Christmas Day -- Wednesday, December 25, 2002
I want to see the proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before we engage in a war that will send tens of thousands of civilians to their deaths, enrage the Muslim world against us, grievously wound the American economy, and guarantee more terrorism here at home. I am sure the Bush administration's incontrovertible proof that these weapons exist is a sheaf of shipping manifests from roundabout 1984, when we sent the stuff to Saddam in the first place, but I want to see it anyway.
I want to hear about the endgame for our Iraq war. Who will rule in Saddam's place, and how will that person be an improvement? How will the Shiites and Kurds be represented and protected? How long will American forces have to be there? How much will it cost? Who gets the payout from the oil fields? How much of this war is based upon business decisions? Will we stop at Iraq, or will we move on to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt in the manner that Richard Perle has often envisioned?
I want to know what happened on September 11th, and why, and who messed up. This does not count as a gift - as a citizen, I am owed this, and so are you.
I want to know what was in the smallpox shot Bush got. Was it distilled water or Maker's Mark?
I want to watch John Ashcroft pet a calico cat with a big grin on his face.
I want to know how Jose Padilla and the Guantanamo detainees are celebrating the season. They are not Christian, true, but they are people being held like cattle with nary a mention of basic rights. Maybe someone could send them a fruitcake with the ACLU's telephone number frosted across the top.
I want a nationally known journalist - any journalist - to begin the process of calling the Bush administration to account for its dizzying malfeasance. Enron, Halliburton, Harken, Arthur Andersen, Eli Lilly, Carlyle and O my Lord how the money rolled in. I want the Fairness Doctrine's reestablishment to be a lynchpin policy goal for a Democratic candidate in 2004. I want my free press back.
I want to know where the anthrax killer is.
I want to know where Osama bin Laden is.
I want to know if the two of them are living in sin with Amelia Earhardt somewhere in the suburbs of Paris. We can bomb Paris, right? We can bomb anyone.
I want to know what happened to Paul Wellstone's airplane.
I want 55% of Americans to vote in the 2004 Presidential election. 55% is not such a big goal; only 50% voted in 2000, and something like 39% voted in the 2002 midterms. Let's shoot for a 55% I-give-a-good-damn quotient, America. What do you say? When you don't vote, the terrorists win - the foreign ones, and the domestic ones.
Finally, I want every single soul in the Bush administration to read the following lines. I want them to pay close attention to the words in bold:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
This we call precedent, set by the Founders for all time in the Declaration of Independence. This we call our right as citizens.