Article Overview:   Terrorism thrives on Carcasses of Complacency.   Saddam Hussein is a living carcass, Terrorism waiting to become mulch.   Should we embalm his body or bury it so it can recycle?  Find out how to not be a Carcass of Complacency.


Wednesday--June 4, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 630
The Carcass Of Complacency--Saddam Hussein's Legacy
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

  GROUND ZER0, New York, New York--June 4, 2003-- According to Merriam Webster, the word "carcass" appeared around the 14th century.  Its roots come from Old French, "carcois and Middle English, "carcays."

Carcass: "the decaying or worthless remains of a structure......"

      It has a number of variegated meanings including "dead body," "the decaying or worthless remains of a structure, "the underlying structure or frame of something."
      Also, it means "corpse."
      Another meaning is "remains from which the substance or character is gone."
      Looking up similar meanings close to the word, you arrive at body, cadaver, cold meat, corpse, framework, hulk, loved one, mort, remains, shell, skeleton, stiff.
What's the point here?
       Well, it's a simple one.   Saddam Hussein is a carcass, a living one.   This may well be considered an oxymoron--a statement that is contradictory in nature, such as "deafening silence."
        A living carcass?
       The metaphor was expressed by my cousin, Pat McPherren, a computer software troubleshooter who was visiting my wife and me from Chicago last evening.
        He was relating a story about a woman whose husband was dying of lung cancer, and how she nonmaliciously referred to him out of earshot to family members as "the carcass."

Pat McPherren (left) & Cliff McKenzie, touring East Village soup kitchen the Catholic Worker, founded by Dorothy Day during the Depression for the city's homeless.

        Our conversation had been a raft of subjects, much of which was centered on the issue of death and dying.   It was one of those talks where you express your opinion about how you deal with death--is it an eternal end of all life, or a momentary pause between the degeneration of life and the replanting of it in another form.
        Take an old dried up leaf.  It "dies" and is crushed into a billion pieces, forming what horticulturists call "mulch."  It returns to the earth as "fertilizer," spawning new life, feeding the earth with nutrients.
         Humans, in their attempt to immortalize life, embalm themselves or burn their bodies, robbing the earth of the nutrition of death--the "mulch of life."    Nature, however, uses death to ferment new life, cycling the remains of its creatures.  It suckles the nutrients of death to create a sprig life, a bud that will one day flower.
         Our conversation was illuminating, for it involved our own lives.   I survived colon cancer nearly a decade past, and my wife survived breast cancer three and a half years ago.   Pat's father is ill and we had just been talking about the World Trade Center attack, and the loss of 3,000 lives.    I was relating to Pat my experiences in Vietnam, where I had seen many deaths and participated in the destruction of human lives, reminding him that more than 2 million died in that war, Americans and Vietnamese.
        We were talking about the hush-hush of the American government over the number of deaths in Iraq.   To date, there has been no "official kill estimate" of civilians or the "enemy."  In Vietnam and most other wars, accountants buried in headquarters kept accurate and sometimes inflated tallies of all "enemy kills."   It is war's scorecard, either issued directly or ultimately by history.
       In other words, the idea of "carcasses" was the subject--whether it be us as individuals dying of some disease or old age, or victims of wars, pestilences or simple accidents.
       I laughed at the word "carcass.

Pat signed my 'advance directive' as a witness

       It seemed ironic to me that one human being would refer to another as a living carcass, but then I thought about it.   Pat was talking about not having a will, and my wife, in the midst of the conversation, pulled down some medical documents--a living will--on which was listed my desires for disposition of my "carcass" upon death.   She needed a witness for my signature, so Pat witnessed it.
      We laughed at the morbid nature  of the conversation, and the even more morbid idea that we all faced death as part of life--that we were all "living carcasses."
      My thoughts swung to Saddam Hussein and his sons.
      In the most recent Time Magazine, there was an extensive article on the backgrounds of Saddam's two sons, and how they represented their father's worst qualities--one a known rapist and torturer of innocent people, and the other a mass murderer who personally executed those who opposed his father to seek favor.
       There was also a report that one of the sons, Uday, had requested asylum from the U.S. if he turned himself in--a gift of life that will surely not be granted since Uday's head, along with that of his father and older brother are prizes destined for the end of stiff hangman's ropes, or bullets sharpened with the tip of revenge by those who lived under the tyranny of Saddam's rule.
        All three are, in the words of a woman whose husband is dying of lung cancer, "living carcasses."

Uday and Quasay Hussein:  living carcasses?

        But then, all of us are.
        Some of us may live longer than others.   Many will die natural deaths.  But no one will escape the final "mulch moment."  
        So in that sense, we are "living carcasses."
        But the most terminable of all living carcasses today, is without doubt, Saddam Hussein and his sons.
       Alleged to still be alive, the three will be hunted down and found.  If they haven't elected to turn themselves into carcasses, they will be by the hands of justice.
       The Living Carcass of Saddam Hussein!
       Perhaps that's why the Olympic Bomber suspect Eric Rudolph gave no resistance to the rookie cop when he was arrested scavenging a garbage can.   Eric may have known he was a "living carcass."
        But what about Osama bin Laden?  Or Kim Jong Il?  And the Hussein Butchers of Baghdad?
        How long can they live out of garbage cans before they realize their mortality isn't immortal?

Saddam Hussein's living carcass will meet with a horrible death

        Some believe the Beast of Terror is immortal, that he mulches the earth and recycles, popping up here and there throughout history, constantly twisting the good into bad, perverting the idea of humanity into a pretzel of inhumanity.
         Vigilance, on the other hand, sustains itself with equal force.    While those who oppose the war in Iraq, or try to foul the reasons we attacked Iraq on the grounds that we haven't found mountains of Weapons of Mass Destruction, need to look back at the pages of history.   Evil--the carcass of it--has always met with a horrible end.
          Saddam's living carcass will meet with such a death.
          Life will be sucked from his bones by some force.
          And, hopefully, the Sentinels of Vigilance will embalm and bury him so he cannot "mulch" the earth with the WMD of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--the Triads of Terrorism

Become a Sprig of Vigilance

        As far as the rest of us--we who embrace Vigilance--perhaps we shouldn't fear death.  Perhaps we should be eager to die on the grounds our bodies will not embalmed, but rather returned to the earth to decompose in a natural state, to feed the soil of humanity with Courage rather than Fear, to fertilize Conviction over Intimidation, and to remind the sprigs of life that when they bud, their goal is to do the right thing for the Children's Children's Children rather than to fall victim to Terrorism's Complacency and become "Living Carcasses of Complacency."
         We won the war on Terrorism in Iraq by not being Carcasses of Complacency.
         Let us not die on the vine.
         Take the Pledge of Vigilance today.  Become a Sprig of Vigilance.      

June 3--The Hawk of Vigilance Teaches New Yorkers How To Fight Terrorism

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