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The Other Jessica Lynch Story | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

The Other Jessica Lynch Story

Despite a boost from the killing of Saddam's two sons, George W looks increasingly vulnerable. As US deaths in Iraq mount, no weapons of mass destruction are found, the costs of unilateral occupation skyrocket, the stonewalling on the Africa uranium issue continues, and the June unemployment rate jumps to a nine-year high, Bush appears to be at an all-time low. Look at the latest Zogby poll, which shows Bush's approval at only 53 percent.

And if you want to know just how vulnerable Bush is, leave the beltway, turn off the talking heads, and listen to what people in Jessica Lynch's hometown had to say on the eve of Lynch's grand homecoming, in a segment on the Newshour with Brian Williams.

Helen Burns, restaurant manager in Palestine, West Virginia: "It's sad. I mean it's just almost sickening to--to think that our--our people is getting killed over there for nothing, as far as I'm concerned."

Thorn Roberts, a businessman: "Where is the light at the end of the tunnel in this situation? Remember, LBJ's remark about the light at the end of the tunnel in Vietnam. I sort of see the same about this."

Eva Clegg, retired state employee: "Now that they're coming out with things that they didn't have those nuclear weapons and all that, you just wonder if it's worth all that our boys are going through."

Emzy Ashby, businessman: "They keep hollering it's over with, but it will never be over with."

The Administration (and much of the media) sold a story spun to embellish Jessica Lynch's heroism. Selling postwar reality is proving to be a lot tougher. Listen to Lynch's neighbors.

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