Day Two

The helicopters are still chopping over San Francisco this morning. I don't know whether they stopped overnight or whether I lost track of them when I fell asleep. I drifted off to them last night and woke up to them this morning, a rather disconcerting alarm clock. They're there to watch the protestors downtown, I know, but there's still something vaguely unsettling about the idea that the city must be kept under surveillance.

All of the war rhetoric being issued from Washington makes my head spin, but none moreso than the claim that the U.S. is invading Iraq in order to ensure America's security. People believe that, I know, but it seems to me utterly untrue: since when do we claim that Hussein is a threat to us? Since when is the issue not his despotic and destructive rule (and destruction) of his own people? I'm sure it's better PR to tack the 'defending America' excuse onto this military action, but I find it utterly insulting, both to the Iraqi people and to Americans, who the Bush Administration assumes can't be counted on to be intelligent enough to refute that claim.

Bush made a speech yesterday afternoon in which he gave an update on the bombing in Iraq (though of course not in such a direct manner), then rattled off this bizarre laundry list of domestic affairs his Administration is supposedly attending to: we're still gonna take care of Medicare, and I know there are lots of people in America who need jobs, and lots of kids who can't read, and so on.

But who does he think he's fooling? What intelligent American can truly believe Bush cares a whit about domestic policy when the country is dumping billions halfway around the world while the FDA threatens to fine companies who help people get cheaper prescription drugs from Canada? While unemployment rates continue to rise, and our deficit continues to bloom? While schools and non-profits and social service agencies still scramble to cover basic needs?

I'd almost rather hear the Administration come straight out and admit that its priorities lie solely in matters of defense, and that the American people are largely on their own as far as domestic affairs go (except, of course, for corporations, but that's another rant altogether). Then at least we'd hear something truthful, rather than a condescending and insulting mess of spin.