|George W. Bush has said his favorite philosopher is Jesus. If that's so, then there must be some things about Jesus that I don't understand. Perhaps George could answer a few important questions for us:
George, you've done a lot of killing.
And you do it with aplomb.
Perhaps you would be willing
to say: Who would Jesus bomb?
You've killed thousands in Iraq,
And you keep on killing more.
There's some info that we lack:
Would Jesus start a war?
You knew before your war began
Your reasons wouldn't fly.
So won't you tell us if you can:
To whom would Jesus lie?
It's almost time now to adjourn,
So won't you let us court your
Opinion on this big concern:
Who would Jesus torture?
- Doug Long
|Pushing Back – Why the World Can't Wait
I was born and raised in Midland, Texas. That in and of itself may not, strictly speaking, require an apology. But as a very young boy, I made an embarrassing mistake. I went to Sam Houston Elementary School with George W. Bush.
What can I say? I'm sorry. I was young. Kids make mistakes. But in my own defense, I should point out that I was not in George's class, and he certainly wasn't impressive enough for me to actually remember him. I could have gone through life ignoring this childish folly, but for one piece of evidence
The Midland Reporter-Telegram, which we always referred to as the Repeater-Smell-o- gram, published a picture in the mid 1950's of a group of school crossing guards from Sam Houston Elementary. My parents still have the photo, framed on their office wall. In it stand my older brother and George, decked out in spiffy white belts and badges. I've seen that picture many times, but it only recently dawned on me that it is an historic
photograph. It documents two important milestones in George's career. First, it marks the closest George ever got to actual combat. (Those 6th graders can be vicious!) And secondly, it represents the pinnacle of George's competence and leadership ability. He could just about handle being a crossing guard. After that, it's all been downhill.
In fact, Bush's incompetence is so evident that recent polls show over 60% of Americans now disapprove of the job he's doing. Now, that seems like a lot of disapproval, but I wondered why it wasn't 100%. I mean, after Iraq and torture and tax breaks for the wealthy and Katrina and one scandal after another and the invasion of fundamentalism into everything from science to social programs, how could anyone still support Bush?
And then it hit me: shift work.
There are lots of people doing shift work in America to make ends meet. I mean, at any given time, a third of the country could be asleep. So, the pollsters probably got responses from lots of sleepy people who couldn't understand the question. That would account for 33% of the 39% who approve of Bush. One percent represents the destination for all of Bush's tax cut money and no-bid contracts, so we know why they support him. The other 5% I assume are just old soreheads.
It really is difficult for me to believe that anyone of good conscience in this country could continue to delude himself to the point where support of Bush was still possible. It is testimony to the vast success of decades of corporate propaganda that has filled American heads with all kinds of goofy ideas. Here are some preposterous things that corporations have made the general public believe:
1. "Liberal" is a bad word. "Liberal" is like "socialist", and that's on the road to"communist". Of course, communists are still bad because they control so many of the world's people. I mean, there's Cuba, and, …well, there's Cuba. I'm pretty sure that soon the word "liberal" will begin to be associated with the word "terrorist". It's the next logical step. Terrorists are the up-and-coming boogey men and have largely replaced communists.
2. Labor unions are bad. They're corrupt and they don't care about the welfare of the public. Not like the corporations, those nice guys in three-piece suits who do us all a favor by providing us with jobs. That is, until they decide that labor is cheaper somewhere else and pull the rug out from under their workers.
3. Democrats are bad. They tax and spend. Not like those good conservative Republicans. Not like Ronald Reagan, who left us with a crushing national debt. Okay, bad example. How about my old school mate, arch-conservative George W.? Oh, yeah, he's managed to fritter away a huge surplus and dig us into a vast hole of trade and budget deficits, all the while shoveling mountains of cash to his super-wealthy friends and paying for everything with IOU's to the Chinese. Hmm. Seems like the Republicans are aptly described as, "don't tax the rich – just spend like crazy".
