Tags: Forgiving | the | Bush-Haters

Forgiving the Bush-Haters

Tuesday, 19 October 2004 12:00 AM

And as a Jew growing up happy, unmolested, and well-protected in this Christian America I seized upon one figment of Christianity that really impressed me. It was the image of Jesus nailed to the cross lifting his eyes upward and saying, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do!”

I envied that, like a baseball club owner might envy another team’s possession of a star pitcher. I wanted something like that for us Jews. I never found anything quite like it inside the Jewish religion, so I borrowed that line from Christianity. Spiritual shoplifting!

Folks still argue on the relative merits of religion versus psychiatry. Don’t bring that argument anywhere near me. That little bit of religion IS my psychiatry; even though it’s somebody else’s religion!

Did you ever see the old movies in which the innocent victim about to be punctured, drained and destroyed by Dracula whips out a simple cross and holds it up to his face – whereupon the evil vampire shrinks and moans and melts?

My own life-force would be sucked dry by all the political wrong-thinkers, wrong-sayers and wrong-doers of today if I couldn’t escape into myself and silently incant that little one-liner: “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do!”

It’s cleansing. It’s soothing. That one phrase makes all those political vampires dissolve before me, leaving me unbothered, standing, and sometimes even smiling.

Adolf Hitler hated Jews more than he loved Germans. The proof? When the Soviet Red Army really started rolling westward after victory at Stalingrad, Hitler arranged the Nazi logistical priority – boxcars and trucks – NOT to take much-needed supplies eastward to German units at the front but rather to herd up their captive Jews and move them westward so they couldn’t be liberated by the advancing Russians.

Today it’s equally obvious to me that many enemies of President Bush hate Bush more than they love America. If Saddam Hussein were still holding onto a corner of Iraq today with a short-wave radio station broadcasting his propaganda worldwide, his rhetoric would often be a direct translation of what John Kerry and his supporters are saying.

Listen to the Bush-haters’ arguments.

“You see – there were NO weapons of mass destruction!”

That’s supposed to make President Bush look like a fool and a bully who invades and overthrows a shady-but-innocent bystander on unfounded suspicion.

Let’s see. If police corner a suspect they want to question and the uncooperating suspect pulls a metal object abruptly out of his pocket, causing police bullets to fly, it will not help the multiply pierced suspect when the object turns out to have been merely a flashlight. Having what is obviously a flashlight in your hand when police call you over is another matter. That will not excuse a hail of police bullets. DRAWING a flashlight in a menacing manner while refusing to cooperate will.

And Saddam Hussein had a well-established history of “drawing” more than flashlights. He “drew” and used chemical weapons against Iran and his own Kurds. He attacked Iran and swallowed Kuwait. He shot at our planes in the No-Fly Zone he had agreed to respect. He had a (French-built) facility working on nuclear weapons at Osirak before Israeli planes turned it into a smoking crater in 1981. He was beyond bad.

Given Saddam’s history, whosoever did NOT conclude that his Iraq was bristling with WMD would be ignoring Saddam’s proven history of the appetite and aptitude to acquire them. Hate Bush all you please, but he was right to assume Saddam had WMD and wanted nothing more than to see them used someday, somehow, by somebody against America.

And we hear “There’s no connection between Saddam and al-Qaida!”

Prior to 9/11 that would have been a great argument. But President Bush did not invade Iraq prior to 9/11. “No connection” doesn’t hack it POST 9/11.

A president who doesn’t consider the likelihood of an EVENTUAL collaboration between Osama bin Laden and the richest, best-armed, and by far most America-hating Islamic dictator is not fit to lead this nation. Saddam had much more reason (Desert Storm) to hate America than did bin Laden (who we helped in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union).

Then we hear “Iraq presented no threat to the United States.”

Iceland presented no threat to America in March 1941, but we occupied Iceland nonetheless to keep it out of the hands of the Nazis, and everybody thought it was a great idea. If Hitler had beat us to Iceland, his already catastrophic submarine success against us in the Atlantic would have escalated and he could have bombed America’s East Coast cities and industries with World War II aircraft.

Other malicious mantras that drive my eyes upward include “America is paying 90 percent of the cost of the war in treasure and lives.” (Strange that Sen. Kerry always seems to put “treasure” before “lives” in that complaint. Someone should whisper to him.)

I lived every day of World War II and never heard anybody say pea-turkey about the cost of the war or what percentage of that cost America was paying. Defending ourselves after being brutally attacked was the objective then, an objective I fail to find dissimilar to our legitimate objective of today.

