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Saturday, September 18, 2004

LORD, GIVE US POOR MORTALS A BREAK FROM THIS UNRELENTING STUPIDITY! 

WHY IS THIS MAN CRYING?

Up until I went and picked up one of my best friends in the whole world at the airport, Wednesday was a particularly bad day for me. The war. The draft. Cheney. It started out not so bad. Check my Wednesday entries. I started out on George W. Bush and National Guard service. Then I tried to get away from news, but a friend showed me the story about the draft and said I had to link to it. I agreed. My friend has two teenagers. Many people are scoffing at the idea that there will be a draft, but I'm not so sure. It pains me to think that a lot of Young Republicans (probably referred to in Cheney memos as "Iran cannon fodder") will be blindly voting for their hero just to be drafted and shipped off to die far away from home.

Then I heard a bit more about the helicopter attack on civilians in Iraq that killed 13? 20? and injured 60 or 70 more. Soon after, I read this Bob Harris post on This Modern World. It has several links about the incident and also his own thoughts as someone who has been traveling in the Middle East recently. Real recently. He was still unpacking when he heard about the attack. I don't remember if I had cried yet, but I got to the end of that story and just let it go.

This section in particular:

"Last week, as you might know, I got lost in a dodgy section of Cairo. Soon, five bright and delightful boys decided to adopt me for a while and walk me to where I was going.

Unless things change, those same boys might want very much to kill me -- and you -- when they grow up."

Read the whole thing.

MORE CHENEY HATE SPEECH

Then I came across this speech from our favorite Bush Administration "uniter" Vice President Richard Cheney:

"I think some have hoped that if they kept their heads down and stayed out of the line of fire, they wouldn't get hit. I think what happened in Russia now demonstrates pretty conclusively that everybody is a target. That Russia, of course, didn't support us in Iraq, they didn't get involved in sending troops there, they've gotten hit anyway."

I wonder if Mr. Cheney has heard that Russia is being subjected to terrorism because of its own policy toward Chechnya, a devastating and long-lasting war that decimated the province. Anybody with any sense should be able to at least consider whether we should study the problems Russia had in subjugating oil-rich Chechnya, a country much smaller in size and population than Iraq.

Let's see. Spain suffered a terrorist attack because they did join in on the War on Terror. And Russia got attacked because they didn't.

Mr. Cheney, some of the adults think it may be a bit more complicated than that.

Especially considering Cheney's own benign view of terrorism when he was CEO of Haliburton. Read "The Greed Factor" from American Prospect. Here's an excerpt for consideration:

"Perhaps even more troubling, at the same time Cheney was doing business with Iraq, he launched a public broadside against sanctions laws designed to cut off funds to regimes like Iran, which the State Department listed as a state sponsor of terrorism. In 1998, Cheney traveled to Kuala Lumpur to attack his own country's terrorism policies for being too strict. Under the headline, 'Former US Defence Secretary Says Iran-Libya Sanctions Act ‘Wrong,’' the Malaysian News Agency reported that Cheney 'hit out at his government' and said sanctions on terrorist countries were "ineffective, did not provide the desired results and [were] a bad policy.'"

So, those Clinton-era policies on terrorism that Bush Administration officials have said were the cause of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001? In 1998, Cheney said they were too strict because they interfered with business.

If Cheney doesn't end up in jail, I don't know how we will be explaining him to future generations without feeling very embarrassed.

EPILOGUE

There were other awful things before I left for the airport in early afternoon. Relatively minor things, but on top of everything else, it all added up. And that was the day I cried sporadically as I walked across campus. And I didn't care who saw me.

Thank God, one of my best friends returned from a long sojourn in Europe and Asia, safe and full of stories.

Peace be with you.

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