Saturday, December 31, 2005

Last Day of the Year 2005

Since tomorrow will be the first day of the New Year, I think we should take a look over the past year on this planet.

It's been a rough year. It's been a year of Mother Natures wrath. A hurricane destroyed New Orleans, an earthquake killed over tens of thousands of people in Pakistan and India. It was a record breaking year for hurricanes, 26 tropical storms, 14 of which manifested into Hurricanes including Katrina (the New Orleans and Mississippi destroyer), Rita (hit Texas) and we watched as the media ran out of names for the storms and switched to the Greek alphabet.

It was a year of war. The conflict in Iraq claimed hundreds of US soldiers lives as well as thousands of Iraqi civilians. It was a bloody year in Afghanistan as well, with over 50 US soldiers laying down their lives for their country.

It was a year of terrorism. On Feb. 14th former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was killed along with 20 others in a car bombing blamed on Syrian authorities. On July 7th four suicide bombers attacked a double Decker bus and the three subway trains in London, killing 56 and injuring hundreds. Later in the month, on July 21st, another bombing in London occurred but due to deteriorated materials, the explosives only caused minor injuries. On July 23rd, car bombs exploded at tourist sites in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, killing at least 88 and wounding more than 100. On Aug. 17th over one hundred small bombs were detonated in Bangladesh, killing two and injuring a hundred people. In Chechnya, rebels staged a mass attack on Russian federal buildings, police stations and the airport in Nalchik. 137 people, including 92 rebels, lost their lives. In Amman Jordan, three suicide bombers detonated themselves at three hotels on Nov. 9th killing at least 60 people, many attending a wedding party.

We saw hopeful signs of progress in the global war on terrorism. In Iraq and Afghanistan, elections were held and were successful, with minimal violent interruption

Some major terrorists were killed or captured including Al-Qaeda militant and terrorist trainer Mustafa Setmariam Nasar who was captured in Pakistan. Abu Hamza Rabia, an Al-Qaeda commander, was killed in Pakistan. Al-Qaeda in Iraq number 2 man (there's a lot of #2 men in Al-Qaeda it seems) Abu Azzam al-Iraqi was killed by US forces in Baghdad. Azahari bin Husin, bomb expert and leader of the terror organization Jemaah Islamiyah was killed in Indonesia by authorities after a tip off lead them to him.

Saddam Hussien's circus of a trial started this year.

Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip in a tear-jerking military action this year, handing the land back over to Palestinians for the first time in 38 years.

Australia thwarted a terrorist plot in their country, arresting 20 men accused of plotting attacks in the country.

2005 saw plane crashes, hostage crises, some ending in tragedy some ending in relief. We saw a NY transit strike, Iran throwing the middle finger up to the world and seeking nuclear capabilities and a new disease called the Avian Flu scare the shit out of medical experts.

We saw a lot of things this year, some good, some bad. But we all lived through it (those reading this of course). We remember fondly those who left us this year whether it be famous icons (Richard Pryor, John Spencer, Pat Morita, Peter Jennings, Johnny Carson), political figureheads (Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, former president of Israel Ezer Weizman), beloved people who changed our world for the better (Pope John Paul II, Rosa Parks) or a personal family member or friend.

As we ring in a New Year, we'll take a second to look back on our mistakes and our triumphs and try to balance the scales in our favor for the future. We learn from our past to better tomorrow but we don't forget lest we repeat our failures. We crack open a bottle of champagne so we can celebrate our lives. We should never forget that we share this planet with others that do not have what we have, cannot live how we live and are owners of beliefs that differ from ours. That's what makes this planet so precious sometimes, dangerous at others.

This is our world, the only one we're going to get. In the New Year, we'll try to take better care of it. We'll strive for peace but resort to war if needed. We'll send prayers and well-wishes to those who deserve it and hope for justice for those who deserve that.

We will hope for a better year, some will act to try to achieve that hope, others will ride the tide. We're guaranteed to see lose, success, smiles and frowns in 2006. It's up to us to how we react to each of those.

Enjoy the holiday, stay safe, and be good to one another.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

all I have to say after reading your first article and reading the comment left by someone. maybe you should be giving us the news at 5
I know you're better then FOX 5 you're more fair & balanced than they are. I know, I worked there for 4 years
good luck

January 04, 2006 11:42 AM  

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