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Thursday, January 11, 2007

SMALL COMFORT

Whenever I hear the Tommy James and the Shondells lyric "Yesterday, my friends were marching off to war" (from their hit "Sweet Cherry Wine"), it reminds me of the time, in the late 1960s, when the second-oldest child of our backdoor neighbors came home from Vietnam. I drew a poster that said, "WELCOME HOME, BILLY." I remember seeing the letters he'd write home; where you'd put a stamp on the envelope, he just wrote "FREE." I always regarded Billy as a hero. He's a cool customer. He kind of reminds me of Peter Fonda.

I have a cousin who did a tour in Iraq last year. My uncle and aunt sent me a photo of him in a helmet and uniform holding a huge gun surrounded by six Iraqi children who look very sweet and very at home next to him. Four boys and two girls. Little darlings.

I keep the photo in a frame at my desk. I hope they're all still alive and healthy and happy somehow.

In the new issue of The New Yorker, the lead "Talk of the Town" item is about the hanging of Saddam Hussein. It has a phrase that stuck with me: ". . . from shock and awe through stay the course to surge and pray . . ." Those cats can turn a phrase.

A friend referred to the president's facial expression during his speech yesterday as "deer in the headlights."

For those who never supported this war, Bush finally admitting that he got in over his head is small comfort.

I've always maintained that the 2004 presidential election was a national referendem on the Iraq War (not to mention the 2000 presidential election, but that's another sad historical chapter). One of the most clever things I've ever heard the president say was his infamous quote, "We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections."

Classic Bush -- bravado and bad grammar vying for sovereignty.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 8 years of Clinton, the Monica Lewinsky debacle, an impeachment, and what the meaning of "is" is, I think this country wanted someone with a backbone (Bush was noted for not backing off or waffling on ANYTHING as a governor of Texas). Now that same stick to it-ness is what's scaring the heck out of most Americans, because we don't know why we're there (Iraq) anymore.

6:15 AM, January 12, 2007  
Anonymous gail jeanne mcgillicuddy said...

oil. we're there because they have oil.

I thought everyone knew that.

3:31 PM, January 20, 2007  

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