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May 09, 2003
News, News, Get Your Page Fifty News!

I like to go beyond the front page headlines and stuff. Sometimes. That's because the stuff you can find easily in the national news, on the front page can piss me off, and the OpEd pages disturbs me.

I get pissed off, for instance, when I read fawning articles about Bush's Western style. The man was raised on the East Coast and educated in expensive private schools. He's not a down-home Texas guy, in spite of having bought a ranch and a truck to use as campaign gimmicks.

I'm guessing that, all across the country, airport concessionaires are reporting significant increases in revenue for last year. That's because now that we all have to be at the airport and checked in for our seats an hour or two before our flights, we have a lot more time to kill in airports.

And I'm not one for trying to pretend life isn't messy just because there are kids in the room, but there's a limit to how much dirty laundry you should air. I think calling Bush corrupt, even if I agree, is over the line in a schoolroom, unless Livingstone knows something I don't. Bush is an opportunist, a born follower, has an eye for the main chance, and thinks he's entitled to get-rich-quick on daddy's coattails, but at least two of those qualities don't automatically mean he's unfit for office. His ADD might, but whatever.

Remember the other day when I said it was unfair to pick on Halliburton as the font of all evil when it came to dealing with Iraq while the country was under sanctions? I still think that. Sort of. Mostly I think they and the Administration need to be put under the microscope so we can discover just how that all-inclusive contract came about.

Bottom line? It's all about oil.

Let me sit down for a moment and recover from the shock.

You know why you should always read Josh Marshall? Because if you weren't interested enough in the latest "man trades high security secrets for sex" story to read the articles, you might have no other way of discovering that the woman in question was a major player in the Republican party.

I've never belonged to the Sierra Club and I never belonged to Greenpeace, but I'll be members of both before the week is out. This persecution of political and economic "enemies" under the guise of "making war on terror has got to stop.

Pisses me off

And, speaking of things that piss me off, this one did in a big way. It's okay to take potshots at the politicians and the media who are letting us down. In fact, I applaud people who do so. But I don't care to see Hall or anyone else sniping at soldiers for what are, after all, the kinds of things that happen during a war.

Has the relative civility of the much-discussed Geneva Conventions fooled this man into thinking that was is some kind of parlour game where the non-combatants are clearly labelled and somehow immune from harm? Has he falled for the sanitized versions of "war" the media presented us with in the first Gulf War and then this recent bombardment of Iraq? When he thinks of "war" does he think of those fighter jets lazily circling in a blue sky, or of bomber runs passing over and hitting a nice, sanitary button with, one hopes, split-second timing?

Perhaps he's under the impression that the phrase, "war is hell" is either some kind of Madison Avenue cliche or refers to some outmoded kind of war that we don't wage any more?

Someone get this man a dose of reality.

Yes, the things he cites as examples of "cowardice" in Irar during the fighting were regrettable. Some of them were even tragic. What the hell did he expect? It was a war, okay? Fundamentally, war is about people dying. Has the man watched too many episodes of Hogan's Heroes, or what?

Civilians die, children get horribly injured, and innocent bystanders are maimed. It's not all brave soldiers sighting 'the enemy' through the crosshairs of a gun, okay? Why does he think people detest war? Because these are the kinds of things that happen.

He shouldn't watch so blasted much television.

It's unfair, unrealistic, and, yes, cowardly to blame the soldiers for the events he's citing. Blame the leaders who led these young people into unjust and unprovoked carnage, by all means.

But don't blame the soldiers. Their job is to go where they're led. Worse yet, their job is to kill people, surely the most heinous job on earth. But an army is a weapon. An army is a tool that's no better than its leaders and its leaders are the ones responsible for the soldiers' actions.

Every child that died was killed by the Bush Administration. Every man, woman, or child that was maimed was injured by the Bush Administration. Every civilian that died was killed by the Bush Administration. Every person in Iraq who died, and every coalition soldier who died and every journalist who died was killed by the Bush Administration, just as surely as if someone in the White House had pulled the trigger themselves.

If the war was fought on the basis of lies, if the public 'cause' was untrue, if the means of achieving the government's pretended aims caused the deaths of thousands, then blame the government.

Don't blame the soldiers.

Pisses me off.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:11 AM