United 93 is a wonderful portrait of courage. But in the context of America’s current foreign policy, it comes off as a familiar bit of wound-licking.  Every nation has a tale of the day the world did them dirt, and United 93 is America’s. But what’s more remarkable is that, when people abroad see the Michael Moore movie Fahrenheit 9/11, viewers are surprised that a person is allowed to do that in America, allowed to be so critical of a sitting president. An unintended effect, because by being so harsh, the movie ends up giving every American something to be proud of, proving to the world that America is still somewhat free.

This is why, the world being convinced that our president means to destroy Islam, no one’s come over here and blown us off the map. Face it. We’re an open society; they could do it any time they wanted. So really, its not the chest-thumping – “These colors don’t run” – that has kept us relatively safe since 9/11. It’s that this guy out of nowhere gets to film our president’s most embarrassing moments, make it into a movie, and inspire debate. That’s why angry fanatics stay their sarin gas and their bombs. Not because we “have the terrorists on the run.” Obviously we don’t. Bush gave up trying to capture bin Laden years ago. We’re safe only because even angry people still admire something about this place.

Hope it stays that way. Don’t you?

Jamie Esquire
Los Angeles

Bush Is a Bully

Time has arrived for a populist movement against the elitists who now rule the United States. The time to do so is in November 2006 and elect individuals who will speak for the people and not their political party. The problem is there are none currently available to do so.

The United States is at moral, political, religious, economic, and social crossroads. The United States is a larger mess than Davenport’s Five Points at 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. At least Five Points has traffic lights to regulate movement.

The people of the United States falsely abdicated power of the nation to politicians long ago. We the people gave our power to those who seek it along with prestige and wealth. It is now time to reclaim what was given away.

The George W. Bush administration exploits American moral, social, political, religious, and economic ills. They appear to like doing so. The president, and his administration, drive wedges into the fragile fabric that holds America together. President Bush appears to enjoy causing problems. He reminds me of a rebellious youth, one who says and does what he wants for the sake of reaction. In short, I view President Bush as a maker of trouble.

Politicians today seem to seek election, not for what is positive for the people, but what is good for the seeker of office. No matter on which side of the aisle an elected official sits, that person totes water for a particular party and not the people. President Bush is a prime example of a water boy. He panders to the rich at the expense of the middle class and poor. He creates educational and social goals that are difficult to achieve and then expects those goals to be met with less funding. President Bush likes creating double binds.

President Bush is elitist, not because he is well-educated and -traveled, but because he chooses the few to govern. He places himself in front of the people, not to lead, but to block the will of the people. President Bush is not royalty; he is a citizen of the United States just like you and I. Since President Bush is incapable of leading, he should follow or get the hell out of the way. A just leader would do the latter.

Obvious, in this letter, is the fact I do not like President Bush and his elitist ways. I view President Bush as dangerous to the safety of the United States and world. I view him as not a maker of union but as a divider of people. He appears to enjoy pitting us against them. What President Bush fails to understand is that “them” can cause us more problems than he can handle. President Bush uses the military means of the United States to solve problems when he could use diplomatic means. In short, he’s a bully.

So, vote as you wish in November. Just make sure who you vote for speaks for the many and not the few. The few will always survive; you and I might not.

M. Jaime Delevere
Rock Island

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