I still An Unpatriotic Traitor?
By Ed Hanratty
I spoke against the threat of war, that's what you called
me. You told me I had forgotten about the tragic events of
September 11th. You told me I was encouraging another attack.
You told me I was sympathizing with terrorists. But you never
proved a link between Iraq and September 11th. In fact, the
only concrete link you've ever proven was the money trail
from the Saudi Royal Family to Al Qaeda. But it's okay, if
the President chooses to ignore the Saudi's culpability, good
little Americans should lockstep behind him.
Forget about the fact that detained Al Qaeda operatives
claim that Saddam and Osama Bin Forgotten detested each other
and refused to cooperate. Forget about the fact that the only
people happier about the collapse of Saddam's regime than
Halliburton, were the Shi'ite fundamentalists inside Iraq,
demanding a Taliban/Iranian theocratic state in the new "liberated"
Iraq. You told me I was a terrorist, because you listen to
the message coming down from the top: You're With us or Against
us. You fail to see the danger of having a "leader" who thinks
in such strict black and white terms. Even a child can see
that the world is made up of gray areas. Sure, we know the
basic fundamentals of Right and Wrong. Stealing is wrong,
Charity is Right. Murder is Wrong, Compassion is Right.
But you can see the danger now, can't you? It's in Tel Aviv.
It's in Gaza City. It's in Bagram, and Kandahar, and Kabul,
and Basra, and Fallujah, and Baghdad, and Tikrit. It's in
Casablanca and Riyadh.
It's in Detroit and Chicago and Los Angeles and Houston
and Montgomery and Little Rock and Newark - where our schools
are failing miserably and our public servants are losing jobs.
Why? Because of "No Child Left Behind" and "Homeland Security",
ideas in principle that may have some merit, but ideas that
provide strict spending standards and no money to back it
up. Where is the money? Haven't you read? Tax cuts for the
rich: the Alka-Seltzer of the Republican Party. Take two and
call me in the morning. And the money's in Iraq. And the money's
in Doha and Afghanistan. And the money's buying off barely
industrialized nations to say "I do" at our altar of infamy.
Am I still an Unpatriotic Traitor?
That's what you called me when I said let the inspections
play out, let them continue. But no, you said "enough was
enough". You told me Saddam was building this apocalyptic
arsenal. He had VX and Sarin and Anthrax and Mustard Gas and
Salmonella and The Cooties. You told me was capable of launching
a biological attack at the drop of a hat. You told me he presented
a clear and imminent threat to my security. You told me to
gift-wrap my house in Saran-wrap and Duct Tape.
You told me we'd march right into Baghdad and find all of
these horrible weapons. And you told me that they'd have inscriptions
written in French, and German, and Russian, and Chinese, and
maybe even Mexican - because hey, they were "against us too".
You told me the evidence was overwhelming. You told me a graphic
drawing of an 18 wheeler was overwhelming proof that we were
facing the biggest threat to mankind since the Empire began
construction of the Second Death-Star. You called Chief UN
Weapons Inspector Hans Blix an insignificant crybaby when
he disagreed with you. You told me that France and Germany
and Russia were the "Axis of Weasels", and it was spread throughout
all of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
But we haven't found the weapons yet, have we? We've been
looking pretty hard. And we're hearing the rhetoric coming
out from every nook and cranny of the Bush Administration.
We're hearing it from the Ministry of War in Arlington and
we're hearing it from the Ministry of Information on FOX News.
We're told that Saddam may have buried them. We're told that
he may have destroyed them on the eve of the attack (which
would have made this conflict even more illegal than it was
to begin with). We're told that they were smuggled out to
Syria, or Iran, or shipped directly to Bin Forgotten.
We're speculating as to every possible place that these
magical mythical "Weapons of Mass Destruction" could be. But
ask Tony Blair, the public's beginning to speculate too. They're
speculating that they just might not have ever existed in
the first place. What an odd and unconventional thought! Could
it be that Blix and France and Russia and 80% of the world's
population was right in the first place - that Hussein wasn't
an imminent threat to begin with? That maybe he didn't have
these super-weapons? That maybe he wasn't hell-bent on world
domination? That maybe he wasn't the reincarnation of Adolf
Hitler, the correlation your pResident tried to make while
standing on the sacred soil of Auschwitz?
Am I still an Unpatriotic Traitor?
