Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich explained in a National Public Radio interview why Vice President Dick Cheney provides such good red meat for satirists. Luckovich said, "First of all, he's sort of a colorless and seemingly humorless individual, and something about that type of person is sort of fun to caricature. And he's always so certain when he talks, like when he's on 'Meet the Press' -- 'Well, we'll be greeted as liberators, Tim.' You know, he's so certain, and then he's just completely wrong... " [Emphasis added.]
Just completely wrong? Recently I received the following letter from a soldier who served in Iraq:
"In April 2004 I was in the first push through Fallujah after the four American contractors were murdered, desecrated and hung from a bridge. I was critically wounded after I was shot through the hip in a firefight and nearly bled out on the battlefield. It was six months before I was able to walk semi-normally on my own more than 20 feet unaided by crutches or a wheel chair. In December of 2004 I was medically retired, and even now over two years later I still cannot run and I honestly don't think I will be regaining that ability in this lifetime.... Well I have had multiple people ask me about what I think about everything going on over there and I always respond the same way.... I reach into my wallet and pull out a card and let them read it. It speaks for itself; I don't need to say a word. I received this shortly after the invasion in 2003, a young boy walked up to me with his father who was standing behind him with his hands on his shoulders and just reached out his hand and gave this to me.... Sure there are those who want us dead and gone and will do anything to get rid of us, but they are a minority."
The soldier enclosed a copy of the card. It has a big heart on the front, and inside it reads: "Thank you George Bush. Thank you American soldiers. Thank you Marines [sic] soldiers. To save us. We are so grateful. Your friend, Ali Ahmed. An Iraqi boy, 9 years old. 2003.4.15 Wedensday [sic]."
Okay, so that's one soldier. But a reporter from The New York Times saw things the same way. On April 10, 2003, John F. Burns filed this story from Baghdad:
"Saddam Hussein's rule collapsed in a matter of hours today across much of this capital city as ordinary Iraqis took to the streets in their thousands to topple Mr. Hussein's statues, loot government ministries and interrogation centers and to give a cheering, often tearful welcome to advancing American troops.