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Don't Send More Kids to Die
Published on Thursday, September 2, 2004 by USA TODAY
Don't Send More Kids to Die
by Michael Moore
 

NEW YORK Tonight, it's show time for George W. Bush, and I can't wait to hear what he has to tell the Republican convention.

It has been a pretty thrilling week so far, my favorite moment by far being the rebellious Bush twins who, in just a few short minutes, delivered on their promise to issue "payback" to their parents and all authority in general.

They revealed their parents' pet name for each other: "Bushie" or "Bushy" no spelling was provided. They seemed to have embarrassed their grandmother with a joke about the TV show Sex and the City as a place to have sex. And they claimed to have seen their boogieing parents "shake it like a Polaroid picture." That's one picture that took the rest of the night for me to shake out of my head.

Nonetheless, I loved the Bush daughters: They were funny, sassy and free spirits. Back in 1999, they told their father in no uncertain terms that they did not want him to run for president. They wanted their dad at home, they wanted their privacy, and they wanted to go to college in peace. He chose to ignore their pleas and I guess Tuesday night was their way of saying, "Thanks, Dad."

And thank him they should. He and Laura have obviously done a good job raising two bright, independent women. He made their privacy a top priority and did what he could to protect them. They clearly love their parents and, when you see that happen, you know the Bushes did something right in their home. For that, they should be commended.

Other fathers and mothers who loved their daughters and sons across America can no longer celebrate with them. That's because their children are dead on the streets and roads of Iraq, sent there by Mr. Bush to "defend" America.

This week, in an appearance leading up to his arrival here Wednesday night, Bush acknowledged he had miscalculated what would happen in Iraq after he invaded it. He had thought it was going to be much easier. It turned out to be much, much worse.

That must be some comfort to the parents of nearly 1,000 brave soldiers now dead because of his "miscalculation." If I made a miscalculation and ran over a child on the street, what do you think would happen to me? Do you think the cops would simply say, "Hey, Mr. Moore, you did your best driving down this street, you made a miscalculation, the kid is dead, but you are trying to save the world, so be on your way?" Something tells me this is not what would happen. What I don't get is that Mr. Bush makes his mistake and thinks he has a right to continue in his job.

Let's hope he isn't getting his inspiration from Richard Nixon, the same man Arnold Schwarzenegger hailed Tuesday night as his reason for becoming a Republican. You have to give Arnold an award for guts. He must be the first Republican convention speaker to mention Nixon since he resigned. Nixon snuck into office in 1968 with his secret plan to end the Vietnam War. Another miscalculation: The war continued for years, and thousands more died.

I would love to hear Bush apologize tonight to the parents and loved ones of those who have died in Iraq. I would like to hear him say he knows what it means to love your children and that he, in good conscience, cannot send any more children to their deaths.

I would like to hear him say tonight, "I'm sorry. There never were weapons of mass destruction and there never was a connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. There was no imminent threat, our lives were not in danger, no missiles were going to hit Cleveland. Because of our desire to get our hands on the second largest supply of oil in the world, we sacrificed a thousand of your sons and daughters. For this, we are greatly sorry."

I guess a boy can dream.

The other thing I would like to hear tonight is: Why haven't you caught Osama bin Laden? You've had three years to find him. The man killed nearly 3,000 people here on our soil.

Maybe Bush has no worse explanation than he just hasn't been able to do it. Well, if your town's dogcatcher couldn't catch a wild dog that has been on the loose biting people for three years, what would be the dogcatcher's chances for re-election? Not good.

And so it should be for Bush.

Unless he has the answers tonight. Perhaps he has a reason or can accept responsibility for his actions and promise to send no one else's child off to die for a cause that has nothing to do with the defense of this country.

If he takes a moment to look into his daughters' eyes tonight, he will know the answer and give the greatest speech of his life.

© Copyright 2004 USA TODAY

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