4. Social Security is broken, so we must fix it by destroying it. Huh?
5. The news media have a liberal bias. This is said all the time, but especially when a story comes out that is unflattering to corporations or their lap dog, the U.S. government. Now, about 2 ½ seconds into thinking about this claim, it is apparent that it is utterly false. Corporations own the major news media. Corporations don't allow the news media to do things that are not in the interest of corporations. Conversely, corporations cause the news media to over-report on stories that purport to show them in a favorable light. Only when corporate crimes are so egregious that they can no longer be ignored are they reported on with any degree of honesty. Look how long the Enron fiasco went on before the news media really dug into the story. And look how fast bad corporate P.R. fades
to the back pages of the paper, to be replaced with some hard news, like the latest Jennifer Aniston story.
I grew up believing a lot of this crap. My parents are good people, but they couldn't withstand the onslaught of propaganda that has poured forth from corporate "public relations" agencies, i.e., propaganda machines, over the years. If I hadn't gone to college and then the Army when I did, during Vietnam, I might have swallowed corporate propaganda for the rest of my life. But there was a narrow opportunity there, when people were in the streets protesting, when the Nixon presidency was coming unglued, when underground media began to spring up. It was a period of enlightenment as well as chaos. Sometimes it takes a breakdown in the social order to allow people to think and see alternate perspectives.
The initial break in the corporate propaganda wall happened for me in, of all places, Baylor University. The first semester of my freshman year, I took a required Old Testament course from Dr. Patterson, and what could have been a boring and dogmatic course turned out to be enlightening and liberating.
Patterson explained some facts about the Old Testament that are beyond question in the academic community, but which are never discussed in churches. For one thing, most of the Old Testament was written down long after the events depicted, mainly during and after the Babylonian exile in 586 BCE, and the fact of the exile had a great effect upon the writers. Moses obviously didn't write the Torah, since there was no written Hebrew in his day. (Many archaeologists even dispute the existence of Moses or the Israelite exodus from Egypt.) It can be demonstrated, moreover, that the books making up the Torah are composed of at least two separate traditions, Priestly and Jahwist, woven together. In places, like the first few chapters of Genesis, there are actually two separate and very different versions of the creation story written side by side, which makes it very hard to believe it literally. Which story would Pat Robertson reject?
Besides which, my professor informed us, the word Adam means "mankind", while Eve means "life". Knowing that simple fact throws the whole story into a different light and reveals the tale for the allegory that it was intended to be. From there on, my entire view of the Old Testament changed. I could never again consider it to be anything more than a record of the religious musings of a long-dead culture. Certainly, it is not literally the word of God.
Well, if a guy like me, the grandson and nephew of Baptist preachers, can challenge the literal truth of the Bible, he can certainly begin to see through the thin veil of corporate propaganda. A bumper sticker slogan current at the time became my mantra: Question Authority.
I was told to believe in competition and the free enterprise system. However, all around me I saw the evidence that free enterprise tends to stifle competition and create monopolies. Business is about crushing the competition, not celebrating it. Besides, weren't we all members of the same society? Why should we be struggling against each other rather than working cooperatively?
I was told that labor unions, socialists, and liberals were out to ruin America. They wanted us all to be lazy, leaning on our shovels instead of being productive members of society. Besides, it was through the goodness of the corporate world that we were provided with jobs so that we could marry and support families. However, I soon realized that capital could not function without employees to build and buy its products, and that labor was at least as important as capital. In fact, the best way to have a productive society seemed to me to let labor own capital. That way, there would be no competition between the two.
The capitalists had the opposite idea, wanting instead a generous supply of cheap labor that they could use or alternately, throw away. Time has shown me nothing different in this regard. All these years, and many jobs later, it is painfully apparent that business ruthlessly abuses employees. There is no job security or concern for the worker on the part of business. Benefits are only improved when the labor market is tight. Otherwise, businesses couldn't care less if workers rotted on the streets, as long as they were there when needed to build and buy products. If corporations can move operations overseas or downsize (as the euphemism for wholesale firing goes), they'll do it in a heartbeat, without a care for the carnage they leave behind.
