Give Us the Word

By Sheila Samples

Under the Bush bridge

Lying, dueling-banjo words

Need a Fix. The Word.**

When I awoke on December 13, 2000, my first thought was — this is the first day of the worst years of my life. I lay there, attempting in vain to come up with just one redeeming quality possessed by the foolish little brute illegally foisted upon this republic by five black-robed fascists — just one sliver of hope for the American people to escape the impending disaster of corporate pillage and rape. There was none.

What a dirty, rotten way to start the day.

Each day has been nastier than the one before. Despair spiraling into dread before exploding into a cacophony of lies, deceit, filthy corruption, and nauseating perversion. And that’s just the media. No entity is as ruthless nor works with more relentless fervor to protect the criminals in this administration — and cover up their crimes — than the US mainstream media.

And few are better at it than MSNBC’s Chris Matthews who, after weeks of smearing Democratic candidates and praising their Republican opponents, finally gave up Saturday and declared if Tuesday’s election “breaks bad for the president,” the “world press, which is anti-American already, will jump on this and say Bush has lost his control over his own government. It’ll look bad for the president and world diplomacy.”

As a last resort before the elections, Matthews played the patriotism card that has been so successful since 9-11 — if the Democrats win, Bush will look weak in a time of war. A vote for a Democrat is a vote for the terrorists. And the day before, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Cheney the Veep if the recent violence in Iraq that resulted in 105 American soldiers and marines being blown to bits in October was an insurgent “strategy” to influence the midterm elections. “Does that mean,” Stephanopoulos prompted Cheney innocently, “that a Democratic victory is a victory for the insurgents?”

Bush tossed this particular talking point to the media during an Oct. 30 campaign speech at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro — “However they put it, the Democrat (sic) approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses,” Bush said with a smirk and a wink. “That’s what’s at stake in this election. The Democrat (sic) goal is to get out of Iraq. The Republican goal is to win in Iraq.”

Bullhorn politics.

Flaming world, smoke spewing souls.

Prosecute. The Word.

With few exceptions, the media is a “bully” bullhorn for the lies and deceit spewed from this administration, no matter how many innocent lives it costs. WMD in Iraq? You betcha. Osama Bin Laden is Saddam Hussein’s bitch? Sure thing. Don’t ask questions about what really happened on 9-11 — No way. Forget Abu Ghraib — the six or seven bad apples were brought to justice — No problem. Don’t humanize anybody getting slaughtered in Iraq; 655,000 or 30,000 — what’s the difference? They’re dying because they want to be free, just like we are. If you gotta call ’em something, call them “insurgents” and call us “troops.” And don’t show any ugly pictures. Sir, Yes Sir!

They are desperate. The John Kerry fiasco last week is a shining example of just how down and dirty they’re willing to go. In a botched one-liner, Kerry told a group of students, “…if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

Although they all knew at the outset that Kerry was taking a jab at Bush for getting “us” stuck in Iraq, which is what his prepared comments said, the networks, cables, right-wing radio, Internet websites, and even some Democrats, hopped on Kerry like chickens on a June Bug. “Kerry insulted the troops!” they shrieked, “leaving out that word broke the morale of 158,000 troops! The troops are doomed — and all because of John Kerry!”

Perhaps to avoid insulting the troops, Kerry should have said — “As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” Or maybe he should have sneered at the 11 million Americans drafted during Vietnam as “draftees who added no value, no advantage, really, to the United States armed services over any sustained period of time, because the churning that took place, it took enormous amount of effort in terms of training, and then they were gone.”

Is it not an insult to the “troops” for the media to hide the return of the wounded, maimed — the slain? Dead or alive, all are heroes. Where are the grateful masses who should be giving each one a hero’s welcome?

Having worked for the Army for 30 years, each day both a challenge and a delight, I can assure you the greatest insult to the “troops” is to have Commander-in-Chief Bush hide them from view, refuse to attend a single funeral of those he sent to their deaths on the basis of filthy lies, and then stomp around on the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery for 15 minutes a year while telling a pre-selected partisan crowd how he “grieves ‘n mourns” for those who “died for a noble cause.”

Screw him. And his little lapdog media, too. A media which was out to lunch on Oct. 10 when insurgents fired mortars and rockets into Forward Base Falcon where huge stores of ammunition, fuel, weapons, tanks and other vehicles were stored. The base erupted with immense explosions and huge fires that raged throughout the night, and could be seen for miles. Other than being used briefly as a backdrop during the intial report of the “incident,” the fires and coverage of the deadliest Iraq disaster thus far disappeared from our view.

