March 30, 2005

Terri Schiavo: It's the Hypocrisy

Some one wrote to me about Terri Schiavo. It was from a different view than my own, but it was earnest and compassionate. So I tried to compose a response in the same spirit, though from a different point of view. I'll respect the privacy of the writer and not post her message or her name. But you'll get the idea from the response the point of view she represented.

Okay, I'll try to explain to you my point of view. I know very little about Mrs. Schiavo and her case and I am certainly very sorry it is such a terribly tragic situation. I don't really comment on things like that because it's not my province -- I don't know that much about that kind of case or that specific case. What I was commenting on is the political and media sphere, which I do pay quite a lot of attention to and I do feel entitled to expressing my opinion on. I find the whole episode from that point of view to be just another sick, phony manipulation of the public for a dishonest political agenda.

From what I know about the case, there have been a lot of court cases about whether or not to keep this person alive. I am in no position to make any judgment on it. It's a personal matter. If this man is trying to murder her for money, then God save his soul, that is a terrible tragedy. If the courts are right and he established that those were her wishes, and after 13 years, or whatever it is, they do that, then I can only be thankful that it is not my responsibility to judge it. I hope the judges who did have that responsibility acted in good conscience and more.

All of your feelings and concerns about the case are legitimate and I respect them. I would probably feel pretty close to the same if I were closer to the situation, at least to the extent that I would feel the tragedy more deeply. I might even come to share your judgment that the government should make a special exception to all the other principles to the contrary and just step into this individual case and save this poor woman's life.

I apologize if I wrote something that seemed insensitive about this tragedy. I do see your point of view when looked at in that way. What I comment on on my site are the way the media and the political community uses a tragedy like this to further their own awful political agenda. There is always some grain of truth in the things they say, in this case, and in the case of what a horrible monster Saddam Hussein was. But then they take these truths and they twist them into lies and phony scenarios to use everyone's emotions to manipulate them, to distract them so they won't see the truth of what is going on.

You said there were reports that "weapons of mass destruction" were whisked out of Iraq, so that therefore the attack on Iraq is justified after all. It's a nice thought, but it doesn't hold up too much to examination. If Saddam was really this big danger to the US and to his "neighbors", and as vicious and horrible as we all know he really was, the last thing he would do is suddenly disarm himself and make his dangerous arsenal just disappear, then just give up power and turn himself over to the US who would certainly kill him, at least imprison him, humiliate him, remove him from his position of wealth and power. Why would he do that? Why would he just give up everything? Just to make George Bush embarrassed? I'm afraid I just can't see that. I can't be convinced of that story. I will try to keep an open mind, but it sounds really absurd to me.

I do know that at least 1,500 young Americans have given their lives, thousands more have given up limbs and eyes and their mental health for this enterprise and even if what you said was true it would not justify it. It would not justify the invasion of another country in this way, killing 100,000 people, destroying its culture, its infrastructure, its economy, imprisoning innocent people, torturing people. All these horrors are being obscured by stories like the story of Mrs. Schiavo, and because it is so compelling and tragic, it works to divert attention from all the crimes these people are committing.

Maybe you don't believe politicians commit crimes, I don't know. But when Bush got a national security memo in August 2001 saying that Osama bin Laden planned to strike big in the US in the next couple of months and use passenger jets to attack skyscrapers, he just went on vacation for a month. But when he heard about the Schiavo case, he flew out to Washington in the middle of the night to sign legislation. If he'd been so attentive to the bin Laden threat, he might have saved 3,000 lives on September 11, 2001. I would feel a lot better about it if he'd at least tried.

So that is where I'm coming from. I have no unkind thoughts toward Terry Schiavo. My she rest in peace whatever happens and may whoever committed a crime against her have to pay, if not in the justice system, then in his own heart and conscience. My comment is on the political grandstanding that is done using anyone, every day of the week, week after week, to distract the country from the crimes of politicians.

March 23, 2005

  • Nothing wrong with her -- Poor viewers of Scarborough Country heard a version of the Schiavo story that contradicted most of the established facts of the case: Shiavo did not have a heart attack, never had an eating disorder, isnít in a persistent vegetative state. She's fine, she just ignores people. In fact, according to Scarborough, they're just like his kids, "They ignore me." Daily Howler
  • Can't fool all the people all the time -- In an ABC poll, 67% of Americans disagree with Congress in the Schiavo case, and believe itís political grandstanding, not a matter of principle. Reuters

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