Dick Cheney wasn’t hurt when targeted by a Taliban suicide bomber last Tuesday while inside Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base, although more than 20 people were killed, including two Americans. When the Vice President travels anywhere, he moves in the security of vehicles impregnable to any device an “evildoer” could detonate, plus he is suited up with high-tech armor that is unavailable to our troops. Recall, too, that Cheney is accompanied by a mobile hospital in case his ticker requires an electric shock from a defibrillator. So, it’s very unlikely that Cheney could even die of natural causes when he’s always protected, attended, and has so much medical equipment at the ready.
But just suppose an aggressor could penetrate all that fortification and Dick Cheney happened to sustain a bullet wound to the head-the same kind of injury, causing multiple deficits, suffered by the Harrison Ford character in the movie, “Regarding Henry.”
For those of you who haven’t seen this film or just don’t remember it, here’s a plot summary: Henry Turner, portrayed by Ford, is a ruthless, controlling, ego-inflated, power-mad corporate lawyer who will spin any deception to win his case. (Remind you of anyone, two, three, four, or more?)
Henry is married to Sarah who is played by Annette Bening. The couple and their daughter live in an opulent New York City apartment. Entering a convenience store to buy a pack of cigarettes, Henry interrupts a robber and is shot in the head. Upon awakening from a coma, he’s an amnesiac who can neither speak nor walk. His therapist finally forces Henry to ask for something else to eat by soaking Henry’s eggs with Tabasco. Gradually, Henry relearns, his speech improves, and he begins to explore who and what he was before the injury. He sure doesn’t like what he discovers about himself-that he was one despicable person.
Sarah, we come to find, was not without her own ugly side but when Henry is recovering, she gathers her goodness and becomes her husband’s helpmeet. Friends who no longer understand the new warm and empathetic Henry can’t get away quickly enough. Henry makes amends to those he once treated like a smidge of dung on the sole of his slides (probably, A. Testoni) which he no longer values because the brain blow has changed him. He is redeemed as a human being. His marriage is happy-he is happy-so much so that he buys his daughter the puppy she always wanted.
I guess you see where I’m going with this:
Dick Cheney, traveling to inflict his imperialistic will in the Middle East, takes one in the head. He awakens to a universe he doesn’t remember.
When he recovers enough to communicate better, to process more information, and is ambulatory, Dick must face his arrogant, warmongering past. He’s appalled. “Why, I was a terrorist,” he shakes his head in shame.
Dick apologizes to the troops, to military families, to the nation, to the world. He says that endless war is off the table. “I am no longer a neo-con,” he cries. “I’m a conscientious objector.” Yes, those are tears. He, actually, can produce tears. He admits to being the real president all along and tells puppet George Bush to call the dogs off Iran, bring the troops home immediately, and to provide the most excellent care to all servicemen and women who require treatment for major wounds, amputations, blindness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anything. “Spare no expense,” he says. “We must honor and assist those we’ve exploited and betrayed.”
And then, Cheney decides to change party affiliation. He considers registering as a Democrat but says, “Most of the Dems in Congress sound too much like the old me.” So, he joins the Green Party.
Next, Cheney’s off to New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity. Eventually, Dick, Lynne, and that mobile hospital leave for Iraq to help rebuild the country.
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