So far, I haven’t used this blog to promote anything (other than my own self-righteous opinions). But I think I’m going to shift my thinking a little because I feel like it’s time to start taking any action we can to bring that ridiculous travesty — the war in Iraq — to an end. So here’s this blog’s first movie trailer:
I guess most of us have become numb to the ‘outrage-a-day’ policies of the Bush administration. The primary tactic of this gaggle of traitors, liars, and thieves seems to have been to do at least one unbelievably stupid, arrogant, questionable, or downright illegal thing each day. While the press corps focuses (for a moment, at least) on that act, they’re already onto the next. The net result is the accrual of a sludge-pile of aberrant behavior so deep that no one can (or wants to) slog through it. It’s virtually impossible to achieve even a modicum of justice or truth. Make the scandal so dense, complex and multi-faceted that few have the time or inclination to attempt to challenge or even make sense of it.
Couple this modus operandi with the general malaise and scandal-fatigue of the American people, and you have a recipe for the deterioration of our government and our very way of life, the likes of which I believe this nation has never seen.
All that being said, there seems to be an escalation of the Bushies’ strategy of scandal bombardment. It seems like they take pride in outdoing themselves, and the events of the last few days seem to confirm that.
First, we have George once again attempting — like a broken record — to justify our continued involvement in Iraq. His entreaties have become less and less convincing, so much so that even many of those who have always marched in lockstep with him are publicly demanding a ‘change of course.’ (Unfortunately, in the Republican’s playbook, that’s not a euphemism for withdrawal of troops but rather for a change in policy. But at least it represents a small amount of progress.)
When George and his cronies realize that he’s not making any headway, welcome to the stage once again Michael ‘Mephistopheles’ Chertoff, our head of Homeland Security, informing us about his ‘gut feeling‘ that we’re about to have another attack by Al Qaeda on U.S. soil. (Am I crazy, or shouldn’t we expect better of our government than that? I seem to recall that the Department of Homeland Security was created and the rest of our government restructured around it so that we would be basing our policies and our actions on something a little bit more sound than opinions, fears, and folklore.)
But this, too, is a familiar play from the neo-con playbook: When public opinion turns against you, fill the populace with as much fear and anxiety as possible. It doesn’t matter whether it’s substantiated or not; in fact, the neo-cons seem to have learned that it’s actually better if it’s vague and unnamed. The more vague the fear is — using the ‘broken-clock-is-right-twice-a-day’ analogy — the better the opportunity down the line of using whatever may happen to falsely substantiate their claims.
You may want to take a deep breath here, because all of this is happening against a backdrop of Sara Taylor, the former White House political director, claiming executive privilege in order to refuse to answer any questions regarding the firings and hirings of U.S. Attorneys, in spite of a subpoena by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Then comes the news that Bush has ordered former White House counsel Harriet ‘Love Note’ Miers not only not to answer questions but also not even to appear before the Committee. On the count of three, everybody say ‘Jeezus H. Christ!’
OK. Now add to the mix that former Surgeon General Richard Carmona told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that the Bush administration demanded that he withhold medical findings from the American public when those findings weren’t in synch with the non-scientific right-wing-religion-driven agenda. For example, he was forbidden from stating that abstinence-only programs don’t work. (Don’t forget, millions of taxpayer dollars got passed along to those faith-based organizations that W loves so much to espouse the bullshit that abstinence is the only way to prevent AIDS. Worse than the loss of taxpayer money is the loss of life that results from their failure to state the truth and consequent dissemination of misinformation.)
Now, I’m still reeling from the commutation of Scooter Libby’s sentence and the subsequent payment of his fine by an unnamed source. (I can’t seem to rid my brain of the image of some low-level neo-con operative going into an inside-the-beltway 7-Eleven and asking for a banana Slurpee, a pack of Marlboro lights, and a money order for $250,000. Oh, yeah, and one of them scratch tickets.)
So when things start stacking up like this, is it any wonder that most Americans simply short circuit from the overload?
I guess I was expecting too much of the Senate Republicans. I mean, clearly by now they must have realized that they’re no longer in the majority and that the reason for that fact is that the nation was adamantly opposed to their policies, particularly their dogged support of the President and his war of choice. I had presumed that they now might behave in a manner that reflected the desires of the people they purport to represent.
I admit it. I wasn’t expecting humility because I don’t think these blowhards are capable of that. But I wasn’t expecting them to be such chickenshits that they wouldn’t even allow discussion of the issue. But that’s exactly what happened. The band of Bush loyalists used what limited power they have to block debate about their leader’s Iraq war policy. They apparently believe it’s OK to cut and run when it comes to actually allowing free and open debate on the most important issue of the day.
Today, the New York Times and the Washington Post report on this fiasco. But the Times and the Post are too responsible to speculate that this stonewalling might be a ploy by Republicans to do something so outrageous that the media might not focus so much on Bush’s proposed budget. If that was the case, they calculated incorrectly (like they have about so many things), because the media are all over the budget. Close to $700 billion (with a B) for this war, through 2009. Count up the number of people in your family, multiply it by 2,300, and that’s the number of dollars you owe the government for this war. Get out your checkbooks.
Oh, they’ve just gone too far this time. The New York Times (and lots of other sources) are reporting that another hanging in Iraq has gone too far.
Why am I missing the nuance in all of this? Apparently, it’s OK to tie a rope around someone’s neck, drop him through a trap door, snap his neck, cut off his blood supply, and sever the nerves between his brain and the rest of his body. But if, somehow, the head pops off, that’s just too brutal.
I must have been skipping school the day they taught that logic in my Torture and Executions class.
No matter what one’s feelings are about the U.S.’s involvement in Iraq, it’s hard not to believe that the world is a little bit better place today with Uday and Qusay dead. These two turd-loafs pinched from the arse of Beelzebub did more evil before 9:00 am than most people do all day. I’m sorry, but there just aren’t enough shoes in all of the Middle East to throw at their vile, hirsute corpses.
There’s a feeling of disappointment, though, for a couple of reasons. First, we didn’t capture them alive, so we won’t be able to get any new information from them. Second, they died too simple a death. (Of course, I suppose there isn’t a death cruel enough for these two, so perhaps this second disappointment is just an exercise in vengeful futility.)
One can only hope that the next ones on the hit list are big daddy turd-loaf Saddam and his sister Osama.