AN ENTIRE NATION, JOINED BY MUCH OF AN ENTIRE PLANET, IS GRIEVING THE VIRGINIA TECH SHOOTING DEATHS OF 32 PEOPLE.
I'm no different. And the main question is "Why?"
It's a question that can never be directly and completely answered, no matter how many CNN Situation Room interviews, Oprah Winfrey shows or whatever try to respond.
Why did a 23-year-old South Korean student go on a killing rampage the way he did? Your newspapers will be filled Wednesday with theories, experts pontificating, talk-shows talking.
You know the drill. You'll be inundated. Predictably, you won't be able to process it all, so you will turn it off. You'll be sad, but unable to comprehend. You'll shut down.
This is one of those questions that's as easy to answer as where did we come from, is there a God, why do people commit suicide. This kind of thing just IS nowadays, it appears.
On Tuesday, U.S. President George W. Bush tried to comfort the nation while the rest of the world looked on, their mouths still agape at the horror.
He tried to comfort the students and family and friends of those who died. That is his job, I guess, to appear strong and caring. His sound bytes will spread like wildfire across the Globe.
It's the most shallow, hollow of things coming from the most shallow, hollow of world leaders.
Not that I don't believe he cares or that he isn't saddened. But it was only a day or two ago, before the shootings, that he was still talking -- yes, still -- about the "War on Terror."
He was still harping the old party line, something about how these terrorists want to destroy America, trying indirectly still to place unfounded fear into the hearts of a country, so many years after 9-11.
He'll never slay the ghosts that will forever paint him as among the worst U.S. presidents. His insistence that Iraq had WMDs; his unsuccessful attempt at tracking down Osama Bin Laden.
His invasion of Iraq, filled with photo opps and meaningless victories; the eventual hanging of a bit player the U.S. had once propped up to get its oil, Saddam Hussein.
The deaths of thousands of U.S. troops in a war that can never be won. The turning on him, finally and at long last, by a nation he somehow hoodwinked into electing him twice.
All of that, all of that fearmongering over far-off Muslim countries that are only striking out at his right-wing, far-right religious croneyism and insatiable appetite for their oil...
...And he can't prevent the kind of thing that happened in his own country on Monday. He can only try to console the minions with calls that they turn to prayer.
Hmmm...does the question occur, where is the REAL terrorist threat?
Is it within America, where this South Korean guy went down to the 5 and dime store and picked up the two guns he killed 32 people with, hardly a question asked about his suitability to own firearms?
Or is it the Weapons of Mass Destruction that weren't in Iraq or the cult figure hero that is Osama Bin Laden, which the largest military force in the world couldn't track down?
On Tuesday, Bush told the Virginia Tech crowd how he and First Lady Laura Bush had come to express their sympathy "on a day of sadness for our entire nation."
He said how impossible it was to make sense of such violence and suffering.
"Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they're gone, and they leave behind grieving families...and a grieving nation."
And then this: "I ask you to reach out to those who ache for sons and daughters who will never come home."
Appropriate and well-chosen words, indeed. I wonder when, or if, he will ever say and truly mean those same words about the thousands of troops who will never come home from Iraq.
*For a YouTube clip of Michael Moore talking to then-NRA chairman-or-whatever-he-was Charlton Heston about gun control in America (from Bowling for Columbine), please go to bottom of blog*