These things that have been self-evident to me since the 1970's are still not understood by the majority of Americans. Corporate propaganda has seen to that. Corporate apologists will tell you that it's more complicated than what I've described. It's not. And of the folks who do understand, many are so demoralized by the fact of corporate hegemony that they have given up opposing it. The odds of overcoming such powerful forces, complete with armies of so-called public relations experts, who are no more or less than professional corporate propagandists, seem insurmountable.
Only a few factors are still on the side of the working man and woman, and one of the greatest is our vastly superior numbers. The potential for organized, concerted action by a large group of workers is the greatest fear of the corporate propagandists. That fear has driven them to demonize and suppress unions, to have their government stooges pass laws protecting them from lawsuits, and to buy careers for an endless stream of right-
wing politicians. Every potential vehicle for labor organization, from the Democratic Party to the local church, has been bought off, co-opted, infiltrated, or tarred with the brush of liberal/socialist/communist.
Is it possible to educate and organize folks so that they understand and act in their own interests? It had better be. Unfortunately, I don't think it will happen without a repeat of the late 60's and early 70's. That includes not only massive actions against the outrages of corporate greed and government folly, like Vietnam and Iraq, but also some terrible incidents along the way as the corporations push back.
The murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. spawned widespread riots that woke up complacent citizens. Those riots also showed the left some of its own power, projected in a very negative way. As terrible as the riots were, a case can be made that progress toward civil rights was pushed along because of them. The deaths of 4 students at Kent State, at the hands of a military presence that should not have been there, undoubtedly shook the country and caused a massive outpouring of sympathetic souls that could not be ignored by the media and their corporate owners, whose pockets were being filled by war spending. In the end, I'm convinced that the tragedies along the way speeded up the end of that horrible war. It's disgusting to think that we may have to endure something similar in order to beat back the corporate beast in this present decade. Reluctantly, I have to admit that I believe such sacrifices would be worth it in the end. As right-wing apologists are fond of saying, "Freedom isn't free".
So, when I heard about the actions planned for November 2, I quickly contacted the local organizing committee of the "World Can't Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime". Sure, I vote every time. I give a little money to candidates and organizations that have the courage to speak up against the Bush machine that is steadily grinding away at our rights and livelihoods. And I talk about politics with friends and co-workers. But that is just not good enough. This kid that I went to elementary school with has grown up badly, or maybe he's not grown up at all. He is doing things in my name that I cannot abide. I won't sit by and be an accessory to his crimes, foreign and domestic, like many Germans did in a similar circumstance in the 1930's.
Apart from spreading the word about November 2 in Hays County, where I live, my role in organizing the actions was fairly small. In spite of that, I was asked to be master of ceremonies for the rally at the Capitol, and I willingly accepted. I am not a public speaker. When I've been required to address an audience before, I've always gotten the butterflies, tight throat, and dry mouth that are typical of many in such a situation. But standing on the Capitol steps, with 300 or more in the audience and police all around, my nerves were calm and I felt no hesitation. I had come with a pure purpose. I was surrounded by like-minded people. And I was angry.
As the rally began, and I weighed in with as stinging a rebuke of Bush and his cronies as I had in me, I became more exhilarated. As each speaker followed on, my spirits rose with the knowledge that we were speaking truth, that there was no denying to this crowd that the present administration in Washington was utterly and unrelentingly corrupt.
For the first time in years, I felt a little of the liberation that comes when you tell the truth and damn the consequences. We are united in a great cause. That feeling of freedom and unity is addictive. It is the feeling of knowing that there are things more important than my own personal comfort and safety. It can drive a soldier to heroism and a martyr to stand calmly as death approaches. In this instance, there was no danger to ourselves, but in the future, there may well be.
In January, this movement, which held actions in over 60 cities this time, will move forward with the next step. The plan is to drown out Bush's State of the Union address. The form that action takes is still being determined in organizing groups all over the country. One of Bush's most blatant lies came in the 2003 State of the Union address, where he trotted out the completely discredited fiction about Iraq attempting to buy uranium from Niger. That lie became a cornerstone of the case to invade Iraq. Our goal this time is to make sure that none of Bush's lies are heard. Instead, the world will hear this demand: Bush step down, and take your whole program with you!
