My Independence from the Bush Administration
By Ed Hanratty
Bush: I am not, nor have I ever been a big fan of yours. As
a matter of fact, I voted with the majority of voters against
you when you ran for office in 2000. However, by hook or by
crook (and yes, the pun was intended) you are now the sitting
Commander in Chief, regardless of how illegitimate I think
you are. As an American citizen, that means you are my Commander
in Chief as well. My tax dollars fund your salary. My tax
dollars fund your cronyism. And my tax dollars fund your deployment
of my fellow citizens to all corners of the world.
And, as you're fond of saying, make no mistake - even though
I vehemently disagree with your maniacal and haphazard foreign
policy, I want nothing less than the safest of situations
for all of the boys and girls serving you over there. They
are brave and noble for their service, but this does not give
you the license to use them as replaceable resources, or pawns
in your game. They're people George, not toys. They chose
to serve. They didn't chose to play hide and seek from the
Texas Air National Guard.
Which brings me to my point. Where do you get off telling
the world that the US is well equipped to handle continued
and expanded Iraqi uprisings against your occupation, so "Bring
them on." Bring them on? Are you kidding me? Openly daring
an enemy force to try and remove the US presence in their
homeland? What Dungeons and Dragons strategy guide did Karl
Rove mistake for The Art of War?
You can not be serious. Not only is this yet another embarrassment
that Americans will have to deal with, but it's also incredibly
I don't care what context you meant this in. I don't care
if you were misunderstood. I heard that it "sounds worse than
it really is." Do you think Al Jazeera or Abu Dhabi is going
to make such a disclaimer? Do you think that the insurgents
and others who wish harm to America are going to say "well,
he didn't mean it that way." No. You're adding fuel
to an already raging fire. You put our troops in a very difficult
position. Over two hundred soldiers have lost their lives
in Iraq in less than four months. You've put them directly
in harm's way, even though your motivations for doing so were
suspect to most of the world. And you continue to do so by
egging on those who consider the occupying force to be "the
George, do you realize that the perception of the American
soldier in the Middle East is vastly different than the perception
that we get from FOX News? They don't have an "America's Bravest
Wall" in Baghdad. They don't broadcast welcome home parades
in Damascus. You will not find many yellow ribbons donning
palm trees in Gaza City. They don't like us George. They think
we're arrogant. Wherever would they get such an idea?
I'll tell you what will be broadcast over and over
again in the Middle East though: "Bring them on". And you
know what George? They're going to put a spin on it so fine
that Bill O'Reilly will be greener than the Jolly Giant with
I'm sure it's been hard enough to explain the previous two
hundred deaths to the American people, and more importantly,
the families of those killed in combat. But how are you going
to explain them now? It's no longer "Private Williams died
to liberate an oppressed people." Now the explanation is "Private
Williams died because I dared the enemy to bring it!" Doesn't
jive well, does it George?
You're not the one on the front lines. You never were. Neither
was I, but I didn't send them over there so Halliburton could
make a fat profit. Jenna and Barbara aren't over there, neither
is your nephew George P. Bush (the one your father introduced
to Ronnie Reagan as "the little brown one"). You remain the
safest person in America. We'd all love to have our undisclosed
secure locations to run to, especially when you refuse to
fund First Responders. But we can't and the troops in Iraq
can't. So don't make their job any harder than you already
have, okay? Thank you.
Furthermore, if I send you a thesaurus, will you promise
me that you'll read it? The next time you throw a dinner party
at $2,000 a pop, can you pocket a little bit for yourself
and enroll in finishing school? Not only is your demeanor
crude and elementary, it's an insulting embarrassment. I understand
that grades and studies were never as important as Jim Beam
and the white stuff. I know that it was much more fun to get
loaded and do figure-8's in Kennebunkport than it was to study
for the SAT. I know that big words may at times make you insecure.
But do you have to digress to such playground bully language?
I'm going to let you in on a little secret here George.
Those of us who don't live with our parents, watch professional
wrestling, and possess Yosemite Sam mud-flaps, think you're
pretty damn stupid. I don't know who you're trying to impress.
"Evil Doers." "Dead or Alive." "Freedom Loving People." "Misunderestimate."
You think this is decorum befitting a President? Have you
ever heard of dignity, or grace, or even common decency? You
may think that this is the "way to the common man's heart,"
and to some people, you may be right. But you know what there
George, I don't believe the Framers ever envisioned a "common
man" being President. It's an exceptional job that requires
an exceptional person. You're a mediocre man doing a deplorable
Let me clue you in on the common man while we're on the
subject George. The common man may be a C student, but he
doesn't get into Yale University. The common man does not
graduate from school and have an oil business waiting there
for him to run into the ground. The common man doesn't summer
in Kennebunkport. The common man has earned just about every
dollar he has ever had. The common man doesn't get to take
a nap during the workday. The common man can't collect $2,000
from people to hear him speak like a common man. The common
man knows what it's like to struggle.
Many common men and women think that they can ease their
struggles by enlisting to serve you, George. But then you
just turn around and dare the enemy to bring it on. You should
be ashamed of yourself.
Ed Hanratty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org