Thursday, February 03, 2005

Giving Them the Finger

When Iraqi citizens dipped their index fingers into the ink wells over the weekend, it was more than a simple act of accounting. It was a mark of solidarity. It was a mark of defiance. It was a mark that they proudly displayed in spite of the fact that it literally placed their lives in danger. It represented the risk that each participating citizen was willing to take in order to make their dream of self-rule a reality. Knowing this, who could fail to be inspired by the images of Iraqi citizens dancing in the streets, waving their blue fingers in the air?

And what could be more disgusting than witnessing congressional Republicans attempt to exploit this beautiful symbol for partisan gain?

If tomorrow I decided to walk down the street wearing a fake Purple Heart in order to "show solidarity" with American veterans, I would be spit upon -- and rightfully so. Wearing a medal that I did not earn, a medal that represents the deep sacrifice that far too many of our soldiers willingly offer in defense of our nation, is sacrilege of the highest order.

Tom Delay and his cohorts did not participate in the Iraq election. They risked nothing as they sat in their Washington, DC townhouses watching the CNN election coverage. And if this was truly an act of solidarity, rather than an act of partisanship, why were no Democrats invited to participate?

Solidarity? No, I don't think so. They weren't demonstrating support for the Iraqi citizens. They were showing support for the policies of George W. Bush -- the same policies that have led to the deaths of as many as 100,000 innocent Iraqis. Could anything be more offensive than that?

I'm sure that many Iraqi citizens witnessed this cheap political stunt. I'm sure that they saw it for what it was. And, it is my hope that they all felt free to give us the finger right back.
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