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Stateside: It's All For You, Condi, All For You

Stateside With Rosalea Barker

It's All For You, Condi, All For You

( With apologies to Officer Krupke, West Side Story)
Dear kindly Madam Secretary, in your suit and pearls
Sitting at the Cabinet table, traveling the world,
Take a look around at home and have a second thought,
Golly, Moses! Look what you have wrought:

Warning at high school bus stop, Oakland, California, January 2007

You say you know what terrorism is because of your experience growing up in the South during the time of the Civil Rights movement, so I'd like you to consider if the new type of violence on the home front--where kids who aren't even in gangs are shot just for living in a certain neighborhood--is an emulation of the kind of war the US is involved in. I haven't forgotten my own childhood when we liked to play games that copied what went on in the Second World War.

Speaking of which, when you're at your next Cabinet meeting, please kick Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in the backside and tell him to quit disrespecting the parents and grandparents of your coalition forces. I refer to the egregious omission of a pertinent fact in the background to Question 42 of the US Naturalization test as given in the DHS booklet, "Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons"

Q: Name some countries that were our enemies during World War II. A: Germany, Italy, and Japan.
"The United States officially went to war on December 8, 1941. President Franklin Roosevelt, as Commander-in-Chief of the military, obtained an official declaration of war from Congress. This was one day after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, an American naval base in Hawaii. Japan's partners in the Axis, Italy and Germany, then declared war on the United States, Great Britain, and their Allies. The Allies fought against the German Nazis, the Italian Fascists, and Japan's military empire. This was very difficult for the United States, which had to fight wars in both the Pacific region and Europe."

That explanation completely overlooks the fact that on September 3, 1939, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany. Anyone reading it would think the Second World War was all about the US being wronged and that its starting date was 1941.

I'll give Chertoff a pass on having to also include the fact that on September 5, 1939, the US declared its neutrality, and that by the time US entered the war, thousands of lives had already been lost in the cause of fighting an expansionist, genocidal dictator.



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