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March 30, 2003

Love and War

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) - Reigning French Open champion Serena Williams may have committed a faux pas Saturday.

After winning the Nasdaq-100 Open for the second year in a row, Williams was asked about anti-French sentiment in the United States stemming from the war in Iraq.

The question came at the end of her post match news conference. A snickering Williams responded in a facetious French accent.

"Well, we don't want to play in the war," she said. "We want to make clothes. We don't want the war."

Dropping the accent, Williams added, "I don't want a war either. I don't know many people who do want to be involved in the war."

When two tennis reporters from France were asked how Williams' comments will be received there, they responded with the French word "maladroit," which means "tactless."

Well, I've been to one world fair, Europe, and a few hockey games, and that's about the stupidest question I've heard asked of a sports figure. How about asking about the match that she just played? But I have to say that I agree with her point -- I don't want a war either.

I've been thinking about this most of the day today. Well, in between going to church, lunch with the in-laws, doing the in-law's taxes, and painting the family room -- again. I began thinking about the parallels between the relationships between governments and those between just folks.

I've been blessed with many friends and acquaintances in my relatively short life. Some left when I needed them the most. Some I've hurt more than I can imagine, others have hurt me more than I thought I could bear. Some come and go when they have a need. Some say that they're my friend, but really aren't. Others I'm not really sure of at all. Then there are those very few that I know I could count on, whatever the circumstances.

Sort of sums up my understanding of relationships, both personal and international. I could easily get very cynical about the whole thing, and believe that the sole basis of relationships is a zero sum gain -- I win, you lose. I want to belive in the win win model, even against the evidence. Ah, thank goodness for those few, cherished friends that always seem to be there when I'm down -- they are one of life's blessings. Internationally? Hopefully, in time cooler heads will prevail and draw together those who have shared values and mutual interests. But thank God for Tony Blair...

Posted by mjwoods at 11:27 PM

March 27, 2003

The French

LONDON (AFP) - The United Nations must oversee the reconstruction of Iraq, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said, staking out a position against Washington's views on rebuilding the country.

"The UN must steer the process. More importantly, the UN must be at the heart of the reconstruction and administration of Iraq," De Villepin said in a speech to a London think tank.

"The legitimacy of our action depends on it," he told the prestigious International Insitute of Strategic Studies (IISS).

What's with the French anyway? The more that I read, the more I believe that their "principled" stand was just a charade. Now they're smelling billions of Euros to be made after the war is over, and they want a piece of it.

I liked Ann Coulter's comments the other day in her column: "Most auspiciously, the Arab League has appealed to the United Nations Security Council to stop the war. One can only hope the Security Council will agree to intervene. How would they stop us? Would France threaten us with war? Young men across America would have to enlist as a matter of honor. The Army could use as its recruiting slogan: "Are you afraid to fight the French?" Even liberals would enlist as a way to pick up glorious service with no risk of injury."

A lot of fence mending will need to be done between "Old Europe" and the United States after the hostilities have concluded. I wonder who will make the first step?

Posted by mjwoods at 10:28 PM

March 26, 2003

3rd ACR Going to War

From today's AP Wire:

"Also headed for Kuwait soon is the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from Fort Carson, Colo., followed by the 1st Infantry and 1st Armored divisions from Germany, as well as the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, and the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment from Fort Polk, La., officials said. "

Sigh... My nephew is going to war. Denise got to talk to him yesterday, and he sounded like he was in pretty good spirits. His mom and dad are naturally worried, as are all of us in the family. We will be praying for Daniel constantly in addition to our prayers for our nation's leaders, our men and women in the armed forces, the families that our soldiers have left behind and the innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan who must endure the terror of war.

Depending upon the hour, my feelings for this war go back and forth. Could the inspections have worked if they were given more time? Was Bushís decision to go to war reasoned and just? Why did Daniel have to choose to go into the infantry? Does anybody know just how well armored a M2 Bradley is? Itís different when someone you know and love will be facing the horrors of war shortly.

In my heart I believe that Saddam Hussein posed a problem that would have to be dealt with sooner or later. Itís not a question of Ďifí terrorists will strike the United States again, but Ďwhení. Iíll feel a little safer if Hussein isnít around to supply the terrorists with weapons.

Posted by mjwoods at 11:31 PM

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