Edge of the West
(As the third "anniversary" of the Iraq War was observed on March 20, the president briefly addressed the nation and reminded us all, "Ours is an amazing nation where thousands have volunteered to serve our country." They volunteered "knowing full well that their time in the military could put them in harm's way." Big of him. This take on true "March madness" first appeared on March 20, 2003. Let's revisit.
WASHINGTON D.C.—They met Sunday on an island in the Atlantic, three nations- the coalition of the willing- in what had to be the briefest summit ever convened. All that was at stake was the peace and stability of the planet. No big deal.
After an hour or so behind closed doors, the leaders of the US, Britain, and Spain emerged and stated to everybody in general but nobody in particular- except maybe France- you've got 24 hours to get a clue.
There will be no further need for the United Nations, they said, because that body has remained firm in its opposition to a war that by all common sense appears to not be necessary. Funny thing about how the UN, which set out to contain the rogue nation of Iraq, suddenly finds itself with an urgent new mission- to contain the rogue nation of the United States of America.
"It's us against the world" is what the three leaders came forth to say after the brief deliberations. And the world is the heavy underdog.
By the time you read this, it may have already hit the fans of the unlucky ones who happen to be living in a country officially declared the mother of all evil by the American president with a finger on the pulse of all that's good. Never mind that much of the world views it as a middle finger raised high in its collective face. What's right is right. We are, they aren't, here we come, look out below.
This is being done to protect you and me from this man- Saddam Hussein. Bush cleverly refers to the enemy- not as the country of Iraq- but as Saddam Hussein. It works better for the cause to focus on one solitary, evil, mustachioed "new Hitler", than on a sovereign nation teeming with innocent life that's about to be pounded into rubble by the massive air campaign they've officially dubbed "Shock and Awe." The new Hitler? Since when did Saddam get the ethnic superiority complex, the military, and the designs for taking over the world?
Recently, on the day we rolled out and tested the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB)- proudly declared to be the biggest, baddest non-nuke bomb in history, Powell, Rumsfeld, and all the rest of the kingï¿½s men were beside themselves over the discovery of a remote-controlled "Drone" plane in Iraq which might, they feared, be able to deal out some lesser version of mass destruction. This horrific Drone, as the facts bore out, has a wingspan of 26 feet, is held together by duct tape, and runs on an engine similar to the ones that power Weed Whackers in backyards all across America. All this, I repeat, on the day we test, and declare ready for use- the MOAB- fondly nicknamed the Mother Of All Bombs- dealing a payload of 18,000 pounds. Thereï¿½s only one dealer in this game, partners, and the Drone ainï¿½t it. Talk about a stacked deck?
Who's next in our sights? North Korea gets the free pass, even though they're firing off nuclear test missiles into the Pacific and will not entertain even the slightest notion of America telling them not to. Iran's building them too. But China would appear to be the real deal for the "preemption" strategists- communist as all hell, fully loaded arsenal, bazillions of citizens to throw out in ground wars, let's get them next. Uh, don't think so.
The twin towers came down and we were shook to the bone. We have mourned, we will never forget, and we stand vigil. But, America, how far do we let the fear factor take us? Even those of you who rail for this war must admit- you don't get what seems to be the whole world abhorring you just a year and a half after they were all lined up in sympathy and support, without a major bumbling effort. You don't get the whole world abhorring you without serious repercussions somewhere down the road. Nobody's the top gun forever, not even the mighty United States of America.
The President spoke directly to Iraqi soldiers. "Do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your life," he compassionately warned them. But, in another stroke of twisted Bush logic, it is worth the lives of our own soldiers, and there they go, along with the thousands of body bags that have been sent to the front lines, just in case.
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