by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
January 4, 2007
DANCING IN THE END ZONE
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- America used to run on oil, but now it seems to run best on blood and death.
For no good reason, America becomes an occupying force in Iraq. Three thousand Americans dead. Who knows how many Iraqis? Much blood. Much death.
Americans catch Saddam Hussein, but everyone knows we wrote his death sentence long before that. Taunts. Jeers. More blood. One more death.
Saddam loyalists threaten to retaliate, to target American interests anywhere, anytime. More blood. More death.
"If it bleeds, it leads," shouts the American press. Heh, heh, heh. "Saddam Hanged" on the front page of the local paper. A picture of him with a noose around his neck on the front pages of the tabloids.
We Americans love our death. It's the star of most of our television shows, don't you know? And we love our death penalty even more. The civilized world long ago put a lid on revenge killing, but we flaunt it, don't we?
It's so barbaric. How, at the start of the 21st Century, did we suddenly find ourselves in the 11th?
Did you know they used a new rope to hang Saddam? The New York Daily News reported that at the beginning of this new, American-branded regime, they used Saddam's old rope. And one day it broke. It broke on the 13th man. And they had 14 more hangings that day. They hung 27 men in one day, imagine that. And these are the good guys.
Right after Saddam's neck snapped so loud the witnesses heard it, they hung two more men on the same gallows. The Daily News didn't say if they used the same rope.
The gallows? When was the last time those words appeared in an American newspaper? Actually, they appeared in this newspaper Dec. 31, in a caption for a photo of a noose: "To the gallows goes the ghoul," it read.
And those black ski masks on the hangmen? Could it get any tackier? O yeah, it could. The taunts and jeers. The dancing in the end zone. And the cell phone video of Saddam swinging by his neck, the one that made it onto Al Jazeera television.
A witness against Saddam said that when he was shown Saddam's body, he wept for his dead relatives.
"I remembered my three brothers and my father whom he had killed," he told Reuters News Service. "I approached the body and told him: 'This is the well-deserved punishment for every tyrant. Now for the first time my father and three brothers are happy."
Sure they are, kid. But how happy can they be when they're dead? Sorry for your loss, but they showed Saddam's dead body off like it was a carnival exhibit? Our tax dollars at work.
Saddam's now just another lifeless body. The Lord says "Thou shalt not kill," and we kill them anyway.
Death is the way, Lord. Death is the path. Whether it's smiting the infidel, the unbeliever, the insurgent or the occupier, it's all smiting, it's all blood, it's all death.
Death is how we enjoy those fine old feelings of self-righteousness, vindictiveness and sanctimony, the ones that come when we take revenge. But those feelings doesn't last an hour, and then all we've got is another dead body for the pile.
Death is the excuse Hillary Clinton has for not taking a stand against the war. Americans will think she's "weak." There has to be blood on her hands, lots of blood. She's lacking in graves, therefore she's lacking in gravitas.
Lots of blood on President George W. Bush's hands, no problem there. Close to 150 executed in Texas during his governorship so he could take the helm of this country and kill millions more.
Saddam was a murderer. Chemical weapons on the Kurds. The Iraq-Iran War. The torture. The terror. Look at the language that the usually staid New York Times uses about him: "tyranny," "pitiless," "torture chambers," "charnel houses," "spider web of evil," "psychopathic pleasures... from inflicting suffering and death."
Yes, Saddam killed millions. He may not have invented the mass grave but he certainly refined the concept. Well, we can't kill him a million times with liberty and justice for all. We can't torture him a million times. We can't bury him a million times.
Doesn't anyone see that we're sinking to his level when we hang him, instead of putting him and his murderous cohorts away for the rest of their lives? (Remember Manuel Noriega? No? Proves my point.) Then why don't we just cut Saddam's throat in front of a camera and put the video on the Internet?
It's funny how sometimes you encounter music that reflects your exact thoughts. On Bruce Springsteen's new CD, "The Seeger Sessions: We Shall Overcome," he sings an old folk song called "Mrs. McGrath." Mrs. McGrath sends her son off to war and he comes back with his legs blown off. And Mrs. McGrath says, "All foreign wars I do proclaim/Live on blood and a mother's pain/ I'd rather have my son as he used to be/Than the King of America and his whole Navy."
And in the hymn "O Mary Don't You Weep," Springsteen sings, "God gave Noah the rainbow sign/Said 'No more water but fire next time.'"
Fire? Maybe not. While the Iraqis were killing Saddam, a vast Arctic ice shelf melted away from an island in the Canadian Arctic. So maybe it will be water again next time.
Mrs. McGrath was right. All war lives on blood and a mother's pain. And to hell with the king of America.