Saturday, October 23, 2004


George Bush has more than a few pet phrases he has memorized and can legibly repeat in front of an audience. They include such boastful inanities as "The world is a safer place"..."We did the right thing"...."Better there than here"...and so on.

His latest phrase is uttered proudly and requires a roll of drums and a clash of cymbals. "Freedom," he claims, "is on the March!" One has a mental vision of George Bush, the Caped Crusader, leading scores of joyful Iraqi along the Baghdad streets, triumphantly hailing the glorious dawn of a new day!

This image might work better if one didn't read the papers or watch the news, neither of which George Bush seems to do. This morning it is reported that ten Iraqi policemen have died, ten American soldiers have been injured, and two American soldiers have been killed. Freedom, if it is marching, seems to be wading through a marshland of muck, or rather, a powerfully bitter sandstorm.

I think back to World War II, when Americans stood so defiantly and so loyally behind FDR, realizing that freedom throughout the world was threatened, realizing it was up to them to halt the tide of fascism.

I think back to Viet Nam, when the courageous soldiers battled in a soggy jungle, not knowing who or where the enemy might be, sprayed with Heaven knows what chemicals, led by idiots who ordered entire villages razed and ignored atrocities, with our soldiers brought home only after some 50,000 had been killed, as well as a million or so of the Vietnamese.

This conflict in Iraq reminds me of both of those wars. It reminds me of WWII because it seems the fascist tide seems to be moving into our own country, instead of in Europe. It reminds me of Viet Nam because it seems to be an endless, thankless task that will create rather than solve problems. One might say the terrorists are on the march!

Never mind the fact that George Bush has totally ignored domestic concerns, neglects the environment, shows no pity for the needy, slashes programs for underprivileged children, has built up a staggering deficit, has been contemptuous of Congress to a point where our system of checks and balances has been negated, has ignored the Geneva Convention rules, and has lauded the Patriot Act to a point where he has instigated Patriot Act II, and probably next will enact another sequel, Son of Patriot Act.

Never mind all that.

What really matters is that George Bush seems to revel in War. Oh, he can shed a few tears on television when the audience needs a little pathos, but in truth, he pays little attention to the casualties. We never hear from the wounded who are piling up in hospitals in Germany and in Walter Reed. We never see the coffins of the dead.

What we see, instead, is George Bush hawking this fiasco in Iraq as "Freedom on the March". Since he is obviously no protector of freedom, even arresting those who wear Kerry t-shirts to his rallies, trampling Civil Rights, bleating the glories of stricter law enforcement with more powers of intrusion, awaiting his chance to appoint Conservative Evangelical Judges, I would say that....Yes, Freedom is on the March, right here in America! Freedom is marching downhill to its grave!