Once again, I will be there, chanting, pushing back.
NEOCONS 'R' BUSHED
The final days of the PNAC cabal
December 1st, 2005
On November 30th, an exhausted looking George Bush,"Commander-in Chief," strutted up to the faux rivetted, banner-emblazoned and Hitleresque war-stump and dictated his latest "Plan for Victory" in Iraq. Apparently,
> the crotch-strapped President's famous "Mission Accomplished" victory declaration was a little premature, because the slaughtering work of spreading freedom in Iraq will not end on his watch without "complete
> victory." So Bush was back before his favourite audience, this time a fawning full-house of sworn-allegiance, duty-bound, invite-only Naval Academy midshipmen, to explain to the increasingly disgruntled 'Land of the Free' how he intends to prosecute his on-going atrocity in Iraq.
In all of America, Bush could not have chosen a less critical, more muzzled and gullible crowd to peddle his pull-out from the quagmire. No embarrassing outbursts from this plebeian crowd, only rapturous ovation, (OK, there was a lot of snoring too) on every cue. Nevertheless, Bush stumbled immediately by pointing out the military record of his Neocon crony, Rubberstamp Rumsfeld, who was sitting in the audience. This only emphasized to everyone the chickenhawk President's own sorry AWOL military desertion and and his "VEEP-for-torture's" five deferrments. The cowardly hypocrisy of it all hung in the mind's eye for the duration of the oration. One wonders what went through the minds of the midshipmen, whose "Honor Concept" code of ethics states that "Midshipmen are persons of integrity: who stand for that which is right.They tell the truth and ensure that the full truth is known. They do not lie, cheat or steal." What were they thinking, these future torturers, cluster-bombers, DU and Willy Pete dispensers, as they listened to, and dutifully applauded their Commander-in-Chief?
Here's the nutcase "Plan for Victory" in a nutshell:
1) "...To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your Commander-in-Chief..." (Applause.)
2) "...We will never back down. We will never give in. And we will never accept anything less than complete victory..." (Applause.)
3) "...And as the Iraqi security forces stand up, coalition forces can stand down -- and when our mission of defeating the terrorists in Iraq is complete, our troops will return home to a proud nation..." (Applause.)
1 and 2 we've already heard ad nauseum, so lets have a look at the standing up and standing down business. Here's a bit of recent history to set the context for Bush's latest brainwave:
Apr. 5, 2004 "...Suddenly the Iraqi Civil Defence Corps (ICDC), a paramilitary force trained by the Americans, turned on the US soldiers and started to shoot at them instead .The Americans fled their vehicles and began to battle both the Mehdi Army of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and the ICDC members. Their vehicles were set ablaze..."
Nov. 8, 2004 "... Iraqi battalions fighting alongside Americans during the assault of Fallujah suffered mass desertions. One Iraqi battalion was reduced from 500 men down to 170 -- with 255 members quitting over one
Dec. 21 2004 "...Nineteen US soldiers were killed in a suicide attack inside a massively fortified US military base in Mosul. George W Bush offered his condolences but stressed that troops had a vital mission of peace in Iraq..."
Aug. 8, 2005. "...Iraqi soldiers being trained by US troops inside Taji military base, are afraid to set foot outside."We're all afraid. I can't go outside the base wearing these military clothes," "We all know soldiers who notice people photographing them with mobile phones and being followed," said a Shiite Muslim from Amara..."
Sept. 29, 2005 "...The number of Iraqi battalions capable of combat without U.S. support has dropped from three to one, the top American commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, told Congress Thursday, prompting Republicans to question whether U.S. troops will be able to withdraw next year..."
Oct. 03, 2005 The Senate heard testimony from America's generals, including top General George Casey, that only 1 out of 119 Iraqi army and security battalions are able to operate in combat situations without U.S. military backup. The generals' testimony meant that after two and a half years of U.S. efforts, only 750 men out of 200,000 can be relied upon to operate and obey orders independently in combat situations..."
