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Commentary ::
“Cavalrymen and Cowards” An Open Letter to GWB
28 Feb 2004
I know your kind. Born with every advantage you have pursued every abuse. You do not care for us common folk, and you do not trust us. You don’t believe we can handle the truth that it is our birthright to have. You told us that you had changed your half-witted, silver-spooned younger ways, but you were lying. You are a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
George W. Bush:

I rode from Texas to Ft. Stewart, Georgia, arriving there May 14, to give relief to the wives and children of the 3rd Infantry Division. They are now hysterical and drugged because you won’t tell them that there even was a battle for Baghdad or that many Americans were lost. You are now keeping their husbands deployed to cover up your cowardice. I have had it with you, George, and the way you despise the people of the United States.

While I was at Ft. Stewart, I met a chaplain (one of your cherished Special Forces officers), Colonel Dennington, and gave him the essay that I have appended to the end of this letter “3/7 Cavalry, Tragedy and Travesty.” It has been in the possession of my editors at the Houston Chronicle since April 13, and is in the possession of thousands now.

Here is what it said: You have covered up the details of the Battle of Baghdad, which began at the city airport before dawn, April 5. Colonel Dennington read it and confirmed its accuracy, then urged me to help your cover-up. I refused, and told him to get the piece to you ASAP, since it calls for your impeachment. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time, George.

I met you and your “Bush Team” at the Hyatt back in Houston back when you were a governor hustling your way to the White House. (Was it ’95 or ’96? I forget…) You wanted to talk to me about being your speech writer. I knew on sight that you were a frat boy who needed someone with real character to make him sound like a man. You made me laugh with all your talk about loyalty, when it was clear to any fool that you meant lying. I told you I would do my level best to write good speeches, but that I wouldn’t be entangled in “Byzantine bullshit.” Everybody shifted uncomfortably in their chairs when I said that, and I knew that I had you pegged right. We all parted amicably enough. You had no interest in me – my standards were too high. I had no interest in you – I thought you a second-rate man. You’ve sure proved me right.

I’ll tell you what you should have said soon after the April 5/6 weekend battle (if you’d wanted to act presidential, that is):

“My fellow Americans, recently troops of the 3/7 Cavalry seized control of Baghdad International Airport, but on the night of April 4 they were attacked while holding it. Units from the 3rd Infantry Division bravely fought their way through opposition, and reinforced the cavalry. The unit is now safe, and the situation is stable.

“I have waited until now to tell you because I wanted an Army officer to go to each family of each fallen American hero first. Each officer has been accompanied by a service chaplain for comfort, and bearing this message from all of us who grieve with them:

“We will not rest until the mission for which they gave their lives is accomplished. We will not stop until we have vanquished tyranny and terror abroad, and brought our heroes home. That will be our tribute to the fallen. God Bless America, Garry Owen, and goodnight.”

That would have been the honest thing to do, George, wouldn’t it? The media would have spent half the night figuring out that “Garry Owen” was the name of the US cavalry march, and begun to play it. They would have built up war spirit for you by making the evil Arabs just like the evil Indians who also shattered the same 7th Cavalry. The next day you could have released the names and numbers to the public – and discovered that in the 3/7 Cavalry you had a new Alamo!

No guts, no glory, boy. You talk the talk of leadership, but you can’t walk the walk. Well, it’s been around a hundred days now. Are you ready to tell us yet? July 4 the New York Times ran the story about 800 crazed wives at Ft. Stewart who mobbed a colonel sent to pacify them. You didn’t weep for the suffering families like a man who loved his country; you dangled a promise to them: You would bring the 3rd Division home. Now you’ve have backed out on that promise, and I’ve had it with your bullshit.

I know your kind. Born with every advantage you have pursued every abuse. You do not care for us common folk, and you do not trust us. You don’t believe we can handle the truth that it is our birthright to have. You told us that you had changed your half-witted, silver-spooned younger ways, but you were lying. You are a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

You didn’t lie to your own, though, did you? The year you assumed the high office your family stole for you, you bragged to the rich kids at a Yale graduation that you were just another Ivy League screw-up, but you had managed to hustle your way to the White House, right? And they laughed with you, right? And why shouldn’t they laugh? They’re the ones who always get the breaks if things get tough, right? You’ve already got folks looking into how to start drafting without risking their hides, right?

Right. They’ll get your helping hand while the rest of us sink deeper into this quicksand war. They’ll weasel their way to deferments like Bill Clinton did or weasel their way into un-deployable units like you did. The Crackers and Coloreds will do the dying. It’s always a case of “rich man’s war, poor man’s fight.”

