Vice President Dick Cheney questions whether Americans have “the stomach” to win the war in
In Mr. Cheney's world, “stomach” is a twisted word for “courage.” But it really means to “accept,” “endure,” “bear,” “live with,” “submit to” and “tolerate.”
Is there courage involved when we bear pain, or live with an incurable disease, or tolerate abuse for the sake of keeping a roof over our children’s heads? Perhaps. But there’s also deep, deep resentment. Eventually, that resentment comes out somewhere.
Cheney's version of “stomach” is the word a redneck hunter uses to shame his reluctant son into putting a load of shot into the brain of a downed deer that Dad shot so incompetently it’s suffering terrible agony. “You just have to have the ‘stomach’ to do it, son,” he says, swaying and taking a pull on his flask.
It’s the word he uses for coldly lacing raw meat with rat poison to kill the wolves he’s convinced have slaughtered a couple of his calves out on the range, even though he knows it’s far more likely the culprits were domestic dogs. Fact is, he just doesn’t like wolves.
It’s the word he uses to gin up the cold-bloodedness it takes to drown a litter of unwanted kittens. That’s “stomach.” It’s the word that describes the deadness of spirit required for him to shoot imported quail on a designer hunting preserve, where the killing is fun and easy. It’s the word that best describes what it took for his elderly hunting buddy to apologize to him publicly after foolishly being in his tipsy line of fire and getting a face-full of birdshot.
But “stomach” can also mean “appetite,” “desire,” “relish” and “taste,” which gives me the uncomfortable feeling that Cheney is really enjoying this war, fought from his safe, comfortable, undisclosed location a world away from the battlefield. He thinks we should have the “stomach” for it, too.
In Dick Cheney’s skewed, dark world, not to have “stomach” is unmanly. Wimpy. Girly. Craven and cowardly.
And yet, “Cheney was of military age and a supporter of the Vietnam War but he did not serve in the war, applying for and receiving five draft deferments. In an interview with George C. Wilson that appeared in the
Cheney has plenty of “stomach” for the war he started in
Mr. Cheney, our soldiers in
Perhaps to you, they're just like those captive quail in
Mr. Cheney, Americans would have “the stomach” for this war if it was being fought for legitimate reasons. If there were a real, present danger, a real, imminent threat to our country from
It’s taken us a while to figure it out, but we know you now. We don’t believe you anymore. We know – and it sickens us – that we’re really fighting for your favorite company, Halliburton, and to make the American oil conglomerates even richer and more powerful. We’re fighting to make you and your cronies rich, which is the only priority you have – or have ever had.
And now, we’re fighting, and dying, and killing innocents so that you and your cronies can keep raking in the dough until the bitter end, when the term of this cancerous administration finally, finally ends.
That's the reason America no longer has "the stomach" for this fight. It has nothing to do with courage or patriotism -- and everything to do with honor.
We know who the real coward is. It’s you. And Mr. Cheney, we can’t “stomach” you for much longer.