We tortured. It was wrong… That’s all, folks!


Swamp Rabbit was looking over my shoulder at my laptop, chewing Lucky Charms and getting crumbs all over the keyboard. “How come you don’t do that blog no more?” he said. “I used to like readin’ all them lies you wrote about me.”

I explained to my rabbit friend, and not for the first time, that I’d vowed a few months ago to drop everything and finish writing the second draft of my novel Good Sal/Bad Sal. I did finish it but I’ve been reluctant to resume blogging, because I’m afraid it will rekindle unhealthy habits, such as following the news. Already I’ve read a story about President Obama’s torture speech, the one with these immortal lines:

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks.

But there’s no point in being “sanctimonious” — that’s the word Obama used — regarding Dick Cheney, his sock puppet George W. Bush and the other good folks who made torture part of U.S. foreign policy. We’re not going to charge these folks with war crimes, they had really tough jobs…

I told the rabbit I wanted to ask Obama what it was we’d done right in reaction to 9/11. The Iraq war fiasco? The hopeless effort to create a pro-American Afghanistan, which has cost the U.S. more than the post-World War II Marshall Plan? But folks like us don’t get to ask such questions, and the mainstream media folks are too cowardly to ask them for us. Am I right or wrong, folks?

“Don’t rave at me,” the rabbit said. “I ain’t Obama.”

“I’m just demonstrating how upset I get when I read the news,” I told him. “Most folks will know what I mean.”

“So keep the blog, but don’t pay no mind to the news,” the rabbit suggested. “You live in this here shack in Tinicum. Write about how hard it is keep the roof from leakin’ and to keep from getting caught when you lift food from the Super Fridge down the road. Take that French guy’s advice and tend your own garden.”

“This is a swamp, you dumb rodent, not a garden.”

“And write about that book you wrote. Ain’t nobody gonna know about it unless you tell ’em.”

As he spoke, I watched Obama on the Internet, threatening to bomb Iraq, where American military involvement ended in 2011, haha. Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction, but sometimes it’s as predictable as rejection slips. Know what I’m saying, folks?

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