By Clyde Lewis

A political crusade in motion continues in motion in the same direction until some outside force interrupts it. In a time where your worst fantasies seem plausible it is indeed a comfort for all those who are about to engage in conflict to assume that a victory is guaranteed. If you were to strip away all of the political rhetoric of this war you will learn the real reason why the majority support it. I can tell you that it has nothing to do with real patriotism.

It has always been said that the first casualty of war is the truth. However I want to alter that over used axiom for the war on terror. The first casualty of this war is our definition of what it means to be an American.

I recently was on the air doing what I call the dirty work that most talk show hosts on the air are frightened to do. I was asking questions. To be more precise I was asking difficult questions about our policies and actions that irritated a caller named Kevin. I was well aware that Kevin was about to call me an anti-American because my producer had warned me that he was going to be hostile.

I didnít realize how hostile he was going to be.

The minute I welcomed him to the show he exploded into a relentless barrage of word salad that attempted to nail me to the mat calling me a traitor and a supporter of terrorism.

He was chastising me for what he perceived to be dissent and disrespect for our soldiers and men who were being sent out to defend our country against the bogeymen du jour.

I then became a bit irritated by the fact that those of his kind assume that because someone is uncomfortable about the threat of war that they do not support or at least hope that our soldiers are victorious in their endeavors.

Those who have decided to defend our country have done it as a personal choice. They know that the decision has certain risks. They know that they will see carnage and devastation. They are trained for missions, and conquests. They are fighters and defenders. They carry weapons, and operate war machines. They are prepared for these tasks.

I support them.

However I must clarify that I have chosen not to be in the Military. I have chosen to avoid the risks. I have also chosen to avoid viewing or living through mass devastation and carnage. I have chosen to be safe and I try whenever possible to avoid being in situations where I put my life in danger.

Most people who are sensible also make choices to avoid situations where they may end up being harmed. The reason is because unlike a combat soldier most people are vulnerable when they find themselves in a dangerous situation.

Most people take precautionary measures in order to avoid known dangers.

There are certain neighborhoods we avoid because they are heavy crime zones. There are people we run out of neighborhoods because they are sex offenders, We tell our children to not talk to strangers. We lock our doors and we avoid areas where we may be vulnerable to attack.

The problem I see in this never-ending argument about the war is that the underlying truth is becoming another casualty.

That underlying truth is that the supporters of the war effort are being convinced that they are supporting an endeavor that will be met with victory. What they are supporting is victory not war.

They support the troops because they are putting their lives on the line. I agree that this should be something that we should honor. Because no matter what messes our leaders get us in it is the soldier who has to go in and do all of the work to clean up those messes. We pray for their success.

We assume that some will die, but in reality we donít hear their last gasps, we donít feel the pain, and we donít see their blood when it falls from the broken body that is cut down by the enemy. Sometimes they come back maimed and damaged and later ignored by the shallow and ignorant who choose to judge them harshly.

For many years war has been romanticized where our boys go over there, fight over there, and win their various victories over there. People become cheerleaders that are safe and sound in a virtual bubble. They can watch the wins and the losses on television screens and switch the channel when the nightly news shows a militant guerrilla turning into a fine red mist as one of our boys riddles him with bullets.

It is the war performed on cue like a Jerry Bruckheimer film.

Pop the popcorn and cheer on the victory.

This is what todayís America is about.

An America where the victory of World War I is written about and painted freshly in history books. Where World War II can be summarized by stories told by our great grandparents. Where the Korean War is remembered as an 11-year television endeavor with wise cracking doctors who drink alcohol made from dirty socks.

Where Vietnam is remembered only out of guilt by most Americans.

Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf and the Balkans happened so fast that no one in America was sweating over the possibility of attacks at home. It was made to look as routine as a wrestling match. The nightly news networks did their best to dilute all of it and stars were made in the news media. It was the beginning of a war of the week that was marketed with catchy titles and military personnel speaking from pulpits as they blasted their enemy by remote control.

