bunt sign

Monday, January 27, 2003

The most dangerous man in the world will be giving a speech tomorrow night. He's brought us to the brink of war, and he's even convinced about half of us that this war is a good idea. He hasn't done it with facts, even if he has them. He's done it not only by supplying us with filtered information, but also by closing off sources of real information. The government he leads isn't supposed to be a secret society, but that's what it feels like.

He'll be giving this speech in front of a body of men and women whose job it is to stop him from becoming too powerful. Their charge is to give the people a voice, to debate and to scrutinize. That's why there are so many of them, but even so we're not hearing enough different points of view about the headlong rush to war, and the disregard for dissenting opinion, both worldwide and at home.

When he took over two years ago, we couldn't have dreamed it would come to this. He made promises of reconciliation and harmony. Then came September 11, and we were united, one people with a common cause, but it didn't last long. This man made sure of that. He took advantage of the situation by making it easier for his government to silence unpopular opinion and ignore the rights of individuals.

He's alienated allies and hardened the opposition of enemies. He's tried to make it seem treasonous to express any doubts about him, his ideas and his motives. Unlike many of his supporters, I don't suspect the loyalty or patriotism of people who disagree with me. We went through that a few decades ago, and it's taken years to recover. You don't dishonor soldiers if you believe they're being sent into battle for the wrong reasons.

President George W. Bush is the most dangerous man in the world. Our silence lets him become more potent, and therefore more dangerous. We owe it to ourselves to listen to him. Congress owes it to us to force him to prove that he's right before he thrusts us into a war with questionable goals and dubious moral footing. If not, they are complicit in whatever ensues. Fear or political ambition should not lead them to surrender to sloganeering and demagoguery.

If we don't listen, and if we don't speak out, we are complicit as well.


Cloud textures in the western sky.

This isn't a political column. It's my diary, and I write what's in my head on any given day. Today it was this. Tomorrow it'll be something else, but I will watch the president's speech and I will be keeping track of what goes on in Washington in the days ahead. I have personal as well as political reasons for not wanting a bad war. If we do get into a bad war, I don't look forward to the aftermath. It could be a worse peace.

previousbunt signemailnext


The background music for my work day was designed as a calming influence. Norah Jones, Marc Cohn, Suzanne Vega, James Taylor — all on heavy rotation.

And I used the CD player in my new car for the first time today. To some people, "driving music" is rock and roll. And sometimes it is for me, too, but today on my errands I listened to Nanci Griffith's first Other Voices, Other Rooms CD.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Shriveled
"Tomorrow, he promised, and I believe him because that's the kind of person I am."

Subscribe to the notify list to be advised when this site is updated.

You come home straight
And you come home curly,
Sometimes you don't come home at all.