Friday, February 04, 2005

Mark Caro's creed: Never be joyous for freedom and certainly never show support for those who fight for it. Words to live by?

Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune Entertainment writer is sitting in this week at ChicagoTribune Columnist Eric Zorn’s Blog []
Caro is apparently upset that a number of Congressmen dipped their index fingers in ink and waved their index fingers to show their solidarity with the Iraqis who risked their lives to vote on Sunday and then proudly held up their index fingers dyed with indelible purple ink as a sign that they'd voted. [See Caro’s blog entry for February 3 on Zorn’s blog]:

Caro writes:
”Weren't those purple fingers being waved by Congress folk at last night's State of the Union address just fabulous? Actually, the purple pointers were Republicans who had pressed their fingers into a passed-around tin of stamp ink to show their support for the president's foreign policy. In other words, it took three days for an organic symbol of genuine sacrifice to be appropriated by self-congratulatory politicians. What land mines and car bombs did these legislators sidestep for the privilege of dipping those fingers in purple ink? Did they symbolically sit at the front of buses during the Civil Rights Movement, too?” … "There's nothing like vicariously experiencing someone else's toils on the front lines.”

Caro raises the idea that the “Congressman were just showing solidarity with those truly brave souls in that far-away country. Or, perhaps they were celebrating democracy's victory”--- he suggests-- but then he dismisses such thoughts in favor of his argument that the Congressmen were “vicariously experiencing someone else's toils on the front lines.”

What an odd way of looking at the world. Would Caro also suggest that wearing a crucifix was wrong unless the individual doing so had been nailed to the cross? How about someone celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Day who had not marched in Selma or even Chicago, or had not even been born then? Why, that would be wrong, too, if we follow Caro’s skewed view of the world.

What in the world could Mark Caro be thinking? That it is wrong for a Congressman who had supported the military action in Iraq [or even those who hadn’t] to be happy that for the first time in Iraq in decades, Iraqis were to have a true say in their government. That it is wrong for a congressman to show his support for and solidarity with an estimated 70% of the Iraqis who went to the polls to vote, risking their lives—and that he was happy that although there was death and violence from the insurgents it was much less than anticipated. Caro got in that Congressman’s brain and heart and Caro figured out that the Congressman didn’t give a damn about that act of freedom. Nope, it was all about malicious appropriation of the Iraqis sacrifice to prop up President Bush’s failed foreign policy, says Caro.

Did Caro Criticize Senator Ted Kennedy for choosing the week BEFORE the election to call for U. S. Troops to exit Iraq, as opposed to say, maybe, the week AFTER the election. Even NPR’s Mara Liasson, a liberal in good standing, thought the timing of that statement by Senator Kennedy a bit questionable. It would appear that Kennedy was afraid the elections might go well and he wanted to do what he could to make sure they didn’t. The timing of Senator Kennedy’s statement might have been a more intelligent target for Caro’s fire.

Did Caro criticize those liberals who have greeted news that the elections went quite well, thank you very much, with turnout greater than in the U. S., with the statement—“Now the hard work begins.” Excuse me, what do those liberals think it was to pull off successful elections in Iraq—a walk along the beach. Now the hard work begins— my ass. It has been hard work all along, or isn’t that what the liberals have been complaining about?

As I said, what was Caro thinking? The only conclusion that seems to make sense? He wasn’t.

I will, however, make Mark Caro, Tribune entertainment writer, an offer. I won’t do any movie reviews if he doesn’t do any public policy or political analysis. Deal?
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at