Peace Out

How will the families of Matthew Maupin and the families of all those anonymous missing, dead and assumed dead military personnel and civilians in Iraq celebrate the early and clandestine handover o

How will the families of Matthew Maupin and the families of all those anonymous missing, dead and assumed dead military personnel and civilians in Iraq celebrate the early and clandestine handover of "sovereign" power to the in-between Iraqi regime?

Will they wait by their respective phones? Hypnotized by CNN loops of third- or fourth-generation grainy images beamed from Al-Jazeera, will they be told their children were beheaded in a rock/paper/scissors game of torture?

Tag, we're shit.

Who do we think we're fooling? Do you think about the war when you pump gas into your car? Do you think about peace when you pump gas into your car?

Doesn't Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush sound like one of those late-night, shady law firm commercials? Are they in cahoots? How often do they meet to synchronize their stories?

President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, who is Osama bin Laden and what is he to you? If it weren't so sad, wouldn't you laugh every time Rumsfeld trotted out pictures of stale terrorists instead of answering questions about why he ordered the torture of prisoners?

Why are people afraid to tell the truth? Why are they afraid to relinquish power?

Will hell be big enough? Will Satan dispense earplugs or will hell be non-stop loud like a ghetto?

Speaking of ghettoes, wouldn't tanks in your neighborhood bring down property values? Do values apply to everyone or just the minority assumed by the majority not to have any?

If sovereignty means complete independence and self-government, how will Iraq enjoy the fullness of sovereignty while being simultaneously occupied by the military might of other nations? Is this supposed sovereignty an exercise in semantics, irony or entitlement?

Will we ever get out of there?

Isn't this another Vietnam, only without the body bags? Think in a few years we'll see orphanages crammed with mixed-blood children left fatherless by American GIs?

That's not the only exchange of blood, is it? Why is this the most bloodless war you've ever not seen? Why is blood exalted during the recollection of World War II?

If half a generation dies fighting for peace, does that presuppose peace among survivors living in the wreckage?

How many of us does it take to make peace — one to start and a gazillion to finish? If some start and others resist, should the peaceful instigators fight against the resistant?

Isn't fighting for peace oxymoronic? Isn't Cheney a moron?

Name calling aside, what's he so mad about lately? Don't you want to know what it must be like to wake up every day knowing you don't have to assume accountability for anything you do? Is that freedom or dodgeball?

What's freedom look like to you?

Don't you wish you had a team of advisors telling you what to say in awkward situations? If you did, wouldn't you fire them for not bailing you out while you sat mute in an elementary classroom on Sept. 11, 2001, as the north and south towers exploded into balls of black diesel fuel? Didn't you feel doomed when you saw that display of ineptitude?

Don't you sometimes feel worked over by the government? What are our alternatives? Detachment? Isn't that just as bad as — no, worse than — too much control?

Speaking of which, remember before war when the cotton was jumpin' and the fish was high and your president evoked the name of God as his (real) running mate?

I know the devil's in the details, so where's his god now? Does that make him a good-time god?

Do you think God has anything to do with how people co-opt Him to forward their agenda? Of course not, but is He at least amused?

Do you think, like the Bible says, he's jealous of other gods before him? And what about those other gods? Are they jealous of God? Is the alleged envy between them justification for people to kill one another?

Isn't war little more than gang activity? Won't greed do humanity in? Isn't greed noisy?

Don't you want peace and quiet?

Kathy's collection of columns, Your Negro Tour Guide: Truths in Black and White, is available in bookstores now.

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