Americans were getting used to watching the bad guys being marched into prisons. They were pleased with the efforts of their soldiers and everyone within the safe borders of home went about their business. Little league baseball games were played, barbecues were held in backyards and teenagers still lost their virginity in the backseats of automobiles on prom night.

Americans assumed that as long as our soldiers were working hard they would not have to face the dangers of war.

Times have changed and even after September 11th, 2001 we are believing that the war on terror will be no different than all of the other quickie wars that we remember winning.

I wonder if the majority of Americans really and truly understand the repercussions of attacking a country who have defenders that blend into a multi cultural America? What happens when a stealth group, with criminal intentions organize and carry out an attack in the neighborhoods and cities in places that seem safe?

I have been told that terrorism is real.

I believe it is real. So how is it that going over there and attacking is going to keep us safe here?

In a logical world the idea of fighting a war to restore peace is as silly as believing that having sex can restore virginity.

History has demonstrated from 1900-1999 that 174,000,000 have died at the hands of governments who believe that war achieves peace. This includes various executions and military actions.

What does that look like?

Take the bodies of the dead and place them from head to toe. The bones and flesh would circle the earth about 4 times.

This of course is only seen as a statistic. Many donít understand the impact of such a number.

It is even more interesting to realize that more people now are dying as a result of governments killing their own people. More are dying now at the hands of their own governments than in warfare. Our leaders here in America point fingers and arguments flare over whose "madness" we can tolerate and whose "madness" deserves to be halted.

In the meantime those who speak out and ask difficult questions are labeled dissenters. The Battle cry from the conservative right is that the liberal media has conspired to bring down our president and thwart the war effort.

I listen to conservatives whine about how they are persecuted for their beliefs and I am unconvinced.

I canít even listen or watch television anymore because I used to see balanced reporting and now it seems that the war has been going on long before the official green light has been given. Alerts are changing colors and the latest catch phrase is being mimicked by pretty people who do nothing to challenge the thinking of the people.

The media chooses to avoid talking about Americans that choose not to participate in a war that will literally bring death at the doorstep.

In my office the other day a local Fox television affiliate had their cameras rolling while my colleague Scott Simon was spinning the country tunes at station KWJJ in Portland Oregon. KPTV Fox 12 was on the scene to report about a new country song that once again capitalizes on the tragedy of the attacks on the United States.

The song is called "Have You Forgotten?" it is sung by another country pretty boy who has a three days growth of beard and an American flag waving behind him. The man behind this propaganda is Darryl Worley. The song once again hits home to middle America that we have to be angry and that pacifistic bleeding hearts should be ashamed of themselves for even thinking about speaking out about the war or questioning the motives of our leaders as we prepare for the pouncing of Iraq.

I hear people saying we don't need this war
I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground?
We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down.

They say we don't realize the mess we're getting in
Before you start preaching
Let me ask you this my friend
Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

They took all the footage off my TV
Said it's too disturbing for you and me
It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say
If it was up to me I'd show it every day

Some say this country's just out looking for a fight
After 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right
Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

I've been there with the soldiers
Who've gone away to war
And you can bet that they remember
Just what they're fighting for
Have you forgotten all the people killed?

Some went down like heroes in that Pennsylvania field
Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?
All the loved ones that we lost
And those left to carry on
Don't you tell me not to worry about Bin Laden

Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?


The song itself sends out a confusing message. It manages to confuse the identities of Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin laden. This seems to be the latest endeavor that has proven itself successful. Making Both Hussein and Bin laden the same person, or the two different people with the same purpose.

Something that the so-called traitors have pointed out ad infinitum.

No one has ever said that we shouldnít worry about Bin Laden. In fact there have been many people who have asked why we donít establish once and for all the whereabouts of the man who reportedly was the mastermind behind the attacks.

If Mr. Worley wants to sing this song to someone who has forgotten he should sing it to President George W. Bush.

I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." ĖGeorge W. Bush March 13,2002.

Mr. Worley Have you forgotten?

Recently there has been controversy over who is patriotic and who isnít. The media has jumped on stories and have derided those who have the right as Americans to speak freely and express their feeling freely.

