Seems weve left the brink behind and moved into those disasters many times under the leadership of George W. Bush. The decision to go to war is one, followed by torture, rendition, spying on American citizens, and, of course, the brink in New Orleans when Bush knew the levees would be breached but was passive and, later, said, Whod have known?
How many brinks are we going to allow, especially, when Bush is too stubborn and inept to pull us back, away from danger?
Now, George W. is giving his speeches to garner support for the war weve lost. Hes just said, We will not lose our nerve. Easy for him to say since his life isnt on the line. The lives of our troops and of Iraqis are, though, and the Bush Presidency is. Bush has always indicated he doesnt pay attention to polls, but his actions prove otherwise. Hes looking deeply at his approval ratings. Thats why hes out there predicting victory. I guess the poll hes ignoring is the Zogby International which did face-to-face interviews with our soldiers on the ground in Iraq and found that more than 70 percent think they should be pulled and returned home this year.
I say this with certainty. I say it as my family endures the August 6, 2005 death of our own soldier in Iraq. I say it because I have so recently experienced the loss of my First Amendment rights, the swiping of my freedomstaken so brazenly that Im still having difficulty with the reality of what it now means to be a citizen of the United States under George W. Bush. Hes the real miscreant here and he sleeps in a house for which I pay under 1000-thread-count sheets for which I pay in a bed for which I pay and jets around in an airplane for which I pay, yet, he hasnt spent one minute paying for crimes that most of the world consider horrendous. His payment is long overdue.
On March 6 when I accompanied CODEPINK members and the Iraqi Womens Delegation to the US Mission to the UN to deliver a petition with over 100,000 signatures of women who say no to war, my freedomsthose my nephew and more than 2,300 of his fellow soldiers supposedly died fighting to preserve (?)were abruptly and brutally suspended. Four women for peace, Rev. Patricia Ackerman, Medea Benjamin, Cindy Sheehan, and I, were arrested and jailed for 22 hours.
George W. Bush has the audacity to say there is no greater sacrifice than to serve this country in war. But our troops arent serving our country. Instead, theyre serving a commander-in-chief who isnt serving the electorate, but is, instead, serving his own interests. George Bush wants you, our soldiers, and me to believe that he acts on our behalf. Obscene lies twist past his lips.
Several people have asked why I chose that particular day last week to take a stand more drastic than my usual. The answer is this: March 6th marked seven months since my nephews death in Iraq. When I saw that the security agents had locked the doors to our mission, I was compelled to do more than march or sit in front of my computer and write. I acted not only in support of freedoms for which Chase J. Comley didnt die but to claim what he believed he was preserving when he enlisted, even though he was betrayed by George Bush who manipulated evidence to go to war and, then, didnt care enough to even provide adequate body armor for the troops. My claim on liberty was denied.
For all who say, Freedom isnt free, I want them to understand exactly whats occurring while they ignore our descent into a dictatorship. Our freedom was never at risk in Iraq or from Saddam Hussein. Freedom wasnt an issue in the invasion that Bush conceived long before the events of 9/11 and even prior to the oath he took as our president. The word freedom is currency to those in the highest offices of our government and they use it to market war. Abusing patriotism, they speak nationalistic rhetoric. They should be ashamed. They should be publicly shamed. They should be impeached and, then, prosecuted. To this administration, the lives of our troops are insignificancies. The dead are placed in transfer tubesvacuum cleaner bagsto be emptied into a coffin and placed in the dirt. The grief of the distraught families is unfelt by the president. The wailing is unheard by the designers of war.
My nephews death is meaningless to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Rove, Wolfowitz, Powell, Perle, and all the advisers who were foaming at the mouth to invade Iraq. Our loss is their gain. POWER. OIL. CONTRACTS. PROFIT.
Meanwhile, as those of us who work for peace are jailed because we dare speak against this administration, Bush and pals raise their glasses or give each other the high sign, confident in their accomplishments and planning the next war.
Freedom to Bush doesnt mean the same as it does to you and me. Bushs definition is measured by the support he receives for his doctrine from members of Congress who are no longer statesmen and stateswomen. Rather, they bow and scrape for the glory of George. Anyone who strays is bulldozed by the power the president and Karl Rove harness so effectively.
Freedom used to mean having the right to speak against injustice, against war, and against a dangerous president who makes insane statements like: God told me to invade Iraq.
Tragically, the distillate of Bushs unpunished, scandal-plagued reign may be a world thats uninhabitable. And, sadly, for so many, the realization of this wont occur until theres nothing left to lose.