| He Hugged
Moms and Dads
churned. Support Our Troops was twisted into supporting
the war--and therefore supporting the maiming and dying
of men and women on the frontlines, the slaughter of Iraqis.
The majority of American troops were hardly more than
kids, some as young as 18. How many cumulative years and
decades of life, of possible joy, had Bush stolen from
all those men and women on the frontlines, and from their
I pray every day there's less casualty."--George
W. Bush, Fort Hood, Texas, April 11, 2004.
the talks of politicians, there was an eerie silence about
the dead and dying men and women. It was as if all those
deaths were merely "collateral damage," incidental
to a larger cause: Bush's terrible illegitimate war. It
was as if the dying and destruction were to be taken for
granted as necessary, just necessary, only necessary.
No photographs were allowed to be shown of the coffins
of the American dead returned under the camouflage of
will make sure our troops have all that is necessary to
complete their missions. That's why I went to the Congress
last September and proposed fundamental--supplemental
funding, which is money for armor and body parts and ammunition
and fuel."--George W. Bush, Erie, Pa., Sept. 4, 2004.
of dollars available for war in Iraq were unavailable
to improve education in America.
you wake up at the high school level and find out that
the illiteracy level of our children are appalling."
—George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., January 23, 2004.
of Americans lacked insurance, each day facing financial
disaster. In pretending to address the problem, the ex-Governor
of Texas shifted emphasis away from rich gouging insurance
companies and onto those who might seek relief from corporate
many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many
OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women
all across this country."-—George W. Bush,
Poplar Bluff, Missouri, September 6, 2004.
tyrants, Bush and Hussein, faced each other over a blood-spattered
battleground. Captured, Hussein would be justifiably tried
for war crimes. By having lied to force the country into
war, by having the blood of thousands on his hands, Bush,
is no such thing necessarily in a dictatorial regime of
iron-clad absolutely solid evidence. The evidence I had
was the best possible evidence that he had a weapon."-—George
W. Bush, Meet the Press, Feb. 8, 2004.
yet millions of Americans supported and support the lying
ex-governor of Texas. Why? September 11 had given him
and his right-wing cadre the opportunity to achieve their
long-determined goal, the seizure of Iraq and its richness.
They grabbed that opportunity. A machine of propaganda
forced connections, always in the name of patriotism.
Yellow ribbons sprouted all over America, flags flew,
patriotic pins decorated lapels, all to be read as support
for the war. The spurious equation was repeated: The Twin
Towers had been destroyed by Bin Laden and his bullies;
Bin Laden was an ally of Sadam Hussein; Hussein, the dictator,
was the president of Iraq. Iraq had to be attacked. Weapons
of Mass Destruction were there! There was an imminent
threat! If war was not taken there, it would be brought
here! The message of fear was drummed over and over. The
vast populace repeated it, until it was so. Lies became
views are one that speaks to freedom."--George W.
Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2004.
but wily, Bush tapped into the deepest prejudices, always
roiling under the surface of America, ancestral fears
and grudges. Foreigners--dark foreigners--were lurking
at every border, inside every building, waiting to take
over the country, its institutions. Those suspicions,
that brewing hatred, extended to everything that had struggled
to triumph out of the quagmire of prejudice and repression.
Women free to own their bodies? Homosexuals claiming rights?
The poor demanding help and education?
what if 80% of the country believed Bush was "lying"
or "hiding something" or "mostly lying."
If he was lying--and, mind you, nobody said he was, the
Lord love 'im--it was for a good cause; he was a Christian,
right?--and God loved Christians and hated "them."
Remember the axis of evil? Never mind that Bush came from
wealth, private schools; he talked just like 'em, stumbled
over words, acted just like folks, good folks, good Christian
white folks, like them.
opposed birth control, right? Held no truck with fancy
experiments to replicate and interfere with the Lord's
works. No matter how deep the country sank under the expense
of war and Haliburton's thefts, he championed "family
values," even a constitutional amendment to deprive
them queers of any legitimacy. Didn't he question the
need for helping the lazy poor, providing health insurance
to the indigent? Maybe not in so many words, no; but they
understood him. He spoke their language. He was one of
'em. Sure, American boys were dying, but they were dyin'
for patriotism, for love of country, for freedom, for
America's safety, for God. So bring 'em on, them heathens!
And he had compassion, Pres'dent Bush did, just like them,
compassion for bereaved good, patriotic folks.
all, hadn't he shared their grief, hugged moms and dads?
grotesque banality of evil.
Los Angeles, California
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Original material by John Rechy appears
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