I have a republican friend. I have been trying to help her think about what her president is really doing to us and the world. I am in over my head. Therefore, I offer up our last few dialogues for examination: tell me, what am I doing wrong, leaving out, or is it just a wasted effort?
This is my first diary. I know it is long-winded. I apologize. But I couldn't resist sharing this with the world. And my head hurts from banging a hole in the wall.
If anything, it is a good study on the thought processes of someone suffering from cognitive dissidence.
(Please skip to my last response if this seems too long.)
She had sent me this ridiculous "poem" about how great GWB written by some old retired marine (instant cred, ya know). This was my response:
September 11 is not a reason to shut up and not protest the crooked Bush administration. Don't forget that Bush's sec of defense, at one point, was shaking hands with Hussein. And I am eager to hear about the "liberal media." What, you mean Dan Rather? A little dissidence and oopsie! He gets fired. Do you remember what he said about his country in a time of war? That he wanted us to win? Those "forged documents" totally put Bush's non-existant "military career" into question...and I have a copy of the actual records that show he wasn't even present for a mandatory evaluation. What a patriot. Being a Christian doesn't mean following evil men like a bunch of baby ducks. Yes, a lot of politicians are crooked, but some more than others are driving this country into the ground!
To which my friend replied:
These are points that I found to be true. Why is it that the people who are the most anti-america are the people always heard? How can you dispute so many things but offer nothing? This writing [the poem] offered something. If offered a stance. It offered American pride that has been lost to bitching and complaining about every last damn thing the government does. We had a freakin attack on our country and thousands were killed because of ruthless hate! A terrorist willing to die with his cause is not looking to be counceled and they damn sure didn't offer to let anyone talk them out of it! Why is it that liberals always want to believe that everything can be handled diplomatically? This is not a diplomatic world-OBVIOUSLY! They flew our airplanes into the trade towers and pentagon for crying out loud!!!!! Does that sound rational to you? Does that sound like men who are looking to be talked to? Why is it so easy, when you preach so hard core about taking care of this country before other countries, to forget that we were provoked, to forget the thousands that were killed, orphaned, and left in despair? And don't retaliate to that by bashing on Bush again on how he is responsible for not taking care of the damages properly. 9/11 was a major fucking crisis and I think Bush showed balls and character, not only with how he leaned on his cabinet but also in how quickly he responded. No one could have been prepared for a surprise attack like that. Bush had to work from scratch and I would say he got things going pretty damn fast. And I'm on the east coast, in fact I'm going to NY for the Fourth of July so I'm not blowing hot air-Bush handled this very impressively. You don't lay back after an attack like that! And other countries that look suspicious should mother fucking cooperate when we start looking for the damn perpetrator! Bush declared war on terror-Saddam was a terrorist! He should have cooperated! I don't care that we haven't found WMD yet-it could happen 10 years from now because they have cave dwellings and hiding places. Even if we never do [find WMD] I'm glad that we have a president who took the matter seriously!
Secondly, why is it so easy to forget that Clinton is responsible for Korea coming in to nuclear power and he is the reason that we can't track terrorists? If you want to blame someone, blame him.
Don't use the oil thing to get Bush, either. I'm tired of that argument. The oil helped our economy. It helped the cash flow, it helped businesses, it brought in money-very much needed money. Even if you don't like who had first dibs on the money, it benefitted our people. It kept jobs, it kept the cash flow. I'm not saying that Bush is innocent and not a politician, so don't get me wrong there, either. But his "sin," if you will, I think, in the long run, will benefit everyone. I hate war but it has been a part of every generation of humans blah blah blah Bible blah....
To which I replied:
Oh Lordy, here we go.
