aid in its supposed fight against terror (its fight to control the world's oil supplies would be, perhaps, more apt). Yes, it was an accident. But it was more than that. The apparent carelessness and disobedience involved indicates that some kind of punishment may be warranted. At the very least, an in-the-face apology by the offending pilot to the grieving families might be appropriate. Has the man even been publicly named?

And it boggles the mind to think of the number of such "friendly fire" incidents, both before and after this one, that have occurred as a result of American error. Or is it all carelessness and insufficient regard and respect for human life? The recent attack on a wedding was simply over the top.

Bush also refuses to recognise any kind of world court. The American government was happy enough to participate in the judging of war criminals at Nuremburg (and take credit for it). But it must seem a risky business now that American and Israeli and, yes, British leaders can all justly be put on the carpet for war crimes.

Then there is the excuse for government that we see in our own country. How can any of us sleep at night? The fast-and-loose use of our tax dollars and the continued dishonesty and corruption in every corner is incredible. To say nothing of a prime minister and a finance minister who find it impossible to co-exist.

If this sounds more like a rant than an editorial, it is. Now we can just sit back and wait for the proverbial American nuclear bomb... to drop.

Personally yours

Your editor is a Gemini who has two sides to almost everything she does. Sometimes I feel so weighed down with the serious stuff that finds its way into these pages. So I decided to make this a new feature in which I will express personal thoughts that have nothing to do with the big bad people who do the big bad things that give us the big bad headaches. If such things are not your cup of tea, there's a simple remedy: don't read this corner of the paper.

People who read D&D are incredible. But then I knew that. You've responded to my request for financial help with nothing less than the alacrity and generosity I expected. Thank you. I shall continue to strive to deserve your support and your trust.

A very small few of you expressed concern that D&D would fold if sufficient money was not forthcoming. Please have no such fear. I would probably sell everything I own before I would shut down D&D. That's how it is when it is love of country and concern for mankind and not love of profit that is the moving force and inspiration that drives one on.

This year I became a senior citizen (although I don't feel like one). I do occasionally consider my options for the future. The day must inevitably arrive when I am physically unable to continue with D&D. When that time comes, I will most likely give (not sell) this paper to the person I deem, at that time, to be most able to continue. I expect I have about 20 or 30 years to find that person. (Please God!)

My mailboxes, both snail mail and e-mail, are swamped with the material you send to me. You may wonder why much of it does not find its way into these pages. First, I am not permitted to reprint anything without permission from the writer and/or previous publisher. Occasionally, I am able to get that permission, but most often, such permission brings a price tag I cannot afford to pay. Some material provides great fodder for an article, requiring research in other directions as well. This is a considerable drain on my time and not always a viable alternative for me.

When you come across a topic that you think would interest other D&D readers, please consider doing the research and writing it up yourself. So you are shy about your writing abilities? Don't let that stop you. Just write as if you were talking to me (or someone). It will be no trouble for me to edit your article and spruce it up.

If my lack of knowledge or inexperience should permit inaccurate material to find its way to these pages, please let me know -- not someone else. I have never claimed to be perfect (or even particularly clever). A letter to the editor would be a welcome correction -- and also an excellent way to take issue with a viewpoint with which you disagree. SP