Friday, November 12, 2004

Sweet Dreams

A few days ago, a person who voted for George W. Bush on November 2 said that, when she crawls into her bed at night, she feels safe and comfortable.

I did something the other night.

Let me preface this by saying I really hate sensationalism.

That’s why I hated the so called presidential campaign we recently endured.

Who served how thirty years ago?

Each candidate taking passages from his opponent out of context and making sound bites that sounded quite different from what his opponent actually meant?

Three so called debates that saw one smooth dancer and one not so smooth dancer? Neither said anything in the debates that was worth remembering, if I remember correctly.

Americans didn’t learn a thing about either candidate (as if there were only two) from the ads.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about what Americans think they learned about the candidates from the ads. This is not even to mention the milquetoast media whose very existence depends upon sound bites and sensationalism.

I hate reality TV shows. This nation, as well as others, I’m sure, has a bad case of the peeping Tom syndrome.

They watch reality shows because they show “real” people under “real” conditions.

Bullshit! Maybe “Cops” comes close to that description, but what’s the thrill of seeing “real” people being arrested.

We’ve become a nation of peeping Toms.

I hate reality shows.

And blood? I know a few of you are nurses and for you, I’m grateful. However, I pass out at the sight of a paper cut. I wouldn’t have done well in medical school.

So, where am I going with all of this?

The other night, I did something.

I went to Google and typed in “beheadings”. I knew that there was video of beheadings on the net and I just wanted to see, for real, what Bush’s intrusive, greed driven, disingenuous foreign policy has caused. People are suffering. I’m not suffering because I’m not on the front lines in Iraq and because I haven’t been taken captive by Islamic “radicals”. I felt I needed to empathize in a more intimate manner.

I found a site.

I began to play the video.

There were about five hooded Islamic “radicals” standing against a wall and the victim was kneeling down in front of them. I don’t think victim was blindfolded, but I forget.

One of the “terrorists”, a long blade raised in his hand, made sort of a speech in Arabic. Needless to say, I had no idea what he was saying.

Then the five descended upon the victim and the man with the knife began his torture. I heard a bit of a gurgle, but I could look no more and turned it off.

Now, the first thought is going to be that was a terrible and disdainful act – and it was.

However, there are arms, legs and other body parts littering many areas, if not all areas, of Iraq.

Some used to belong to children.

Some belonged to old men and women.

Some belonged to American military personnel.

They don’t belong to them anymore.

I imagine that, what I couldn’t look at is what that scene of strewn body parts must look like.

When we fought the misguided war in Vietnam, the American people could see some of the carnage on their TV sets. I believe that’s what continuously strengthened the antiwar movement and ultimately forced Nixon to “withdraw with honor”. It wasn’t “with honor”. It was a cluster fuck. People were grabbing the skids of ascending helicopters to try to escape Vietnam. It was a mess.

George W. Bush, like Clinton before him, has allowed the merging of media outlets. He has been rewarded handsomely by their following his orders not to show the “down side” of war. I was never in a war. Some of you were. I imagine the carnage, and that’s all you can call it, is ugly.

When bombs are dropped on towns, villages and cities, everyone has a good chance of becoming a bloody pulp.

Now George W. Bush has a “mandate”. There’s a Republican administration, a Republican congress and a Republican Supreme Court – yes, a Republican Supreme Court.

It’s said that Saddam Hussein tortured his own people and that may be true.

Do we not think that the Chinese government is torturing its own people?

Do we not think that the Saudi government is torturing its own people?

Do we not know that the Sudanese government is torturing its own people?

Maybe Saddam Hussein tortured his own people. I’m willing to bet, though, that the sheer volume of torture inflicted by our bombs, our illegal invasion, the “extremists” we’ve drawn to Iraq that weren’t there before our invasion makes what Hussein did, bad as it was, look like a school yard spat.

So, before she tucks herself in at night, I suggest she goes to her computer, goes to Google, types in “beheadings”, finds one and sits and watches what the ill advised actions of the Bush administration has begotten. I don’t believe one single Englishman or American was beheaded in Iraq before we invaded it.

By the way, there is a store somewhere that’s selling videos of beheadings. I bet members of our peeping Tom society are buying them up like hot cakes.

Then type into her browser’s address line. She’ll learn how this election was different and how elections are going to become more and more “different” as time goes on. She’ll learn that most electronic voting machines are manufactured by Diebold Inc. whose CEO, Walden O’Dell, before the election, made a “commitment to deliver Ohio to George W. Bush.”

I’m not a liberal. I’m a conservative.

I want to conserve and protect our right to choose who governs us.

I want to conserve and protect our republican form of democracy.

I want to conserve and protect the air we breath, the water we drink and the very earth upon which we walk.

I want to conserve and protect human life that means us no harm and has done nothing to deserve our wrath and fury, phantom or not.

After watching the beheading and reading about how George W. Bush or someone controlled by neoconservatives and global corporations will be at the helm of the former United States of America, killing us and killing them, for a long, long time, she can then tuck herself into bed and know that all will be well.

Each day is, indeed, precious. However, days will, in the not too distant future, no longer belong to us.

Sweet dreams.

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