Posts Tagged ‘bush’

So, I got a message from a reader who said, ““Whenever I read an article calling George Bush a war criminal I have to stop and ask myself exactly what is it that makes people like you tick.” I don’t think he meant it as a compliment. Nonetheless, I felt obligated to provide some clarity to his“tick” thing so he can get on with his life.

What makes people like me tick? Well, lots of things.

I get really pissed off when we fight unjust wars, unjustly.

I get really pissed off when, in order to exact revenge for the killing of nearly 3,000 people in the 911 attacks, we go to war against a country that had nothing to do with 911 or Bin Laden, and then watch as nearly 3,000 American soldiers die, 33,184 are injured, many of them seriously, and an untold number suffer the lasting effects of PTSD. Of course, that doesn’t include the million or so Iraq dead, but who gives a damn about them, right?

I get really pissed off at the $2-plus trillion price tag of the war, which contributed mightily to the deficit, and which people like you will try to offset with tax cuts for the rich, and cutbacks in the social safety net (perhaps you would be kind enough to explain how the math works on that).

I get really pissed when I think how giddy Bin Laden must have gotten when he realized that he set off a series of events, which we are still dealing with a decade later, that turned out to be an unmitigated economic and foreign policy disaster for the United States.

I get really pissed off because the decision to invade Iraq was made prior to the justification for the invasion.

I get really pissed off when I think about the secret energy policy meeting was held prior to the invasion at which Iraqi oil fields were divvied up among American oil companies.

I get really pissed off when the United States tortures combatants and detain them in secret prisons. Sadly, I could go on, but I think you have a sense of what makes me tick.

But, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Bush isn’t a war criminal. But if he isn’t, what the fuck would you call him?

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This was written during President Bush‘s first term in office.

Letter to the editor…

We have a president (Bush ’43) who has an infallible view of good and evil, who doesn’t allow facts to get in the way of his vision, and who sends American sons, daughters, mothers and fathers into combat “knowing” that there will be no casualties. This irrational behavior makes sense only in the context of his “born-again,” evangelical beliefs which, when checked at the church door, are of little consequence. However, when those beliefs are allowed to guide the foreign policy of the most powerful nation on earth, they have the potential to thrust the world into the abyss of worldwide cultural and religious war. (For a summary of Christian evangelicals’ view of middle-east strife, click http://www.bitterlemons-international.org/previous.php?opt=1&id=55#226)

Christian evangelicals may argue that such conflict is the inevitable playing out of Biblical prophacy: They are entitled to their beliefs. But for the sake of good men and women everywhere who do not share them, this obsession with Armageddon must be made part of the national debate before it, indeed, becomes prophecy, not of the Biblical variety, but one tragically self-fulfilling.

We often hear pleas for moderate Muslims to reject the radical fundamentalism that has hijacked Islam. At the other end of the spectrum, where are the voices of moderate Christians who reject the back-door theocratic policies of this administration?

Letter to Kerry Campaign Workers.

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Bush Stuff
Tags: ,

This was written after President Bush defeated John Kerry.

First, I want to say how much I enjoyed meeting and working with you all. Despite how the election turned out, I refuse to believe that we were not fighting the good fight. That said, I recall the old story about the prize fighter who was in the ring with a far more talented opponent. After each losing round, the courageous but outmatched contestant staggered to his corner where his manager shouted, “Keep it up, you’re doing great! He’s not laying a glove on you.” After more than a few rounds of this charade, the bloodied and exhausted warrior cried, “Please, keep an eye on the referee, because somebody is kicking the hell out of me!”

Well, that’s the way I feel. The hell has been kicked out of me and I want to blame someone.

I’m mad at John Kerry, but he did his best. I’m mad at his advisors, but I’m not sure that I would have advised doing anything differently. I’m mad at the primary process, feeling now that Howard Dean probably would have made a better candidate, but that’s hindsight. I’m mad at all the people who voted for Bush because they’re all stupid, but they won and our guy didn’t so who’s stupid? I’m mad at people who use God for political gain, and I’ll bet that God ain’t happy either. At least I’m in good company.

But most of all, I’m mad at myself for having invested so much emotional capital in hating George W. Bush. It blinded me to the reality of politics in America today: People are in desperate search of a simpler time and, therefore, a simple message sells. George W. Bush’s message was simple and it was easy to buy.

I’ve been in the marketing and sales business for a long time and something I learned seems to apply; don’t give a sales force too many ideas to sell because the big idea will get lost in the noise. When I think of all the reasons why George W. Bush ought not to be president for another four years I’m overwhelmed. Unfortunately, to anyone but Kerry’s base (read that as us), that’s an underwhelming and very
noisy message.

So, now what? That’s what I’m dealing with now, as I suspect you are. If you are up to performing an act of charity for a somewhat punch-drunk fighter, I would love to know how you are going to continue the fight because I am really frightened for America. It’s my country, too, and I don’t think I recognize it any more.

Kindest regards,

Brian McCabe

Letter to Don Imus Regarding GWB.

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Bush Stuff
Tags: , , ,

This was written during Senator John Kerry’s campaign for the Presidency.

Dear Mr. Imus,

I am about your age (61) and have been listening to you since you came from Cleveland to NY. I still get a chuckle thinking about Billy Sol Hargis (sp?) and the Church of the Gooey Death. Thank you for the memories.

