Sunday, December 07, 2008

Riots Continue Across Greece After Teen Killed by Police 


ATHENS, Greece (CNN) -- Hundreds of young self-styled anarchists rioted in the streets Sunday and attacked police in several Greek cities in a fury over the shooting death of a teenager by a member of an elite police corps.
I would like to know what is going on in Greece that young people are confronting the police in this manner?

A police statement about the boy's death said the incident started when six young protesters pelted a police patrol car with stones. The 16-year-old boy was shot as he tried to throw a fuel-filled bomb at the officers, police said.
Anarchists tend to gain traction under oppressive governments. But I am not all that up on Greece at the moment, so I don't know if that is the case. Is the Greek government oppressive?

That rioting would explode over much of the country indicates a rather ominous sign; that the government is either oppressive and/or corrupt. Unfortunately, this article does little in the way of explaining the motivation of the youth. Describing them as Anarchists just doesn't suffice.

As to police shooting the 16-year-old; if you find your car is being pelted with stones, get the hell out of there. Obviously the mood of the country is such that confrontations with children only makes those in authority seem that much more incompetent. That's right, I am indeed qualifying a 16-year-old as a child. Maybe if the police officer in question had keep that in mind, he might not now be facing manslaughter charges. Nor would the country be inflamed in rioting.

I know, I know. 20/20 and all that. Tough. I get tired of the old mantra of respecting authority. You want respect, then earn it. Acting dictatorial and oppressive earns you animosity and anger, not respect.

Of course, I realize I am going off half-cocked. Like I said, I know little of the political situation in Greece. For all I know, the government is an example of Democratic perfection and the children have been mislead by a vast, virulent, network of lying propagandists. I mean, it could happen. Right?

Obama Takes Shinseki for Cabinet 


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President-elect Barack Obama will nominate retired Gen. Eric Shinseki to be secretary of Veterans Affairs, two Democratic sources said Saturday.

Obama was expected to make the formal announcement Sunday -- Pearl Harbor Day -- at a news conference in Chicago. Veterans groups appeared to support the selection.

"I am excited. I don't know him personally but this is a huge move," said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

For years, Shinseki, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, has been the patron saint of Pentagon critics who say the former Army chief's sage advice was ignored in 2003, resulting in too few U.S. troops being sent to Iraq after the invasion.

Well, if this doesn't convince the skeptics on the left that Obama is moving in the opposite direction of Bush, than nothing will. If nothing else, this selection shows that he is not going to surround himself with a bubble of yes men.

Shinseki spoke with condor and honesty about what he thought would be the necessary troop levels for a successful invasion and occupation of Iraq. Somehow, I do not see Shinseki becoming Army chief of staff without being able to recognize the prevailing political winds. So, I figure he knew speaking his opinion was going to have consequences.

It may have taken 5 years, but his honesty and willingness to speak his piece has finally paid off. True, he may not be leading the army, or the armed forces, but he sure as hell was just offered an important post. For most of my life, I have seen veterans handed the short stick. It's almost as if the United States is embarrassed that service members are wounded during combat. Quite frankly, the current administration has acted as if the only sacrifice they were willing to acknowledged was death. And even then, just barely.

I hope Eric Shinseki turns out to be a true advocate for the injured men and women of the armed forces. Lord knows they need one after eight years of the apathy they've had to experience from BushCoâ„¢.