Sunday, May 08, 2011

Flower Mart at National Cathedral

This year the Flower Mart celebrated Austria (last year it was Great Britain I think).

A beautiful day with Tulin at my favorite place in DC.

The crowd gathers for music and dance performances.

An organ grinder who in additional to traditional folk songs also played some Simon and Garfunkle.

Harpist inside.

The view from the tower toward the Mall.  See the Washington Monument?

Looking down on the crowds below....

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Double Rainbow in Georgetown!

Obama Rocks

This photo is making the rounds.  Just love it.  

I mean really - how unserious are those lunatics?   Remember Bush saying Osama didn't matter?   

Obama at Ground Zero

Watching the president lay a wreath at the survivor tree at ground zero.

I didn't know what that was. To learn, click here

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is chewing gum!

Waxing Poetic About Abbotabad

I too had seen Christopher Hitchen's piece which captured a bit of the history of Abbotabad, named after James Abbot, while writing in his admirable pointed way:
The colonial British—like Maj. James Abbott, who gave his name to this one—called them "hill stations," designed for the rest and recreation of commissioned officers. The charming idea, like the location itself, survives among the Pakistani officer corps. If you tell me that you are staying in a rather nice walled compound in Abbottabad, I can tell you in return that you are the honored guest of a military establishment that annually consumes several billion dollars of American aid. It's the sheer blatancy of it that catches the breath.
But then the Boston Globe noted that James Abbot wrote a poem about Abbotabad which is in Lady Garden Square in the city. The opening lines:
I remember the day when I first came here
And smelt the sweet Abbottabad air

The trees and ground covered with snow
Gave us indeed a brilliant show

To me the place seemed like a dream
And far ran a lonesome stream

The wind hissed as if welcoming us
The pine swayed creating a lot of fuss
Josh Rothman concludes: "It looks like a pretty nice place to hide from the largest manhunt in the history of the world."

Indeed! And then there is my friend Michael Oberman who quipped:
Since the US found and killed Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad, Pakistan, it seems logical that the second in command of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri is hiding in Costellobad, Pakistan.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

About Obama's Leadership Style

Jeff Goldberg, The Atlantic writes about Obama's leadership style in reacting to this picture, noting how his is off in a corner and not the center of the photo.
This speaks well of him, to my mind; a president who kills America's enemies without swagger is better than a swaggerer who doesn't kill America's enemies. (Maybe here I'm casting a few aspersions on Bush.)
Yes, he is casting aspersions. But it is accurate.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

What's on Bin Laden's Computer

Dan Amira over at New York Magazine's Daily Intel put this satirical pie chart together.

Original post here. Click over.

Hmmm, Wonder About CIA Agent Ray Davis

Let us not forget this diplomatic impasse from earlier this year when CIA agent Ray Davis was arrested for killing two Pakistanis after some sort of altercation. The Pakistanis didn't want to release him.

Here is the LA Times on March 17th, reporting on his release.

Wonder what effect that all had on the decisions leading up to events this past weekend, eh? Any one seen anything?

Monday, May 02, 2011

NPR Interviews Ambassador Haqqani

A few difficulties with this interview - such as stating the obvious. Ending a question with "It just doesn't look good." "Doesn't it strain credulity?" "Isn't this an embarrassment? Yes, of course it does, it is. Ask more pointed questions!

Also, she played back a section of the interview she'd done with Senator Kerry. I would have zeroed in more on Kerry's complaint that we had been misled (aka lied to) regarding where Bin Laden had to have been. These open ended questions - what would you say to Sen. Kerry?" instead of - have you misled US Senators? The US government. And Ambassador Haqqani claims this is not the day to focus on those misdirections. Clear follow up - when would be the time?

In Pakistan 2+2 doesn't always equal 4. Seriously! He claims that.

The Pakistanis seem to be going with - we're stupid rather than we're complicit.

Anyway, listen to Melissa Block interview the Pakistani ambassador to the USA, Husain Haqqani here

Sen. John Kerry On Pakistan

Melissa Block of NPR interviews John Kerry about Pakistan and the killing of Bin Laden. Hard not to contemplate the what ifs if Ohio had gone the other way

Click here to listen.

Looking Forward to Summer Movie - One Day

On a lighter note, I am looking forward to this film, One Day, to be released this summer. Has any one read the book? The plot resonates...

National Cathedral the Day After

I did go to the Cathedral the next day, to pray.  For my country, my president, for peace.  

And to show Allen, my dear friend Sheryl's husband, my favorite place in the district.  Isn't it stunning??


Osama Bin Laden is Dead - Scenes & Sounds from the White House

I was in the bathtub when the news broke that the president would have an important national security announcement at 10:30 pm on a Sunday night.  

I wasn't expecting this news.  My Turkish friend, Tulin, who is a journalist asked if I wanted to go down to the White House with her.  I did.  

The feeling on the streets was unlike anything I'd ever experienced.  Honking and smiles.   I was celebrating those in the White House who had worked so hard to get justice.  The lights were still on in both the White House and the Old Executive Office Building.  We were there to support them, the military, the Navy Seals that did this.  Occasionally and rarely there were some tasteless utterances, racist or jingoistic, but the rest of the crowd looked askance at that and them.   In my experience, that kind of thing was rare.

More broadly - I, we, were there to feel good about our government not being feckless and ineffectually.  Not being a victim.  I just felt happy about that.  There lots of happy tears.

And then a young man in a spiderman costume climbed a tree along the fence to the White House.  The crowd laughed and cheered and cried.  All with joy.

I am glad I was there.  

Here are my photos of that night, at the White House, between the White House and Lafayette Park. 

Some videos first.  The videos are dark and hard to see, but the sounds...the sound reveal what it was like too.  

Here are some photos, brightened up.

Questions About Raid

Slate's William Saletan asks 8 questions about the raid that killed Bin Laden yesterday in What Really Happened in Abbotabad? All very good questions. Such as - if Obama approved on Friday, why didn't operation happen on Saturday? (Imagine if so - given the White House Correspondent's Dinner)

And at the bottom, he has updated his piece with some answers. Apparently cloud cover caused the delay.

A Lighter Note

A Vassar classmate posted this on her Facebook page. thanks Kristen!