Bush Crusade letter (sent to The Local Planet)
Monday morning I sent the following letter, concerning Bush’s use of the word “crusade,” to the Spokesman. It was written before I’d heard any other media criticism of the matter. Risking sounding like a whiner, I thought it was a good point and was sure they would print it. Now it’s dated, and frankly I’m kinda pissed. I think they didn’t print it because it was highly critical of Bush. (And yes, I’m aware of the facts that I wrote it, that I think everything I write is good, as well as the fact that I’m often wrong.) But, I’m wondering if they’re so caught up in their flag-waving and saber rattling that they are avoiding any criticism of Bush.
Then again, I’m still shell-shocked. Maybe I should be writing to my mother instead of you.
Anyway, here’s the letter:
President George W. Bush has declared the advent of “the first war of the Twenty-first Century,” which he predicts will be “a crusade.” Using the historically pregnant term “crusade” is either unfathomably stupid or deviously ingenious.
By subtly introducing the image of the “Crusades” -- the medieval expeditions undertaken to deliver the Holy Places from Mohammedan tyranny – Bush broadens and further abstracts the perception of our adversary by painting him in evil Muslim black, while baptizing ourselves with Godly whitewash. (Which, by the way, will make it much easier to accept the “collateral damage.”)
With stick-on American flags self-slapped over our eyes, and intoxicated with religious ecstasy-like patriotism, we blindly grant an MBA and former baseball team owner the worldly rendition of the horrible, carpet-bombing Powers of God.
We cheer him on as he gathers together a great army and prepares to lead the Force of Good into faraway lands to eradicate the infidels – a nameless, faceless, placeless enemy, who we neither know nor understand.
We are numbed and angered by an incomprehensible tragedy. We desperately need to take pause until a time when we can make decisions based on reason and rationale, instead of emotion. But moreover, let’s not play the part of the ignorant medieval town folk, tossing flowers to the knights as they ride off to, as Bush says with comic book simplicity, “rid the world of the evildoers.”
If you got this far, thanks. Hope everyone there is handling this horrible time better than I. I’m going to write to my mother now... Oh wait -- something on TV... If I see those buildings fall one more time, I'm gonna blow a fucking hole in the screen.
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