Friday, July 16, 2004

Jimmy Breslin

Periodically Mr. Breslin lists the names of the American troops who've died in Iraq. Today he has this:

I want to tell you what it's like to type this list of names that runs below. You keep typing these ages of "20" and "19" and "22" and soon, you hear them. They are shouting over loud music. Laughing uncontrollably. Girls, girls, girls. Swearing viciously at their fates. And always with these young fast voices. Why should they die? What right have we to play God and send them to be blown to pieces? I finish typing this job and go to bed. These young should be living in the sounds of an American summer, of water rushing over rocks, or lapping a lakeshore pier, or crashing onto an ocean beach; of music in the soft nights or the elated cries of kids running through a field. If not a field, then enjoying nature's finest sight, a crowded city street.

Anywhere except a box on a plane arriving at Dover, Del., where morgue workers do autopsies and put dress uniforms on the dead bodies. This president, with a face of rich boy smirks and sneers, who lives on the dark side of truth, does not deign to be present. He is not a man for mourning, this George Bush. Life is best when he struts onto a stage in front of an overjoyed white audience in York, Pa., where he sputtered that the people fighting in Iraq had hijacked a great religion and now we would fight them anywhere. That great religion is Islam and it has 2 billion members worldwide and if he wants to fight them, let him go ahead; he likes it so much he was having his teeth cleaned when he was eligible to face bullets.


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