Competing stories

/ 22 September 2007

Ira Chernus has a compelling piece up at CommonDreams that gets to the heart of the drama around Iraq right now, and which notes the feeble storyline the Democrats have posed as counterpoint to Bush’s. It appears that it is now up to us, the people who live throughout the US not just inside the beltway, to tell a different story.

"All theater, all storytelling, rests on the power of illusion and the willing suspension of disbelief. Bush and the Republicans have repeatedly given millions of doubters a chance to suspend their post-Vietnam disbelief in traditional tales of American character; the Democrats have given millions of doubters a chance to suspend their disbelief that the will of the people can make any difference whatsoever. The two parties join together to give the whole nation a chance to believe that a fierce debate still rages about whether or not to end the war. That political show we can expect to go on at least until Election Day 2008.

And we can expect both parties, and the media who keep the show going, to abide by an unspoken agreement that one kind of question will never be asked, because the tension it raises might be unbearable: Is it moral for our troops to occupy another country for years, bomb its cities and villages, and kill untold numbers of people halfway across the planet? If the script ever makes room for that question, we’ll be able to watch — and participate in — a far more profound debate about the war."

It's time for the rest of us to step in and give that question room to be heard. Join us on the statehouse steps tomorrow, Sunday the 23rd at 1 pm, and tell our lawmakers here in Minnesota that they need to step up and help us end this obscene war.