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Control, continued from page 25 worldliness. He sees the world as it is, which means he would jump at a chance to work for FOX \(and he does that he and his family could live “the American Dream” instead of “the Arab nightmare?’ But Marine Lieutenant Josh Rushing, CentCom press liaison, is the most compelling character here. Movie-star handsome \(an Al Jazeera reporter even woman, so that he won’t fall in love with an all-around good guy, Rushing is the walking, talking ideal of the American soldier, the kind we mythologized after WWII. He still exists! Rushing’s on-screen evolution tells much of the story. At first, as we watch him debate with one foreign journalist after another, we see that he actually believes the company line, that we’ve come with a bagful of democracy dust which we want to sprinkle over the unruly inhabitants of Iraq. He insists, in effect, that everyone in the military, from the planners on down, is as good and pure-hearted as he is. And at least on the personal level, he has some success. We see journalists leave his office feeling a level of respect. But as the war evolves, and deaths mount on both sides \(far more on the remarkable degree of compassion. He talks about the way he felt when he saw dead American soldiers on Al Jazeera: “It was powerful, because Americans won’t show those kinds of images. It made me sick to my stomach.” But just when you expect him to parrot Rumsfeld and slag the station, he talks about another night, when Al Jazeera had shown similarly gory images of Iraqis killed during a bombing. Rushing describes them as “equally if not more horrifying,” but admits they had not disturbed him as much as those of the dead Americans. But then he realizes that, for the Arabs, it was those images of the Iraqi dead that were most horrifying, and it “upset me on a profound level” to realize that he valued American life more than Iraqi life. “It just makes me hate war?’ Think the Marines are proud of their guy? Recently promoted to captain, Rushing has been reassigned and, according to , forbidden to talk about Control Room. He says he plans to resign from the service, rather than be muzzled. If only some of his counterparts in the American media had equal balls. David Theis is the author of Rio Ganges, a novel set in Mexico. He lives in Houston. will be a close election partly because Republicans have lost many of their conservative faithful. Republicans no longer seem concerned with balancing the budget or controlling the debt. Again, I want to congratulate you. You are neither a liberal nor far out. I rate you as a courageous journalist who has the courage to use the Constitution focus on a common-sense approach and still make your ideas interesting. You have done a great service for your country. Max Casebeau To Molly Ivins, I saw you on CSPAN and I must say the way some of the callers spoke to you today was uncalled for in my opinion. It appears to me that the hate speech comes mostly from Republicans. Of course, the Democrats are not angels either, but you can’t seem to say anything against the government without being called names by the Republican Party. I don’t hear the Democrats calling people names. I have not read your columns, but I intend to start, and I am going to buy your book. I look forward to reading it. Diana, Virginia Beach, VA Molly Ivins, Your appearance on C-SPAN was a tonic for this moderate Republican’s soul. \(I tried to call but the lines were, out for sanity and making the point that we need the capacity to laugh and to remember that it is the country and the loyal contentiousness that matters, not vitriolic character assassination. Unfortunately, we have too many media networks vilifying any loyal dissent. \(In my for this 73-year-old vet is not an easy one. Somewhere there has to be some decent middle ground for America, say, moderate liberals and Sen. Jeffords-type Republicans. Sorry for the senior rave. I really want to thank you for making sense. J. Grimes, Ormond Beach, FL Molly, continued from page 14 ington Journal, and she didn’t know why a caller had the idea that Kerry and Edwards are calling themselves conservative. The answer is most likely found in a stump speech from Bush himself. From a news report on a Bush speech in the Cloquet, Minnesota, Pine Journal, “Bush criticized Kerry for comments he made… where Kerry said that he was the candidate who represented conservative Midwestern values?’ Just wanted to drop a note to let Ms. Ivins know that her commentaries are appreciated very much. I have heard her read some of her opinion pieces. Keep up the good work. Karen M. Nevins, Fall River, MA Dear Ms Ivins, I saw your appearance on C-SPAN. I want to comment on your observation that the media is responsible for most of the confusion and ignorance. Considering that 30 percent or more of the students in New York City dropped out of high school again this year, one gets the idea that if the schools can’t educate, the news media should at least inform. Most people no longer can distinguish fact from opinion. Feelings are a response to values that are taught. This may explain the religious flavor that the Republicans have acquired over the years. The “Big Tent” inclusion of the Christian church has only served to give the GOP a controversial and unfortunate handicap. This 7/30/04 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 29