Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Ongoing "Accomplished" Mission in Iraq

Marking the third anniversary of the War in Iraq, I watched the CNN documentary on the war yesterday while cleaning my house. The night before I'd watched my identical cousin do his thing at No Shame Theatre. I wanted to reprint his script here.

I think its brilliant, but then I also think brilliance runs in the family.

I'm THIS (3) many!
by Todd Wm. Ristau (and some of the words Bush gave us on the last three March 19ths)

(Lights at full. Todd sits at a table with a three layer cake covered in white and red frosting. He has three candels and a box of kitchen matches. If possible a giant video screen above would show George Bush speaking, and freeze frame when Todd speaks. If not, Todd will speak Bush's lines and attempt to make it clear those are words he is repeating, not speaking for himself.)

BUSH: We come to Iraq with respect for its citizens, for their great civilization and for the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.

(Todd picks up a candle, places it in the cake.)

BUSH: Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory.

(Todd strikes the match. The image of Bush shifts to the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.)

TODD: Mission accomplished.

(Todd lights the candle. Lights down to 2/3rds brightness.)

TODD: Today, you are this many.

(pause)

BUSH: The war on terror is not a figure of speech. It is an inescapable calling of our generation. The terrorists are offended not merely by our policies -- they are offended by our existence as free nations. No concession will appease their hatred. No accommodation will satisfy their endless demands.

(pause)

TODD: In addition to US Military war dead, there are now 6,331 civilian casualties....more than twice the number killed on September 11th.

(Todd picks up another candle, places it in the cake.)

TODD: Today, you are this many.

(Pause as Todd lights the candle. Lights down to 1/3rd.)

BUSH: We launched Operation Iraqi Freedom in order to disarm a brutal regime, free its people, and defend the world from a grave danger. We knew of Saddam Hussein's record of aggression and support for terror. We knew of his long history of pursuing, even using, weapons of mass destruction, and we know that September the 11th requires our country to think differently...We must, and we will, confront threats to America before they fully materialize.

(pause, the image of the president from the last speech fades slowly away)

TODD: In addition to the US Military casualties, the war has cost 11,312 civilian casualties. Nearly four times the number killed on September 11th.

(Todd picks up another candle, places it in the cake.)

TODD: Today, you are this many.

(Pause, as Todd lights the third candle, lights out so that he is lit only by the candles.)

2,300 US Military Dead, 700 short of the number killed on September 11th.

Somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000 civilians have been deprived of life....at least ten, perhaps thirty three times the number killed on September 11th.


When do the original 3,000 no longer justify the blood we are spilling? (pause) The day will come when not a single member of an American high school graduating class will have lived in a pre-September 11th world.

What do you want that world to look like? And are you willing to see it only by the light of the candles you are adding to this cake?

How long before you realize the light from these fires makes you blind?

(Todd blows out the candles in a single breath. End of piece)

Sources:

For extensive reading on 9-11, please visit this site:
Cooperative Research 9-11 Timeline

That last one is very interesting....I was particularly frustrated by the following passage from that site, which is indicative of how this whole mess landed in our lap in the first place and the leadership from which the entire world has been made to suffer. But, you get what you pay for, even if you don't get to make the decisions on how your tax dollars are spent.

1984-1994: US Supports Militant Textbooks for Afghanistan
The US, through USAID and the University of Nebraska, spends millions of dollars developing and printing textbooks for Afghan schoolchildren. The textbooks are filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation. For instance, children are taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles, and land mines. Lacking any alternative, millions of these textbooks are used long after 1994; the Taliban are still using them in 2001. In 2002, the US will start producing less violent versions of the same books, which President Bush says will have “respect for human dignity, instead of indoctrinating students with fanaticism and bigotry.”

(He will fail to mention who created those earlier books)

[Canadian Broadcasting Corp., 5/6/02; Washington Post, 3/23/02]

2 Comments:

Blogger Cory Capron said...

And all this time I thought I couldn't get me a fix of Archie Levine anymore! Should have googled you two years ago, man!

Give my regards to your identical cousin. C-ville misses him.

12:38 PM  
Blogger R said...

Flipping BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:58 PM  

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