Friday, April 16, 2004

shakhmat; the king is dead

On the radio yesterday, I heard a woman talking about her husband, a Blackhawk pilot. She's (rightfully) very distressed that his division is not being brought back from Iraq at the promised time. Although, she tells us, he and his division are very proud that they have been asked to continue to serve, she doesn't know what to tell her children. Daddy has to keep working, she said, he can't come home yet.

Listening to her, hearing how much pain she was in, I started to well up myself. I feel for all the military families who had to look at the photos of charred, dead, American nationals hanging from that bridge in Fallujah. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it must be to have a loved one serving; I have had very few relatives who belonged to the armed services.

Then she said something, however, that drew me up short. And while I feel like revealing this suggests that I am basically a cold and awful person, I'm going to do it anyway.

I feel like he's become a pawn in the Administration's chess game.

And my first reaction was, well, yes, that is exactly what he is. But it didn't just happen when his division was told to hunker down; he did not suddenly become a pawn. He has always been a pawn. The analogy is perhaps more apt than she realizes or would care for, but then such is often the case when people don't use words carefully. On the board, the pawns are fodder. Unless one makes it all the way across and gets turned into a queen or something, which happens rarely, the best it can expect is to stand between its king and the opposing forces. I suppose being in the miltary's a little better; more opportunities to rise in the ranks. Which means what? Choosing which other bodies to put in the line of fire. Hopefully someday making it off the board with all or most of your limbs intact and a decent pension.

This woman's husband has chosen to stand between an opposing force... and George W. Bush and his cabinet. He's not just a pawn, he's a pawn in the hands of an imbecile. God help him.