It never used to be gutsy to speak your mind about an issue. It never used to be a delicate subject as to whether or not you could criticize the actions of government or not pledge allegiance to a flag.

Now it seems to be anathema to even point out where patriotism devolves into an ugly mutated version of nationalism and jingoistic grandstanding.

Toni Smith has become a controversial athlete for her protest against the impending war on Iraq. In her protest she has decided to turn her back on the flag because she does not support the war. Many are comparing her to the conscientious objectors of the past.

Smith, who is sociology major previously, released a 250-word statement outlining the reasons for her protest, citing "the inequalities that are embedded into the American system" and "the war America will soon be entering."

Her protest has been compared to the one employed by NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf of the Denver Nuggets during the 1995-96 season, which led to an indefinite suspension that was lifted two days later.

Earlier this month, Dallas Mavericks guard Steve Nash of Canada wore an anti-war T-shirt to his interview session at the NBA's All-Star weekend.

The media has taken a small town girl and has made her an over night seditionist. During a basketball game in her small Manhattanville College Smith turns her back to the flag during the national anthem. It has incited all sorts of interesting behavior including that of an angry veteran who ran to the basket ball court dragging an flag across the floor and waving it in her face.

No matter that the act of forcing someone to look at the flag violates civil rights and that dragging the flag across a floor is disrespectful to the flag itself.

Another woman heckles Smith from the bleachers wearing a halter-top made out of an American flag. An American flag draped across her large breasts. Once again displaying a flag disrespectfully. Handfuls of people were waving small flags and one 4-year-old boy wore an American flag bandanna on his head.

I have seen these types too many times at hockey games, and football games.

These are the same hard core patriots that flag down the beer guy or a hot dog vendor during the National anthem to avoid the lines so they can fill their big American tummies with beer and pig flesh.

If I feel that these self absorbed patriots make us look bad.

Does this make me a traitor?

I see posts in my forum from people who smugly tell those who question to like it or leave. They dismiss them and reacquaint them with the persecution we have received once again acting as if we have forgotten about why we are in the position we are in.

Critics make ludicrous claims that those who donít back the president or the Whitehouse give comfort to Saddam Hussein. Some have even mentioned that protestors should be photographed and catalogued for possible prosecution for treason against America.

Ann Coulter a self absorbed conservative pulls no punches. Her latest book is to be called "Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism." The idea that liberals are traitors is a frightening view. Leaving this hate speech unabated will lead to a horrible consequence.

Brother will eventually rise up against brother and prejudice will eviscerate America with attitudes such as these. The need for a scapegoat has turned its head on those who share an opposing view. This type of scapegoat has no color or ethnicity. This scapegoat could be your mother, your brother, your father, your minister, or anyone else who wants to avoid bringing the war to our shores.

This is frightening to me.

It should frighten you, but most people donít have to worry because they pretend to not care, or pretend to be a good patriot, while secretly berating our leaders for over taxing us, and micromanaging our every move.

The cheerleaders for the war are supporting a war only for a victorious outcome. They root for the home team because they have been promised the pennant. They have not felt the sting of Democide in this country and by all the warnings of the experts the holocaust will arrive here in the United States.

The threat of Biological terror has not even phased the average American. The idea of a nuclear device being detonated in a major city is a nightmare that many believe will never happen here. It is thought that all of the measures taken by our government will insure that we are safe and that there is nothing to worry about. The bad guys it is assumed will get their punishment over there because our troops have our support here.

Is it truly support?

Or is it lip service?

Let us suppose that full on war begins in the Middle East. Iraq suffers major losses and many people are killed as a result.

Here in the United States we hear about it on the news. Many conservative reporters will declare the attack a victory and the president assures us that democracy will be established in the region as the evil regime of Saddam Hussein has fallen in a fiery conflagration.

While we cheer the victory and bask in the glow of justice another country decides to take advantage of first strike capabilities. North Korea has simultaneously attacked the city of Seoul and has launched a nuclear warhead at Los Angeles.

The warhead finds its way to Orange County.