But according to Bush's Plan for Victory, just two months later:
"...Now, there are over 120 Iraqi Army and Police combat battalions in the fight against the terrorists -- typically comprised of between 350 and 800 Iraqi forces. Of these, about 80 Iraqi battalions are fighting side by side with coalition forces, and about 40 others are taking the lead in the fight. Most of these 40 battalions are controlling their own battle space, and conducting their own operations against the terrorists with some coalition support -- and they're helping to turn the tide of this struggle in freedom's favor. America and our troops are proud to stand with the brave Iraqi fighters." (Applause.)
Are Americans going to buy this latest Bush bullshit? In Bush's simple mind, Iraqi and American GI's will soon be hobknobbing, chowin' down burgers and sippin brewskis like buds as they rampage around Iraq together. Newly befriended freedom-fighting troops will be hangin' poolside down at Saddam's palace and doing some fishing in the custom-built and stocked manmade lakes, before marauding out on patrol to go shoot up some rag-head terrorists. Iraq will then blossom into freedom and democracy, the oil-spigot will be cranked on full bore, the glorious troops will come home and we'll get yet another "Mission Accomplished" extravaganza.
Readers are reminded that America's dreadful blunder into Iraq represents a major plank in the shameless weltanshaung of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) global-domination scheme. Here are PNAC's guiding principles, set out in 1997:
• we need to increase defence spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;
• we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;
• we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;
• we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.
The Neocons conclude with "Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next."
PNAC is comprised of many familiar faces in the Bush regime incuding Elliott Abrams, John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Linda Chavez, Dick Cheney, Zalmay Khalilzad, Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, I. Lewis Libby, Clifford May, Richard Perle, Daniel Pipes, Dan Quayle, Donald Rumsfeld, William Schneider Jr., Paul Wolfowitz and Robert B. Zoellick, to name a few of its brightest lights.
This is the sneering, war-mongering, world-domineering, power-tripping clique of the Neocon cabal, the psychopathic architects and miserable masterminds of the unwinnable Iraq catastrophe. But they've blown it, the naked stupidity of their Commander-in-Chief is exposed and America will pay. The Neocon scheme is exhausted, Bushed.
bushed / / adj. 3 Cdn informal (of a person) a living in the bush b crazy; insane (due to isolation). 4 Austral. & NZ informal lost or confused.
~The Canadian Oxford Dictionary
BIRDBRAIN IN THE BUSH
Scene: A room in a US Army base in Baghdad, Iraq. Cheap modular chairs are arranged in rows. About a dozen SOLDIERS in uniform are sitting on them. They include one black, JACKSON, one Latino, HERNANDEZ, one Japanese American, SATO, an Indian, KUMAR, and even one middle-aged Iraqi in a blue uniform. A WOMAN who looks like an executive from a TV network walks among them with a microphone.
At one side of the room are several TV cameras and a large plasma TV set, the screen of which is currently blank. At a table behind the cameras sits an officer, COLONEL MITCHELL, and a couple of G-MEN in black suits.
As the curtain lifts, the TV WOMAN is speaking.
TV WOMAN: …now, I’ll be giving you the microphone, Harris. What do you do?
HARRIS: I give a big grin.
MITCHELL (sotto voce, to G-MEN): He’s got an excellent set of teeth.
WOMAN: Right. And after you’ve said your piece, you…?
HARRIS: I give it to Jackson?
WOMAN: Only if he asks about the heat. If he asks about the war on terror, you pass it to…Mason, is that right?
MANSON: Manson. [Flexes his heavily tattooed biceps] And then I do this?
G-MAN (to MITCHELL): Do you really think this is going to go all right?
MITCHELL: Don’t worry, they’ve been very carefully selected.
WOMAN (to MANSON): Just casually. Don’t make a production out of it. [To HARRIS] But if he asks about the food, you pass it to Casco, who praises it. Right?
CASCO [The fattest man present]: If you say so…
WOMAN: I do. All right, everyone, here he comes!
