Sunday, August 21, 2005


Anyone acquainted with me knows that I do not have a high opinion of George Bush. Oh, sure, there are some things about him I admire. If a person is an alcoholic and somehow stops drinking, changing their life for the better, that person has my admiration. I know, from friends and family suffering from that affliction, just how debilitating it can be and how hard it is on the people around the person drinking too much. I admire George Bush for deciding to stop drinking and doing so, as far as we know, but I admire Laura Bush even more.

I have frequently complained about Laura Bush. She seems to me to be made of cardboard, or maybe a see-through fabric. There doesn't seem to be much there, even though I know there must be. She walks about two steps behind George, with such a fixed smile on her face, such a slow, hesitant grace to her movements. I have to swallow an impulse to shout out, "Kick him in the shins, Laura, you can do it!" But shouting at a television set, I am told, is the first sign of dementia, so I hold in my thoughts.

Laura Bush is in a position to help women. She is in a position to teach, guide, instruct and change. Yet she chooses to be the good Republican wife and do nothing. For a while there, I thought she was branching out. She trotted off to several Middle Eastern countries, took some money aimed for Afghanistan schools, and made a few worthwhile speeches.

But, now that Condi is in her new position, traveling the world, Laura seems to have slunk back into the shadows. Perhaps she prefers it that way, but there are millions of women who want to hear from her, who want to know just what Laura Bush believes, aside from her husband, aside from the intricacies of politics.

First Ladies can have great influence, as Eleanor Roosevelt proved and Hillary Clinton is emphasizing. Jackie Kennedy was a private person, hating politics, but even she became involved in restoring the White House. I just don't know what Laura Bush does all day. Does she knit afghans? Bake cookies? Hold little teas? How does one fill up the days when a husband is busy attacking countries and fighting with the Iranians?

But, Laura has come a long way in her days as First Lady. The Republican Cosmetic Squad, the group that turned Katherine Harris from a harridan into a well-groomed lady; the one that whacked off that gawd-awful nose of Paula Jones' has turned Laura into a pretty little kewpie doll. She has lost weight, had her hair styled and her cosmetics artfully applied. Yes, she's a proper little Republican wife now.

But George! My goodness! I don't know why this Squad doesn't go to work there. His walk is terrible. He blames it on Texas, since he hails from Maine, but it could use a little help...less strut, more grace. And his speaking ability is as bad now as it ever was!

Since George Bush doesn't have a way with words, which is obvious to anyone listening to his speeches, unless they are the rehearsed variety written by speechwriters, and sometimes even then. He can't get syllables out of his mouth without mixing them up. He can't think on his feet...or off, I might add. Too many long pauses, too many tongue-licks, stutters and stumbles.

Okay, since we all know this, who is making up those idiotic poetic titles for military attacks in Iraq. At first, we had Shock and Awe! Stop and think about it. These were not fireworks. They were bombs. They were bombs intended to explode and destroy. We televised them, and I read an article that said Bush watched them in the Oval Office, clapping his hands with each explosion. Shock and awe, indeed!

Since then, we have had objectives with such uplifting names as Operation Enduring Freedom, and other such nonsensical titles. If I were titling a military strike, I think I would name it Operation Kill Everyone in Sight....or maybe Operation Come Back Alive! But somewhere in the Bush Administration, be it in the military or the office staff, we have a Poet! Yes, the Omar Khayam of the Preemptive Attack; the Robert Frost of bloody combat! His job is to invent thrilling and rythmic names for the Noble Cause. As if, in some way, giving it a poetic name will make it more noble, and disguise what it really is, two groups bent on killing each other in any way possible.

Get out of Iraq? You bet, as far as I am concerned. We could call it Shock and Awe, Part II, and have a fireworks celebration and a pig roast. We could break out the champagne and leave these people to handle their own lives. We owe them an apology, because we went there expecting to find WMD....remember the soldiers in those bulky protective suits? Little did we know there was no need for those suits and that President Bush, Cheney and the Bunch knew it! Operation Lie to the American Public! Oh, well!

How many wounded, maimed and injured people live in Iraq today? How many American soldiers are coming home severely damaged, mentally and physically? How many more months will this go on? How many and why?

We need a poetic name for it. How about Operation Cindy Sheehan Common Sense?