Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Double Whammy

Saturdays at 1:03 PM means a panic-juiced jab at pre-set number 3 on the car stereo. This is where 1430 am lives. This week's 'This American Life' was titled 'Not What I signed Up For' and was in part about Marion Fontana who’s husband was killed in the World Trade Center on September 11th. She is the president of the 9-11 Widows' and Victims' Families Association and, as a result, she has met the president four times. The final time was at a White House dinner commemorating the second anniversary of the attacks. Ms. Fontana was surprised to find herself seated next to Donald Rumsefield. Conversation eventually turned to the war in Iraq. Rumesfield asked Mrs. Fontana what she thought about it. "You needlessly invaded a country and used my husband’s death as the excuse", was basically her response. Later in the evening she was introduced to George Bush as a widow of 9/11 who’s husband, adding more dark significance to the tragedy, had perished on their wedding anniversary. Bush’s response upon learning of her plight was to declare it, “A double whammy”. No need to refresh this page. You read that right. A double whammy. That is what is our president said to this recently widowed mother. Ms. Fonatana then describes how the secret service followed her around the halls of the White House as she wept.

How can George Bush pretend to be concerned with the quality of life of the unwilling people of Iraq when he has no regard for the American standing in front of him? The Aministration owes the people of this country a guileless explanation that's longer than what will fit on a bumper sticker or serve as a headline and, if ever they do, they should give it first to the widows of this war.

'‘This American Life'’ is, unfortunately, not a free download but is well worth the price this and every week I’ve heard it. Marian Fonatana’s story can also been found in her book 'Widow’s Walk: A Memor of 9/11''.


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