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Friday, Jan. 31, 2003 at 8:07 PM
A very wryly humorous perspective on the Deserter In Chief's State of the Union.
There's Always Tomorrow!
By Judith Moriarty
I asked my friend if she watched the State of the Union address? She replied, no, that she watched an old movie--she just didn't see the sense in making herself deliberately ill.
Funny the things that go through your head watching such events, which I, patriotic-upstanding-red-white and boo American felt was my citizen duty! No shrinker me in this, "if your not for us your against us mantra". The one thing that really hit me, outside of the hour long packaged commercials, all stuck together and called a speech, was the quick glimpse of an empty chair in the cloned gathering, all decked out in red, white and blue satin bows and ribbons. Huh, I thought, must be a tribute to Senator Wellstone who died tragically right before election time? I'd heard it lamented that Senator Wellstone was "the soul of the Senate." Maybe it's the beating of war drums day in and day out, the worry of whether my clothing will be coordinated with the announced colored warning for the day, jeez did I offend anyone in the last twelve hours, or the newest concern of whether, as a woman, I'll be able to get a college scholarship for football should I decide to go back to school? Anyway, it was all of these and more, which had me wondering why anyone would wrap up a 'soul', symbolically represented as a chair, in gaudy ribbons? I think Senator Wellstone would probably have preferred a child sitting in his chair with a copy of the Constitution in their hands.
I don't know if it was relief or shock that I felt seeing Vice President Cheney 'alive' sitting behind President Bush? He's been out of circulation for awhile, and I'd been wondering if he hadn't kicked the bucket and they'd forgotten to tell us in the chaos of the times? I mean, you can see how that might get overlooked. Hmm, I thought, Cheney brings back those old memories of Enron, Worldcom shysters ripping the people off from their pension funds and putting thousands out of work. Gulp, no sense bringing up that sordid mess. We've got our plates full, what with war and Martha Stewart still on the loose! Cheney, I mused to myself; amidst all the promises of everybody and his brother being helped, Vice President Cheney had received a million severance package from Halliburton, the company he headed between Bush senior and Bush junior time out. With all this talk about EVIL incarnate, shudders, I was wondering what Cheney was feeling having been so close to the Butcher of Baghad when he brokered million in oil equipment contracts through subsidiaries with Iraq? Phew! How was he to know? Kind of like remembering how you'd refused that lift from Ted Bundy (serial killer-par excellence). Well at least we can rest easier knowing he doesn't have to cut his heart medications in half or die waiting for an HMO to approve an echo-cardiogram!
Not his exact words, but President Bush promised we'd try to kill as few civilians as possible when we start firing a barrage of hundreds of missiles to rescue the brave people of Iraq. Bet they're all heaving a sigh of relief that at least SOMEBODY is thinking about their welfare!! Boy, President Bush and his spokespeople, really work themselves into a self-righteous lather if anyone dares suggest that this "compassionate concern," in it's finest hour, has anything to do with oil!! Hello! Ever hear of coincidence? Sure Iraq has an incredible oil and natural gas supply! Something like 30% of the world's total! And yes, President Bush dabbled a bit in the oil business when he ran a failing oil company called Arbusto (Bush in Spanish-clever huh?) Thankfully, through some family connections he parlayed it into stock in a larger company and eventually was able to invest in the Texas Rangers, his real love!
Sure he got million in campaign donations from oil and energy companies during the 2000 race. So what, he's got friends that don't desert him when the rubber hits the road! Would that we all had such loyalty! Then there's our military protecting the pipelines of Occidental Petroleum in Colombia. Even Colin Powell doesn't have a problem with this! He says, "We thought a million investment in Colombian brigades to help protect this pipeline was a wise and prudent one." No sense confusing the people at this late date that this isn't about evil drugs. Let sleeping dogs lie is what I say. What's MORE important? Us being able to cruise life's highways, snowmobile, jet to far off exotic boutiques and winter fun, or drugs saturating our cities and towns? I rest my case!
I like to think of myself as pretty in tune with politics now that I have made a few trips to our state Capitol. So, I for one, wasn't fooled listening to the President's speech on how busy special interest groups had been lobbying the White House to get their priorities mentioned. Just like commercials on TV, bam-bam-bam one after another. There were the limits on medical malpractice lawsuits being sought, money for AIDS in Africa, tax cuts pushed by trade associations,and expansion of the domestic energy supply, promoted by the natural gas industry. The environmentalists got mentioned with the promise of clean air, managed forests and 1.2 billion for research on a hydrogen fueled car. How the millions of unemployed or those working at Wal-Marts or McJobs will ever be able to afford such an exotic vehicle (if we ever see it) is another nothing issue! With the top 1% of those holding all the wealth getting the best places round the $ trough, it looks like the rest of us have been left in the muck and mire of the barnyard to pay for all these lofty promises,sign up our kids to fight, volunteer between our second and third jobs as mentors, plus the costs of an expensive war or wars! I don't think the President mentioned that this warring for peace could come with a price tag of upwards of 2 trillion dollars! Oh, what the heck, big numbers-little numbers, with .00 in my wallet I'm not taking that worry on!
