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Tripping Our Sensory Breakers

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Message Missy Beattie
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During the past two weeks, we have experienced political sensory overload.

NASA has revealed that important global warming documents were kept quiet before the 2004 election. Cheney, of course, is the "superior" who authorized Lewis Libby's leak of classified pre-war information and now Dick who is really the president says he has the power to declassify those secrets. Also, we had the hunting accident. Cheney's molasses-like release of information and the eventual explanation in a (gasp) Fox News interview has just received the Bush stamp of approval. George became emotional as he struggled to express how "satisfied" he is with Cheney's handling of the situation, displaying much more compassion for Dick and Harry than he's ever shown our troops and the Iraqis. Add to this a report that billions of dollars are unaccounted for in Iraq--tax-payer money spent on war profiteering. Plus, the United Nations has called for Gitmo to be closed because of inhumane treatment of prisoners.

But there's more. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has requested from Congress 75 million dollars to democratize Iran. I don't know about you, but I'm really scratching my head over this one. After all, the Bush/Cheney plan to democratize Iraq has rendered a piss poor outcome. George and Dick can't be pleased that the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, who waged deadly battles against American troops, now controls 32 seats in Iraq's Parliament. Do we negotiate with this terrorist? Of course.

A portion of the money Rice wants is allocated to purchase a media blitz--radio and satellite television broadcasts to improve America's image among Iranians. But get a load of part II. Madam "Mushroom-cloud" Rice advocates a program to encourage and empower the people of Iran to study abroad. Apparently, this is supposed to be offered to dissidents, but with this administration's track record, we may be opening our arms to those who are armed against us. In other words:

Welcome to the United States all you shouters of 'Death to America,
the great Satan.' Let us assist with your passports and box cutters.
And while we're at it, how many of you are interested in aviation training--
where you can learn to fly--but not land--an airplane

Apparently, Condi Rice doesn't do much tread milling with Karen Hughes or she would have heard first-hand about Hughes' failed Middle Eastern excursion to spread glad tidings, make a connection, and have mommy-moments with the women there. I have a good feeling Condi's blueprint to change hearts and minds would register near the same low level on the success meter as Karen's did.

So there you have it. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Every child is left behind. Money isn't being spent on areas considered imperative to our safety by the 9/11 Commission. Katrina victims still haven't received what they were promised. And the war in Iraq is expected to cost two trillion dollars. We have no business spending money on what will be a failed attempt to democratize Iran. Especially when the erosion of our own liberties continues each day the Bush administration remains in office.

The arrogance of this White House is a national tragedy. Imagine if our leaders took a humble approach and worked for peace. What Condi, Karen, George, Dick, Donald, Karl, and the other members of the Testosterone Tour need is a good 12 step program where they, finally, admit their powerlessness over their power.

Actually, it's not just the past two weeks that our senses have been politically saturated. It's the last two terms--the entire George Bush tenure. This must be the reason our public has tuned out the crisis in this country and the disaster we've created in Iraq. Turning on reality television is like pulling the covers up and hiding under a blanket of denial.

And that's exactly what the Bush Administration is counting on.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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