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Vote Against War, Vote Against Lies

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Message Missy Beattie
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Let the games begin.

And start with Snow blowing. Tony, that is, as he spins his familiar Foxtrot in servitude on behalf of ultraconservatives.

Continuing his favorite pastime, Karl Rove, AKA Bush' brain, despite struggles with the law, will work behind the scenes, manipulating the dials of the 2006 elections and indiscriminately thrusting to the fore those good ole wedge issues""a woman's right to preside over her body and gay marriage.

Meanwhile, as we're gamed to death, our troops are being killed in Bush's sport. Almost 2,400 US troops have died in a war based on lies. Almost 18,000 have been injured, some with debilitating brain damage. April has been a cruel and bloody month, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember Afghanistan""the place where we had such a stunning victory? Well, the battle persists there but seldom receives attention from our brought-to-you-by-Republican-ownership Main Stream Media. Two hundred and eighty-one US soldiers have died in this country, five recently.

Meanwhile, bin Laden is hiding, plotting, and calling for the deaths of Americans, saying that since we elected Bush, we must support the Bush "vision," a foreign policy of exploitation and endless war. Osama's video appearances are performances in Bush's favor""the necessary fright factor. But think how useful bin Laden would be""his head brought out on a platter about a week before the elections. Nationalistic Americans would be running to the booths to punch the screen or pull the lever for any candidate endorsed by George.

Don't be fooled.

The issue is the war, whose death count apparently means nothing to Bush. Nor do the injuries, the broken marriages, the collapsed dreams, the children without mothers or fathers, the parents who have lost a child, the grandparents who suffer not only from their own loss but also as they feel the agony of seeing their children suffer a parent's worst nightmare, the siblings whose brother or sister is buried beneath a mound of dirt, and the aunts and uncles who grieve over a life denied as well as for their sibling whose child has died. This is the mushroom cloud of infinite sorrow.

Never forget that this above-the-law president twisted evidence to fit his policy to send our loved ones to fight for personal revenge ('Saddam tried to kill my daddy') and for oil and profit. It is now well known that the WMD threat was a hoax perpetrated to make us believe that Bush was saving us from certain annihilation. And it is also well known that the real weapon of mass destruction is actually residing in the White House, waving and grinning as he moves across the lawn even as our troops' precious blood is spilled in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So be more than a little suspicious of the Pentagon's announcement that 50,000 troops may return home soon... If progress has been made training Iraqi forces. The 'if' in the statement is huge. Our challenge to the administration must be: What IF there's no progress and what IF, in fact, the sectarian violence worsens? Could it be that the statement to the press is simply a ploy to salvage the 2006 elections? This isn't fuzzy math. Fifty thousand troops/2006 elections.

Don't be fooled.

The Bush Administration's lust for war and the misrepresentation of evidence to invade Iraq are the issues that should decide your vote. Certainly, if you are one of the many families who's heard the words: "We regret to inform you," and you believe that the lies of George Bush are responsible for your pain, this will be the deciding factor when you go into that booth. If you haven't lost someone, the many lies alone should influence your choice.

Don't be distracted by the ultraconservatives who bombard your consciousness with anything other than the most pertinent issue""the war, its truth, the fabrications that took us there, its personal toll, its cost and the devastation of the Iraqi people. The immorality of Bush's choice to unleash chaos in the Middle East doesn't render other problems here at home meaningless but it puts them in perspective.

So, when you enter the voting booth, know which candidates are equivocating about an unnecessary war and its senseless deaths. Know the candidates who say they're against the war but continue to fund it. Show them that you will not tolerate continued US aggression that Rep. John Murtha says 'sears the soul.' Create a loud statement against a foreign policy that exploits other countries, our soldiers, our conscience, and makes all of us less safe.

Drown out Karl's efforts to stray from the truth and Tony's attempts to snow you.
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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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