[All the SOLDIERS spring to attention in sitting position, facing the screen, except for the IRAQI, who looks around, bewildered. The TV screen flickers to life. BUSH’S face appears.]
WOMAN [brightly]: Well, boys, look who’s here! Welcome, Mr. President!
BUSH: I just dropped in for a warm meal.
VOICE [heard offscreen, audible only to BUSH and the audience]: No, you fool, that was last time.
BUSH [looking petulant]: It got them cheering last time, didn’t it?
VOICE: You’re not even in the country right now.
BUSH: Yeah, what I meant was, mission accomplished, right?
VOICE: No, that was the other time, on the carrier. You forgot your flight suit.
BUSH: I had other things to think about, like my popularity ratings. This mission had better be accomplished, and fast. I need some victories to throw in the goddamn liberals’ faces. [To SOLDIERS] Well, boys, what shall we talk about?
WOMAN: Whatever you like, Mr. President. We’re at your service.
BUSH (eagerly): Really? Anyone here knows to teach me how to ride a Segway?
VOICE (wearily): Not that type of service.
BUSH: Oh. OK. How’s the war on terror going?
WOMAN [giving microphone to MANSON]: Here’s a brave soldier you can ask yourself, Mr. President. Corporal Manson.
BUSH: Hey, soldier!
BUSH: Y’all know why y’all are fighting terrorists, don’t you? Why we’re in Eye-rack?
MANSON: Because they hate our freedoms, sir! Because we’re spreading democracy, sir!
BUSH: And avenging nine-eleven. And God’s words to me. Remember that.
MANSON; Avenging nine-eleven, sir! God’s words, sir!
BUSH: D’ya think y’all are making worthwhile sacrifices in Eye-rack? Y’all know them liberals want y’all out.
MANSON: Yes, sir! We’re making progress, sir! And we’ll stay here until the job is done, sir! Otherwise the blood we shed will be shed in vain, sir!
MITCHELL (sotto voce): Well coached.
BUSH: Good, tell me about the last bunch of terrorists y’all killed.
MANSON: Yesterday, sir! I was at a checkpoint when this here car came up, sir! And I thought it was lookin’ kinda funny, you see, being old and rusty and all, not like a good honest American car, so I opened fire, sir! And afterwards we found only an old man and a pregnant woman in the car, and I thought I’d made a screw-up, but, ya see, it was all right, they musta been terrorists, because the officers…
WOMAN [snatching microphone, with bright smile]: Thank you, Corporal Manson. Now what would you like to ask, Mr. President?
BUSH: Can y’all tell me what signs of progress y’all can see in Eye-rack?
WOMAN: Private First Class Sato.
SATO: Yes, well, this country was in terrible shape when we came in, Mr. President. I mean, these people had nothing, you could walk ten blocks, and not spot a McDonald’s. Now, of course, we can’t actually walk ten blocks any more, but we got one right here on the base.
BUSH: That’s great! Now that’s a blow for freedom. Isn’t that right?
SATO: Yes, sir. Now, my grandma, she was in a camp for the Nisei in the war. But then she didn’t know that Coke is the American way, sir! What’s good for Halliburton is good for the nation!
BUSH: Fine, fine. How’s the heat?
SATO [confused, looks around helplessly]: Er…
WOMAN [taking microphone]: Lance Corporal Jackson would like to answer that question.
BUSH [eyeing JACKSON distrustfully]: Well, boy, I mean, soldier? Hot enough for you?
JACKSON: It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.
BUSH: Where are y’all from, anyways?
JACKSON: New Orleans.
BUSH: You don’t say? And what do y’all think of them looters, huh? Robbing good hard working folk’s stores?
JACKSON: They should’ve been shot, sir! They’re a disgrace to the nation and to the African-American community, sir!
MITCHELL [sotto voce]: We pick ‘em well for these things. Even the nignogs. Don’t worry.
BUSH: And y’all got any complaints about the armour y’all got?
JACKSON: Sir –
WOMAN: Sergeant Harris here is all eager to answer that.