That's what you called me when I marched with a quarter
of a million others in February. You told me I didn't support
the troops. You told me that I was undermining their confidence.
You told me that I, along with Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon,
Michael Moore, Martin Sheen and the Dixie Chicks, were subversives
aiding and abetting Saddam Hussein. You told me that I was
a "coward", even though most of you never served. You ran
off a plethora of straight-from-the-bumper-sticker slogans
to me: Freedom Isn't Free; These Colors Don't Run; Love it
or Leave It; Love Your Freedom - Thank a Vet; God Bless America;
We Will Never Forget.
You had Neandercon attack dogs like Michael Savage, Sean
Hannity and that Q-tip known as Ann Coulter making their rounds
on the air and in print, launching an attack campaign against
dissent that would have made Joe McCarthy proud. You painted
everyone who showed up to say Not this War, Not this Time
as a hippie-pot head-criminal-communist that hasn't showered
in weeks. Even though the demonstrators looked just like Savage,
and Hannity and Culter, well, maybe not as anorexic. They
were doctors. They were lawyers. They were grandmothers. They
were clergy. They were Republicans. They were children. They
were teachers. They were firefighters. They were students.
They were stockbrokers. They were immigrants. They were athletes.
They were you and I.
Somehow I didn't support troops. But do you want to know
what's ironic? If you had listened to me, the teachers, the
clergy, and Tim Robbins - we'd still have 183 (as of 6/12/03)
brave, young Americans spending Christmas with their families
this December. One hundred and eighty three. Sure, you'll
build them some statues, dedicated some parks, and wear some
yellow ribbons. But in the end, that's 183 families that now
won't be able to celebrate long, healthy and prosperous lives
with their sons, daughters, grandchildren, parents, cousins,
aunts or uncles. No graduations, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs,
Confirmations, Engagements, Weddings or Promotions. All you're
allowing them is a flag on a casket and some depressing pomp
and circumstance. 183 might not sound like a lot to you. It
may seem insignificant. But the next time you lose somebody
close to you, look around at the service. See how many people
were affected by that death. Then multiply that by 183.
Am I still an Unpatriotic Traitor?
That's what you called me when you discovered the Mass Graves.
You told me this is what I was supporting. You told me we
stopped the greatest genocidal maniac since Hitler. Can you
define "Genocide"? I didn't think so. You told me Saddam was
a monster that needed to be dealt with. I say with all due
respect, I can smell the stagnant stench of hypocrisy before
you even open your mouth. Let's think for one minute.
When the towers fell, you threw eggs at Mosques in Texas,
Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, Michigan, California and in
many other places. You're palms sweat when you see an Arabic
man in an airport. You've said within the past two years "Camel
Jockey" or "Towelhead" or "Sandnigger". You care about Islamic
peoples about as much as I care about the role that Windex
plays in our everyday lives.
And how many bodies, how many lives does it take to fill
a "mass grave"? Would the roughly seven thousand civilians
killed in Afghanistan and Iraq fill a mass grave? Would
they fill 70 mass graves? How many bodies does it take? We've
more than doubled the death toll of the 9-11 attacks. Was
that the point? Does that quench your thirst? Do you, like
me, find it ironic that we're uncovering mass graves in Iraq
at the same time that we're filling them?
You're the one that told me that Iraq was married to Al
Qaeda, responsible for the 9-11 attacks - and they were not.
You're the one that told me that Iraq had this awesome stockpile
of chemical and biological weapons. They didn't. You found
and empty truck. You're the one that told me I didn't support
the troops, while you're beliefs and your line of thinking
deprived almost 200 families of their loved ones. You're the
one who out of one side of your mouth cursed the people of
the Middle East, and out of the other side cried alligator
tears about mass graves. Meanwhile, the US military campaign
was piling up enough civilian casualties to fill Radio City
Music Hall one and half times over.
You're the one who subscribes to this dogma that America
stands for aggression, America doesn't believe in diplomacy,
America can go ahead and wage war whenever it wants with little
of no justification. This isn't what this great nation was
founded upon. This isn't what the founding fathers had in
mind. This isn't what brave men and women have fought and
died to protect in Concord, Lexington, New Orleans, Gettysburg,
Bull Run, the Western Front, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Chosin, or
Saigon. Why, I just might think that you might be an Unpatriotic
Contact Ed Hanratty at firstname.lastname@example.org