Dear Santa Bush,
I am writing you to thank you for the wonderful presents you’ve given me so far this year and get in my wish list for next year. I hope that you don’t think I have been naughty just because I spent the whole year trying to get you thrown out of office and indicted for war crimes.
First I ought to thank you for that one present I’ve already opened, but unfortunately had to send back because it was already broken.. I’m talking about the man who was nearly my new chief of Homeland Security, Bernard B. Kerik: Rudy Giuliani’s former limo driver then his choice for New York City police commissioner, a professional strength adulterer, profoundly corrupt business man, and erstwhile Mob toady. Of all the possible people you could have picked to safeguard our country, knowing you picked a guy who once set up an apartment for 9/11 rescue workers and then occupied it round the clock with his series of mistresses, who used his hospital security forces in Saudi Arabia to guard his mistresses and later as police chief used homicide detectives to track a different mistress’ missing cell phone, it is truly comforting to see how much you care about our country. It also reassures me that people will eventually see through you. Oh please excuse me, Santa Bush, that wasn’t nice.
Still, this is the man who took conflict of interest to a whole level by making millions recommending Homeland Security the government buy Tasers from a company he and Giuliani both happened to work for. Imagine what he could have done for the country if he had gotten control of Homeland Security’s annual 7 billion dollar appropriations budget. The fact that Kerik claims none of his other scandals were as important as his illegal alien babysitter lets us know that Kerik actually has something even bigger hidden that he hopes he can keep from hitting the presses. I look forward to confirmation hearings on your next choice, Ron Artest.
Now, on to my list: I guess the number one item on my Christmas wish list, like every other loyal American, is that I want a couple of those magic tickets to the official inaugural events on Inaugural Day, Jan. 20, 2005, I’ve been hearing about. I want mine to include both the “exclusive” lunch with Mr. Bush and Vice President Cheney, and the “elegant” candlelight dinner with a special appearance by President Bush options, plus the all-access pass to any inaugural ball. According to the New York Times, “Organizers say that the inaugural celebration at the end of the January will not be marked by any noticeable restraint and will cost more than any other in history.”
I realize that tickets for these events are running about $250,000, which would have bought a lot of body armor and maybe even a couple of armor conversion kits for a Humvee or two, but I think it’s worth it to bask in your glorious radiance. You could just take it out of your Halliburton Fund, er, I’m sorry, I mean the Defense Budget. But wait, since I know you value your image “the War President” I guess you could probably just siphon off the ticket costs from the starving widows and orphans fund. What’s that? You’ve already gutted that program? I guess I’ll have to catch your big deal coronation on Entertainment Tonight. It’ll be on right after the nightly news glosses over the latest death toll from your little war.
I also would like some “Hush Medals” like the Presidential Medals of Freedom you recently gave to your Iraq war architects: former Gen. Tommy Franks, former CIA Director George Tenet and former Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer. I’ve been at least as critical of you as Bremer, as bumbling as Tenet and as hardheaded as Franks. Though I guess if you’re going to start giving out medals for self-serving incompetence, you may run out of metal before you’ve awarded all the medals the GOP has coming. With 1200 US dead, 8000 wounded and ten times that number of Iraqis destroyed, Bremer, Franks and Tenet have accomplished a great deal. Perhaps you could buy them an all expense paid trip to Fallujah. I imagine the Iraqis would love to give them what they so richly deserve.
And, speaking of war, lastly, unlike from one in six to one in three soldiers coming back from Iraq, I would not like to suffer from symptoms of major depression, or serious anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder this year. According to Pentagon figures, experts predict that the number returning US soldiers eventually requiring mental health treatment could exceed 100,000. Stephen L. Robinson, the executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, says, "These are people who are going to need help for the next 35 years." Of course I never wanted to go over there in the first place. But I suppose that is one of the reasons you’d call me naughty.
Mikel Weisser teaches social studies and poetry on the West Coast of Arizona. He can be reached at: email@example.com
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