Wolfe With Your Turkey!
“When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice,
I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart.”
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Claire continued thinking, as the President and his Attorney General held their hands aloft in a victory salute, before the wildly-cheering press conference assembly. …The President was embroiled in three universal wars, with terrorism. The war against terrorism, being waged in Afghanistan. The war against terrorism, being waged in Iraq. And perhaps the most important: the war against terrorism, being waged against American dissent. This war clearly drew its battle-lines from the heated political debate of ‘National Security VS Civil Liberties.’ Claire gritted her teeth as the Attorney General readied himself to speak, stepping to the podium, bearing the US Presidential Seal across its front. The President stood to his immediate right, slightly behind him. “My fellow Americans…,” the Attorney General began, scanning the attending crowd, with a non-smiling, sour glance, as though he were sizing them up. “…Today, we celebrate a great victory, for both our President and our nation,” he continued, as the crowd erupted in applause. “Speak for yourself…,” Claire spoke, disdainfully, addressing the television screen as she vented her frustration. “On January 20, we will see the swearing in of our President for a glorious second-term-of-office.” “I haven’t heard of any leader’s term being called ‘glorious,’ since Adolph Hitler,” Claire commented, scowling. “Ve have von a victory, for our glorious Third Reich!” Claire impersonated a thick German accent. Undaunted by her unheard verbal innuendo, the Attorney General continued. “The President, having been given his mandate, for strong leadership by the voters, has now-honored me with a mandate to expand our resolve against terrorism within our nation!” The crowd members erupted, wildly, with applause, many of them jumping to their feet. “Expand our resolve against terrorism within our nation?” Claire repeated the phrase in her humorous Parrot’s voice. “And, how might we go about expanding our resolve against terrorism within our nation?” she demanded. “I am proud to announce, at this juncture, a new section, and phase of terror-preparedness, within our great Department of Homeland Security…,” said the Attorney General. “…The Department of Homeland Security has added a new wing. This wing is called the ‘Domestic Terrorism Enemy Combatant’ wing. Its sole purpose and function exists to target those individuals living within our great nation who seek to undermine our anti-terrorism resolve.” “DTEC—isn’t that precious???” Claire scoffed, her scowl deepening. “There are those within this country whose protest actions against the President and the policies of his Administration, directly-aid the cause of terrorism,” the Attorney General warned, attempting to sound charismatic. “Oh, please…,” Claire snorted. “…We’ve heard this recording, before.” “We must unite together, as one strong nation, if we are to defeat the forces of terrorism, on our home ground!” implored the Attorney General. Once again, the crowd leapt to their feet, cheering and applauding, wildly! “I want to make it extremely-clear, that we cannot tolerate dissent with our President’s policies, or distrust of his leadership…” Claire’s eyebrows rose in mild concern at this statement. The Attorney General continued. “…Terrorists live to fight another day—and continue to fight against and threaten—our great nation, in part, because of those individuals who engage in domestic dissent.” The Attorney General scanned the crowd for their reaction before expounding upon his chosen theme. “Those who protest the War in Afghanistan, or the War in Iraq, dishonor our brave men and women who are fighting—and, in some cases, giving their very lives—for the cause of liberty!”
