["In a way it was just sport." - an 82nd Airborne Sargeant, regarding the torture in Iraq]
A year ago today, more than half of voting Americans chose George W. Bush for a second term in office. While I did NOT vote for the idiot, and there was a lot of mobilization against him (or, really, his interests and cronies), I always really thought it was a question of ideals. I strongly disagree with the blue states, and it makes me tear out my hair and cry, sure, but isn't that supposed to be the beauty of America? I totally disagree, but they have a right to their opinion and, unfortunately, their vote.
It has been five years of President Bush and his increasingly splintered administration, and I've finally realized that, no, the people who picked this president should not, in fact, deserve their vote. I don't know what they are doing or what they are paying attention to, but this is not the general will. When even a Republican majority congress starts disagreeing with the president of the same party, this fact becomes even more startlingly clear.
When Bush threw the nomination of Harriet Miers, a White House lawyer who has no experience in constitutional law and has never served on a bench, to congress for approval as the next Supreme Court justice, a position that can be kept until you croak, it was NOT the liberal, tree-hugging hippies - or whatever the hell those fucking hick blue states think Democrats are - who said no. Bush withdrew the nomination, which he probably made via email from his ranch in Texas, after a completely astonished and almost unanimous Republican party resoundingly denounced the proposed appointment.
In the same month, Dick Cheney's chief of staff, a person who some dignitaries and even administration officials agreed help form foreign policy and call the shots of the administration, according to a report on Chicago Public Radio, Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted for leaking the name of a covert CIA agent to a mouthpiece at the New York Times. Now the U.S. attorneys are going after the administration's darling, Carl Rove.
Now, less than a week after the indictment - a fucking INDICTMENT, not a group of people wondering about whether an official cheated on his wife with a secretary or something - 'ol Dubyauh is about to use his very first veto (isn't that precious) on something near and dear to his filthy, gold-digging heart:
An amendment to the defense appropriations bill.
You want to know what the Bush administration has a problem with? The fact that the proposed amendment "forbids torture and humiliating treatment as means of interrogation—'regardless of nationality or physical location,'" (Columbia Chronicle.)
Just for shits and giggles, let's throw in the fact that the person who is proposing the bill, seasoned senator John McCain, is a former POW who was tortured for a year in Vietnam and spent two years in solitary confinement after that. Can you imagine, I mean, can you really even begin to think about what it would be like to have served in such a way for your country, only to have what could be YOUR administration spit in your face? To have some administration official ask you to amend the language and also leave the CIA out of the new amendment because they, what, NEED those provisions? Like they never even heard the word Geneva? To have them look you in the face and say a personal "fuck you, veteran," along with the forthcoming "fuck you to all of the troops and the American public to boot" that will come if Bush does press down the veto stamp on that amendment?
In a letter to Senator McCain Army Capt. Ian Fishback, a 26-year-old West Point graduate who served two tours with the 82nd Airborne Division, said:
"Do we sacrifice our ideals in order to preserve security? If we abandon our ideals in the face of adversity and aggression, then those ideals were never really in our possession. I would rather die than give up the smallest part of the idea that is 'America.'"
He went on to actually express his disappointment:
"I can remember, as a cadet at West Point, resolving to ensure that my men would never commit a dishonorable act; that I would protect them from that type of burden. It absolutely breaks my heart that I have failed them in this regard."
People like this who are not "bleeding heart liberals" or whatever, people who would probably never have set foot at a rally against Bush, are about to have their administration thumb their noses at them and at least 100 years of military history before the Vietnam war when the Geneva Conventions became something you could honor in "spirit," as Rumsfeld said.
I have never been so livid in my life, actually shaking with the impossibility of what is going on in this world. I do not really attend protests, and I don't really ever argue the same broken record about Bush. But this has all become to hard to ignore, because, you know what? It's not about abortion or church + state, or whatever the fuck was on the agenda for people that pulled the level or punched the card for President Bush. It's about cold, hard facts. Facts as cold and as hard and as undeniable as the bodies being shipped back from Iraq. You know, the ones that Bush and that fucking administration didn't want you to see.
Quite simply, this is the worst administration anyone alive has ever seen, including Nixon, Reagan and fucking Carter and Ford, too. It's worse that party politics, which is now being proven on Capitol Hill almost daily as the once united Republican party comes out in ever-increasing numbers to point fingers away from the Democrats and right smack dab in the oval office. I can no longer give people the excuse of patriotism, or a different point of view, who agree with Bush. If you still stand by your vote then, quite simply, you are ignorant, or the places where you get your news are. When even the talking heads in mainstream media start to wonder what the hell is going on in the administration, when the administration has stopped covering its tracks entirely - resorting to some kind of ancient French carnival switching of roles more and more - and people still stand by him, it's sad. And completely fucking pathetic.
If the clock was turned back, or the vote was today, November 2, would it go the same way? All I'm saying, to anyone's savior - God, I hope not. If that divide that continues to separate all of us has grown so large that people in middle America would still stick to that decision, then a different time or country of real patriots would surely take up arms against one another.
I'm not even going to bring up New Orleans or even the fact that according to the Harper's Index it took Dick Cheney's office one day (1) to order "an electric company to restore power to two oil pipelines," when it took them four days (4 DAYS) until the "White House authorized sending federal troops to New Orleans." I'm NOT using that broken record. I'm not reading from zines about my personal opinions. Hell, you can have them. Right now, and I kid you not, I would give up my most cherished "liberal" ideals for a chance to change history, to turn back the clock and kick that son of a fucking bitch out of office.
This isn't about differing political views any more. This is about the bloodied ground that we've never had to tread on, about the future and I DON'T CARE how cliche that is. It's about being one step away from life or death, however you perceive it.
Maybe what seems like one little amendment to some is actually the hugest thing to happen in their lifetime. If it was the draft, wouldn't people sit up in their cushy Lazy-boy chairs? When addressing the fact that the administration wanted the language changed, McCain said, "This isn’t about who they are. This is about who we are. These are the values that distinguish us from our enemies."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
[This is just the first year of a lame duck presidency. Welcome to the next three.]