So far no Democrats have actually stood up and cheered when American troops fall in battle. Give them credit for that modicum of discipline. It’s a poorly kept secret, however, that rising American casualties are entered into Democratic political accounting ledgers as “good news.”

If GOP presidential candidate Thomas E. Dewey had had that attitude when he ran against President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944, he would have had tens of thousands MORE bits of “good news” to chortle about on his bloody ledger. Such a mindset was beyond unspeakable in American politics then; even beyond unthinkable.

It’s perfectly understandable that Kerry supporters would try to prevent the TV showing of anti-Kerry documentaries on broadcast TV this close to the election. What is unconscionable, however, are Democratic Party efforts to play down the evils of Saddam Hussein.

They’re trying, and they’re having a strange kind of success. Are you aware of the recent uncovering of new and more extensive mass graves in Iraq – Holocaust-clear testimony to the evil of Saddam Hussein? These shocking findings are getting about as much attention in pre-election American mass media as would the uncovering of a new cache of Indian arrowheads near Gaffney, S.C.

Does anybody miss the point? The more Americans learn about the full measure of Saddam’s evil, the more justifiable becomes America’s “unilateralist” thrust to take him out.

Meanwhile I have to endure the rave reviews of Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” and what a swell case it makes against the Bush administration! With all of its lying defects, if “Fahrenheit 9/11” were an airplane, the FAA would never permit takeoff. But it’s NOT an airplane. It’s part of free-speech America and it sells and sails, soars and roars.

The U.N. – the Parliament of Mankind, no less – passes 17 resolutions aimed at the worst dictator on Earth. Saddam returns them all unopened. Nobody in the Parliament of Mankind gets upset. Then America goes in, throws him out, liberates his people and makes sure that no matter what weapons he has, they will not be used to harm others. Thereupon the U.N. and Hollywood and the faculty and the clergy and the Democrats and the major media accuse AMERICA of being the troublemaker!

It’s time again to look skyward and repeat after me.

There’s a roiling abscess of bitterness embedded in me by the anti-Bush campaign that not even a Bush landslide will wash away.

In boxing a fighter will occasionally mutter “Good punch” to his opponent. In football an occasional safety man who fails to prevent an opposing receiver from bringing in a long pass will say, “Great catch.” A chess master in tournament play will occasionally say to his opponent, “Good move.”

That’s not elegance. That’s not nobility. It’s just what I call “jungle etiquette,” a code of manners that operates even in the severest of head-on personal and political collisions. But even such minimal etiquette seems beyond the abilities of the Bush-hating crowd.

Have you yet heard one of them say: “Hey. I oppose this illegal and immoral war for oil, ego and glory, but I gotta tell you, Mr. President, deposing the Taliban AND the worst dictator on Earth AND making Libya fold its nuclear hand AND surrounding Iran and Syria with American might AND pulling off the first democratic election in Afghanistan’s history, including women voters, AND preparing to repeat that miracle in Iraq – not bad, Mr. President. Good blow. Good catch. Good move!”

They go batty and start gagging when you ask them if the world's better off without Saddam Hussein in power.

A prisoner of the Japanese in World War II was beaten senseless by a Japanese guard on Java toward the end of the war for no reason except that the prisoner happened to be near the guard when the guard, owing to Japan’s certain impending defeat, happened to get angry. As he was passing out from the bashing he remembers thinking, “If this guard were one-fourth as brutal, I’d be four times angrier at him.”

That’s fascinating. That’s PHILOSOPHY! A guard only one-fourth as brutal would be a human being hauling off and deciding to inflict pain for no reason. As brutal as that Japanese guard was, however, that prisoner viewed him not as a human at all but as a wild animal out of control.

You can lament that the lion is about to devour you. But you don’t HATE the lion.

Likewise, if the Bush-haters were only ONE-FOURTH as outrageous as they are, I’d be four times angrier at them. As it is, my anger flies off into space when I roll my eyes upward and incant: “Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do!”

When I was a boy, the world was afraid a dictatorship would haul off and enslave democracies.

Today the world is afraid a democracy will haul off and liberate dictatorships.

I like today better.


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And as a Jew growing up happy, unmolested, and well-protected in this Christian America I seized upon one figment of Christianity that really impressed me.It was the image of Jesus nailed to the cross lifting his eyes upward and saying, "Forgive them, Father, for they know...
Tuesday, 19 October 2004 12:00 AM
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