Fudd | PostIndependent.com


When I was a little boy, a hornet flew into our house. I found it buzzing angrily against a window pane. When I tried to kill it, it stung me. After that, I hated hornets as much as I feared them.

A few weeks later I was playing outside and discovered a gray, turban shaped hornet nest in our apple tree. My mother told me to leave it alone, but I couldn’t resist because I hated hornets. I picked up an apple bomb one afternoon and hurled that handful of hell at the hornet’s house. Before my little feet could make it to the safety of the back door, I got stung three more times. My hatred for hornets grew.

I purchased a slingshot. Armed with my high-powered wrist rocket, I figured that a stone missile hurled from a distance would allow me enough time to escape unscathed. The stupid hornets wouldn’t know what hit ’em, so I hit ’em.

A suicide hornet swooped down faster than I could turn my head and hit me right between the eyes. The swelling eventually subsided.

I laid down my weapons and decided to take up turtle-farming. My brother and I had found three box turtles, so we decided to build an enclosure in the back woods. It was a very peaceful endeavor, and it helped me forget all about those nasty hornets.

We gathered up old pieces of wood and propped them up in a huge circle on the forest floor. We fed the turtles wild strawberries and grasshoppers and earthworms and put out some water for them to drink. Everything was going very well until I noticed a break in the north wall. We needed a big rock to bridge the gap. I found a rock I took for granite. Upon lifting the stone, a swarm of slant-eyed yellow jackets funneled out of the ground like a tornado. I got stung so many times I lost count.

The moral of the story is:

A. You can’t kill all the hornets with a missile strike.

B. Don’t mess with bees.

C. Turtle-farmers make easy targets.

D. A tiny insect can bring a huge enemy to its knees.

E. If it can go wrong, it will.

F. All of the above.

Are you comfortable with the idea of killing Iraqi people yet?

Our president has made it clear in no uncertain terms that if Americans want to live in peace, we’re gonna have to kill some people. This is a hard concept to grasp for many of us, especially when the best proof that “an army of intelligence operatives” can offer is a scratchy phone recording and a few photos of “now you see ’em, now you don’t” semi-trucks. Most of the evidence appears to be speculative.

He probably has anthrax, he probably has smallpox, he probably has nuclear weapons parts, he probably has nerve gas, he probably has mustard gas and on and on and on. Probably seems to be another way of saying guilty ’til proven innocent.

Shouldn’t the case for war be overwhelming?

If we are going to start dropping bombs on Baghdad’s people, there needs to be proof beyond a shadow of a doubt, don’t you think?

Our proposed military offensive has been defined as a systematic series of “shock and awe.” We plan to drop more bombs in the first three days of this war than in the entire Gulf War combined. Hundreds if not thousands of people will be killed. Guilty ’til proven innocent. The attack is designed to make Iraqi people lose their will to fight back.

Do we really have enough evidence to rationalize this level of organized industrial slaughter?

Our closest ally in this endeavor is England. A poll taken in England shows that one-third of their citizens believe America is a bigger threat to world peace than Iraq. In Germany, George Bush gets the label of “war-monger,” not Saddam Hussein. In Russia, editorial cartoons depict President Bush as a modern Hitler. These are our supposed allies. With friends like this, we can’t afford many more enemies, can we?

George and Saddam are acting like two egomaniacal little brats playing with fire. Each one is mixing up a fresh batch of TNT in a vain attempt to ignite their illusions of grandeur. For Bush, it’s the New American Empire. For Saddam, it’s leader of the Muslim World. It’s all crap.

War has not, nor never will, bring about peace.

Americans will kill a bunch of Iraqis. Iraqis will kill a bunch of Americans. In the end the winner will get to write the history books on how they achieved peace.

And then, some time later, an unturned stone will be lifted and a swarm of yellow jackets will emerge like a tornado. Consequently, the whole process will start all over again … and that’s the way the world has worked for as long as man has recorded it.

Peace out.



Silt resident Bernie Boettcher’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent.

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