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War zombies walk among us! 

Some diehards will never get it

Beware of the War Zombies among us! There may be one in your neighborhood, or maybe even in your own home. They're certainly still in charge at the White House, and they're even showing up every day in the media (and in the real media, too, not just Fox News' right-wing echo chamber).

Who are the War Zombies? We ran a story about them in July 2005. Titled "28 Months Later." The article used the premise of the film 28 Days Later -- a lethal virus infects the world, turning people into zombies -- to show that more than two years after Bush's invasion of Iraq, war supporters were still infected with the war virus and were unable to admit that Dubya's "mission accomplished" had become a disastrous, epic-scale mess.

Fewer WZs roam the streets nowadays, with public support of the war sinking to the kind of approval numbers enjoyed by lung cancer, but the diehards aren't going away. In fact, we caught a glimpse of the new, improved Diehard War Zombies (DWZs) last week, after the House and Senate passed similar funding bills for Iraq that included a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The No. 1 DWZ, Dick Cheney, seems to have disappeared just as the media was finally catching on to the fact that he's deranged. But Cheney's favorite Junior Zombie, the president of the United States, spoke out last week against Congress' actions in the strongest, "boogeyman's gonna get you" terms.

"If we cannot muster the resolve to defeat this evil in Iraq," read Dubya, "America will have lost its moral purpose in the world, and we will endanger our citizens. If we leave Iraq before the job is done, the enemy will follow us here."

Never mind that the rest of the world now sees the United States itself as "this evil in Iraq," nor that whatever moral purpose we had in the world has been destroyed by the Bush administration's record of prisoner renditions and torture, nor that the Madrid and London bombings showed that the war in Iraq actually makes it more likely that we'll be attacked here again. And never mind that by voting to set a deadline for leaving Iraq, Congress, for once, has heeded the voice of the American people. Dubya, contemptuous of the people and unable to admit he made a terrible mistake, clings to his original reasons for attacking Iraq as if they were a talisman -- the sure sign of a DWZ.

Locally, we were treated to a return performance by former Observer community columnist -- and DWZ -- Cathy Floyd, who reminded everyone again that she has two sons in the military, including one in Iraq. "Will America turn its back on my sons?" she asked in last week's op-ed.

If I had a child in Iraq, I'd be deeply concerned about it, too, and my worldview would probably revolve around the repercussions of war policy, as does Ms. Floyd's. But I think I'd be mad at someone besides the people who are trying to bring my kid home. Only a DWZ could believe, at this stage, that it's anyone but Bush who is risking her boys' lives "for nothing."

Except for getting rid of Saddam Hussein, everything Bush and Co. said they wanted to do in Iraq -- with goals that have changed almost monthly as the situation deteriorated -- has gone down the tubes. What's left there for American soldiers to die for? Precisely the "nothing" Ms. Floyd speaks of -- which is why we need to get them home ASAP, and quit throwing more and more of our young into the Iraq fire.

The way the White House and its loyalists in Hannity/Limbaugh Fantasyland spin discussions about the war, there's a debate going on in the United States between those who insist on "victory" and those who seek to "lose." These DWZs, of course, never make it clear what kind of "victory" they think can possibly be salvaged, now that we're four years and 3,200 dead U.S. soldiers into the quagmire. They can't, because there is no military victory available to us in Iraq, no matter what Bush does. What would be nice is a victory for sanity -- fighting terrorists with strong investigative and intelligence work, and international police cooperation, rather than bombing people who had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. As for wanting to lose, the only thing critics of the war want America to lose is the outdated notion that we can stomp around the world, telling everyone else what to do and ignoring the consequences of our actions -- consequences that include the creation of more and more terrorists.

But the Diehard War Zombies refuse to acknowledge that the president, their war, their rationales and their view of America's role in the world are history, kaput, finished, defunct, D-E-A-D. The DWZ'S still roam the streets and airwaves, blathering on, talking about "victory" and "freedom in the Middle East," as if everything there has worked out just the way they said it would.

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