Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flowers Don’t Grow in Baghdad, Senator McConnell

Dear Senator McConnell:

I apologize for letting things pile up again. Life, and trying to hang on to it, got in the way. Before you reach for your handkerchief or violin, I assure you that everything balances in my life so I did my share of laughing and celebrating between indignant snits, bouts of pain, and panic attacks over mounting medical bills.

On the positive side, I spent a lot of time outside in this beautiful weather, mostly reading and catching up with neighbors. I want to tell you about my newest friend in the neighborhood, eight-year-old Mohammad. He spotted the tray of garden plants I had started indoors and brought out for a little sun and fresh air, and nearly crashed his bicycle when he jumped off to run up and squat beside the plants.

“What in English?” He asked, his penetrating eyes as wide as he could stretch them.

“Flowers.” I enunciated so he could repeat.

And he did repeat, several times before adding, “No flowers in Baghdad.” He sprawled out on his tummy, eye-to-eye with the tiny starts, and touched them ever so gently. Meanwhile, I struggled to compose myself so he wouldn’t see that my heart was shattering. (In case you missed it, I wrote Do Flowers Grow In Fallujah in 2004, after your party still tried to convince us that Iraqis would greet us with flowers even after we had dropped white phosphorus on them.) After pulling myself together and realizing this adorable child intended to lie in my yard and watch these plants grow, I re-potted a sunflower for him to take home and keep. I doubt anyone has ever made me believe my gift was more appreciated.

Mohammad’s reaction to the flowers and my observations of his family settling into a new home and language (their third) haunts me. This child was born into our war so all he truly knows of his country is scary and barren. Despite what any of us want to think about life in that country before we invaded, we have robbed him of an honest opinion. For the sake of his ancestors, I resent us for his positive view of this new, flowering environment as the better place.

If you can find your heart, I am asking that you escort this family to Thunder Over Louisville this year. I would like very much to hear you explain to them why we pour tons of money into a celebration of war as though it is a fun, beautiful, family event. On second thought, family event might not belong on that list since our war was a family event for them, and the fireworks are beautiful when you don’t think about what they represent and view them with music, but I would like to hear you explain fun and celebratory and how this relates to horse racing to people who’ve lived the real event. If anyone deserves to see the initial reactions of these refugees when the sounds of warplanes and explosions start up in their new city, I think it would be those of you who lied us into this illegal war.

This brings me to a comment you made recently about how people approach you at home. I believe you said, “People know me.” I want that to be a universal truth, not the façade it is now. Recognizing your face is not the same as really knowing who and what you are and believing you are approachable.

Since the sun is the greatest pain relief I know, the first warm sun of the season always prompts reflection of my physical status. This year, I caught myself thinking what a shame it is that we can’t all be Nancy Pelosi – spry, sharp, on top of everything, willing and able to read, comprehend, and explain bills no matter how long they are . . . I’m perfectly content to sit in awe of her and not beat myself up for falling short in comparison. I realize that I have my own purpose and should do the best I can with what I have. Maybe you could do the same?

There is honor in honesty and I see a successful future for you as a guest host for the Iraqi refugees that are pouring into Louisville. Look how your party has embraced half-governor Sarah Palin and left-in-disgrace Newt Gingrich. I’m sure they would do the same for you. As for your constituents, we’re used to not having anyone represent us in the Senate so we would certainly understand if you want to step down now that your party has shoved you aside and turned to the whiney Mormon and the loudmouth shock jock for leadership. Think about it. I promise to support you if you make such a decision, and will help plan a retirement bash.

In closing, I want to thank you for not living in that shameful C Street frat house for punks who refuse to grow up. I admit that I haven’t paid close attention but so far, I don’t think I’ve seen your name connected to this scandal. I trust your silence means the related articles exceed your comfortable reading word count and not that you have reason to dodge questions. In case this is the day that you decide to entertain suggestions, however, I have another. I think it would be a terrible idea to enact Turdblossom Turnaround this time.

If the Democrats have their own frat house disguised as a church, I’m positive Rachel Maddow would have uncovered it and nailed them to the wall already. It would be a huge mistake to try and accuse them of this in a few months because, although that has worked tremendously well for you in the past, you’ve worn it out and even sleepers are waking up to roll their eyes.

I also want to thank you for trying to say some of the people instead of THE American people recently. It didn’t last long but I appreciate the effort. Did you really hear me for once? If not, please humor me because I have enjoyed believing you did.



p.s. It's entirely possible that Mohammad meant Sunflowers don't grow in Baghdad, and that some flowers do grow there. That doesn't change my reaction when I heard his words, nor does it change the truth about how much of that country we have destroyed.

No comments:

Post a Comment