FREEDOM FRIES AND POLAR BEARS
Now Tenet is debunking that claim, stating that the War with Iraq had already been planned, that his remark was taken out of context and did not concern the war at all, but instead was intended as an encouraging remark about George Bush presenting the "facts" to the American public, etc.
I have little pity for George Tenet. It is clear that he must have known that it was doubtful that Saddam Hussein had WMD or had purchased "yellow cake" from Niger. He had ample opportunity to state his views, but decided to cozy up to his boss, the Decider. But, in order to stay in the good graces of Bush and Cheney, who wanted that war, he went along with the flow.
Not once did he ask for a meeting with Joe Wilson, who had traveled to Niger to find the truth of the matter, and published the results. Not once did Tenet go public with his concerns, not even when he received a medal from Bush, the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed! Instead, he sat silent while Wilson was punished for his views and his Secret Agent wife, Valerie Plame, was "outed."
Nor do I pity Colin Powell, who made that disastrous U.N. speech. Imagine going before the U.N., which is a gathering of ambassadors representing countries throughout the world, and making statements you strongly suspect are not true! Tenet sat directly behind Powell during that speech to the U.N., as Powell stated that the United States had verification of Weapons of Mass Distruction and nuclear activity in Iraq. It wasn't true. Evidently both men knew or suspected it wasn't true, but they continued on their path of misinformation, not only before the citizens of their own country, but before the citizens of the entire world.
It isn't suprising that the "Coalition of the Willing" did not include some of our closest allies, including France and Germany. This "Coalition" was a laugh, from beginning to end. Some countries, willing or contemplating a hefty reward, sent a handful of soldiers to help out. Some of the Willing sent none at all.
As a result of these leaders balking at joining us in a War with Iraq, the United States embarked on a frenzy of silliness. We decided to boycott French wines. And, instead of calling a French Fry a French Fry, we decided to call them Freedom Fries. There is a restaurant in my town that still has Freedom Fries on the menu. It's the strangest thing. One can hardly tell them from French Fries.
After this happened, all things French were vilified, and many jokes were passed around at the inability of the French to fight a good battle. Well, I disagree. My brother Harold, whom we called "Bud" spent a great deal of time in France during World War II. It's a story of military duty that I won't take the time to tell. He was treated well by the French people, who fought the Nazis with courage and tenacity. Their underground rebels worked long and hard to help the Allied cause. Many an American owes his life to this French Underground, who helped downed fliers and captured soldiers come home. They also did their best to dismantle the Nazis in other ways, blowing up bridges and sending intelligence information to the Allies.
To this day, French Intelligence is a mighty force, one that is masterful in this War against Terror. Their officers have picked up many helpful clues and never hesitate to send the information onward. For this kind of loyalty, we have given them a hearty dose of rightwing ridicule and scorn. We have decided that even the lowly potato shouldn't be connected to the French. The French joined the Dixie Chicks and many others in being stabbed by the rightwing knife.
I have lived through many interesting eras. Of course, I was just a girl during World War II, but it affected me, nonetheless. I have lived through the Cold War, when we all contemplated living in caves and holes dug in our back yards and other shelters. I have lived through Depressions, Recessions and various economic winds of change. I have lived through the McCarthy era, when everyone of note was suspected of Communist tendencies, and many careers were ruined with its stupid, bigoted and aggressive nonsense.
But I have never before contended with a fiasco like the Bush Administration today. Our news is filled with corruption, with indictment after indictment of this or that political or corporate leader. Our president has secret prisons, has approved of torture, evidently misled us about a war, wants to dismantle social programs while ignoring the growing number of poor, jobless and underemployed, has ignored a million homeless while allowing carpetbaggers and criminals to roam in New Orleans, has approved ten to twenty million illegal aliens crossing an open border where anyone at all can come into our country, despite the fact that many Americans have low-paying jobs or no jobs and millions of them have no health insurance. All this is ignored by a President who stubbornly hangs onto his War as though it is the only way to go, spending billions of borrowed money while the country goes down the tubes.
Then there are the Democrats in Congress, who hem and haw and investigate and ultimately do little or nothing, because there aren't enough of them to accomplish anything. With 60 votes needed in the Senate, they have 51 votes, just not enough to call the shots.
Ultimately, the American people are going to have to speak up a little louder. They are going to have to use their right to vote, and they are going to have to make sure that the next election is honest. Perhaps someday we'll learn more about that "Oops!" election of 2004. Until then, we should insist upon a paper trail and some honest accounting.
Even with that, we have two more years of George Bush, which may give him adequate time to declare a war with Iran, privatize Social Security and ascertain a lack of money for other social programs. By that time, we will have borrowed so much money that our country will be owned by foreign enterprises. Our citizens will be hard-working rabble, hardly able to pay the fuel bills. By that time, poverty will claim millions more Americans, programs like Head Start will be a thing of the past, and good jobs will be just a memory, as the Corporate demons put more profits into their pockets.
With acres and acres of a Texas ranch on which to grow deciduous grasses and protect from public view, I doubt if Bush is worried about the public acreage in Yellowstone or other national parks. With two more years of Bush and the corporate life, there will be continued lumbering, drilling and digging, until an open vista or a scenic view may be just a memory for the American people. Environmental concerns are the least of their worries, these profit-makers, and with dire warnings of Global Warming, the fate of the polar bear is of no concern.
After all, one can't make a profit off a polar bear, can one? So, go eat your Freedom Fries, believe the words these political hucksters tell you, and don't ask questions!