At first I thought it was just the tryptophan playing games with my mind. It wouldn’t be the first Thanksgiving hallucination I’d fallen prey to. Regardless of the fact I haven’t touched a piece of turkey in nearly ten years, there was so much of it in the air I’m sure it was the root of my delusion. Second hand tryptophan contaminates. And whiskey. Lots and lots of whiskey. That could be the only explanation for the fact I’m sure that newscaster just said George W. Bush spent his Thanksgiving in Iraq. Even the stupidest of animals have an innate sense of self-preservation. Except for lemmings and the Marines of course. And last I’d checked, neither of those groups had given Bush an honorary flight suit. So what the hell is ol’ W doing in the one place in the world that harbors more hostility towards him than the Detroit Auto Workers Unemployment Bureau?
Of course, what was I thinking? George W Bush secretly flew all night to raise the spirits of our troops in Iraq. Since November’s on the record books as the bloodiest month for Americans since the beginning of the invasion and Thanksgiving marks the start of the sugar plum coated holiday season they’ll be missing, what better than a brief visit from the man responsible for the death of nearly four hundred and fifty of their closest friends. I mean, going home would be nice, but a speech from the man with the golden diction? Hoo boy.
Transcripts of his speech are particularly powerful. He thanks all the appropriate coalition leaders, speaks solemnly about brave men lost, and reassures the people of Iraq that we are sticking around until the job is done. Much like how we stuck around until the job was done in Cambodia. And Cuba. And Libya. And Vietnam. That is, if the job is pulling out only after the body count gets too high for re-election, or Oliver Stone finishes his screenplay. But either way, we’re not going anywhere.
I was also fond of the number of times, when speaking directly to the people of Iraq, he mentioned “God” or the “Almighty.” He knows that there are points of contention there, right? He even went so far as ending his address with “God bless you all,” to which a dozen fourteen-year-old suicide bombers responded with, “Ohh, he does.”
The thing I’m most surprised about is the fact that Bush got to Iraq and back without the press finding out. I can tell you the color of Jennifer Lopez’s sister’s roommate’s dog’s panties, (pink) but I don’t know about Bush’s cross continental flight until after he gets back to Texas? To Bush’s credit, he does have experience using the back door to get on Air Force One, but what is the point of neglecting my family to spend all day on the Internet if this is going to slip under my radar. I mean the Paris Hilton sex tape is cool, but really not enough to keep me interested for more than a couple minutes.
I understand and appreciate the efforts made to keep our troops morale up. I worry about them. It’s got to be brutal being someplace you’ve been told you’re liberating and have angry mobs beating the bodies of your falling companions. I worry that this is a situation that is only going to get worse. Like Vietnam, or for our British allies, the Revolutionary War. You can’t fight a war on people’s home turf. It’s a hopeless fight and it saddens me, in all seriousness, to see American soldiers participate. So, again I do appreciate efforts to keep their spirits up.
Like the Baghdad fun run for instance. As a means of playful distraction the “camel trot” race kicked off Thanksgiving for American troops in Iraq. One hundred plus troops raced in heats throughout the devastated Baghdad landscape before settling in for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The races were six and three mile lengths, those being I assume the average distance to safety soldiers have run to avoid insurgent mobs. And a brass band played the theme to Rocky to kick the race off. Organizers called it a roaring success overall, although some participants were disheartened to see the race leaders lapped by peasant children trying to outrun mortar fire.
I just feel exasperation at the hands of this touchy feely war media. I hate the suspicion of feeling like these “distractions” are meant more for me than the soldiers. The Bush administration is doing a very savvy job at creating diversions to the rising death toll in Iraq and it makes me skeptical about everything I hear. It gets to the point that the paranoia out weighs the information, and it seems hopeless to try to understand why or how my countrymen are dying. So screw it. If they want me distracted, they’ve got it. I’m sick of trying. I’m going to sit back, smoke a tryptophan-heavy bowl of dark meat and watch “The OC”.