Barry, Honey, Can We Talk about Torture?
My dear Mr. President, I've just finished reading the formerly top-secret, classified CIA memos detailing interrogation techniques used in the aftermath of Sept. 11. And frankly, Barry, honey, I'm shocked. Positively shocked that any U.S. president would make such documents public knowledge.
As a mother, who has invested blood, sweat, tears and every last vestige of my natural hair color into raising my children, I am appalled at the apparent casualness with which you are handling your No. 1 duty, protecting the lives of American citizens.
At this very minute, I'm considering forming a new organization, Mothers Against Wimpy Defense. Before I start organizing millions of mothers with strollers and grade-schoolers in tow to march to the White House, perhaps I could attempt a bit of verbal negotiation.
Not only have you given terrorists enough comedy at America's expense to fuel Al-Jazeera for the entire time span of your presidency, you've told their plotters and leaders exactly how to train for the wimpy Americans as well as their host of morally confused psychologists — who equate the real torture of gouging of human eyes with a forceful, closed-handed slap across the face and the real torture of removing every finger and toe with the temporary, psychological perception of the sensation of drowning.
Now the silliest thing in all of this — for a mother who has fought hand-to-hand combat with a teenage son twice her size — is that these same arbiters, of what could be justified to save the lives of countless innocent Americans, would most likely condemn the parental disciplinary methods used in this country with terrific success for the past two-and-a-third centuries.
How many among prior generations of Americans got through childhood without a single trip to the woodshed with an angry, had-it-up-to-here father? How many American children (except Bill Maher and Rachel Maddow) escaped childhood without a single mouthwashing with bitter soap? How many of our little ones thought messing with Mom was a good idea?
In other words, Barry, Honey, now that I've read the stringent limits under which our CIA folks were forced to operate in the aftermath of Sept. 11, I'm actually quite stunned that there was such a degree of restraint. The memos actually serve to demonstrate America's exemplary high standards in the realm of dealings with our attackers, not the reverse, as has been put forward by Democrats for the past eight years.
Unlike our Islamic terrorist enemies, we were not amputating fingers or extracting fingernails.
Which brings us to the matter, Barry, Honey, of your politicizing the role of commander in chief. It is one thing — and an altogether expected thing — to politicize the presidency in domestic policy matters. It is also certainly expectable that during an election campaign, candidates will agree or disagree with important foreign policy decisions of the current president. But in making these classified-for-U.S.A.-protection documents public, you, dear sir, have stepped over the line into banana-republic domain.
In this, you are behaving like a man having just stormed the palace gates with armed guerillas, having imprisoned the former occupant and ransacked the place. A man who puts on full public display whatever he can find that may justify his coup. Bringing these documents to light, to the full accompaniment of party clamors for blood, is quite akin to the banana-republic dictator beaming in the wake of his successful coup and declaring that all evil deeds will now be punished.
All I can say is that your actions in politicizing the role of commander in chief, not only disgrace you, Barry, Honey, they disgrace this nation and sadly may have consequences for generations to come. Every enemy we have now knows that you disdain America more than you disdain them, and that you have no qualms about sacrificing our defense personnel on the altar of politics.
Could you possibly be more inept? With every move you make as commander in chief, you give more than ample proof to my old voters' axiom: Never, ever put a man in charge of your military defense who has not at the very, very least successfully done battle with his own teenagers.
Parents, who have made it to the successful end of preparing children for upstanding adult lives, understand that in the face of one's children, as in the face of one's enemies, the adults stick together. Bickering over tactics is absolutely, positively, every single time conducted behind closed doors and out of earshot. This is the only way to run a healthy family in the best interests of children, and it is the only way to run a healthy foreign policy in the best interests of this nation and our defense.
God help you when your girls are teens. Until then, God help America.
I remain, Barry, Honey, your faithful dissenting constituent. Daily, however, my faith in you shrinks as my dissent grows more fitful.
To find out more about Kyle-Anne Shiver and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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