Although President George W. Bush’s poll numbers continue to inch back upward after record lows, his dismal job approval ratings are not encouraging to Republicans and still give Democrats hope for recapturing control of Congress in the November midterm elections. But four months is an eternity in politics.
A longtime friend, a career soldier and flag officer, returned home from Iraq recently and said that, sadly, he is thinking of retiring, something he can easily do at this point in his career.
After a record of service that extends from Vietnam to Panama to Desert Storm and, finally, to the invasion of Iraq, he says the will to serve his country is gone.
“This country used to stand for things that meant something,” he said. “Not now. Honor, justice, loyalty, pride: None of these words have any meaning now.”
Rep. Peter Hoekstra, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to President George W. Bush back in May saying the Administration probably violated the law by not informing Congress of his secret intelligence activities against Americans.
The right-wing’s biggest blowhard, radio talk show demagogue Rush Limbaugh, got a walk this week on charges of carrying Viagra without a prescription. His doctor might face charges for mislabeling the bottle of pills found on Limbaugh when he returned from a vacation trip.
The mouth that roared may be off the hook this time around for abusing prescription meds but at least the whole world now knows that the mouthpiece of the rabid right wing needs drugs to get it up.
Abu Musab al-Zargawi’s widow says her late husband’s al-Qaida organization sold him out to the United States in exchange for an American promise to ease off on its worldwide hunt for Osama bin Laden.
On the surface, this sounds like normal terrorist propaganda in a misinformation war that the other side wages successfully.
Or is it?
The American flag does not fly outside our home today. It usually does on July 4 but not this Fourth of July because I just can’t bring myself to celebrate an independence that isn’t or recognize a country that no longer stands for freedom.
In fact, I may start a bonfire on our front yard and burn every American flag we own, an act I feel is far more patriotic than any faux patriot who adorns his car, pickup truck or motorcycle with flags and salutes a nation that today is nothing more than an international bully that wages war on innocents without provocation.
As a journalist, I am offended by the latest Republican assault on The New York Times and freedom of the press.
As an American, I am afraid for the future of my country when politicians so casually discard our founders’ belief that a free press is a necessary Constitutional guarantee.
The last time an American president went after the press with such a vengeance was during Richard Nixon’s second term. We all know how that one ended.