Monday, March 18, 2013

Not So Happy Tenth Anniversary

Ten years ago, the following intro appeared on Ziggy’s Joke o’the Day:

March 19th, 2003
<sigh> Well, we're at war with Iraq.  As an American, I can only pray that an absolute minimum number of people -- on both sides of the conflict -- will be killed before it's over, and, that it _will_ be over soon.  Should the U.S. and its allies prevail, and it's probably a safe assumption that they will, I also pray that the victory and subsequent peace-keeping an  "regime change" will be administered as quickly and humanely as possible.

Civilization was weaned between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers  and has flourished there ever since.  But shit happens, especially in war.  Here's to the hope that civilization will continue to flourish there in the future.

When the Zigster read that intro to me, I went nuts. I told him in no uncertain terms that this was mamby-pamby bulloney and not even close to what he claimed to think about another war in Iraq. I accused him to copping out and not telling his readers the truth. And what’s more, I told him this was a lousy legacy to leave the kids on the subject of war. Ziggy watched me jump up and down with my usual anti-war rhetoric and waited patiently for me to stop.

“What if you’re wrong? What if there are WMD in Iraq? Then what?  Is it better to have done nothing rather than something?"

And I shouted, “YOU DRANK THE KOOL-AID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thankfully, the Kool-Aid wore off and in a matter of days, he was back to his old cynical self.  Or maybe it was the heart-attack a week later than cured him. Not sure. Either way, he went back to being anti-war, anti-Bush, and most vociferously anti-Cheney. And remained that way until the day he had the poor form to die. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch a decade later….the Republicans are still lying about the wars as if We, the People are a bunch of dumb bunnies. Do they think we didn't notice President Bush and the war machine did nothing to attempt to pay those bills, much less fund two wars?

According to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, "the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan will cost between $3.2 and $4 trillion, including medical care and disability for current and future war veterans. This figure does not include substantial probable future interest on war-related debt."

Cost of War Project ~ Brown University
What exactly has the US gained by removing Saddam Hussein as dictator? Or the Iraqi people? Is there any semblance of peace in that nation? They remain enmeshed in a civil war that extracts in price in pounds of flesh and gallons of blood with no end in sight. 4488 service personnel dead in Iraq.

Wanna add Afghanistan to the total? There’s another 2190 fatalities to add to the list.  What have we accomplished…. other than to prop up a president who is as nutty as a fruitcake and has no desire to lead his nation into the 21st century? I suppose the more important question is, are the diverse and divergent people of  Afghanistan better off than there were before we decided to help them?

We destroyed cities and towns, were guilty of moral atrocities, were responsible the deaths of thousands of our own soldiers but thousands more civilians. We do not adequately treat our wounded veterans, and do almost nothing to help them rebuild their lives. Thousands of "weekend warriors" became full time soldiers .....for what purpose? We all call them heroes....but what actions were heroic? We know both wars were a sham. We know both wars cost lives and dollars and yielding nothing but the overriding sense we did not then nor do not now belong there.

How is any of this okay?

The soldiers who fought in this mockery of ethics are heroes because they didn't come back and start an insurrection. They're heroes because they didn't storm the capitol and the White House. Or maybe they woulda been bigger heroes if they had.

Which makes you want to rethink Private Manning and the leaked documents. Going to Julian Assange was just dumb… in the most naïve sense of the word… but I suspect this kid's heart was in the right place. That said, what makes it much worse is that most of the Pentagon and the rest of the Defense Department are not nearly as stupid as Dick Cheney made them out to be. They knew this war was fabricated yet they did nothing to stop it. Perhaps they are the ones who should be charged with treason.

And now, as if all this isn’t enough, the Republican party is performing an autopsy on itself. Really? Doesn’t autopsy kinda suggest the thing is already dead? Their long awaited Growth and Opportunity report stated:

For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view… Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.

Really. And We, the People, are supposed to buy into that little fantasy, too?

Yeah. Sure. Whatever. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
If you haven't started your Passover cleaning...
you're running outta time.

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