A friend told me about a 20/20 episode in which John Stossel interviewed people who were fed up. They were so exasperated they took their frustration and did something positive. “Enough,” they said in example after example of situations that compelled each to effect change.
I googled Stossel to find his website so that I could read about these people.
Stephon Marbury, known as Starbury, of the New York Knicks, is one. Poor while growing up, Starbury, who now makes $17 million a year, developed his own line of affordable sneakers that sell for under $15. He wears them on the court-proof that one doesn’t need expensive athletic shoes to play well. Kids are swarming to purchase the sneakers.
Another is Sen. Tom Coburn. The Oklahoma Republican fights against waste in government spending, believing that pouring millions into a parking facility is far less important than meeting human needs. His particular beef is the politician who wants pork specifically for his or her own state. According to Coburn, the great moral issue of our time isn’t the war in Iraq. Rather, it is “stealing opportunity and future from the next generation.” Frankly, the war in Iraq is “stealing opportunity and future from the next generation” in multiple and tragic ways, but Coburn who, by the way, resides at the opposite end of the political spectrum from me, is correct about government waste. And to all his pork-producing colleagues, he says, “Enough.”
I say enough, too. Enough to George Bush and Dick Cheney. Enough to corruption, hypocrisy, and intolerance. Enough to war. Enough to U.S. imperialism.. Enough to propaganda. And enough to those supposedly antiwar Democrats who handed Bush an obscene amount of money to fund the war.
I am weary of the mugging by the Bush Administration. I’m sick of being treated like a battered spouse. Obviously, Bush and Cheney are well schooled in the psychology of this syndrome-one in which victims are unable to take action to escape the abuse. The president and his vice have used it from day one of their stolen ascendancy to control the electorate. I can hear Cheney: “Let’s beat down the will of the people. We’ll inundate them with so many outrages they’ll think they deserve our exploitation.”
George’s response: “Bring it on.” And they did. They manipulated a national tragedy. They ravaged and pillaged our minds. By talking “mushroom clouds” over our cities, they Stockholmed much of the public. They pumped up the patriotism and cranked out the lies.
They’ve gotten away with murder.
Almost daily, we are smacked by another misuse of power. Rumsfeld has slouched away, Scooter’s been convicted, and Gonzales could be gone by the time I put the last punctuation mark on this article. Karl Rove may have to testify under oath but his fingerprints are all over the Bush/Cheney two-term calamity as the three maneuver our nation, waging war and throwing their threatening weight around, crashing into countries, and swift-boating anyone who attempts to stand up in defiance.
I have watched with impatience the unraveling of George Bush and Dick Cheney’s popularity. With each revelation of irrefutable evidence that the president and vice are bereft of humanity and bursting with corruption, I have demanded accountability, impeachment, arrest, and, eventually, conviction. Their shocking offences include altering studies on global warming, falsifying data to go to war, invading a sovereign nation, legalizing torture, neglecting and betraying our military, and abandoning Gulf Coast residents in the days before, during, and after Katrina. The U.S. attorney scandal is just one more.
Last Tuesday, Bush said this about the war: “My main job is to protect the people, and I firmly believe that if we were to leave before the job is done, the enemy would follow us here.” So let’s see if I understand. Bush’s main job is protecting us and his other job is not leaving Iraq before the job is done and this other job has morphed so many times it’s easy to be confused. What we do know is that his job-approval rating is at an all-time low and according to the National Intelligence Estimate, he has created more terrorism by invading and occupying Iraq. So the reality is that Bush’s main job is to terrify the American people in order to get away with his other job of waging endless war.
To this I say, “Enough.”
George Bush has just stated that there is no civil war in Iraq, only evil. To this denial of reality and his malevolence, I say, “Enough.”
If people around the globe were asked to name the country posing the greatest threat to peace, most would say the United States. Actually, many Americans would agree. As Bush sermonizes about spreading democracy in the Middle East, it is obvious that he has total disdain for its principles. Hasn’t he dismembered democracy here at home with the dexterity of a meat cutter?
For the almost 3,275 troops who can no longer speak and for the gravely injured, I cry, “Enough!” For those who are in Iraq now or about to deploy, some for the third and fourth tour, I shout it. I hope they shout it as well.
For the more than half a million Iraqis who are dead, for the maimed, for those who have lost their husbands, wives, children, and other relatives, and for the estimated 2 million who have fled the country, I cry, “Enough.”
In fact, it is long, long overdue to wail “enough” for the immense death and destruction wreaked by the Bush presidency.
But don’t just shout it to American terrorists George Bush and Dick Cheney. Shout it also to a craven Congress for failing so totally, reprehensibly, and contemptibly to understand the message of the midterm elections. Only a small number put their consciences above political self-interest and didn’t betray people for peace who looked to them for deliverance from immorality.
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