September 03, 2005



The title today is for the benefit of those who may not want to read this, just so YOU know.

In the beginning, my stance was "stay the course" in Afghanistan - we had a righteous reason to be there (now the Taliban are attempting a comeback). I was totally scratching my head when we U-turned the majority of our combat troops to Iraq.

So what if Saddam's got WMDs? Stay the course in Afghanistan, I said. If Saddam even tries to move with BS like that, the International Community will bend him like a twist-tie. Sure the U.N.'s ineffectual for most anything, but for Christ's sake (not to rob anyone's captain) at least they provide a good bureaucratic ruse for watching the slippery bastard. It's first things first, stupid.

So we get all juiced up and make the about face and I'm like, "OK dudes, you've done it now. Guess we all oughta git on the Git 'R Dun wagon and see this thing through (my incurable need to give morons the benefit of the doubt). Well that lasted about like a quarter tab of Alka-Seltzer in some vinegar.

The endless parade of lies and abuse and suffering and death make this the furthest thing from a "righteous" war. My disgust over the same old (or neo) hypocritical U.S. power structure, wagging our Florida at Europe saying "suck me," is now at its vituperative zenith.

To all this add his Bushness's initial response to victims of Katrina - zero tolerance on looters and lawbreakers and a sincere pleasure that he'll someday get to sit on the porch of Trent Lott's rebuilt house. I mean more than I've ever meant with the utilitarian acronym known as WTF. Well, that's what he's good at, hard ass blah-blah-blah. So at least we stay the course on incompetence. I swear I just want to squish his tilty lunging head. I want to slap down his tough guy swagger and his shrugging shoulders along with the leaning-on of elbows and his whole "It's not me, it's YOU" arrogance.

So now I'm ready to see about heading to Washington Sept. 24 for the peace rally, but likely not because we're broke. Shit.

I leave you with the last third of a fine column by one of my journalism heros, Ellen Goodman:

Taken altogether, the polls show a majority of Americans now believe that it was a mistake to send troops to war, that the results are not worth the loss of American life, and that the war has not made us safer. The most powerful argument left is the one the president repeats again and again: ''And the best way to honor the lives that have been given in this struggle is to complete the mission."

Enter Cindy Sheehan.

Until now, the rallying cry ''Support Our Troops" meant ''Support the War." One seemed inseparable from another. Criticizing the war felt like criticizing the troops. But on a dusty, hot road in Texas, Sheehan worked to sever this link. She spoke up for the silenced majority of Americans who believe we were misled into war, and brought to light for us that we have no reason to be tongue-tied by a yellow ribbon.

So the question is not whether the president will talk with her. He won't. It's not whether she speaks for her son. We'll never know. It's not whether she is ''just a mom" or an anti-Bush agitator. She's both. It's whether nearly 1,900 Americans have died in a war of choice and how painful that is to acknowledge. It's whether we go on quietly honoring those deaths with more deaths.

No wonder ''peace mom" has become a target of the war over the war. If she succeeds, the White House has lost perhaps the final and most powerful justification they offer a disheartened American public. At that point, there's no way out of the Iraq muddle. Except out.

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