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A Brat Who Needs To Be Brought Under Control

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Recently I was walking through a department store. A father and his small son, about 5 years old, were a few yards ahead of me near one of those displays in the middle of the aisle. The boy was fascinated by a shelf full of those little sparkling melted glass creations in the shape of soldiers and started playing war with them. The man was a few feet from him looking at some shirts on the other side of the aisle. Predictably the boy got excited and, in his energetic exuberance, knocked a number of the fragile pieces off the shelf and they shattered with a light tinkling sound. The father turned at the sound of the breaking glass and the boy then did a very strange thing. In spite of clear evidence to the contrary the boy insisted that he did nothing to cause the shattered glass on the shelf and floor and in fact that the soldiers were already broken when he got there. The father tried to get the boy to fess up, but to no avail and in the end took responsibility himself, found a clerk, apologized and offered to pay for the broken pieces (probably not more than $100). The clerk refused and said that the store would absorb the cost.

I thought of our childish president. He thought it might be fun to play soldier and be a "war president", so he found a helpless country to play war against. Predictably, like the boy, he shattered the country and, like the boy, he denied breaking it and insisted that it was already broken by its evil leader when he got there. He continued playing war and breaking more and more of the country in the childish belief that by doing the same thing over and over a different and improved result would ensue. Some adults tried to convince him that what he was doing wouldn't work, but to no avail - and with the help of a "war congress" he continued smashing and breaking the country, killing extravagantly and spending like a drunken sailor.

Like the broken glass figures on the shelf it's very likely that the country is broken beyond repair and can't be fixed - it will have to find a way, on its own, to start again in a form that makes sense for its people and their culture. The only thing to be done is for adults to take responsibility, discipline the child by removing him from office, apologize to the world for not controlling the brat's behavior and make whatever restitution we can to try to atone for the horrible crimes committed in our name.

It's often the duty of responsible adults to discipline an incorrigible brat harshly, sometimes even putting the child away in a correctional facility. Let's see if we can elect some adults to congress in November who will be willing to do their adult duty by impeaching our brat president and removing him from office. Then we as a nation should get about the business of making amends to the people of Iraq and the world and try to collectively cleanse ourselves of the filth adhering to us by our collective complicity in our brat's deadly war games. We may never find absolution, but perhaps we can learn from our wretched experience and move ahead to become what we once were, a country worthy of the respect of decent men.
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Bob is a retired engineer and lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He contributed significantly to the post-Challenger redesign of the solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle.
He has taught engineering at several universities and was (more...)
 

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Robert: Thank you for your oped piece. My husband ... by Debby Bodkin on Sunday, Jun 25, 2006 at 11:41:10 AM