Friday, October 28, 2005

A Firefighter's Question

by Bruce Monson, Firefighter-Paramedic

It is confounding to me that so many people continue to support George W. Bush and the corrupt administration around him even as example after example of unethical, illegal and deadly behavior, policies and obfuscations continue to come to fore.

Whether it's the blatant lies that led us into an illegal war of choice in Iraq while leaving the real culprits for our injury on 9/11 to remain at large, and further illegally redirecting moneys and resources slated for the latter to facilitate the former; or the top-down promotion and execution of torture, defilement, and outright murder of prisoners in violation of human rights laws established by the Geneva Convention; to the outing of an undercover CIA operative (a treasonous act!); to insider no-bid handouts to oil and weapons companies with close ties to Bush, Cheney and others in this administration; to a wholesale sacking of years of hard work toward nuclear non-proliferation; to the gutting of environmental restrictions on oil, gas, coal and timber companies; to continuous obstruction and foot-dragging by the administration in order to hide its culpability in the apathetic response to known threats from Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda prior to 9/11; to the complete failure of Bush and the federal government in response to the devastation of hurricane Katrina and the plight of desperate and dying Americans; and to a multitude of additional infractions that continue to be played out under your "patriotic" noses, not the least of which is the record deficits and blatant tax giveaways to the corporate giants, while health care costs skyrocket and social security and medicare are conversely sliced into pieces small enough for the Grover Norquists, Karl Roves and Tom DeLays to drown in a bathtub.

Anyone who considers themselves to be a reasonable person who draws conclusions based on evidence rather than partisan politics or personal agendas must have a condition or set of conditions that, should they occur, would cause them to change their views whatever they may have been prior to the occurrence of those conditions.

For example, I am in agreement with many Republicans that President Clinton should have been impeached and removed from office. But not because of his Oval Office cigar gymnastics with Monica Lewinsky, but rather for his illegal military actions in the Sudan and Kosovo which resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people.

But for the same rightwing fanatics that today offer their no-matter-what support of the Bush administration, the Lewinsky affair was the convenient "condition" that apparently met their litmus test for expulsion, and thus demanded impeachment on those grounds.

And yet Clinton's behavior in this respect, while inappropriate, did not result in one single person being killed--foreign or domestic. Not one job was lost. And other than the money paid out to pursue litigation against him, it also didn't cost the taxpayers one dime. But Bush's actions have had grave consequences, both financially for American taxpayers and in the massive destruction of life and property. As a direct result of Bush's actions (and inactions!) more than 2000 American soldiers are dead and upward of 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians are dead--innocent men, women, children, and thousands of unborn fetuses in their mothers' wombs who were abruptly aborted by "Bunker-Busters," "Daisy cutters," and other "precision-guided" weapons of peace.

So my question to those "reasonable people" out there who continue to support Bush is: What will it take for you to change your views?

Will the next document, email trail, or witnessed meeting showing how the administration lied--yes, lied!--in order to press their pre-planned "Wolfowitz doctrine" agenda to get us back into Iraq to finish what Bush senior stopped short of in the first Gulf war be enough? Will it take yet another 2000 dead U.S. soldiers? How about another 100,000 dead civilians? What if instead of calling them "collateral damage" or "unintended targets" we instead posted kindergarten photos, names, and short bios on national television every night, thereby making them real, feeling, human beings rather than silent shadowed figures with no names? Would that do the trick? How about if (or should I say "when") the wheels of spin start massaging the American public in prep for a military invasion of Iran or Syria? Would that do it? Or would you just bury your head in the flag again and start parroting the echo chamber "talking points" about how those not falling in behind the president are "un-American" and "un-patriotic" "blame-America-first" "pacifist Liberals" who are "helping the terrorists"?

Or perhaps it would take something far worse, such as if it were to be shown that George W. Bush was back on the juice and getting lit in the Oval Office! Would that do it? How about if he had an affair with another woman? Would that "moral atrocity" demand impeachment? Or would you find yet another convoluted line of reasoning to justify why "this is different" and continue on the way you do after each new revelation of wrongdoing today? I predict the latter.

Please, tell me what it would take! I would truly like to know, because from what I have seen you have no such condition. Your only motivation rests on personal agendas such as getting biblical creationism into our science classes, or getting prayer and the Ten Commandments into our public classrooms, or overthrowing Roe v. Wade, or preventing the terminally ill and suffering from ending their suffering, or any number of other agendas. And so long as those agendas are being addressed, whether literally or just in appeasing language (which is more often the case unless you have the money to lobby and line the pockets of your "elected" representatives), then you are willing to turn the other cheek rather than look at the blood on your hands--blood that got there through your apathy and blind support of those doing the gruesome deeds.

Enough is enough. The world saw it a long time ago; when will you?

Bruce Monson



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