This is a huge story, reported by foreign media and throughout the Internet; yet, no US media dared touch it. No media dared report less than a month before the elections that more than 300 Americans were killed and 165 wounded, or that the bulk of US ammunition, equipment and supplies had been destroyed in one fell swoop. Photos of a convoy of large planes with Red Cross markings taking the dead and wounded to the U.S. military hospital at al-Habaniyah was more than American voters could take, and would give the terrorists a win…

Lost. Wide-eyed.

Silent. Crouching in the far corner

Waiting for The Word.

October was a bitch, the fourth deadliest month of the war, with the official count of slain “troops” at 109. Even pro-war New York Senator Hillary Clinton was relieved that it was finally over. Before launching into the politics of the war, Clinton remarked on Nov. l — “In human terms, this has been a horrible month.” November is also off to a grisly start, if you consider it in human terms, with 18 US deaths recorded in the first six days. . .

Some Americans turn off the media at the end of the day and drift off to sleep, secure in the knowledge that things are boffo in Iraq — getting better day by day. The rest of us jerk the cords from our computers and pace the floor in anguished frustration, bruised by the knowledge that America’s sons and daughters are being blown to bits, felled by snipers’ bullets at that very moment. Perhaps that is because the only sane way to look at a war is in human terms…

We are awake now, and we must never forget what George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Ledeen, Michael Chertoff, John Negroponte, and so many other players and pundits, with the help of the corporate media and the entire Republican congress, have done, all of which is miniscule compared to what they plan to do if left unchecked. Never in our 230-year history has this nation been in such peril.

We know America was founded with a foreordained mission to protect personal liberty and freedom and basic inalienable rights of its citizens. We know that the unelected George Bush despises the US Constitution, has called it just a “G**damn piece of paper,” and has granted himself the power to take away our freedoms protected by that piece of paper. Bush is the Decider — the Commander in Chief — and he can do whatever he damn well pleases to whomever he damn well pleases, whenever he damn well pleases..

And he can do this — because we let him.

Lips fixed to ear. Yo.

Is anybody in there?

I need The Word. Damn.

We know we are all that stand between George Bush and the ransacking of this great nation — affordable medicines and health care for senior citizens, the future of Social Security and Medicare, the environment, corporate reforms, a spiriling deficit, jobs… We are the only ones who can prevent further deregulation of business, who can prevent our domestic policies being manipulated in favor of corporations and the wealthy. We must not wake up the day after the elections and realize — too late — that we failed to vote when “Democracy” was the single most important issue on the ballot.

We must not allow our glorious Flag to become our funeral shroud by cynically refusing to vote. We must not give the jackals in the White House carte blanche to establish martial “order” or to destroy our our freedoms — our way of life. Sure, we’re going to have problems at the polls. The Republicans learned a trick in Florida in 2000; it worked for them in 2002 and again in 2004, and they’re determined to repeat it in 2006 and 2008 in every state across this country. They know the only way they can win is to convince Democrats that their vote is useless. They know they cannot fix enough e-voting machines to counter a massive wave of Democratic voters.

According to investigative reporter, Greg Palast, that’s what it’s going to take. Palast’s investigation reveals that Republican operatives will succeed in suppressing or tossing out about 4.5-million votes, or 5 percent of those cast for Democratic candidates. Palast says, “get over it,” and go for a winning 55 percent rather than the 51 percent it should take to legally win an election.

We have awakened to 2,125 days of hopelessness and despair. It’s time to put a stop to this madness. We have reached the “end of the day.” When we open our eyes on November 8, our first thought will be — this is the first day of the best years of our lives. Because the word we have sought for so long is Victory.

Finally — the feast.

Munching, crunching, savoring.

The Word — VICTORY!


**A series of my heartfelt haiku pleadings with SF Chronicle’s peerless Mark Morford to reinstate his “Daily Word” wherein he gave definitions of words as well as a “usage example,”which featured the frighteningly fantastic foibles of Lynne Cheney. An example…


It’s almost like learning something

conenose \’kon-‘noz\ noun (ca. 1891) Any of various large blood-sucking bugs and esp. some assassin bugs (genus Triatoma) including some capable of inflicting painful bites.

Usage example: Like a drunken swarm of teething screeching winged conenose did the GOP swoop into power as their hordes of bored, rich, old white men ripped off their shirts and smeared war paint on their boil-crusted chests and proceeded to dance on the hopes and dreams and peace-craving souls of millions of misguided citizens, as Lynne Cheney twitched and giggled in horrific ecstacy.”


Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at:

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