“Bullshit!” Claire now became angrily-animated, as she faced her thirteen-inch color television screen. “People protest the war in those places because they are fought against hopelessly-outmatched countries with no military capabilities to speak of—Because the cause of ‘liberty’ in those countries has turned into the cause of ‘occupation,’—And because no matter what you or any of the President’s miserable cronies say, don’t tell me the wars do NOT have anything to do with the OIL!!!” Claire shouted, her blue-green eyes narrowing into squinted, angry slits as she spoke. “We must understand, my fellow Americans...,” the Attorney General elaborated. “…In order for us to realize a truly-solid, beneficial margin of safety against terrorism—we cannot abide dissent with our leaders. Questioning our President and his Administration’s leadership only leaves us vulnerable to terrorists. We remember September 11, 2001. And, next year, which is the tenth anniversary of this heinous act of terror aggression against the US, we should only strengthen our resolve as a nation—as we re-install our great President—to never tolerate those who would willfully-engage in domestic terrorism!” The crowd rose to its feet with heartfelt applause! “USA…USA…USA…,” they began chanting in unison. “Unbelievable!” Claire was horrified at the direction the Attorney General’s remarks were taking. More horrifying, however…, she reasoned. …Was the surrounding crowd’s reaction to them? “Our President is the leader of the greatest nation in the world! The US must remain the beckoning beacon of freedom to all those countries who are striving for liberty!” affirmed the Attorney General. “Beckoning beacon?” Claire repeated, fighting the impulse to giggle. “Nice alliteration……Did you think of that, all by yourself?” she commented, wryly. “My fellow Americans…,” the Attorney General droned on. “…We must remain committed to our goals of supplying liberty to any/all Middle Eastern countries who wish to embrace it! We will not be defeated in this admirable goal! And, most importantly, we will not be deterred by those domestic terrorists within our own country who attempt to focus our attention away from faith and trust in our elected leadership!” The crowd, once-again, rose to their feet, applauding, as a fresh round of “USA…USA…USA,” was chanted around the room. The Attorney General focused his direct attention at the cheering crowd assembled before him. With his fiercest facial _expression, plainly visible, he glared directly into the eye of the main camera lens focused upon him. “My fellow Americans…remember these two affirmations carefully—for, we, at the US Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, will not back down from the anti-terrorism mandate handed to us by our President! So, remember: You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists! You are either for us, or you are against us!” With that said, the Attorney General fell silent as the crowd lurched to its feet in smart-unison. Their applause and cheering screams were thunderous!
For the first time in remembered history, Claire noted the corners of the Attorney General’s thin lips turned upward in a demonic smile. Claire often equated the events she encountered within her life with memorable moments she had witnessed in Hollywood film. Listening to the Attorney General’s closing remarks had prompted a scene from the 1959 Warner Brothers movie, Ben-Hur, to come to the forefront of her troubled thoughts. In a dialogue-exchange, between the film’s two chief protagonists, villain Roman Tribune Messalah and Jewish Prince Judah Ben-Hur, Messalah has asked Judah to speak to his fellow-countrymen about not causing violence or unrest against the ruling Roman Empire. Judah had related to him that he had already spoken to a number of people on this topic, stating a great many of them agreed with him—though, not all. Messalah demands Judah turn informer, and tell him the names of his countrymen who do not subscribe to obedience to Roman rule. Judah stubbornly-resists telling Messalah the names, insisting he will not simply hand over his friends for Messalah to have them killed. Messalah utters a grandiose rebuttal to Judah: “Judah—you have no choice. You are either for me, or you are against me.” To which a heartbroken Judah felt compelled to reply: “If that is the choice—then, I am against you.” That is how I feel…, she pondered. If the choice offered by the Attorney General consisted of: ‘You are either with us (i.e. a US President and Administration she despised and had no faith in), or you are with the terrorists (i.e. those individuals who used their US Constitution-guaranteed rights to question the leadership of their freely-elected government)—then, I guess, I would have to be classified as being with the terrorists. Then, again…, she inwardly-continued. …I already was a terrorist—a domestic terrorist—since I have never been shy about voicing my dissatisfaction with the President and his Administration? A new incarnation of a favorite anti-terrorism term, “Enemy Combatant,” sprang to mind. How long might it be—if the majority of the US adopted the Attorney General’s attitude—before she, herself, was classified as a ‘Domestic Terrorist Enemy Combatant?’ Claire thought, setting her jaw-line in the wry, thinking philosopher’s posture she adopted when she was deeply-pondering something.
* * * * *
* * * * *
“The President is a mighty, strong man,
And, his wife is a handsome, fine lass,
Though, we hope when we’re dead, to be buried, upside down,
So, the President can kiss our ass!”