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Good Morning, America
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 terrorists.

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.

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