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What Bush Means by Tolerable Violence

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It is the middle of October and already 46 US troops have been killed in Iraq this month. Two other "coalition" soldiers have died, bringing the total to 2,996 since the invasion began in 2003. In September, 3,530 Iraqi Security Forces and civilian deaths were recorded. Already 588 Iraqis have died this month.

We have just learned (despite the Pentagon's denial) that a coroner has ruled that British journalist Terry Lloyd was killed by US troops in Iraq in 2003. Not only have we lost the hearts and minds of the Iraqis, we are losing the hearts and minds of other "coalition" members as well. Apparently, after Lloyd was shot in the back by Iraqis, he was, then, shot in the head by US forces while being transported for medical treatment.. Caught in the crossfire. If you are killed by friends, this is called "friendly fire." But "friendly fire" is just as deadly as enemy fire. Ask Lloyd's widow. She issued this statement: "The US allowed their soldiers to behave like trigger-happy cowboys in an area in which there were civilians traveling."

That's because the US Commander-in-Chief is a trigger-happy cowboy.

One can imagine George Bush if he had to meet with the Lloyd family--the out-of-sync body language and the way he touches his breast when he emotes. He might say this:

But this was friendly fire...uh...friendly fire is better than enemy fire cause it's friendly, ya know...it's friendly. Friendly means...uh...good guys, not supposed to happen, no reason to apologize. In fact, there's never a reason to apologize. Apologizin' would mean the terrorists have won, that we're appeasing' the enemy...the evildoers...they're not friendly. They're evil. They're jealous of our freedoms and they want to kill freedom-lovin' people.

During his October 11 news conference, while speaking to White House reporters, Bush was asked about the recently released survey by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health which found that more than 650,000 Iraqis have died in the war.

His answer: "I applaud the Iraqis for their courage in the face of violence. I am amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they're willing to...that there's a level of violence that they will tolerate."

What can you say about a president who makes a statement that is so incredibly stupid? The answer is that we have a man with his finger on the button who is incredibly, dangerously stupid. In fact, when you hear him, or read that he's said this, you find it almost incomprehensible to process the words--the sheer moronic stringing together of nouns and vowels that he utters to support his actions.

Sadly, not one of the reporters challenged the president with:

Whoa...are you really saying that the Iraqis accept the violence because they love freedom? Isn't it true that they want to be free of US occupation and that our presence in their country is causing the violence? Isn't it obvious, Mr. President, that they are fighting to protect what is theirs and, really, that isn't amazing at all? It's what every human would do. Actually, it's what animals do too.

We are all casualties of George Bush's tenure. Those who support the president are casualties. They just don't know it yet. The decision to go to war means loss. The words 'win' and 'war' are incompatible.

George Bush and peace are incompatible.
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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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