Thursday, August 31, 2006

Uber Allis

Rating: SL, V

Update: For a shot of moral courage, read Phobic Nation over at Shakespeare's Sister. Preach, girl!
Associated Press
Updated: 11:32 a.m. PT Aug 31, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY - President Bush on Thursday predicted victory in the war on terror at a time of increasing public anxiety at home, likening the struggle against Islamic fundamentalism with the fight against Nazis and communists.

With just over two months until Election Day, Bush said opponents of the war in Iraq who are calling for a plan to bring home troops would create a disaster in the Middle East.

"Many of these folks are sincere and they're patriotic but they could be -- they could not be more wrong," the president said. "If America were to pull out before Iraq could defend itself, the consequences would be absolutely predictable, and absolutely disastrous. We would be handing Iraq over to our worst enemies -- Saddam's former henchmen, armed groups with ties to Iran, and al-Qaida terrorists from all over the world who would suddenly have a base of operations far more valuable than Afghanistan under the Taliban." (You can read the whole story here.)

What?????????

We're over there helping Iraq to defend itself? From what? Invasion? wait a minute... I know that there was some large wealthy superpower nation invading Iraq... who was it? ... wait, don't tell me...

Oh! Right! That would be the United States of America! Well, golly, I'm glad President Bush is committed to defending Iraq against them. That's an incredibly powerful military force. Iraq can't possibly defend itself alone against the U.S. Wow. I guess the people really did know what they were doing when they elected Mr. Bush president of... wait. What country is Mr. Bush president of? wait, don't tell me... I know this one...

Oh! Right! That would be the United States of America.

Read whole post
If America were to pull out before Iraq could defend itself...

I was in downtown Washington, DC on September 11, 2001. I was working in an office that dealt with national and international events. The televisions that were always tuned to the news were playing in people's offices. I saw the smoke from the Pentagon billowing past our eighth-story windows. With about 200 or so other employees, I watched on an enormous movie screen in the lecture hall as the second tower fell.

When they finally sent us home, Dupont Circle looked like an anthill that some marauding giant had stepped in. I walked two miles before I could board a bus that would take me home, because it had been reported that there was a bomb somewhere in the Metro subway system. Much later, this rumor proved false, as well as the one about a car bomb being driven into the OEOB. But we didn't know that then. We didn't know if our friends in New York City were hurt or dead, we didn't know how many were hurt or killed at the Pentagon. We didn't know what would happen next, where the next attack would land, if this was just the point of the knife that would eviscerate us.

I am more horrified today than I was then.

How is it possible that my president--and he is my president, regardless of the fact that I voted for the other guy--my president, weeks before the five-year anniversary of that day, can stand up before God and everyone and say such a thing? The terrorist attacks on this country did not come from Iraq, yet we have been told over and over again that our invasion of Iraq is the front line of the war on terrorism. We have been told over and over again that Iraq is a critical threat to our very lives, that they have or might have or could have weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq could annihilate our entire way of life.

Mr. President, if Iran is incapable of even defending itself against enemies, how the bloody hell could they have ever posed an invasion-necessitating threat to the greatest military power on the planet? If they do not have the military power and the devastating weapons--which some of your people are still insisting really were there and probably still are, since we never managed to find them--to wage a war, what the hell were we doing when we invaded Iraq in the first place?

I don't know. I don't know what will happen next, how many more American men and women will be maimed and killed, how much more of our liberty will be curtailed, how much devastation to our way of life we will suffer. But this time, the unpredictable power from which these horrors issue is my own government. The lies are coming from men and women whose salaries I pay, in whose hands the collective "we" have placed the power to determine the future of this nation.

I shit you not, dear reader, I am scared. My whole defiant "refuse to be terrorized" 'tude is losing altitude fast. I cannot rid my brain of the image of an ambitious and driven paperhanger from Vienna who preached patriotism, national pride, and hard work, who led a frightened and bewildered nation from despair to a desperate kind of bravado, who implemented bold plans to strengthen national security by curtailing personal liberty and weeding out citizens whose ethnic background, political beliefs, and alternative lifestyles marked them as potential internal risks, who took the fight "there" so to make the people safe "here" and commanded the invasion and occupation of one country after another, all in the name of strength, security, and safety. It is less and less difficult for me to imagine how it all happened. And I am well and truly scared.
Almighty God, we humbly beseech you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought here out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in you to fail; all which we ask through your Son our savior Jesus Christ. [Book of Common Prayer, p. 820]

O God, the Father and Mother of all, whose holy Child commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through your Word made flesh, our savior Jesus Christ. [Book of Common Prayer, p. 816]


Amen.

yours in the struggle,
Max

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