Firstly, let me just say if anyone is wondering where Bell Hollee has got to, he's in Philadelphia. I've been working on that story, and as soon as I figure out how to get my computer onto the internet, I'll be updating, and you'll have several more chapters to read. Yay.
I have been very good about not talking politics down here. I wanted to wait and get the lay of the land first, plus, not alienate everyone during my first week. But Laura sent me a letter today from Michael Moore about the current response to the Iraq War and it made me depressed. This afternoon I was reading an old TIME magazine, from 2005, before the election, and the language they used about the war was the same as it is now--only there was a glimmer of hope that the Democrats we put into power might change things.
Unfortunately, we know better.
I'm depressed about this war because it's exactly like what Mr. Moore says--what can I do? Aside from chaining myself to the gates of Congress. We put the Democrats into power to stop this foolish, foolish war, and they have not done it. Dad tells the story of Ronald Regan threatening to "come and get" the Iran hostages during the presidential election--and immediately after he was elected, they were released. Do our presidential candidates have that kind of power today? To say "I will stop this war!" and have it cease immediately upon taking office? Or--more importantly--do they have the pair to pull everyone out of Iraq immediately? To not take no for an answer, full speed ahead and damme the torpedoes, good bye, over and out?
Somehow I doubt it. And besides, it's not the president's job to start and end wars, it's Congress and Congress has been SITTING ON THEIR BLOODY HANDS. And we've become--well, I've become, I can't speak for everyone--I've become apathetic. I don't really care about this war. Sure, people are dying and bad stuff is happening and there is no end in sight, but I'm not mad enough to ride up to DC and demand answers. I've gotten used to it. I'm apathetic. Eh. It's appalling, but I've been exposed to the worst for so long now that what's another five years? Eh. Things are bad all over.
This, of course, is an unacceptable position, an untenable way of life. Sustaining anger is the most difficult thing of all for anyone who wants to change the world: sustaining, nurturing and turning that anger to good. I must get upset again, wanting to grab passersby in the streets and shake them and shout from the corners, "Do you know what your elected officials are up to! Do you know that the Supreme Court condones torture! That habeus corpus has been suspended--and you didn't even notice?!"
But for now, I'm apathetic. If Congress won't care enough to stop this war, then why should I? I'm only one American. I can throw up my hands and say "Enough!" or I can throw them up and say "I quit." Right now I'm discouraged. Down, but not out.
Michael Moore's Letter:
Monday, March 24th, 2008
> It would have to happen on Easter Sunday, wouldn't it, that the
4,000th American soldier would die in Iraq. Play me that crazy preacher
again, will you, about how maybe God, in all his infinite wisdom, may not
exactly be blessing America these days. Is anyone surprised?
> 4,000 dead. Unofficial estimates are that there may be up to 100,000
wounded, injured, or mentally ruined by this war. And there could be up
to a million Iraqi dead. We will pay the consequences of this for a
long, long time. God will keep blessing America.
> And where is Darth Vader in all this? A reporter from ABC News this
week told Dick Cheney, in regards to Iraq, "two-thirds of Americans say
it's not worth fighting." Cheney cut her off with a one word answer:
> "So?" As in, "So what?" As in, "F*** you. I could care less."
> I would like every American to see Cheney flip the virtual bird at
the them, the American people. Click here and pass it around. Then ask
yourself why we haven't risen up and thrown him and his puppet out of the
> The Democrats have had the power to literally pull the plug on this
war for the past 15 months -- and they have refused to do so. What are
we to do about that? Continue to sink into our despair? Or get creative?
Real creative. I know there are many of you reading this who have the
chutzpah and ingenuity to confront your local congressperson. Will you?
> Cheney spent Wednesday, the 5th anniversary of the war, not mourning
the dead he killed, but fishing off the Sultan of Oman's royal yacht.
So? Ask your favorite Republican what they think of that.
> The Founding Fathers would never have uttered the presumptuous words,
"God Bless America." That, to them, sounded like a command instead of
a request, and one doesn't command God, even if they are America. In
fact, they were worried God would punish America. During the
Revolutionary War, George Washington feared that God would react unfavorably
against his soldiers for the way they were behaving. John Adams wondered if
God might punish America and cause it to lose the war, just to prove His
point that America was not worthy. They and the others believed it
would be arrogant on their part to assume that God would single out
America for a blessing. What a long road we have traveled since then.
> I see that Frontline on PBS this week has a documentary called
"Bush's War." That's what I've been calling it for a long time. It's not the
"Iraq War." Iraq did nothing. Iraq didn't plan 9/11. It didn't have
weapons of mass destruction. It DID have movie theaters and bars and women
wearing what they wanted and a significant Christian population and
one of the few Arab capitals with an open synagogue.
> But that's all gone now. Show a movie and you'll be shot in the head.
Over a hundred women have been randomly executed for not wearing a
scarf. I'm happy, as a blessed American, that I had a hand in all this. I
just paid my taxes, so that means I helped to pay for this freedom
we've brought to Baghdad. So? Will God bless me?
> God bless all of you in this Easter Week as we begin the 6th year of
> God help America. Please.
> Michael Moore