Saturday, September 25, 2004

Two Americas

My Aunt Alice saved the May 2004 issue of Vanity Fair for me -- not only was there a story on the Kennedy White House, there was also a lengthy article on "The Path to War" that she wanted me to see. It's all there: the Bushies leaning on CIA analysts to corroborate the administration's claims about WMD in Iraq, the whoppers about aluminum tubes and uranium from Niger, all of it.

In reading it, I began thinking about "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- specifically, the scene in which Michael Moore approaches congressmen outside the Capitol building, asking them to enlist their own offspring in the armed forces. Naturally, they can't elude him fast enough.

Of course, Moore was raising a perfectly legitimate question: If these elected officials considered the war in Iraq so necessary -- so essential to our national security -- why wouldn't they send their own children to fight? (It would have been more appropriate for Moore to set up shop outside the White House, but you can't get within shouting distance of that crowd.)

This is a variation on John Edwards's "Two Americas": there's one America that initiates conflict -- secure in the knowledge that their families won't be affected by it -- and another America that does the fighting and the bleeding and the dying.

(And I'm well aware that lots of Democrats, including Kerry and Edwards, voted to authorize Bush to go to war -- BUT they weren't the ones driving out to Langley, forcing CIA analysts to fabricate a case for war.)


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