Mission accomplished, continued

July 24, 2006 by barbara

by barbara

I'm going to vent here. And it's not going to be pretty, especially if you tilt right. So you might want to stop reading now.

For starters, we have the Vice Decider proclaiming on Friday that uncivil war is "a long way from over . . . . It's going to be a battle that will last for a very long time. It is absolutely essential that we stay the course."

What day is this? Which war? Check your playbooks. Trot out the one-liners. War du jour for Cheney in this case is Israel and Hezbollah, but one size fits all. His response is a cut-and-paste from Iraq. Also from Afghanistan, where we couldn't get out fast enough to launch George's Next War and left that nation in an absolute shambles.

According to the AP story posted on Yahoo News, a well-named site for Cheney-talk, he also told troops at Fort Stewart, GA that the United States will keep fighting in Iraq until it can declare victory. Hello? Didn't that happen a long time ago, on the deck of a ship with the First Frat Boy declaring "Mission Accomplished"?

Cheney went on to say, "We have only two options in Iraq: victory or defeat. And I want you to know, as members of the United States military, the American people do not support a policy of retreat or defeatism. We want to complete the mission, get it done right and return with honor."

Too late, pal, way too late. There is no honor in what is happening in Iraq. None. Zero. Nada. Iraqi civilians are dying at a rate of 100 per day. Math was never my strong suit, but I think that would tote up to 36,500 per year. Now, in an administration where people traffic principally in billions and trillions, a number that small is probably just a speed bump in human race stats.

Personally? I don't think it's inconsequential. Every number reflects an agonizing death. It occurs to me that war is the ultimate, calculated anti-life device. Where the hell are the sanctimonious pro-lifers on this issue?

Another piece'"this one from CNN--talks about the children. In this case, it's about the children in Tyre, Lebanon (the original Bible belt). But murder and mayhem looks pretty much the same everywhere, I'm guessing.

In the CNN piece, we are told about a child named Mahmood Monsoor, who has been horribly burned in one or another of the attacks. His 8-month-old sister, Maria, has been scorched, too. Their mother, Nuhader, stands between them, screaming. Screaming. Screaming. They were on vacation in southern Lebanon when a missile ripped into their car. Her husband is dead. Two other children are in surgery.

Mahmood begins to scream in pain. The baby screams. The mother screams. And we are told that the smell of burned flesh is simply overwhelming.

There is no honor in any of this. Not in Lebanon or Israel. And definitely not in Iraq. Our so-called leaders have led us completely astray. They have led us into an immoral assault on the innocents.

I challenge Cheney and his ilk to stand at the bedside of the Mahmood children. Or Israeli children. Or Iraqi children. See their small bodies, ripped to shreds. Smell their charred flesh. Listen to their screams. A massive challenge to people who cannot even bear the sight of flag-draped coffins, wherein shattered bodies lie, safely out of view. Forget the drop-in, fly-by-night visits. Stay a while. Watch and learn. Listen and smell.

Then go home and tuck an American child safely into bed for the night. Tell a pretty story that mitigates against reality. And then utter the most arrogant of all religious cliches: "There but for the grace of God go you, go I."

I'm all over the map with this, and I know it. Let me see. Baghdad, Beirut, Kabul, Nazareth, Haifa . . . .

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Comments

Anonymous (not verified) | July 27, 2006 - 8:50pm

Your friend Deborah Morse Kahn send this article to me and I thought it was Awesome!

scott doblar - winona mn.

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