The people of the city notice that the Sun appears to have fallen out of the sky.

The sky appears to melt above the city. Approximately one million people reach a temperature of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit in less than one second. Their vaporization in instantaneous. Meanwhile others farther away from the blast begin to feel every cell in their body explode on the inside. This of course would be followed by the lingering aftermath of fallout followed by a comparable number of deaths that are in the path of the radioactive cloud.

As we cheer our victory in the war on terror, a group of terrorists detonate what is called a dirty bomb in Manhattan. Approximately 2000 die as a result and many thousands more suffer from radiation poisoning.

The cheering for the war on terror continues as we realize that treatment of those exposed to the dirty bomb would be greatly hampered by inadequate medical facilities and training.

The United States has only a single hospital emergency room dedicated to treating patients exposed to radiation hazards, at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, thousands of miles from Ground Zero.

Not only would the potential loss of life be considerable, but also the prospect of mass evacuation of dense urban centers would mean transporting the sick and the suffering to containment camps where many could be quarantined, put to death or treated for long periods of time.

Many will be separated from their families. This includes children who probably wonít see their families indefinitely.

In the meantime we wave the flags and wear them on our heads and drape them across our boobs, declaring that all of the peace loving Americans are traitors.

Is it a slap in the face to be fearful, or even cautious when it comes to the possibility that this attack on Iraq will trigger several other insurrections including those in our own country?

Think of the bombs going off in the cities.

The two explosions would a powerful impact on the conduct of U.S. foreign and military policy; the areas affected would be virtually paralyzed.

In the meantime would we continue to see a group of patriotic citizens phoning up Rush Limbaugh demanding that they be given the right to say "under God" during the Pledge of Allegiance?

Would they demand that all of the liberals who thought the war was a bad idea be put to death for treason?

While the prospect sickens, a group of Iraqi terror cells unleash a cyanide gas cloud over Denver Colorado. The Cloud moves slowly across the area and panicked citizens tape plastic to their windows with duct tape. During the attack 7000 people die. Some people wait it out praising Tom Ridge for his insight into the protection of citizens with plastic and duct tape.

After 6 hours many of those who praise Ridge die of oxygen depletion.

Many surviving Americans are hopeful that their government will use the methods implemented by homeland security to find those responsible for the attacks. The people are so frightened that they forget that even after September 11th, 2001 their government failed to even bring in Osama Bin Laden, the man who is still at large for his crime against the United States.

The remaining Americans are tired and frightened. Many will starve. Others will be forced to eat contaminated animals and vegetables in order to survive their last few days on earth.

Some may drink water out of their toilets, some might be prepared but many that live from day to day from paycheck to paycheck will starve.

John Ashcroft comes on television and thanks God that many people are still alive. He then raises the terror alert level to red.

Another cheer is heard across America.

It is a unanimous "Up yours!"

Finally the real America decides not take any bullshit anymore.

By now you are probably either pissed at me or cheering me on.

But let me assure you that the reason the majority of people in this country are convinced that this war on terrorism is a good idea is because they are ignorant to the possibility that there will be mass carnage here in America.

Many people think that any attack in retaliation will never even reach them.

We bomb them, they bomb us.

It is a never-ending vicious circle.

We all can have a taste of victory after we bomb the hell out of Iraq.

The way things are going the flavor of victory will not be so sweet when the flavor changes to that of your own blood. The victory becomes hollow as you realize that you are dying alone.

The victory is equaled when you join your enemies in that dirt nap.

Six feet of dirt will make all men equal.

Bring on the war itís what we all want.

Right?

You want to die for your country.

Donít you?

Isnít that something that you have in your future goals?

Go to college, get married, have a family, buy a house, buy a car, die for your country in a terrorist attack brought on by a retaliatory strike from Iraqi terror cells?

Did you make the promise to die for your country when you were born here?

I didnít.

If that makes me a coward then put me on yellow alert.

I am not afraid of dying, Iím more afraid of living through the aftermath.

Suffering through the aftermath.

Where the living will most certainly envy the dead.


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