I also thank you for supporting John Kerry for president. As a Kerry supporter myself, I am pleased that “he is your man,”  but it’s also obvious that you would be happier with someone like Joe Biden. Frankly, so would I. But while I think that John Kerry has run a so-so campaign and that he talks too much, I think he will be a wonderful president at a time when America sure needs one. I genuinely fear another four years of the current administration.

With George W. Bush, we have a leader who’s infallible view of good and evil, who’s ability to avoid facts that get in the way of his “vision,” and who’s willingness to send American sons, daughters, mothers and fathers into combat believing that there will be “no casualties” borders on criminally incompetent. This irrational behavior makes sense only in the context of his “born-again,” evangelical beliefs which, when checked at the church door, are of little consequence. However, when those beliefs are allowed to guide the foreign policy of the most powerful nation on earth, they have the potential to thrust the world into the abyss of worldwide cultural and religious war.

Christian evangelicals may argue that such conflict is the inevitable playing out of Biblical prophecy; they are entitled to their beliefs. But for the sake of good men and women everywhere who do not share them…and I have no doubt that you are one of them…this obsession with Armageddon must be exposed for what it is before it, indeed, becomes prophecy, not of the Biblical variety, but one tragically self-fulfilling.

Mr. Imus, what I am asking is that, with the two days left that you are on the air before the votes are counted, you offer your listeners a more committed endorsement of John Kerry. The stakes are so high and you can make a very important difference.

Kindest regards,

Brian McCabe

This letter to my pastor, a wonderful man, was written during President Bush’s second term in office.

Dear Father,

Yesterday, my wife told me that you asked about me.  Thank you.  I appreciate that.  Perhaps we could spend a few minutes together one of these days talking about my unsuccessful efforts to reconcile some issues in my very convoluted spiritual journey.  With that meeting in mind, here are some thoughts on which I would surely appreciate your point of view.

I don’t know that any single event served as a tipping point for leaving the church but, if pressed, I would say it was probably the second-term election of GWB.  Oh, the first one wasn’t any bargain, either, but the second one made it clear that the rules had changed and that religion, and specifically Christianity, was at the heart of it.  Foolishly, I never thought that any religious group in America could influence the outcome of a major election.  Okay, a Senator or two from Kansas, maybe, but the Presidency? No way!

But it wasn’t just that GWB won, it was how he won.  Otherwise good people, many of them right in our own parish, were blinded by a mantra of moral decay brought to America by Godless liberals.  Prayer in the schools became more important than children going to school hungry.  Abortion rights became a lynchpin in the campaign against so-called activist judges who brought us evils like the New Deal, voting rights and affirmative action.  And the environment?  Why worry about global warming, a National Forest or two or mercury in the blood of our children when, in the inglorious tradition of James Watt, the end of days is at hand, anyway?

Tragically, the election of GWB was both a referendum on religious credentials and a demonstration, for all the world to see, of how religion can be used to influence the body politic of the most powerful nation on earth…a body politic that is either too ignorant, too lazy or too stupid to ask the hard questions of anyone who wraps him or herself in a cloak of Christian values.

I’m embarrassed for America and I’m embarrassed to be a Christian.  I resent the self-proclaimed morality police…the ones who high jacked our religion…the ones who would display the Ten Commandments in public buildings because they think we need to be reminded of our moral underpinnings and yet fail to pay attention to Christ’s message in the Sermon on the Mount.  And I’m embarrassed, ashamed and more that a little bit angry at those who give this president a blank check to lead the nation into an unjust war and gut our nation’s social programs because, after all, he is a man of faith.

But what really causes me pain is how moderate clerics and church leaders of all Christian denominations refuse to challenge would-be leaders who beat the drum of Christian values as a means to grab power, or who refuse to hold a spotlight on the unholy alliance between religion, business and government.  Does anyone give a damn that this is Fascism?  To argue that the pulpit should be free of politics ignores reality.  The pulpit is already politicized.

Then there are the many issues of present-day Catholicism, issues that make it more and more difficult to define myself as a Catholic.  For example, is it right for the “universal church” to purge gays from the seminary?  Surely, many Catholics will take comfort in the spin that doing so is in response to the clergy abuse situation. Yet, one would be hard pressed to find an expert who could draw a causal link between homosexuality and pedophilia.  This makes the issue of homosexuality nothing more than a politically correct red herring.

And, is it right that the church continues its ban on birth control when 40 percent of sexually active adults in eastAfricahave either HIV or AIDS?  How many deaths does it take for a theological position like this to be reconsidered or is this terrible human toll somehow in God’s plan?

And, speaking of blood, we cry for our war dead war, but who cries for Iraqi families…the mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who die and whose bodies are torn apart in a war of liberation that they didn’t ask for?  Or would it be un-American or un-Christian to bring it up?

The week or so ago, in connection with a CCD function, Fr. Joe gave an interesting and very useful talk about spiritualism and religion, noting that more people claim to be spiritual than ever before but often find organized religion wanting.  It’s no wonder and it sums up the problem that I face with my own spiritual journey.  I don’t think I have ever felt as spiritual as I do now and never more estranged from religion.  If ever there was a time when people needed to embrace the simple message of Jesus Christ it is now.  Yet, religious leaders seem far more interested in preaching support for our war-criminal president.

I suspect that if Jesus Christ were to walk among us once again, he would be none too pleased.

Kindest regards, Brian McCabe

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