April 16, 2003
By Wayne Francis
Good morning, America. Since your head is pounding, I'll
speak very softly. I know you enjoyed last night's mega winning-the-Iraq-war
orgy party. It was fun while it lasted, no doubt. But like
every party animal, you went too far this time, and did some
things you may end up regretting. What's worse, those at the
party who refrained from heavy drinking remember most of your
shenanigans and as a result have absolutely no respect for
you now. As if you cared, but still.
The state of the union is not good, and it's damn time you
noticed. The party's over, America. Sure it felt good to celebrate
winning the war, liberating the Iraqi people, toppling Saddam,
all those things FOX news has been repeating over and over
(just in case it ever became the slightest bit unclear if
you were right in supporting the war). But winning this war
was the easy part. To be quite honest, we really haven't "won"
anything just yet. Saddam is still on the loose, and despite
our military's best attempts to find weapons of mass destruction,
there appears to be no chemical or biological weapons hidden
in Iraq. Also, we haven't found any Al-Qaeda terrorists, links
to terrorist groups, weapons for terrorists, or money for
In case you missed it, those three reasons (finding WMD's,
Saddam, and terrorists) were Bush's rationale for fighting
this war. What about the one thousand Iraqi citizens celebrating
in the streets of Baghdad, dancing on the statue of Saddam,
you ask? Those were members of Ahmed Chalbi's "Free Iraqi
Forces Milita." They were all flown in by United States C17
military transport planes to stage this event for the media,
which was staying in the hotel across the street. Ahmed Chalabi,
the leader of this group, was photographed at the scene. The
international press also tells us no more than one hundred
fifty were at the celebration; when looking at photos from
above, it appears there could have been no more than this
amount, probably less.
After operation Desert Storm in 1991, Barbara Bush appeared
on several television shows to guarantee that the world was
much safer because of the war. Two years later, terrorists
bombed the World Trade Center, then some of our embassies,
then the USS Cole, and then came 9/11. We can expect the same
retaliation from this war, if the Iraqi people have anything
to do with it. Thousands of Iraqi citizens have seen their
loved ones killed or wounded by US bombings, and just today
the Los Angeles Times reported many Iraqi bystanders present
at the now terribly overplayed Baghdad square celebration
were cursing the United States. Several Iraqis were heard
shouting "Screw America, screw Bush." Furthermore, Baghdad's
population is five million people. If only one thousand people
- less than one percent - of the city showed up to welcome
US forces, then we can hardly label this a warm reception.
Just yesterday in my hometown, 12,000 people attended the
Jacksonville Jazz Festival, and our population is only one
million. And people here don't even like jazz.
It's ugly outside, America, but it's time you faced some
dreadful realities. Congress has just passed the largest budget
in the history of the United States, with a record $385 billion
deficit. This is a remarkable achievement considering Republicans
have been preaching against deficit spending for decades;
I guess it only applies when a Democrat is president. Consequently,
if you're still happy about getting rid of "tax and spend"
president Clinton, then it should irk you to know Bush's budget
is much greater and expands into many more areas than any
of Clinton's budgets. (By the way, it's the president's job
to tax the population and spend the money, just in case you
still thought that was an insult.)
According to recent reports by Al-Jazeera, the Al-Queada
terrorist network is continuing to recruit new members. Despite
promises by the Bush administration that we would find and
prosecute him, Osama bin Laden is enjoying unprecedented freedom
as evidenced by the audio
tapes released on the eve of the attacks on Baghdad. Moreover,
the war in Iraq has turned the Egypt elite against the United
States, something even the Bush administration admits is unfortunate.
Tensions are also rising
between the United States and Syria, and the Palestinians
are threatening more terrorist attacks on Israel.
It gets worse. Iraq's neighbor, Iran, is continuing to oppose
Bush at each turn; apparently nobody likes being included
in Bush's axis of evil, especially innocent civilians. The
world's population is also apparently unmoved by our "victory"
in Iraq; polls still indicate that over 90% of the world opposes
Bush's war and wants the United States removed from Iraq as
soon as possible.
India is now considering nuking Pakistan. The phrase "pre-emptive"
strike was used in statements released by Indian leadership.
You know whom to thank for this. You should also know whom
to thank for our dismal failure to establish a peaceful democracy
in Afghanistan. Currently the United States controls just
one city, and the Taliban is strengthening
its command structure in places like Kandahar and Kabul.
Each time a US Marine accidentally kills an innocent Iraqi
at one of the newly installed "checkpoints" in Iraq, our enemies
multiply, and new terrorists are born. We most certainly do
not live in a safer or better world because of Bush's war
in Iraq. At home, unemployment is rising, and the stock market
continues to nosedive. It appears our children will be paying
interest on Bush's budget deficits long after we are gone.
America, I know you can't take much more of this, but in
reality, it's just the beginning. It is terribly disheartening
to learn that our media has been given a free pass by you,
the American citizen, to report just enough facts to make
you feel good about this war. There is little responsible
journalism going on nowadays, and to find it, you have to
search very hard, most often on the internet. Nietzche once
remarked, "Against war one can say: It makes the victor stupid,
the vanquished malignant, and man emerges from it stronger
for good or for evil." Following advertising dollars, our
media has sensationalized this war, showing as few casualties
as possible, in order to take advantage of your sincere desire
to know you're on the right side of things. I plead with you
to wake up, look outside, and confront the grim realities
facing our once proud and great nation. The party is most
definitely over, America. It's damn time you realized it.