::let us not mince words

4 04 2005

(…Blogging from the road this fine day. No links, no pretty pictures…)To be blunt:
George W. Bush is a coward and a criminal.

Today he handed out a Medal of Honor to the 11 year-old son of a soldier killed two years ago in Iraq, during what is now known as the Battle of Bagdhad. During the ceremony, he retold the story of the soldier’s bravery and death, talking about his disregard for his own life as he defended his men, with Sargent Smith’s bravery reaching a climax as he, in the President’s words, “took a fatal round to the head.”

Dubya spoke with what I call his Good Ol’ Boy Tough Guy tone. As if he’d seen that kind of action back in The ‘Nam, and it was only the grace of God that prevented such a fate for him. But it wasn’t grace he felt as he failed to show up for duty, instead getting play with his dress blues in Alabama redneck bars and using his dad’s East Aisan CIA connections to score good dope.

And as I heard this on the radio and imagined my own 10 year-old son in the place of this boy who lost his father, I thought about the grief and the rage he must feel from time to time, when the darkness creeps in a little too closely. I wonder if the photos and the flag and the newly-bestowed Medal of Honor serve to heal the broken heart that beats in this boy’s chest.

My best hope is that they do deliver some peace as this young man struggles for sleep, and that they disturb the slumber of the Commander in Chief, knowing that each day he cheapens these symbols of sacrifice like so many cheap gift shop trinkets.

The blood of millions stains him, and his office, and all of us.

January 20th, 2009 can’t come fast enough.

I hope regime change brings change.





3 04 2005

It is Sunday morning and I’m sitting in the living room reading the news on my laptop. The family is all up, preschool cartoons are playing on TV, and coffee is being sipped and breakfast eaten.Pretty normal Sunday, all in all. The most monumental thing I’ve had to overcome so far is that we have sprung forward today.I subscribe to a few comics on my My Yahoo! page, among them Ted Rall. If you’re not familiar with him, he writes these incredibly funny and usually inflammatory political cartoons. He is far to the left, and I love the fucker. He pulls no punches and tells it exactly like it is. When I read him, I often hear Robert DeNiro in The Untouchables saying “We laugh because it’s funny and we laugh because it’s true.”

I was a little disappointed as I read this morning’s edition. He’s been spending a little too much time on the whole torture thing. Kind of doing it to death, if you will.

Then I realized exactly how absurd that thought sounded as it rang off in my head. How sad and terrible it is that the subject of torture has become ordinary, even banal.

What have we done to ourselves?

When we reach a point where political loudmouths on the Sunday loudmouth political shows talk about torture being a partisan political issue that one side exploits just to harm another, we should agree that damage has been done. When we talk about torture and feel that we can move on, when we acknowledge that it happened on our watch and may still be happening on our watch, that it could be happening right now, and it is okay to change the subject, some damage has been done.

So I like Ted Rall quite a bit. He doesn’t pull any punches and he is offensive as hell when he needs to make a point. And he sometimes spends a little too much time on the whole torture thing.