Friday, January 21, 2005

Tap Your Toes for Freedom

This is dedicated to the celebrant in Washington I heard interviewed on the radio last night; the one who was bubbling over with joy to have a Christian president in the White House protecting and standing up for "family values and the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves, the pre-born."

I hope he enjoyed his night of dancing in Gomorrah because I can't help but believe that he, like the rest of us, will soon pay the price for our government's skewed sense of morality in ways that will surely wipe away the smug smiles of those defending the rights of zygotes.

Here is an excerpt from an op-ed piece in today's New York Times, written by Bob Herbert:

As the well-heeled Bush crowd was laughing and dancing in tuxedos and designer gowns, the situation in Iraq was deteriorating to new levels of horror. The Black Tie and Boots Ball was held on the same day that 26 people were killed in five powerful car and truck bombs in Baghdad. With the elections just a week and a half away, American commanders, according to John F. Burns of The Times, are seeking "to prepare public opinion in Iraq and abroad for one of the bloodiest chapters in the war so far."

A photo at the end of Mr. Burns's article showed an Iraqi National Guard member carrying the remains of a suicide bomber in a garbage bag.

The disconnect between the over-the-top celebrations in Washington and the hideous reality of Iraq does not in any way surprise me. It's exactly what we should expect from the president and his supporters, who seem always to exist in a fantasy realm far removed from such ugly realities as war and suffering. In that realm you can start wars without having to deal with the consequences of them. You don't even have to pay for them. You can put them on a credit card.

People traveling in the real world may see Iraq as a place where bombings, kidnappings and assassinations are an integral part of daily life; where police officers are blown to pieces as they line up for their pay; where innocent men, women and children are slain by the thousands for no good reason; where cities like Falluja are leveled in order to save them; where America's overwhelming superiority in firepower has not been enough to win the war; and where the upcoming elections seem very much like a joke since many of the candidates have to keep their identities secret and the locations of many polling places remain undisclosed.

People traveling in the real world may see Iraq that way. But in the fantasy-laden Bush realm, Iraq is a place where freedom is on the march.

So why not raise a toast to freedom, and dance the night away.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, that sends shudders through me.

Today, it really feels like Viet Nam. The only hope in this is that more Americans will turn against the president. I probably don't need to list the down sides.

Suddenly, I regret that when I was a kid/teenager in the 80's and early 90's, I wished I had been alive for Viet Nam and the 60's so I could have something to protest, an exciting life, etc. I had almost forgotten about that wish. Remembering it makes Bush make more sense to me: he is an overgrown 10-year-old.


1/21/2005 11:39:00 AM  

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