Like the ugly stepsisters who tried to make the slipper fit, George Bush is a spinhead, equating Iraq and Viet Nam, but not in the way many of us have made the comparison-think quagmire. Rather, Bush believes we should have stayed the course in Viet Nam, a war he personally avoided, thanks to Poppy, by going to Alabama where he couldn’t manage to stay the course.
The president’s speechwriters pulled some interesting terms from the chapters on Viet Nam-images the president exploited to appeal to our consciences and bring tears to our eyes-"boat people," "reeducation camps," and "killing fields." These are unnecessary references for those of us who agonize because our occupation of Iraq has created more than a million internal Iraqi refugees in addition to the two million pouring into Syria, Egypt, Jordon, and other nearby lands in search of safety. We have accepted only a small number of Iraqis into the United States. This highlights Bush’s hypocrisy. His words, that there will be increased Iraqi suffering if we withdraw our troops, are empty. Has he ever acknowledged that, possibly, one million Iraqi civilians have been killed since he so cavalierly launched his campaign of Shock and Awe? And what about the children?
To weaken his detractors, Bush has made "support the troops" his mantra. But he has broken our military. In his performance before Veterans of Foreign Wars, he said:
And as they (the troops) take the initiative away from the enemy, they have a question: Will their elected leaders in Washington pull the rug out from under them just as they are gaining momentum and changing the dynamic on the ground in Iraq?
Pull the rug out from under them? It is not the rug that is being pulled from under our soldiers and Marines. It is the earth. And it is being pulled out from under them by George W. Bush, their commander-in-chief, who is absent when the earth is shoveled over their coffins. Just as he was AWOL so many years ago, he ignores the troops in death. Their importance to George is based solely on the numbers of tours of duty he can suck from them until they are either physically or emotionally dead.
An article by Alexandra Marks in The Christian Science Monitor, presents a chilling assessment of who’s winning the war on terror. You guessed it. It’s not the United States of America. Marks writes about a just-released survey by Foreign Policy magazine which developed the Terrorism Index. According to experts, "the nation’s top foreign-policy, intelligence, and national security leaders from across the ideological spectrum," the surge has undermined security and "is having a negative impact on the war effort." And there’s more: "Eighty percent of them (these experts) say the war has had a negative effect."
So when Bush speaks his lies that there is "progress on the ground" and asks us to resist the allure of retreat," we must not yield. There is too much at stake. The future of our nation rests not in staying the course of war but in changing our conquest-oriented foreign policy. This won’t happen under the pathological control of George Bush–a soulless coward who keeps trying to make the slipper fit despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
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 novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com