It was the first day of spring and the day after the U.S. attacked Iraq. Madison was blanketed by a fog that was as depressing as the day, and we were out of our minds with anger and despair. It was late, but we drove to the Capitol Square to join the vigil we thought would still be there. But when we arrived, candles in hand, the fogged-in Square was virtually deserted. We met a woman carrying a homemade sign. She asked if we knew where the demonstration was. We wandered around for a while, looking for other people. Way up in the one of the top floors of the Inn on the Park, drunks high on booze and war fever saw the sign, leaned out of a window, and shouted “Fuckin’ liberals!” and “Go back to France!” That’s what they saw, just three more cheese eating surrender monkeys.
Five years later […] the fog of war has settled in like a miasma of bad faith and moral bankruptcy. When the Cold War ended and peace threatened to break out, back when people still talked about a “peace dividend,” the first President Bush forestalled the threat of peace with the first Gulf War. His son put the Forever War on a footing that now seems as permanent as the Cold War once appeared to be. The Republican presidential candidate justifies torture and says the conflict may last 100 years or more, and even the Democratic contenders hedge their withdrawal proposals with caveats and conditions that suggest anything but a quick withdrawal. Public opinion has turned against the war without really turning toward peace. We’re still wandering around, lost in the fog, while the madness continues.
And that’s why we have to keep telling the truth.
Because only the truth can burn through the fog.