You say that I/liberals offer nothing as a solution, but merely "bitch." Firstly, the republicans are in power; it is their job to come up with bright ideas on how to run the country. It is, therefore, the job of the democrats to oppose, unless we want a one-party system. The dems are now, thank God, asking for accountability for war, esp. in regard to the Downing Street Memo, which Bush and Blair have brushed off as inconsequential. Cheney does not answer to questions about Halliburton. There is no Iraq exit strategy, and Bush can be quoted regarding his former view about the necessity of having an exit strategy in order to be victorious in war. The administration will not answer questions about Jeff Gannon-something Clinton would have been impeached for. John Conyers is not even allowed to enter the gates of the White House to deliver a petition to the president. It is not about being right-it is about not letting the lies go. You cannot brush off the WMD issue. Would you like for me to send you the quotes made by the administration about WMD being THE reason for war? Even if Bush was a victim of bad intelligence, he sure as hell seemed convinced at the time.
Dems "bitch." Why would the opposing party "bitch"? Why use the term "bitch"? As if republicans didn't ever "bitch" when a dem was in power. That is hypocrisy served straight up, and COLD.
Believe it or not, dems HATE 9/11. Try to say we "hate America," but...nope. Just death and violence. We hate killers. No one disagrees that 9/11 was a horrible day.
What does 9/11 have to do with "taking care of other countries" before the U.S.? We spend $900 million dollars a week (from the Treasury) on Iraq. Couldn't that money "take care of this country before other countries"?
I recall that it took a few months before Bush responded to 9/11 by going after the Taliban.
How long do you think our occupation of Iraq should take at $900 million dollars a week?
How do you blame North Korea's possession of WMD on Clinton? If they do have WMD, why isn't Bush invading them?
Oil is the essence of the Bush family. You're tired of that argument. Give me a reason to stop using it and I will. Until then, TOUGH SHIT.
My friend responded with:
I use the term "bitch" as an expression of complaining endlessly, or needlessly finding fault with and tearing apart something, Bush being this person, having not been given credit when it was due. Yes, you are absolutely right that both parties are guilty of bitching. I find that bitching can be blinding because it becomes your habit to hate the object and everything it does rather than seeing clearly and giving acknowlegement for both good and bad when it's due. Bush has not done everything wrong...
The liberal party takes sides with the enemy. You say that you hate killers...well...Saddam was a killer. I don't believe that everything can be solved with letters, talking, and so forth. Liberals always want to reason with the enemy. The world is not full of people who need a hug and a listening ear. There are reasons in this world to fight.
That [oil] money is taking care of us by handling the attacks! Something had to be done! I agree with you though that we don't fight people who don't have something to give in return [I said that?-exTN]but Iraq and the U.S. are benefitting off the oil-I don't have a problem with that! At what did you say-$900 million a week? We better be making some money somewhere with a budget like that. Rehabilitating a country is not cheap by any means. The oil is keeping up the cash flow, giving jobs, and helping out the Iraqis. Plus we can't go in and wipe out their leadership and then leave! That is cold. With the situation we're in, Bush is doing the best he can for both worlds. Bush was taking care of our country when he dealt with the seriousness of 9/11 by responding to all intelligence and making sure that no one else was going to hurt our country. So asking why he doesn't take care of us first is dumb in light of the fact that we declared war on terror and followed through.
Iraq may become a permanent duty station...that can't be changed now.
Shouldas, wouldas, couldas are all irrelevant. We are there, we are making money, we are teaching them a defense system and we are doing the right thing for not destroying their leadership and then leaving. I think that is a good reason to be OK with the oil thing, this oil profit I'm sure is helping out with this $900 million a week.
My brother is in Iraq right now [aha!-exTN] and has described the blood stains on the walls of torture prisons where Saddam had free reign to hurt and torture whoever he wanted for whatever reason he wanted. He is doing raids in the same streets where women were taken, raped, and thrown back bloodied after Saddam's kin or Saddam himself fucked them up. He is there helping liberate people who have been slaves to fear and Saddam for so long...and you know what? The news isn't accurate. A greater majority is thankful...a loud minority gets talked about because they are the ones making the scenes. Don't be mad that Bush got richer-be grateful that we haven't had any more attacks and that a country might taste liberty.
OKAY. I know, longer than the Michael Jackson trial. Almost done.
