Monday 11 November 2002

Worse Days

by William Rivers Pitt

There have been worse days.

The day bullets flew in Dallas and virtually tore President Kennedy's head from his shoulders, spraying his wife with brain matter and bone meal, was worse. The day a bullet ripped through the throat of Martin Luther King, Jr., dropping him where he stood and silencing a voice for peace and justice, was worse. The day Robert Kennedy won the California primary and was rewarded with a bullet in the head and death on a dirty kitchen floor was worse. The day a partisan Supreme Court defied constitutional law to appoint a President who had not carried the vote was worse. The day commercial airplanes slashed the blue sky with ash and woe was worse.

There have been worse days, but not many.

For the first time in 17 months, the Republican Party controls every level of the Federal government. The Democrats lost incumbent Senate seats in Georgia, Minnesota and Missouri, and failed to capture contested seats in North Carolina, South Carolina, New Hampshire or Colorado. The dramatic defection of James Jeffords has been rendered null and void.

There have been worse days. There will be worse days to come.

George W. Bush now holds sole ownership of the power to make war across the globe. The Republican-controlled Congress will rubber-stamp every military decision he makes, and there will be no leavening hand even to modify the language of war-making resolutions. When the Bush resolution for war in Iraq came to Congress, the dangerously vague phrase "the region" - which would have offered legal justification for war on Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt to name a few - was expunged. That small breakwater is gone.

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