The Soapbox Papers

The Soapbox Papers is my two-cents worth.

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Location: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States

I am a cross between Tinkerbell and Calamity Jane.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Mr. Bush Gives UN Speech

Normally I just listen to the television in the mornings while I am keeping an eye on my Sims people and go about straightening my apartment. I am used to the morning talk shows and once in a while I stop what I am doing and watch. This morning my usual routine was interrupted by NBC's coverage of the presidential address to the UN -- the same UN, you will remember, that did not back Mr. Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003. It left me rather confused.

In plain English (well, as plain as his speechwriters could make it) Mr. Bush said that terrorists among us were the aggressors, that the aggressors among us were terrorists. Forgive me, (as I said, I am confused) but was not the act of invading an unprovoking Iraq an act of aggression? Does that not, in Mr. Bush's own estimation, make us terrorists? Is this the description of Americans we want the world to have? Is it the one they already have about Americans?

I have relatives - most especially, an uncle - who sends me all the Kerry bashing e-mails around. He plans to vote for four more years of things just the way they are with Mr. Bush. There hasn't been a pro-Bush e-mail yet that could stand up to my
Snopes check. My uncle's anti-Kerry e-mails were determined to also be untrue or, at the least unsubstantiated by Snopes. Snopes is a great clearinghouse for what comes in via e-mail, and things that come to me through mailings are never sent along to others unless and if they pass the Snopes scrutiny.

Please don't misunderstand. I am not necessarily pro-Kerry. I do believe he - or anyone with an ounce of Statesmanship who surrounds himself with the best advisors -- could run this country better than it has been run the past four years. But because the chosen opponent that stands the best chance of winning is Mr. Kerry, and because, at least so far, no one has uncovered any dead bodies or other proofs of Kerry being a serial killer or madman, I find myself behind him because he is better for the country than Mr. Bush has proven to be. And Mr. Kerry gets points in my book for not going to the trouble of asking around, getting party pictures of Mr. Bush in his drunken younger days, even though these days of Mr. Bush's debauchery coincide with Mr. Kerry's Viet Nam years. Restraint. Yes -- I like that about Mr. Kerry.

I am not going to second guess Mr. Bush and his rush to invade Iraq. If he didn't have all the facts at the time -- well, if he wasn't in such a rush, these things might have come to the surface, mightn't they? -- he made the decision to go to war on the best information he had. There are those in Congress who may not have agreed, had the facts been available. Now that it has been established that there were no caches of hidden Weapons of Mass Destruction, some of those who approved the action have now rescinded that approval. Mr. Bush has since changed his reason for going to Iraq -- we went there, he says, to liberate the people and get Saddam.

I have a slightly skewed opinion of liberating people who have not asked to be liberated, but that will be another topic at another time. Enough to say that since June 30 we have lost many good men and women during the "peacekeeping" of Iraq. There are clearly large numbers of the Iraqi population who did not want to be liberated, who preferred the status quo, who would kill for the right to live as they choose. In fact, they are killing for the right to live as they choose. When Americans choose to kill for the right to live as they choose, it is called patriotism and they are called "Freedom Fighters." We call the Iraqui "insurgents," and they are rebels against the democracy we told Iraq they wanted.

If there truly was a reason to invade and occupy Iraq (I glance around the room as I write the work 'occupy' -- I was informed by a one-time Marine that the word 'occupy' is offensive to Marines. However, I cannot find another word that indicates hunkering down and fighting the 'rebels' against the government that was installed by the 'conquerors' when that country's ruler had been dethroned...) Anyway -- if there truly was a reason to invade Iraq and occupy it, it would have become obvious to the American people and to the world neighborhood that it was so - upon the capture of Osama Bin Ladin.

Now, I can recall a teary eyed Mr. Bush vowing that we would certainly find Bin Ladin and bring him and his henchmen to justice. I can recall the people behind the US as we went into Afghanistan looking for Bin Ladin. Had our forces been entirely directed to that promised action, and not diverted to Iraq, Bin Ladin would have been found and brought to justice by now. Instead we have our forces divided on two fronts, and we are losing our sons and daughters on both those causes - because they are not the same cause -- they are separate. If we'd have caught Bin Ladin and were able to establish connections to Iraq - or any other place - any further action taken would most likely have the sympathetic nod of approval from the UN and nations throughout the world.

I guess I am just tired of hearing of the wounded and dying, of the construction workers who contracted to do work in Iraq because they could find no work in their own homeland being beheaded in public, his family notified by the news reports of something grisly on the internet.

I have a wonderful friend who cannot hear, and she shared with me accounts of US military people aiding the hearing impaired in Iraq (not widely recognized, but if you want details, ask -- I will get the articles for you) and I nod my head - American Military is still American Military - caring and willing to go beyond their assigned tasks to do the humanitarian thing. I'm sure there are other unsung heroes. But this is war, folks. All the news reports are grisly.


I can feel the flames curling about my feet as I stand on this soapbox (Remember, this is one of the reasons I've chosen to blog in the first place!) - so I will step down for the moment. But only for a moment.


Time to pour another cup of coffee and light up a cigarette, inhale, snuggle Liberty the Cat, and remind myself that I am a registered voter - yep, I smoke and I vote - and tomorrow I will print more fliers telling people where to go to register to vote, what time these places open and close, and reminding my real life neighbors that it is up to folks like them - and you - and me - to make our feelings known via the ballot box.


Until next time --
Smokey


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