HARRIS [with big grin]: Yes, sir! We have to go to war with the army we have, not the one we wish we had, sir!
BUSH: And it’s better to fight ‘em in Eye-rack, not at home, right?
HARRIS [looking troubled]: Really, sir? You think these insurgents might go attack Broken Ridge, Tennessee, otherwise?
WOMAN [hurriedly]: Mr. President, Hernandez here is ready to answer that.
BUSH: So long as we fight the terrorists in Eye-rack we aren’t fighting ‘em in the US, hey?
HERNANDEZ: Si, Senor El Presidente. We fight here an’ terrorist don’t go kill people in America. Maybe not in Puerto Rico either.
BUSH: Y’all know the liberal abortionist groups are calling for you to leave?
HERNANDEZ: Si, Senor, el padre he say abortion, eet ees…muy bad. He say abortion an’ condom work of el Devil. Gay, too.
BUSH: Good, I’m glad we think alike on that. I see we have all sorts of people here. Who’s that over there in the corner?
WOMAN: That’s our Corporal Kumar, Mr. President. From India.
BUSH: Huh, no kidding, India, eh? Glad t’see y’all in the fight for freedom. Didn’t know we had Indians in this army. Thought they didn’t want to send troops to Eye-rack.
KUMAR: Well, I joined for the citizenship. Otherwise I’d have to wait years.
WOMAN (prompting): And to take part in the war on terror.
KUMAR (hastily): Yes, that too. Every day I tell myself that I’m helping freedom by fighting here. And to those who say I’m a stooge for the Americans, I say, better be a stooge for the Americans than a free man in Bombay. America is the leader of the world, I tell them. And its President is the greatest man in the world.
BUSH: And aren’t y’all proud that y’all liberated the Eye-rackis from that Saddam?
[An explosion is faintly heard in the distance.]
WOMAN: As to that, sir, we have with us an actual Iraqi soldier who’s going to tell us how happy he is to be a part of the war on terror. [Shoves microphone in Iraqi’s face.]
IRAQI: I not spik English.
WOMAN: That’s all right, I’ll translate. What do you want to know, Mr. President?
BUSH: Ask the rag…I mean brave Iraqi ally if he’s happy about our being in Eye-rack.
WOMAN: (translates into Arabic)
IRAQI (in Arabic): Happy? I fought the Iranians for years to stop them from taking us over, and then you ask me if I’m happy to see Americans here, lording it over us, and acting as though they want to stay forever?
WOMAN: He says he thinks we should stay here for ever to protect his country from the Iranians.
BUSH: Damned right! Now isn’t that just what them liberals should hear. They’d sing a different tune then! What does he think of the new democracy?
IRAQI: What is this democracy where the Kurds and Shias get everything, the Sunnis nothing, and the government can’t get out of bed in the morning without Halliburton’s permission?
WOMAN: He thinks it’s very nice the Kurds and Shias are getting their rights and living as equals with the Sunnis, and the government’s being guided by Halliburton in the right direction. He…
[A louder explosion rattles the windows.]
BUSH: What was that?
WOMAN: Oh, just thunder. It’s the rainy season here.
BUSH: Ask him if he’s happy we liberated him from tyranny.
IRAQI (angrily): My little son was kidnapped for ransom, and I had to pay my life’s savings to get him back. My daughter wanted to be a teacher in college, but she can’t go out now without a veil without being threatened by local goons. We have no water or electricity at home, I had to take up this job to survive, and you call this liberation from tyranny? Even that butcher Saddam would have put things right in a week!
G-MAN (to MITCHELL): Get that raghead to Abu Ghraib as soon as this is over.
MITCHELL (to G-MAN): Consider it done.
WOMAN (to BUSH): Certainly he is, Mr. President. He says his daughter’s going to become a teacher, his son’s been liberated from captivity, he’s going to have water and electricity restored in his house, and Saddam was a butcher who would have killed everyone in a week. He says he joined the new Iraqi army to serve and protect the democracy which wouldn’t survive otherwise.
BUSH: And are his fellow soldiers ready to take up their combat responsibilities?
