All Things Bright And Beautiful

The first lady recently announced the theme for the 2005 holiday season at the White House. It is this: All things bright and beautiful.

“This year’s holiday decorations bring nature’s beauty to the White House.”

White phosphorous. Bombs bursting in air. 2,100 American dead.

“Simple, yet elegant, decorations highlight creations from the natural world.”

Exploding oil pipelines. Suicide bombers. Death and destruction.

“Fresh greens, fruit and flowers awaken the sense of smell, taste and sight.”

Children screaming. Limbs severed. Blood and guts. Coffins. No cameras.

“The color schemes of tangerine, lime green and hot pink boldly accent the traditional touches of the holiday decorations.”

Bright red. Gore.

“The official White House Christmas tree occupies most of the Blue Room.”

Black and blue. Civil war.

“The 18 1/2 foot Fraser fir was grown by Earl and Betsy Deal and their children, Meg and Buddy, of Laurel Springs, North Carolina.”

Cpl. John R. Stalvey, 22, of Conroe, Texas, died October 3 from an improvised explosive device. Spc. Jeremiah W. Robinson, 20, of Mesa, Arizona, died in Baghdad, Iraq, on October 6, of injuries sustained there on Oct. 5, when an improvised explosive device detonated. Spc. Joshua J. Kynoch, 23, of Santa Rosa, Calif., died in Bayji, Iraq, on Oct. 1, when an improvised explosive device detonated. … and their children?

“Fresh white lilies, crystal garland and white lights adorn the White House Christmas Tree.”

Thou shalt not kill.

“Gingerbread White House: View of the North Portico, 100 pounds (34 sheets) of gingerbread, 150 pounds of white and dark chocolate, Clear, poured sugar windows, One strand of white lights inside the Gingerbread White House make it glow.”

A war of aggression is the supreme international crime — Robert Jackson, former chief of the U.S. Supreme Court and Nuremberg prosecutor.

Volunteers: 63 Garland: 580 feet Christmas Trees: 18 trees Wreaths: 204 Christmas Cookies: 30,000 Petit fors: 10,000 Truffles: 1,100 Sweet Potatoes: 2,100 pounds Guests touring the White House during the Holidays: 45,000 Guests attending receptions during the Holidays: 9,500 Countries receiving a Christmas card from the White House: 200

American dead: 2,100 and counting. Iraqi dead: Tens of thousands and counting.

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter, . Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor, . Mokhiber and Weissman are co-authors of On the Rampage: Corporate Predators and the Destruction of Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press).

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