I'm not a particularly angry person. Unlike Jeanette, who has killed seven men (that we know of) for asking to touch her boobs, or Dr. M, who once twisted Jeremy's head off (it was promptly re-attached by Dr. Epstien, the father of our only childhood Jewish friend), I've got a very long fuse. But this administration is really on the verge of reaching the end of that fuse, and when I blow -- man, there'll be a LOT OF POSTS ON THIS WEBSITE! I MEAN IT!
This week, President George W. Bush stated firmly that he would not let the worldwide anti-war protests (which reportedly consisted of several million people, several hundred thousand of those protesting from cities all over the U.S.) affect his thinking about use of force in Iraq. He said,
Let me put aside my feelings about the war -- whether I think it is justified, whether I believe in Sadaam's supposed ties to Al Qaeda, whether I feel Iraq poses a real danger to world safety -- and focus on the facts of this past weekend's protests. Millions of people all over the world have taken their own initiative to peacefully show their opposition to the impending war in Iraq. Even if this administration chooses to un-wisely ignore the opinions of the rest of the world (and they have chosen this suicidal route consistantly since Bush's inaguration), there are still the hundreds of thousands of protesters within our own borders to consider, nearly all of which are concerned U.S. citizens. This is not a focus group, paid $100 for their participation in a closed-room study of a new kind of yogurt aimed at pre-teens and pregnant mothers. This is an upswell of public concern unseen since the Vietnam war. This is people taking to the street, spilling off of the sidewalks, carrying signs and banners, bundled in thick layers to ward off the freezing cold (except in LA, where we wore sandals), hoping to be heard, hoping to affect change. Even more telling, this protest is occurring before the war even happens! Nobody's died yet (at least not officially), and we are already protesting. Even the thick-skulled GWB, you'd think, must be able to see that this does not bode well for support of any war. Still, he seems smugly unconcerned.
My point is this -- if we are really going to war to protect democracy and the freedoms that terrorists supposedly hate (for all of the current administration's policy is based upon the idea that terrorists hate freedom, not that terrorists are desperate individuals who can conceive of no better way to express their frustration over their poverty, opression, ignorance and impossibly poor quality of life, and the percieved -- and sometimes real -- exploitation of these factors by uncaring, arrogant Western countries, of which the United States is the most visible symbol), if we are really going to war in defense of democracy, our administration should at least acknowledge and respect the opinions of the people who elected them. For that's what Bush's statement boils down to: he simply does not respect the opinion of the American people any more than he would the opinion of a paid focus group. Not only does our president not respect the opinions of the world and the world's leaders (at least not the ones who disagree with him), he does not respect the opinions his own people. Let me say it again: President George W. Bush does not respect the opinions of his own people.
Then again, maybe he's got a point. After all, we did elect him President.