George, I’ll tell you your problem: You are a short man who knows he’s short on talent, and you have a short man’s complex because of it. I would laugh at you were you not in office, but because you are in office I must blush instead.

You are stupid, ill-spoken, and without scruples. When I was vacationing in Ireland two years ago you came to Europe and denied the existence of global warming! Why didn’t you deny that smoking causes cancer while you were at it? Won’t US tobacco pay you as much for a lie as US oil does? I know, you’ve told your speech writer to save the pro-tobacco plug for your second term. Brother, you ain’t gonna keep the office for one term.

Your Texas accent is a sham. You are a carpetbagger. That’s where you got the idea of Reconstruction for Iraq. That just meant plunder by Republican businessmen, the same as it did after the Civil War.

May 1 you gave me historical flashbacks. You took a plane ride from heaven to earth, just like Hitler in Triumph of the Will (a must-watch movie for the Bush Team). Then you stood and faced the military of which you were commander in chief. The sun setting was behind setting into the Pacific behind you, giving a great photo op of you looking cool and presidential. Then you lied to us and told us that the war was over. It was OK stuff – for a totalitarian government on Mayday. Stalin would have liked it.

But I saw something through it, George, and everyone else soon will, since it’s all on film. I saw the uncomfortable, squinting eyes of the sailors you were supposed to be honoring. You stood with the sun behind you because you didn’t give a damn for them. I saw two talking heads from CNN – Aaron and Frederika – in the VIP seats. They were the ones on duty during the attack on the airport and for a month they and their megamedia bosses had bravely resisting any impulse to tell us the truth. Their presence was a neon sign that said “Comrades: the most embedded, the best paid!” They looked smug as buzzards before dinner.

Did you promise CNN an exclusive as men died in battle, George, or did you let Ari Fleischer cut your deals for you? I’ll bet that’s why he’s resigning from being the White House spokesperson, and why Victoria Clark resigned from being the Pentagon spokesperson. You know what, George, you’re going to end up having to tell your own lies – to Congress.

Throughout your Mayday speech all I heard was big talk: twenty-three minutes about how this had been a good, clean war done for good, clean reasons and how we were going to kick everyone’s ass across CentCom if they gave us any shit. You had decent line about WMDs being a serious concern, and that punned with Syria and reminded me that we were trying to fabricate a cause for war against Syria at the time. I thought the pun was OK propaganda, too.

You gave my dead comrades a thirty-second mention in the end, but first you got the sailors thinking about shore leave and sex, then gave them the news while they were still cheering you. You said that some folks wouldn’t be coming home…, and that in fact one boy had died over there…, but that it was OK, because the day before he died he told his family how proud he was to serve his country. Well, George, I was proud of him, too, and of the hundreds you failed to mention, but I was ashamed of you, and I wept for my country.

You didn’t weep, though. You looked smug as a buzzard, just like your megamedia friends. Do you know the only one of the CNN crew who ever had a hard time stomaching you after your bullshit Mayday speech, George? Christiane Amanpour, God bless her. She had a hard time keeping cool while you covered up the Baghdad Airport, too. Thank God someone remembers how an American is supposed to feel.

In June you wanted the media to photograph you riding scooters with your dad at the family estate. Only you couldn’t stand to be shown shorter than your dad – who is a head taller– so your boosted your scooter’s height – thus destabilizing it. That made you fall on your ass. I am laughing as I write it, because it is such a perfect parable for your foreign policy. Your dad got his war against the real Axis in World War II, so you came up an “Axis of Evil,” to justify a Quicksand War that may turn into World War III. Since you invaded Iraq March 20, you have threatened (in order) Turkey to the north, Syria to the west, Saudi Arabia to the south and Iran to the east. You are bullshit in a China shop, George, and a good reason that any man running for president of the United States should first have a psychiatric evaluation by a mental hygiene board.

Throughout all your lies and poses, you have revealed, one time, the real reason you had it in for Saddam Hussein: He tried to kill your dad. After you said it, someone smarter than you pointed out to you that the public might (correctly) suppose your family grudge had become foreign policy, so you never repeated it.

If you had been reared by an unconnected family you would have been done pretty well for yourself selling appliances or used cars, but, alas, you had an important father who bequeathed his connections to you. You are an aberration against the Founder’s intent, a dynastic dwarf like George III himself, who was unstable, too.

You have desecrated my dead comrades, and the comrades of all veterans. While Marines were digging the slain out of foreign sand with their bare hands you were denying the sacrifice of those who spilled their blood for you in Baghdad! Oaf! You will not cover up their daring and death with your crassness and cowardice!

