The Corner

Halting The Debate

This morning on Good Morning America, all debate over the war effectively ended. They brought out a heartbreakingly sick boy to argue against the war. And you thought it was hard to tackle cloning and stem-cell research when Michael J. Fox is your opponent? Here’s the excerpt, freshly transcribed from the good people at the Media Research Center:

Charlie Gibson: “We want to give you now an update on someone that you have seen often on this broadcast, someone who has touched millions of lives, talking about 12 year old Mattie Stepanek, one of our favorite people in the world. He is battling a rare disease that has already killed all of his siblings and weakened his mother. Our Chris Cuomo visited him in the intensive care unit at the Children’s National Medical center in Washington, D.C. Mattie is there now on a ventilator.”

Chris Cuomo: “You all remember Mattie Stepanek, the 12 year old poet fighting off death from a rare form of muscular dystrophy. … His best selling poetry books have enlightened millions, with messages of peace and love. And of course it was here that Mattie had a dream come true, meeting his hero, President Jimmy Carter, who Mattie calls a humble peacemaker. Well now there’s a new book, “Loving Through Heartsongs,” the fifth in a series about the power of love.

Mattie Stepanek: “This one explores loving life, loving people, loving God, loving peace.”

Chris Cuomo: “With clouds gathering over the Middle East, and voices of peace struggling to rise above the war drums, the pint sized peacemaker comes with a special message.”

Cuomo: “What do you think about everything that’s going on?”

Stepanek: “I really don’t like it; I mean it’s sad. And we’ve gone from battlefields to backyards, from arrows to anthrax. You don’t have to go to war, you don’t.”

Cuomo: “But what if they, if the Iraqi government refuses to turn things over that the American government believes is there? What else are they supposed to do?”

Stepanek: “Don’t go and bomb it, because that’ll make them say ‘Ooh let’s bomb them.’ We’ll bomb back, they’ll bomb back, soon there will be nothing to bomb, no one to bomb. Why are we doing this? It’s pointless.”

Cuomo: “Mattie says just consider this question: Is America fighting for a just cause, or fighting just because?”

[clip of Stepanek reading poem]

Stepanek: “Dear Mr. Bush, you said-”

Cuomo: “One poem is a special appeal to the president, a letter asking him to seek peace.”

Stepanek: “We cannot get caught with a bad attitude, or we are not choosing peace.”

Cuomo: “Of course Mattie is just a kid, and he may not know the realities of the battlefield, but he knows better than most how precious life is. So fragile, so delicate, so aware of how close death may be.”

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