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Meanwhile in America.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Caption: I think George W. Bush is one of the most effective leaders these United States have ever had.

What else can you say about a man whose knowledge of the Middle East would not fill an inverted contact lens yet whose simpleton chutzpah seems to have impressed the majority of Congress and the citizenry into following him into a dubious war there?

Frankly, I find all this hand-wringing about the inaccuracies of the intelligence about Iraq's ready-to-launch Weapons of Mass Destruction disingenuous. The way I remember it, we seemed to be going to war by hook or by crook which, to the rest of the world, made all that "intel" suspect to begin with.

NO NO!

THAT'S FROM THE SUMERIAN PERIOD.

THOUGH YOU'VE GOT TO WONDER WHY IT WAS HIDDEN WITH ALL THOSE CLAY SHARDS.

Even my politically-down-the middle pal Tony, jolted by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil's contention that Bush's administration was pushing for war no matter what, wants some answers.

I CAN'T SEE HOW BUSH CAN KEEP HIDING FROM THIS ...

But is Tony's unease widespread? Will concerns that the administration manipulated "evidence" in its drive toward war register with voters in November?

DO THE ENDS-WHICH DON'T SEEM TO BE CLEAR-JUSTIFY THE MEANS?

IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID.

ALL I KNOW IS I FEEL SAFER.

WE SHALL FIGHT ON THE BEACHES ...

I never liked Clinton. When he lied, he brought shame upon himself and embarrassment to the people who stood by him. But he lied about a couple of blow jobs.

BLOW JOBS?

But war is the most serious relationship peoples enter into, with lakes of bodily fluids spilt--not just a few stains on a blue dress.

And though Iraqis and U.S. soldiers are dying every day, most Americans probably could not find Iraq on a map.

MAYBE NOT ...

BUT WE STILL FEEL SAFER.

In fact, most Americans might not be able to find a map.

Americans are often kind and good-hearted with strangers, but for a people with the awesome power to choose a leader whose words and deeds reach everywhere-into a forgotten town in Bosnia or an impoverished refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, for example--they sure don't seem to appreciate their responsibilities.

Let's take Gaza. Whatever misconceptions the Palestinians might have about the U.S., they know full well that the F-lb's and the Apache gunships and the D-9 bulldozers that feature so prominently in their lives are Made in America.

They see a direct connection between their lives and ours.

Do we?

BUT LET'S CONTINUE THIS DISCUSSION ONE PANEL OVER.

Recently I had lunch with my high school history teacher whose classes I took more than 26 years ago. He still teaches. I asked him about his new crop of students. Are they generally ignorant about history, about America's place in the world?

THE PROBLEMS ISN'T THAT THEY DON'T KNOW ...

IT'S THAT THEY DON'T CARE TO KNOW ...

And perhaps that's President George W. Bush's strength. He's backed by a lot of Americans who see a comforting reflection of themselves in him. If he doesn't know everything, they don't know everything either. Yet there's "no doubt" in his mind about anything he says

AND I BET HE PASSES THE KETCHUP WITHOUT HAVING TO BE ASKED.

YOU'RE PROBABLY RIGHT.

GOD WILLS IT.

And so we follow him anywhere.

SUCH CALM BEFORE THE ENEMY ...
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Author:Sacco, Joe
Publication:Washington Monthly
Date:May 1, 2004
Words:559
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