Since your team cooked up this Skull-and-Bones prank called a war plan, you have ignored, then silenced, our nation’s best generals, starting with General Colin Powell. That man won the last war for your dad, and told you to stay out of this one. You told him he’d better shuffle along while you, Cheney and Rumsfeld talked about war plans. Fool! You, your vice president and your secretary of war envision yourselves as strategists! The truth is that the three of you couldn’t lead a platoon to a pisser, and you have led our nation to quicksand

We haven’t won. We’re not winning. We’re not going to win. We’re just going to sink deeper and deeper down. This is your Vietnam, the defiled dead are your Watergate, and you will be more hated than Nixon. You lied to us about our war and our warriors, and in doing so you gave encouragement to the enemies we were fighting, because they realized that the president of the United States didn’t trust the people of the United States to know the truth, even though it’s the Constitution’s first guarantee! You made us look like cowards, George. You made us look like you.

I’ll tell you what, George, I’m going to add a whole new layer of allegations to complicate your life: I’m sort of an expert in WMD’s, you might say, because as a young sergeant I taught the nuclear, biological and chemical warfare course at III Corps. I remembered how hot those damn protective suits were in the sun of Fort Hood, Texas. That’s why I thought we would be in trouble in a chemical war in the sun of Iraq, when it was near 100 degrees in April. But I don’t think you and your team thought the suits would be any trouble, George, because I think you knew we wouldn’t need them. If you had believed there was a chemical danger of substance, you couldn’t have waited so late in the season to move. Let’s wait for Congress to finish investigating you and see if I’m right.

On Memorial Day I cursed you again for cowardice because you spoke of the Unknown Soldier when you were keeping us from knowing about piles of them.

On Independence Day you helped our boys celebrate by egging on their enemies – from Washington, D.C. That day I read the Chronicle’s annual publication of the Declaration of Independence and decided that I had it with tyranny my damn self. On July 7 at 1500 I called a local radio show host, Chris Baker (KPRC AM 950), of the Bush Team and suckered him into letting me expose your cover up of the dead who are beneath your notice – while 100,000 people listened on the air and believed me.

On July 8 the Chronicle carried my “Worried about the quicksand of war in Iraq” at the top of its op-ed page. In it I used Wesley Clark’s words to question your integrity. He knows you’re a liar, George, because he was in on the CNN side of the lie about the Battle of Baghdad.

On July 9 I began to re-circulate “3/7 Cavalry, Tragedy and Travesty” across America. It has gone to Congress as well as to the elite of the media and the military. I hope someone will put it in the hands of an Oliver Stone who will immortalize the courage of the cavalry and the cowardice of their commander in chief.

My Texas journalist friends remember you as shallow, stubborn and vengeful when you used to bully them from the governor’s mansion. Now they whisper that you are dangerous because you live in the White House. They worry that you will get your enemies, including me, one way or another. Well, I say you’re full of shit, and I knew it the first time I met you. So this is straight-up from my hood in northeast Houston:

My name is Captain May, Military Intelligence, of the U.S. Army. I live in Houston, Texas, and I laugh at your bullying ways. You are still wearing the emperor’s clothes, but I will lead my fellow citizens to hoot you down as a naked man. I am wearing my brass cavalryman’s belt buckle. I earned it when I was 17, serving with the 1st Cavalry Division while you were coked-up in Kennebunkport. I have not taken it off since April 5.

I volunteered for your dad’s war because I saw that he was a decent man and my country needed other decent men to stand with him. I volunteered for service again after 911, but was told I was no longer eligible. I’m glad I’m not in the quicksand with the boys, though, because I can do them the most good right here at home. On April 3, the Houston Chronicle published my “Visions of Stalingrad: Claim victory in Iraq now.” In it I looked at what you were leading us into and predicted “I’m afraid we’ll learn too late that we have stepped into quicksand.” I’ll bet your officer corps told you that beforehand, too. I’ll make another prediction – on behalf of the officers you have offended when they have tried to talk sense to your dumb ass: You will be investigated, impeached, convicted and imprisoned. Then I will volunteer to wear a uniform again – that of your jailer. That’s my compassionate conservativism for you!

To make my fight with you fair, I’ll only use my pen and my wits – that’s all I need. Since you are a coward, though, you’ll use any tyrannical means available to you. We’ll see who’s standing tall after it’s over, shorty. I agree with what Patrick Henry said to his George. Look it up. I end with a quote for the 3/7 Cavalry. You didn’t get it at Yale, and you don’t get it now:

“Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.”
~ Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene II

Eric May a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College, is a former US Army Intelligence and Public Affairs officer. He is now a Texas ghostwriter and may be contacted at captainmay (at)
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