Taking Off the Blinders

Tuesday June 08, 2004

Criticizing the president, the war, or the conduct of the war does not put our troops in danger, rightly claims General Anthony Zinni, former commander-in- chief of the United States Central Command and Bush administration special envoy to the Middle East. He said, “Look, there is one statement that bothers me more than anything else. And that’s the idea that when the troops are in combat, everybody has to shut up. Imagine if we put troops in combat with a faulty rifle, and that rifle was malfunctioning, and troops were dying as a result. 

“I can’t think anyone would allow that to happen, or that they would not speak up. Well, what’s the difference between a faulty plan and a strategy that’s getting just as many troops killed?” 

I, for one, am extremely glad that Nancy Pelosi spoke up about the criminal handling of the war in Iraq for which the Bush Administration is irresponsibly responsible. What I have found hard to believe from the beginning, is that, as a democracy, this country could have allowed this usurping of the presidency to take place at all. Why did anybody buy it that a free state like ours could be purchased by a machine? (If you don’t know what I am referring to, do a little research.) If a little gal like me can see through this administration’s plot, why can’t anyone see through the lies and know that this “Bush machine” is an imperialist demon reminiscent of the Nazi era that is robbing us of the leisure and freedom that allows us to think and realize truth for ourselves, rather than be brainwashed by self-motivated power-mongers? All we have worked for over the years is being destroyed! Like the weekend, minimum wage, a woman’s right to choose, the environment, responsible taxation, medical relief, better education for all children, the list goes on... 

I just can’t believe that the supposedly most liberated and intelligent people on Earth are standing still with closed eyes and mouths for this sad unfolding of the plots of evil men. 

If more folks could only wean themselves from their TV sets, their SUVs, and their routines, (their terror at being basically separated from God—the whole reason for anyone’s misery—and intoxication with these things) and pay even a little attention to what is really going on, they couldn’t possibly stand for what this administration is trying to pull off! 

Know that this administration is trying its best to cut us off from knowing what they are up to—from shutting down newspapers in Iraq, controlling the movie industry, (Disney in particular), as well as Fox news channel, to trying to silence dissenting viewpoints at home in every way they can (without arousing too much suspicion? Ha Ha). This administration is making the U.S. Constitution look like a left-wing idealist joke. What is actually the meaning between “left” and “right”? Think about it. Meaningless labels. Free speech??? The Bush administration only likes free speech when it’s what they want to hear! 

Differing viewpoints are what makes a democracy what it is. Leaders have to be willing take on the challenge of hearing—really hearing—what others have to say. And unless they do this, what is the value of their political work??? Otherwise it all becomes canned. 

All glories to Nancy Pelosi for calling a spade a spade! Pray for more like her, and pray that her example will get people to take the cotton out of their ears, the blinders off their eyes, and open up their mouths to speak out against what they’ve instinctively got to know is a threat to their very happiness. 


Caroline Gay Attri is an Oakland resident. ›