Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Pants on Fire ...
Okay, a show of hands -- how many people were the least bit surprised that the essence of General Petraeus's and Ambassador Crocker's testimonies to Congress regarding the fiasco in Iraq boiled down to 1) It's working, and 2) Stay the course?
You thought they were going to disagree in any significant way with George W. Bush?
Really? And how are things on your planet, in that galaxy far, far away?
Maybe because the public doesn't read and has no sense of history, the Bush administration thinks this will fly. After all, it has flown so many times before ...
Here's how you sell a dubious solution to a problem: You hire somebody for whom the public has a lot of respect and admiration. Like, say, Colin Powell. Then you trot him out, have him run with your sack of tar and smoke, and hope he has enough good will to make it across the finish line.
Hey, it worked for WMDs. I can still see Powell pointing at that picture of somebody's trailer-tractor at the UN -- see? Look, right there, why, any fool can see, it's an H-bomb, and a missile next to it that can put it smack into in your barbecue grill, out back.
Be afraid! Be very afraid ...
Got us into a big, fat, ugly war, didn't it? One we started. Kicked in the door, shot everything that moved, and, learned, as they say, that Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam ...
Of course, it cost Powell whatever good will he had amongst a whole shitload of people, me included. He was a good soldier, he did what he was supposed to do for the team, and they won the day. It just cost him his honor.
I hope when he goes to bed each night, he believes it was worth it, but I doubt that he does. I hope it's the last thing that runs through his mind on his death bed, that wonder. Could I have stopped it? And if not, should I have been a part of it?
So now we have Petraeus, another good soldier with a lot of respect, and the Dr. G.B. Feelgood Medicine Show is back in town, peddling the next round of snake oil.
What is the matter with you, America? Has somebody been putting stupid pills in your food?
Wake fucking up!
Mencken was right: Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died; more than three thousand American military folk likewise; ten times that many have been seriously wounded; cost taxpayers a trillion dollars -- a trillion! --- so fucking far, and what have we gotten for our money?
In a longer time than it took the U.S. and its allies to beat the Japanese and the Nazis in a full-scale world war, Iraq is still a quagmire.
Guess what -- it's never going to get any better in Iraq. Fourteen hundred years, and the Sunnis and Shiites are still killing each other over the Fourth Caliph. You think anything an American occupying army can do in five, ten, or a hundred years is going to make a difference in that? If you honestly think so, better make a pass by Jiffy Lube -- you are a couple quarts low.
Call your congressman and senator. Tell them you've had enough. If they are men, suggest that they grow some balls, get on their hind legs, and do the right thing. Make some noise. So when you look back from your death bed, you can at least say you did that much.