E-Mail From Afghanistan: 'We're In a Bloodbath Here...Pray for Us'
By Auset Lee
The media promotes Bush as America's "Top Gun." As far as Osama Bin Laden is concerned, I have one word to say: missed. And I've just gotta tell the smirking American Leader of a Wrecked Economy, George Dubya, (oh, it's too easy a setup): you're no Tom Cruise.
I'm a bit cranky because I woke up to an email from an American woman who received an urgent message from her husband, an Air Force Commander in Afghanistan who said "We're in a blood bath here!" The person who sent the email was calling for prayer.
While the press obsesses over Democratic losses in November and casts about to find a coherent party line from politicos who are hedging their bets; while the nation is mesmerized by The Washington Post's shameless promotion of Bob Woodward's book, Bush at War; while media mulls over Woodward's words and directs the nation's attention to the relationship between Secretary of State Colin Powell and the president; while people debate whether or not Powell is locked out of the cabinet of hawks and "in the icebox"; America is in the frying pan and about to jump into the fire. Afghanistan is the frying pan; Iraq is the fire.
So who can hear or believe this soldier's missive above the diversionary din of non-issues, and cult-of-personality media reporting.
"We're in a blood bath here."
Even though Bin Laden has just resurfaced very much alive, the issue of the Top Gun's obvious missed target, is dead. The Pentagon public relations mill, having sold the war with Afghanistan like a consumer commodity, is counting on fickle Americans' disdain and disinterest in last year's war model. The bellicose cry to oust Saddam is loud enough to drown out the bad news from Afghanistan where the warlords remain entrenched and our troops are embattled.
Instead of being diverted by the media's promotion of one person's take on the Oil office, sold for money, let us take a moment to hear the plea of an American soldier. We know that Bush's yelp for "Bin Laden, dead or alive" gave us Bin Laden alive. We know that Bush has reneged on the promise of a "Marshall Plan" for Afghanistan and that the bright flower of democracy has not taken root, as promised, according to news from Alternet: Bush's Afghanistan Disgrace by David Corn.
"We want to be a continuing part of the new era of hope in Afghanistan," said Bush on Oct. 11, at an event highlighting U.S. humanitarian assistance in that country. He added, "We are helping the people to now recover from years of tyranny and oppression. We're helping Afghanistan to claim its democratic future, and we're helping that nation to establish public order and safety."
But the fact of the matter is that funds for reconstruction in Afghanistan "have been flowing slowly to the country. Moreover, several months ago the White House opposed an effort in Congress to add $200 million to the total. And the total number of U.S. troops committed to rebuilding -- after the doubling -- will be 340." That's nothing, this article says.
There seems to be a disconnect between "get tough" sound bites from the administration aimed at Al Quaeda, and the terrorists that seem to be biting back, unfazed and undeterred. Americans are subject to heightened security alerts, and the news is full of terrorist attacks. Get tough? Maybe Bush needs to get a clue. The one consistent clue that it takes no Sherlock to uncover, is oil: Enron-Bush, the administration's oil cabinet, and aggression in
oil rich territories.
Oil, oil, oil.
"We're in a blood bath here."
If oil is the issue and not American protectionism and pride, that might explain why millions of people all over the world are demonstrating against a "war for oil" and why Americans are no safer today than they were the day after 9-11. That may explain why it seems that Afghanistan is a war abandoned. That might explain the email, "We're in a blood bath here."
But not to hear Bushniks tell it: pundits, apologists, and think tank experts point us in other directions. Watch out for Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. In the Bush administration weapons of mass destruction has become an acronym, WMD, after years of presidential diplomacy, nonproliferation agreements, and peace activists that worked to make those words almost unmentionable. And the Big Man on the international campus with the most WMDs is using them to lock and load against exponentially weaker nations. George W. Cruise -- missile.
"And, by the way, the $10.5 million raised for the Afghan Children's Fund is about one-twentieth of the amount Bush spent getting elected in 2000," says the Alternet article.
So as this government is about to commit its young men to die in Iraq, America is distracted from looking at the blood of the last war. Americans were so desensitized to the slaughter of cave dwellers, that they made jokes about the people throwing rocks against U.S. military technoforce. Ha ha. But Bin Laden resurfaces and reminds us that Top Gun failed to nail a major bull's eye. And then failed to clean up his mess.
Even though the public is distracted by media that latches onto preening politicos trying to polish their own power agendas, Bob Woodward's media-trumpeted book tour, and the new movie, "The Emperor's Club," the blood from Afghanistan is seeping into America's conscience through the internet.
That's why I am writing this. To spread the spill into the public eye. War is blood, and many Americans lust for more. Meanwhile there has been no blood spilled in Afghanistan that has bought more freedom for anybody, or security in the world.
"We're in a blood bath here!" This soldier asks for our prayers.
No matter how much of Bush at War we read for an inside-the- beltway look at the Oil Office, most Americans are outsiders "in the icebox" under an unelected government giving the people's issues the cold shoulder. Health care, education, clean air, labor rights - forget it. Bush war adventures are not aimed at improving the life of Americans or anybody else. They are for lining the pockets of an international gang of super-rich. Bush and the crew behind him remind me of a movie about the gang that couldn't shoot straight. But they're not funny. They're hell-bent on escalating their brutality to Iraq in a world-endorsed war (massacre) to establish dominance in the region and in the world. For those of you cheering the red, white, and blue, pay close attention to the red. Hear the anti-war cry "blood for oil" and check your hands to make sure they're clean.
"We're in a blood bath here. Pray for us!"
Auset Lee is a free-lance poet, essayist and political activist who lives in Baltimore.