3.19.2007

Shock and Disgust

Four years later and the “shock and awe” of the assault on Iraq has turned to anger and disgust. Those of us who were alive during Vietnam can rightfully say “we told ya so.” This latest quagmire was never about liberation, freedom or the war on terror. It was about politics, religion and rich men’s dreams of getting richer at the expense of the rest of us.

The war platform was built on lies which were shaped by cherry picked intelligence to bolster the prevarications that we needed to liberate the Iraqi people in order to protect our country from terrorism. The war platform was shaped by right wing religious fervor of spreading Christianity to the “heathens.” Bring them to “our” god and making the world a “safer” place. The war was the method that some thought could bring control of the oil rich territories to the west, insuring our energy supplies.

We now know by looking backward that this administration sent our troops over there without proper equipment, armor, and in some cases, training. This administration sent our national guard troops to fight and die in an illegal conflagration that left this country exposed to the elements. Helpless when it came to fighting the natural disasters that have ravaged us in the past few years. There was no one to help those victimized by Katrina except an inept, uncaring group of political hacks appointed by this White House, in order to fulfill campaign promises. There is no one, now, to dig out from under the series of tornadoes and storms that have cut wide paths of destruction across much of the southern half of this country.

Iraq is mired in a religious civil war. We are caught in the middle. Our president is sending more troops while Congress stands around with its thumb up its ass.

3200 dead. We’re running out of troops. The war goes on...........

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“Another N**** Dead, “ So What!

When I was about 11 years old, a three year old cousin of mine, who was named after my mother, was hit and killed by a car. It was her fault. She ran into the street, chasing a cat. She didn’t see the car. The driver didn’t see her. She died instantly.

Three days later she was buried. The funeral was held in Cleveland and while the procession wound down Euclid Avenue, I remember looking out a window as my father drove and seeing a young, skinny white dude, jumping up and down and clapping his hands singing a made up song; “another nigger dead, another nigger dead, another nigger dead.” He didn’t stop until all the cars had past him. It didn’t make any difference that we were burying a little girl who just wanted to play with her kitty cat.

This memory came back to me as I watched the news conference about the indictments of the police officers who executed Sean Bell on his wedding day. They were indicted for first and second degree manslaughter. Serious charges, if they are convicted.

But I wanted to hear the word “murder” somewhere in the official reckoning. This was an execution, plain and simple. There was no equivocation. One cop shot 50 rounds. He had to reload at least once. He knew what he was doing.

Another nigger dead, another nigger dead, another nigger dead. So what.

45 years later and I still can’t get that phrase out of my head.
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