Tinsel Wing

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I love a Parade

Back in 2003, Wilton Sekzer, a retired NYC cop, wanted the country to go to war with Iraq so bad he could taste it. The President had told him, again and again, that Saddam was the guy who had ordered his son killed, along with over 2,000 others, that day in the twin towers. And Sekzer wanted vengeance.

In answer to his anguished appeal, one company after another painted his lost son's name on the missiles that they rained on Iraq. A little memento for his child's killers. It didn't end the pain, but it felt good; it was at least a kind of recognition.
Months later, I was watching TV when President Bush came on and said he didn’t know why people connected Iraq to 9/11. He said: “We’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th [attacks].” I said, “What did he just say?” I mean, I almost jumped out of my chair. I said, “What is he talking about? What the hell did we go in there for? If Saddam didn’t have anything to do with 9/11, then why did we go in there?”

I’m from the old school. Certain people walk on water. The President of the United States is one of them. It’s a terrible thing if someone like me can’t trust his President. I began to wonder what the hell’s with the whole system. There’s something wrong with the entire system.

I feel that the government exploited my feelings of patriotism. But I was so insane with wanting to get even, I was willing to believe anything.

Sekzer got to tell his story, and it became a centerpiece of the hard-hitting antiwar documentary Why We Fight.

Now the astonishing part: the quote above is from his account in this week's Parade magazine. Distributed along with hundreds of different Sunday newspaper outlets, Parade has always displayed a political sensibility only a shade less to the right than Reader's Digest. It defines the sensibilities of the marginally political center right of Middle America. When George W. Bush is called to account in its pages for the deceit by which he dragged these United States into this unholy war - when it is not embarrassed to call as its witness the star of a lefty documentary - there has been a seismic shift in the nation's willingness to accept reality and demand responsibility.

Friends, the worm at last is turning. Or, is it a worm exactly? That familiar banner flying above it reads, "Don't tread on me".

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