For he’s a Yankee Doodle Dandy, Yankee Doodle Do or Die…. A real live nephew of his Uncle Sam, Dead on the Fourth of July… (with apologies to George M. Cohan)
Fly your flags, all you patriots; it’s another Fourth of July! Fire up the barbecues, ice up the beer and get ready to celebrate another Independence Day in the good old USA. And be sure not to miss the fabulous fireworks that so majestically explode in the night sky to the music of God Bless America. Makes you proud, doesn’t it?
And oh, while you’re at it, don’t give a moment’s thought to the men and women fighting the Bush/PNAC war in Iraq. You know, the troops who are out there supposedly fighting for your freedom, or for an end to terror, or for regime change, or for Iraqi liberation, or for the spread of democracy, or for oil, or for George Bush and Dick Cheney or whatever. Don’t let them spoil your fun. After all, it’s a holiday. Enjoy.
Heck, it’s a war, and people die, right? Have another hot dog. So what if nearly 3,600 Americans and nearly 300 ‘coalition’ forces are dead on this Fourth of July? So what if hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead on this Fourth of July? So what if tens of thousands of young men and women are no longer whole in mind and body? It’s a holiday. Play ball.
Yeah, it’s been a bloody few months, – the worst, in fact, since that other amazing fireworks show called Shock and Awe. Do you even remember that spectacular night? Never mind, it’s party time in America. Don’t let images of innocent people being blown to bits get in the way of your fun. Don’t get upset about a needless war that has been raging for more than four years with no end in sight. Just go for a swim on this lovely day. And tomorrow is a workday. Damn.
The dead are dead, and there’s nothing you can do to change that, right? There’ll surely be more dead men and women and children tomorrow, and who knows how many thousands will join the dead and dying by the next Fourth of July.
Oh, that’s right… you really don’t approve of the war any more, do you? As a good American, you wouldn’t mind seeing it all end, and you really want the troops to come home one of these days. But, what the hell, there’s nothing much you can do about it, so don’t let it bother you. Relax. Have a beer.
But when the songs and star bursts have ended, and when the food is all gone and your back home, safe and sound, stop and think. Think for just a moment of those who are dead on this Fourth of July because of the greed and insanity of those who lied this country into an illegal and immoral war. When the holiday has ended, think for just a moment of those who will be dead in time for the next Independence Day.
And then sit back and wonder whether there was anything at all to celebrate.