A Memorial Day Prayer
Guest Perspective/Ralph Lopez
I'm writing this, like many of us, harboring disgust; disgust at the Democratic leadership of course, disgust at the MoveOn people for backing the initial compromise that led to this cave-in, disgust at our own helplessness in forcing our congressmen to act like a real opposition to end, in Studs Terkel's words, this "incredibly obscene war." Which every day is earning us more hatred and taking resources from the task at hand in Afghanistan, and northern Pakistan.
A part of me is even mad at the guys who, after March 2003, signed up for getting themselves killed. Naive enough to believe a filthy liar like George W. Bush when he said Iraq was somehow related to 9/11, and we had to take the fight to the enemy. Bush, who let bin Laden escape at Tora Bora when he could have killed him, so bin Laden could kill another day. Whose Vice President Dick Cheney, did business with Saddam president as recently as 1998, through Halliburton.
I'm tired of getting teary when I read about another of their funerals, their mothers screaming or collapsing as my mother would have, had she had to bury me before my life ever really began. How evil this all is. Then I think: What if I had been held, as a matter of life or death, to all the decisions I made when I was 20 or 21? I'd be in real trouble. The fact remains: These are my American brothers, and I love them and don't want any more of them to die in Iraq.
The Democrats' excuse is they don't have a veto-proof majority. But it doesn't take a veto-proof majority to start the investigation of the 360 tons of lost high explosives in Iraq back in 2004 that are still killing the troops today.
An investigation that would weaken Bush's political position so much he would have to be the one to compromise. It's disgusting to see the Democrats weak and cowed by threats that they could be accused of "not supporting the troops." It makes you wonder what the NSA has found on these guys. That they resist kicking and screaming from going into the battle. I'm dead serious. Bush must have the mistress and male prostitute tapes on these congressmen all wrapped up, for them to let him sneer and preen and strut like a man who holds all the cards.
The press keeps saying there was "a bruising struggle" over the Iraq veto fight. Are you kidding me? They didn't even break a sweat.
Congress is home for the week beginning now until June 4. It's important to not give them a moment's peace, and at the same time to give them a clear idea of what we expect. Once again, a page from the Republican playbook.
When they came after Clinton from minority standing they hammered and hammered at many variations of thong underwear, until his position was so weak he couldn't proceed with his admittedly modest, centrist agenda. That's how you play, when you play to win. Three hundred and sixty tons of HMX high explosives, one pound of which can turn over a tank, is considerably more serious than thong underwear.
This constant reminder of incompetence or worse would cut the Republicans off at the knees when they try accusations of not supporting the troops. Not securing the HMX, which the administration knew of, and generals were begging him to secure, was like "invading the US for [weapons of mass destruction] and not securing Los Alamos Laboratory" in the words of Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project.
Someone has to camp out on each of these congressmen's front lawns. If they throw you off, the sidewalk is public property. But remember, print out "The Democratic Offensive That Wasn't") and hand it to everyone you see, even the cops. Ralph Nader said we must perfect the art of "buttonholing" them, must another page from the Right Wing. Whether they are in church, at a picnic, trying to have a cup of coffee, anywhere, hand them the print-out, so they can't play dumb, and tell them THIS is what you expect. We did their work for them.
All they have to do is follow the plan. If not, start a search committee for who's going to run against them in the primary, even if it's years away. Start watching who they show up with in restaurants in D.C. Maybe that's the mistress.
Why bother? Because you are paying them. If your cellphone company sold you a lemon and you were stuck, wouldn't you go and scream at whomever sold it to you? Just because it was the right thing to do and they deserved it? Do you like the tax bite that comes out of your pay every week? Because that's the money that pays these guys to represent you.
Freedom isn't free. If we think it's time-consuming to give these guys a week of hell, next week, as we are all barely making ends meet, remember that Fort Ticonderoga was held in freezing winters by Americans whom, for footwear, had their feet wrapped up in rags. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Who is the first to start "Camp Casey, MyTown, USA"?
In last week's Annapolis speech Bush again beat the horse to death that there are 'still people who want to attack us, who want to harm us.' Um, we know that, George. But you DAMNED well ain't protecting us. You're making it worse.
Ralph Lopez is a former state Rep. and state Senate candidate from Cambridge, Mass. and author of "American Dream." He also writes his own blog, Ralph Lopez World.