IRAQI: Ready to cut my throat if I look away for a second. And we’re always in the first line when we attack a liberated city. Without even proper armour and helmets!
WOMAN: Yes, they’re razor-sharp and they’re eager to fight their way into the terrorist-controlled areas. They don’t even need armour and helmets.
BUSH: Now isn’t that the best goddamn shootin’ thing I’ve heard all day. Even the liberals can’t say that ain’t a good thing I’ve done in Eye-rack. God’s gonna be mighty pleased with me, I can tell ya. Are y’all ready an’ eager to go fight the good fight in Eye-ran after this, boys? And after that we’re gonna take out that there See-rear guy, what’s his name…
WOMAN: You mean Bashar Assad of Syria, Mr. President.
BUSH: Yeah, that Ass-it. We’re gonna see his rear! Y’all good an’ ready to go spread freedom and democracy there, huh? Are y’all ready to stay in them foreign lands a few more years to fight for democracy, boys?
SOLDIERS (together, without enthusiasm): Yes, sir!
BUSH: That’s right! Wish them bleedin’ heart terrorist lovin’ liberals could’ve seen all this. I’m sure God’s mighty pleased with ya all, boys.
[Terrific explosion, roof falls in. Darkness, silence, dust clouds rise]
Copyright Biswapriya Purkayastha 2005
Cindy, a Mother of great moral will!
W, a mere political shill?
Cindy, a grieving Gold Star Mother!
W, a deceiving Big Brother?
Cindy, lost her soldier son Casey!
W, a developing military John Wayne Gacey?
Cindy, a son fallen for our nation!
W, always on a long vacation?
Cindy, a son who died for an Iraq lie!
W, with daughters aspiring to a Bacchus high?
Cindy, seeking a face to face meeting!
W, the truth is always fleeting?
Cindy, only meets with his lowly aide!
W, of the truth is so afraid?
Cindy, kept away on a hot and dusty gravel road!
W, hides in his abode?
Cindy, waits for months the truth to know!
W, within hours rushes to defend Rafael Palmeiro?
Cindy, her son's life offered!
W, just the Coward of Crawford?
Cindy, continues daily protest spectales!
W, a corporate toady with no moral test*cles?
I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas.
It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.
I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.
>Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies.
What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal." But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
|Every morning, when I first get in to work, I like to start the day with what has become something of a morning ritual. I like to visit a few of my favorite websites. One of these websites is Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index [www.cagle.com], a site which features political cartoons by some of the most prominent political cartoonists of the day.
One of these cartoonists, a Mr. Mike Lester, whos cartoons tend to be of a conservative bent, posted a cartoon today (11/30/05) which can be seen here;
Since Mr. Lester's particular section on this website includes a link to his e-mail address, I thought I'd send him a response to this cartoon. The response I sent read as follows;
The (admittedly erroneous) image of people who like to say "Merry Christmas" as being overly-religious wouldn't be as widespread as it is if pundits such as O'Reiley, Hannity and Roberston didn't make such a big deal out of it and let people say what they want.
But, I guess creating argument where none is necessary is how they make their money.
Rather than replying to (what I consider to be) my civil, well-worded letter with an equally valid counter-point, Mr. Lester chose instead to send the following letter to the CEO of my employer, R&R Partners;
Dear Mr. Billy Vassiliadis,
Are you aware that Junior Assistant Graphic Designer Gentile writes me everyday? He obviously has precious little to do and is madly in love with me. By the way, 12:07 est would be on the clock at R&R, would it not?
He'll never make Senior Assistant like this.
Rome News Tribune
At no time did I threaten this man's well-being or livelihood. All I did was write a civil letter of argument, and Mr. Lester chooses to respond by making some petty, paltry attempt at threatening my employment status.
How much of an immature, despicable, mean-spirited jerk can you be?
If this displeases you, and you wish to call this man's behavior to the attention of others, feel free to do so.
Incidentally, you can contact Daryl Cagle, the administrator of this website, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, if you wish to contact Mike Lester directly, his e-mail address is email@example.com