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Kerry's Speech on the War in Iraq

September 22, 2004

(archived broadcast )
(Johnny and George: A Bedtime Story)
When the history of Election of 2004 is written, John Kerry’s speech Monday on Bush’s War in Iraq will likely be remembered as the turning point: the point where Kerry, having been hurt by the Swift Boat Smear, rose again to take control of the agenda and win the Election.
As a public service to you, we will play the speech today commercial-free with Mark’s comments (and yours!) at the conclusion.
A transcript of the speech is posted in the blog below (thanks to frequent “Scooper,” Gordon from Michigan).
The “Johnny and George” Children’s Story

Little boys and girls,
Put on your jammies with the feet in them
And curl up beside me
As I tell you the story of
Johnny and George:
Once upon a time,
Not so very long ago,
In a small village not too far from here,
Lived Johnny and George.
Johnny was the local town hero
Well known for saving the children from all kinds of nasty things.
George was popular too. Not so much for saving the children,
(His Daddy always got him out of nasty situations like that.)
But because George was friendly and had nicknames for all of them.
George meant well but was ALWAYS getting into trouble.
One day Johnny and George were playing outside
When they heard the loud screams of a little boy.
Johnny rushed over to the boy
Who was crying and screaming and bleeding.
The boy shouted he had been attacked by a big vicious bear,
and he pointed in the direction of the village cave.
Johnny comforted the boy and bounded off to face the bear.
George didn’t know what to do.
He was surprised and stunned and wanted his Daddy.
But his Daddy wasn’t there.
So George rocked himself and tried to comfort himself
He kept reading his favorite book, “My Pet Goat.”
And he hoped and hoped and hoped beyond hope
That it was all a bad dream
That someone — anyone — would tell him what to do.
Then, suddenly afraid, George hid behind a tree.
He wouldn’t come out until he knew the bear was gone
Back in the deep, dark cave from whence it came.
When it looked safe to come out,
George’s uncles Karl and Dick came by
And told George to go comfort the little boy.
So George went over to the boy
And stood on a pile of bear droppings.
He banged his chest and promised the little boy
He would capture the bear, “Dead or Alive!”
George wanted badly to be the town hero.
And he dashed off to the cave.
By the time George got to the cave,
Johnny was already there.
With a large flashlight and bear traps.
Johnny knew all about bears and how to catch them.
He would use a mix of honey to “sensitively” lure the bear
And a massive stun gun to render the bear helpless.
But the bear was big and mean
And the cave was large
And the task was difficult.
Johnny needed all the help he could get
And he asked the other little children to help him
He knew the task was too big to face it alone.
George helped too
For a little while
George wanted to save the little boy.
George wanted to be the town hero.
But the bear was big and mean
And the cave was large
And the task was difficult.
And George knew that capturing or killing that bear
Would take tremendous skill and effort.
Soon George tired of the pursuit of the bear.
And began to focus his attention instead
On a large hornets’ nest hanging from a tree.
Years ago, the hornets had escaped the nest to threaten the village.
And George’s Daddy had rounded the village men together
To beat back the hornets
To confine them in their nest.
Now the nest was surrounded by large plastic sheets
So the hornets could not leave it.
But the nest was still there, George knew
And the hornets still wanted to get out.
And George’s pal Ahmed had even told him
That one time a hornet actually had escaped the nest.
And George realized he could still be the town hero,
Even if he didn’t capture the bear.
George had no fear of wasps.
He felt he was a WASP himself.
So he fearlessly approached the hornets’ nest
Covered in plastic.
He bravely ignored Johnny, Colin and all the other little children
Who shouted, “No! Wait!”
(His friend, little Tony,
Who did whatever George wanted,
Handed him a baseball bat.)
And George raised the bat up
And slammed it down hard on the evil nest
Utterly destroying it.
Then he ran home.
George’s uncles Karl and Dick
Proclaimed George the town hero
Signs throughout the village read “Misson Accomplished”
And George relished telling his tale again and again:
He had singlehandedly destroyed the hornets’ nest
And the village was now safer than ever.
Indeed, with the evil nest gone,
The hornets had been liberated!
Free to live throughout the village
And, George thought, make honey for himself
And his good friend Hally Burton.
But lo and behold,
To George’s surprise
These wasps were not honeybees
And they did not appreciate the “freedom”
That George had given them.
They were angry George had destroyed their nest.
And they began to sting.
At first, George faced them with bravado.
“Bring it on!” he cried,
As he sent out all the village children to fight the swarm
And he crouched in the safety of his pretty white home.
But the stinging grew worse
And the village became angry,
And George didn’t know what to do.
So he turned to Johnny
(Who was still focusing on the bear).
“You want to be the town hero?” George demanded.
“Then, you, Johnny,
You tell ME how to stop the hornets!”
Now go to sleep, little children.
I hope I didn’t scare you.
After all, it’s only a little bedtime story.

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  • Can o'worms June 10, 2005 10:07 am

    Déjà vu
    How now brown cowboys,
    do you close the can of worms
    opened out of vengeance?
    Don’t wonder why people want to kill you;
    wonder what your mission is.
    Your rite of passage routes
    east of Eden;
    you’re hostages of orders
    that say,” Go to Hell,”
    and vulnerable to the disease that doesn’t end;
    fight the war fought so many times before,
    lie to me
    and tell me it was worth a spit.