Besides Senator Wellstone's soul wrapped in ribbons, the thing that gave me the real shivers was when the President launched into a description of what real EVIL was about! Yikes! It was pretty darn gruesome. Tongues cut out, acid dripped on flesh, gassing, disembowelment, hanging, torture, stabbing, hacking, chopping and ordinary shooting. He said something to the effect that if all of that didn't represent evil then evil didn't exist! Sounded pretty evil to me, but then I'm no expert on the matter. Hell, I can't even watch a horror film or the nightly news. I was wondering what part of the speech writing team got the Evil description assignment? They should have thrown something in like, "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people still alive." Jimmy the Tulip (Bruce Willis) in The Whole Nine Yards. It might have dressed the evil part up a bit--but then I'll never be hired on as part of the team to come up with some catchy jingoisms, or warn of how unthinkable evil reigns throughout the earth; hidden in aluminum cylinders, village wells, under piles of camel dung, and in palace toilets! President Bush said that Colin Powell, who's a different man since the death of Senator Wellstone, is going to tell the UN Security Council about the stuff Saddam is lying about. Being just a regular, ordinary, run of the mill citizen (no security clearance), I wanted to ask someone why Colin was bypassing Congress, the Senate, our intelligence agencies and the inspectors? Probably a dumb question, but if they're so sure he has this stuff, surely they have an idea where it's all hidden? President Bush also said, real emphatically that, "until all weapons of mass destruction are destroyed in the world we won't have peace!" Again, dopey me was thinking, "does that mean if we rid the entire globe of these evil weapons and only we have them, then doesn't common sense imply that the rest of the world will all be at peace except us?"
President Bush kept insisting that Iraq; thousands of miles away, a big ocean in between, with approximately 23 million people (mostly women and dying children), the size of California, should keep me up nights worrying about the end of the world; especially if Saddam is allowed to live! Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was over in Iraq glad handing it with Saddam during the Iran/Iraq war when Saddam was poisoning Iranians. Now, while Mr.Rumsfeld appears a bit hyper and super sensitive to criticism, he got back in one piece! The poisoning of the Kurds went on in '85 I believe. As I understand it, the UN sent six different teams to investigate this with nothing done. It just appears a bit late in the game, for all this outrage almost twenty years later. In fact, we did business with Saddam right up until the Kuwait incident, when they, (Kuwait), slant drilled into Iraqi oil fields. Everyone knows (everyone that reads the news outside the U.S.A) that Kuwait hired a prestigious public relations firm to market the war.That's where all the stories about rapes and baby's being thrown out of incubators came from (never happened-per Senate Hearings). Just a thought, but with what's presented as 'news', all really packaged public relations pieces, who got the contracts this time? For ex: The story of Afghan women now learning to drive and democracy reigning throughout Afghanistan is one slick piece. Please!! A look at Afghan news shows chaos, turmoil, and dope back in full force. They're having a hard enough time just keeping the lid on Kabul!
In the end, the President prayed to God to guide us, lead us, bless us, and protect us as we plan this pre-emptive, regime changing strike, on approximately 6 million rag tag people in the market places and alleyways of Baghdad! The plan appears to be to reign down approximately 800 missiles within 48 hours, shocking Saddam to his senses and surrender. Apparently Reverend Falwell/Robertson and their ilk have no problem with this imploring the God of mercy-justice-love of neighbor and Blessed are the Peacemakers, to anoint this crusade? But then, one man's God is another man's cornstalk, alien spaceship, or heroin hit! So who knows whom the call is going out to? President Bush did a decent job reading from the telepromter and pronouncing the words right. Practice does make a difference. I got a little queasy when he brought Iran into the mix and wondered if he'd meant Iraq? The warnings to Korea were none too diplomatic. For myself, I'd keep a little distance between me and this dictator , Kim Jong, who owns the largest collection of Daffy Duck cartoon videos in the world! Just something a bit spooky mixing Daffy Duck with nuclear weapons, and a million plus army! President Roosevelt didn't need speech writers and instead of speaking FEAR to the populous he told them, "there's nothing to fear but fear itself". He also raised the taxes on the rich to pay for war. How things change. Gore Vidal got it right, "Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can't read them either." Perhaps we can take some consolation from Charles Schultz who remarked, "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia."
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