"I was like a priest who had lost faith in the Church, but who, perhaps for that reason, clung closer to God." - The narrator, Joseph Antonelli, in D. W. Buffa’s novel The Judgment

By Tony Russell


-“Hey, Ace, how ya doin’? Still covering tractor-pulls, school food fights, and crimes against traffic?”

“Still at it, Cass. How about you? Still writing editorials on public affairs?”

“I am, but to tell the truth, I don’t know how long I can keep it up. It’s like pursing your lips and trying to blow Katrina back out to sea.”

“What do you mean?”

"Oh, you know what I mean."

"Before the Iraq war, I wrote that the administration was rushing to war even though the inspections were working."

"I wrote that the administration story about the yellowcake from Niger was bogus."

"I wrote that their aluminum-rods-for-reactors story was discredited."

"I wrote that Iraq would be in danger of descending into chaos."

"I wrote that depleted uranium munitions would cause enormous amounts of cancer and other illnesses, both among our troops and Iraqi civilians."

I wrote that the alleged link between Saddam and al Qaeda was a fabrication."

"I wrote that the war was illegal under international law, as well as immoral."

"Okay. So?"

"So go back and read the editorials. Then look at what eventually came out."

"No weapons of mass destruction, no link with al Qaeda, hundreds of billions of dollars poured into Iraqi sand and Halliburton’s pockets."

" Two thousand American soldiers and a hundred thousand Iraqi civilians dead."

"More than a quarter of all returning U.S. soldiers suffering from physical or psychological problems."

"Iraq on its way to becoming an Islamic theocracy, and sliding toward anarchy or civil war. And insofar as the claim that we are building democracy in Iraq is concerned, a nationwide poll in Iraq, taken in August, found that:
- 82% are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops
- Less than 1% of the population believes coalition forces have improved security
- 67% of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation.

"Guess you’ve won over the skeptics, eh?"

"That’s what you think? Here’s a typical letter from a right-wing reader: ‘Cass. I am sick of reading your nauseating far-left America-hating garbage. Why don’t you take a long walk off a short pier, holding hands with Michael Moore and Hanoi Jane.' "

"Gee, Cass, do you actually know Michael Moore and Jane Fonda?"

"Ace, I think you’re missing the point here."

"Just joking, Cass. But seriously, why do you hate America?"

"Ace, if you expose the administration’s lies and denounce the torturing of prisoners by U.S. soldiers and argue that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was illegal, those things don’t make you an America-hater."

"They make you an ordinary citizen in a democracy, holding your country to the standards of truth, fairness, and justice it once taught you to believe in."

"The hypocrisy of this administration is that it uses patriotic rhetoric as a mask for betraying our basic values at every turn."

"Whoa, now. Don’t you think you’re sounding pretty extreme there, Cass?"

"Ace, this President is threatening to veto the entire military appropriations bill because the bill has an amendment, sponsored by John McCain, that prohibits the ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading’ treatment of prisoners held by the U.S. military." "The amendment was approved by the Senate, 90 to 9. But Bush is threatening to veto it so he can have the power to torture prisoners. Now you tell me: Who’s being un-American here? Who’s being extreme?"

Read two new articles - "Out of Gas" and "Behind Dick Cheyney's Back" at Tony's Blogspot   readtonyrussell.blogspot.com

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