One of 300 Million Takes a Stand

Against the tremendous news coming out of New Orleans, the fact that our local paper, the Odessa American, finally published on September first (on the editorial page, no less) my letter in support of Cindy Sheehan is a pretty trifling event, but I was intensely grateful that the letter was accepted and that at last I am on record locally as firmly on the anti-George W.B. side of that fence Cindy talks about.

Here's the letter:

Editor Odessa American Odessa, Texas

Dear Editor:

Cindy Sheehan has, as far as I am concerned, smoked out those of us who have been lying low with respect to this war, with our argument that that is the way to preserve the local peace and avoid offending friends who see the thing differently.

Cindy repeated one of her favorite points on the Internet:

"If you fall on the side that is pro-George and pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq and take the place of somebody who wants to come home. And if you fall on the other side that is against this war and against George Bush stand up and speak out."

So I shall. I have written against the war and against the Bush-Cheney foreign policy on the Internet, but not locally. Now is the time. We should get out of Iraq as fast as humanly possible. There is no way to "end it right." That will never happen. Just get out. If democracy means anything, it means the right of a people to determine its own political destiny without being shoved around by outsiders dealing wholesale death. If Iraq wants Muslim law, civil war, and God knows what else, who are we to tell them nay? Do we want anyone doing that to us?

I went to war in 1944 without enthusiasm but convinced it was necessary. I continued to hold that view through the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan and for some years thereafter, but I no longer do. The atom bombs were the single greatest war crime this nation committed, with the fire-bombing of Japan's paper-and-wood cities perhaps a second. I saw Japan in 1945: a much reduced nation that had apparently learned its lesson: war is a government-sponsored suckers' game with the privileged few risking the lives of the no-account many for exceedingly doubtful purposes.

Frank Rich of the New York Times posted a fine article on the Times's Internet site recently lambasting George & Co and supporting Cindy. He says the attack-dog slimers laid on by the Bush cabal who are attacking her for her "wacko opinions" and "bad language" will get nowhere. They carefully avoid talking about Casey Sheehan, Eagle Scout and patriot, dead at 23 in Iraq, because they can't. But Casey's story is the one that registers with the people, who are turning away from Bush in droves.

Cindy Sheehan is right on this one. She may be attracting the usual radical lefties and so on, but that is nothing to the point. The war is unnecessary, illegal, and immoral and should stop. Cindy has that clearly in view, and now it appears that even the New York Times is looking at the situation with new eyes. May the Lord open more eyes and preserve Cindy in her great mission.

~ Tom White

I have had three responses so far, 24 hours after the letter was published. One was from an old friend complimenting me on the letter and saying he couldn't do the same because of what his (wealthy) clients might think. The other was word from a tennis buddy of my wife's that she applauded the letter, and the third was from a senior gentleman from nearby Midland, where George lived longer than he did in Odessa and where he found his bride, Laura Welch. In a call to me the Midlander made reference to this "gangster administration" that is wrecking us, and he was clearly worked up about the malfeasances of his former townie.

None of this amounts to a movement that will give Karl Rove shivers, but it's something, and it has at least lightened my heart. At last my silent skulking days are over here locally, and I am wondering how some more might get done.

Meanwhile, New Orleans. May the Lord have mercy on the benighted citizens left behind in the rush out of that city. It appears perhaps that no one else will. Can it be – is it at all possible – may one hope – has the hour finally come – when George Bush will get his just deserts and be bumped finally and permanently out of Air Force One so that he can't overfly any more disaster areas and then rush back to Crawford to say stupid things and have a round of golf? Or are we to forever see lack of merit elevated to grandeur, incompetence high on a throne of royal state, and smirking malevolence on view in the very highest place? Pray the Powers of heaven that this ugly reign will come to an end somehow; pray that sanity will return to America, and we can openly and joyously repudiate our ghastly empire and send the architects of it somewhere else than here. Devils Island, anybody?

We have worshipped Mammon long enough and played marbles with other Mammon worshippers to see who is the most heathenish. Time now to turn around and return to being the Christian (I do not mean Christian Zionist, God knows) nation we used to be, before we all got so shamefaced about owning up to our commitment to the Lord and also (I shall say as a Catholic) for some of us, Our Lady, the Lord's mother and ours, the Patroness of all the Americas. I don't think any other course will begin to right our national boat and make us seaworthy for the future. The thing we've been doing, chasing all around the world seeking dominance and profit, is the devil's (Mammon's) game for sure, and I want none of it anymore. None.

Speaking of skulking, as I have above, I for one am all-fired tired of forever suppressing my religious understanding of the present international mess. I believe that it is a clash of religions, not of civilizations, and I don't mean Christian against Islamist but God-fearer against Unbeliever. The latter, by definition is always in the service of the Anti-Christ. And I further fear that our awful regime, while flying the false flag of Christianity and conservatism, is in fact a Mammonite show from top to bottom and as about as Christian as Nero – worse than Nero, in fact, because at least Nero wasn't a hypocrite calling himself a Christian.

September 5, 2005