WHILE I’VE BEEN GONE
by David Sisler
A lot has happened since I took a vacation (two months ago) from 14 years of weekly columns. We need to recap, but where to begin?
As of this writing, crude oil prices are over $41 per barrel, which means on the Left Coast, a gallon of regular unleaded is $3 and here in Dixie it is approaching $2. Don’t hurt the oil (see Revelation 6:6).
Michael Moore has directed another version of the way things aren’t in his latest movie “Fahrenheit 9/11.” The good news is, no one yet has stepped up to distribute this piece of celluloid propaganda which says the Bush family has links to Osama bin Laden. There is a difference, between freedom of speech and freedom of delusion, although Michael Moore would never recognize it.
Speaking of movies, the porn industry was shut down for a few weeks with an AIDS scare. A handful of performers tested positive for HIV, no big surprise in an industry which pays women $100 if they insist that their partners wear condoms, and $1000 for giving the public what it wants – unprotected, high-risk behavior.
One newcomer to the industry, Lara Roxx, whose age is variously listed as 18, 19, 21, and 22, received a death sentence after performing her first act for her first movie. She told the director she did not want to do the act that the scene required, but he told her that was what they needed and if she wouldn’t perform, her replacement was easily found.
Roxx took $2000 for the scene and woke up the next morning with a rash. Several blood tests later, and all of her money spent, she was told she has AIDS. One of her partners was the first performer to be diagnosed HIV-positive in the current scare. Didn’t she read the warning labels?
Speaking of performing high-risk acts without protection, Mydoom, Bagle, and Sassar worms/viruses have struck computers world-wide. With some people determined to hurt other people just for the fun of it, when will computer users learn: buy a virus protector, and use it, buy a fire-wall program, and use it, and never ever open email attachments without first contacting the sender and verifying the attachment?
The three and one-half year old Palestinian uprising (or is that three and one-half decades, or centuries, or millennia) shows no signs of abating. The death toll continues to mount on both sides, but the Palestinian dead garner more mention in the Western press than the Israeli dead. No surprise there, but a reminder seems to be in order – the Lord God Almighty has never taken back his promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.
Chechyna celebrated “Victory Day 2004” on May 1 by having its president, Akhmad Kadyrov, assassinated by a bomb blast. Victory Day 2003 was also celebrated in Dynamo Stadium with a bomb blast, and lax security procedures while performing those repairs are blamed for the current destruction.
Kadyrov, Moscow’s hand-picked man in that war-torn nation, built a personal army of 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers which was designed to tackle the threat of separatist fighters and keep Russian soldiers out of harms way. The situation now is set to spin out of control as there are too many armed men with too many scores to settle.
Finally (which, sadly is a word we won’t hear about this story for a long, long, long time), there are the atrocities at Abu Ghraib prison. Atrocities perpetrated, not by Saddam Hussein this time, but men and women wearing the uniform of the Armed Services of the United States of America. Because of the insanity from that handful of people, America has – temporarily – lost the moral high ground in Iraq. World sentiment, led in large measure by America’s press, is rubbing our faces in it, pretending that all of us are like those few, pretending that those animals are different from the animal we found in a hole, hiding for his miserable life. And not only pretending, but ignoring the decades of humiliation, torture, and death that Saddam Hussein wreaked on his own people.
That last sentence in no way is written to explain, justify or mollify what American military personnel did. As a friend of mine, a career soldier serving on a foreign base, said, “The ones who did it [as of this writing seven have been charged] are obviously morons who should spend the next dozen or so years in Leavenworth. It’s disturbing – though not surprising – that the liberal-Commie-pinko-morons of our country are so quick to say that the Bush administration is as bad as Saddam, or that this fiasco is ‘his Vietnam.’ Things are bad enough over there without every bobble-head newscaster or cowardly reporter trumpeting our failures and ignoring our successes. The way things are going, the liberal press is just adding fuel to the enemy's fire.”
A personal word of advice to President Bush: Release all of the photos and videos we have today! Call a press conference and do it now! Get them all out in the open and take this weapon out of your opponents hands. If you do not, they will find a way to release them, a few at a time, right up until November 2. If they do that, they will not need to hang chads.
Speaking of pictures, can we try some perspective here? Has anyone not seen the pictures of Nicholas Berg, a civilian who went to Iraq to try to help in the rebuilding of the nation, dressed in an orange jump suit, seated calmly at the feet of five hooded barbarians, only to be beheaded moments later? I did a search a few minutes ago (8 a.m. on May 14, 2004) at news.google.com. I don’t have a clue how google searches for its news stories, although the algorithms appear to be slanted to the left, but the story of Nicholas Berg was no where to be found on the front page. It was not mentioned at all in the world news section. It did show up on the national news page. And there, in a single story from West Chester, PA, Berg’s friends and neighbors are asking why his beheading – at the hands of one of Osama bin Laden’s close allies – the al Qaeda connection – is pushed off of the front page, only 72 hours after his murder, in favor of the Abu Ghraib prison story.
Those same neighbors mention another forgotten story, the execution last month in Fallujah of four civilian contractors. That story, except to their loved ones, scarcely rated a blip on the news Richter scales.
But let’s put President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld face down in the dirt, make them grovel before the world, and blame them for the crimes of the magnificently stupid seven. Daniel Henninger, the deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, wrote, “Quite obviously it has been decided, as the handling of the Abu Ghraib story makes plain, that when America stumbles, we are going to have our faces rubbed in it. And rubbed in it and rubbed in it. As far as I can make out, the purpose of this two weeks of media humiliation is that we – the president, all of us – are being asked to morally prostrate ourselves before the rest of the world.”
In one of the most calculated pieces of disinformation to hit the airwaves and newsprint in years, Hezbollah and Hamas, rushed to condemn Berg’s murder. Hezbollah and Hamas have no end of shame in their past. This time, while the cameras rolled and reporters scribbled, they pretended to be repelled by Berg’s execution. Actually, their only worry was that the playing of the video and the broadcasting of the pictures would damage the cause of the Saddam’s surviving henchmen. They worried that their hooded brethren would be seen for what they are – Islamic terrorists – just like the September 11 hijackers. They shouldn’t have worried. Our liberal press virtually ignored the Hezbollah-Hamas condemnation, just as they have pushed Berg’s death to the back of the newspaper.
On Monday morning, May 17, 2004, as I prepare to web-post this piece, only U.S. News and World Report has the story of Berg’s murder on the front page. In Google, Yahoo News, AP, Reuters, AFP, Washington Post, USAToday, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune the story is no where to be found. The Abu Ghraib prison continues to take up the top spaces.
A lot has happened while I’ve been gone, and that is my take on the issues. However, I will give the final word for this column a U.S. Senator and a paragraph he wrote on May 14:“We cannot allow the prison scandal in Iraq to diminish our own American sense of national honor and purpose, or further erode support for our just and necessary cause in Iraq. American opponents of the war may try to do the latter, while foreign critics and enemies of the United States will try to do the former. The misdeeds of a few do not alter the character of our nation or the honor of the many who serve in our defense – and the world's – every day. Winning the war we are now fighting in Iraq against Saddam loyalists and jihadist terrorists remains critical to the security of the American people, the freedom of the Iraqi people, and the hopes of all the Middle East for stability and peace.”
Thank you Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Connecticut).
Copyright 2004 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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