Have you actually heard some of the nonsense that comes out of Bush's mouth? Or how he responds so carefree when asked questions about the carnage in Iraq? I mean, he has a laughing face when he should be grave. He would piss himself in Iraq if he were where your brother is. Bush has been given too much credit by a media that refuses to investigate his policies; for God's sake there was a gay porn star posing as a member of the press who the prez called on repeatedly. He was a plant! No one has batted an eyelash about the fact that Bush wouldn't go on the record for the 9/11 committee. If we're the victim and Bush's hands were clean, don't you think he would have been shouting from the rooftops about what he thinks happened? He has brushed off the Downing Street Memo as if it were irrelevant when it brings into serious question the entire timeline for the plan to go into Iraq and the president's intentions! Oil is gonna be $3.00 a gallon soon. Have you seen our deficit? $7.7 trillion dollars. That's your grandkids' money. Even Reagan's old group says this spendaholic, big government 'republican' is out of line.
So you say that I and my Viet Nam vet father who's seen the gruesome trenches of war take sides with the enemy because we are liberals? Believe me, we are great representatives of what liberals look like. You think we love Saddam Hussein and OBL because we're not in a panic to start a war, deplete our treasury, and essentially allow our 'homeland' to be ill protected as a result? You think we think a letter to the editor will find OBL (which Bush can't do anyway)? You think we love suicide bombers but hate America? Ha. See my and my father's eyes well up watching WWII footage and call us unpatriotic. What rhetoric. You think we think that trying to reason with madmen is rational? Yours is the logic that is faulty. We love America so much we hate to see it go bankrupt and sell out to China and big business (who Bush loves, indeed).
How does $900 million a week translate into 'taking care of us'? Show me. We're benefitting off Iraqi oil? At almost $3 a gallon with no end in sight? And as far as the expense going toward rebuilding Iraq (I'd also like to see some examples of that), part of Bush's platform for running in 2000 was that he said he wouldn't get us into a quagmire that is "nation building." Oops. Do you remember the document "Bin Laden To Strike U.S."? I have it. Go to thesmokinggun.com archive and look for it. Yeah. Bush didn't bother to read it before 9/11. Condi called it "historical in nature," trying to underscore its importance. Is that "responding to intelligence"? Taking care of us first means educating kids, making healthcare available to all citizens, and protecting the environment. Bush has taken care of corporations first, not us.
Looks like Hussein had actually gotten rid of his WMD and the sanctions against him worked after all. What part of Bush's planning to attack Iraq before 9/11 do you not get? And how are 9/11 and Iraq correlated? Relating the war with 9/11 is the real illegitimate point and I think that has been thoroughly rejected by anyone who cares about reality and facts. Let me ask you this: did you feel threatened by Iraq after 9/11 or rather by a handful of Muslim extremists?
Shoulda woulda couldas may not help the mess we're in now, but they can reveal the culprits and hopefully put the culprits in jail. What oil profit are you talking about? Is that money in your and my pockets?
If North Korea has nuclear weapons but Iraq didn't have WMD, doesn't that spell 'oops' to you? Do you think the "liberal way" of negotiating is the way to handle NK, or should we just go in and attack (with what's left of our army)?
Why are you so eager to defend people who don't give a fuck about you? We are in Iraq "that a country might taste liberty"? What about all the other damn countries living under conditions of genocide and tyrannical rule? Do you think a healthy, well-educated and fed American population would be better equipped to help the poor souls of the world, or an American population so distracted by making ends meet working three minimum wage jobs because the good jobs got outsourced is a better way?
The last thing I received from her can be summed up as such:
1. How is Jeff Gannon relevant?
2. I'm glad the prez didn't recognize Gannon from gay porn.
3. Bush is not a tyrannical dictator like Saddam.
4. You may not like Bush but too bad.
5. Ok, you and your dad are patriotic.
6. It's a good thing that the oil companies are making such a huge profit.
7. "I'm glad that our troops aren't suffering, though. I'm glad that he didn't send them over there unequipped, and on a budget that would trap them like the democrats did to the soldiers in Vietnam. If we are going to send our family members to war I'm glad that we have a president who will spart no expense to keep them fed, ammoed, and taken care of."
My head is through the wall. All 0.00002 of you who read this, thank you for your time.