"A Shadow on the Land"
by Douglas O'Rourke
LOS ANGELES, May 24, 2004 (www.columnleft.com) -- They've brought America to its knees. They're a ruthless band of fundamentalist religious fanatics that respect no international laws and seem destined to cause only death, misery, and destruction. They strike without warning using stealth, torture, lies, and deception to rain down violence without regard to innocent lives lost. They cynically exploit the World's media. They constantly invoke the name of their God, to justify every cruel act for their holy cause. They'll use and sacrifice innocent believing kids as warriors. Most of the world already hates and fears them, and no country on Earth is safe from their rage or terror.
They are the new evil in the World.
So much for the Bush folks. Those al-Qaida guys are no picnic either.
If there is a single way the Cheney-Halliburton Administration could have made a bigger mess out of this country before the eyes of the World in just under four years, it doesn't come to mind, but you can bet there's probably even more bad news waiting to leak out.
Bush to Titanic: Stay the course!
The only difference between the current Administration and a line of lemmings about to walk off a cliff to drown in the sea, it's that at least lemmings are cute and cuddly. There is nothing at all cute about these people. It will take a generation to get the smell out of the White House carpets.
They claim the ‘good news' about Iraq just isn't getting out. OK, oil companies and Bush friends who got fat no-bid contracts are doing just great in Iraq. That's the sum total of the ‘good news.' When oil men make war, only rich men benefit.
Sure, Saddam is gone, but at what cost? The Iraqi's think they've swapped one tyranny for another, minus their working phones and utilities. As Islamic nation builders, we suck. The once and future felon Ahmed Chalabi was the Republican's grand idea of Iraq's bright future.
All the good things this country has ever done for the people of the World are getting lost in the arrogant malfeasance that Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the faceless, soulless, greedy idealogues behind them have done in our names. The real shame of the prison pictures from Abu Gharib is that these deeds were in effect done by all of us. America piled up those scared, naked men, and America beat that guy in the plastic bag to death. In this savage, leaderless quagmire, we have become what we hate. America's moral center has been replaced by flag waving, false piety, and bumper sticker thinking. All hail the idiot son!
We started a war for the very first time just because a bunch of clowns who never served a day in combat read too much Tom Clancy and wanted to play soldier. Our valiant sons and daughters have given their lives and limbs for neocon hubris and Halliburton's bottom line.
The Republicans apparently made war on Iraq just because they could.
People who knew better gave them a Congressional and media blank check. They cashed it with the blood of our faithful troops. How can Iraq hope to become a true democracy under Bush when America isn't?
The Republicans have made a generation that endured Watergate and Iran-Contra long for the classic simplicity of a few comical idiots like Gordon Liddy or Ollie North who lied, got caught, and ran their whole crazy train off the track. Nobody died in Watergate, or chasing Monica, but a whole lot of people have died on both sides for the WMD that wasn't, and the lies that were. More will yet die. For what? Why? Freedom fries anybody?
Our neoconservative, holier-than-thou President has brought shame on us all. You can spin that anyway you like, but history will not be as kind as Fox News. A leadership founded and built on personal and public ignorance can only prevail when the ignorant remain so. As the death toll of our under-supported and incompetently deployed troops heads towards one thousand, a lot of folks are starting to wake up and get pissed off. Voices of caution are finally being raised from even the most rabid conservatives. Surprise. The Dixie Chicks were right all along. A full two thirds of Americans polled think we're on the wrong track in Iraq.
Meanwhile, the Administration and those in LimbaughLand compare the prison abuses to ‘college hazing' and imply the detainees had it coming anyway. They're upset that good people are upset! We're America. At the end of the day we're supposed to be better than this. We used to be. Doubtless we will be again. We must. The Bush people promised us a happy Capra film, but we got the Manson Family, in expensive suits.
How did this happen? Simple. The greedy guys who sell oil, guns, and bombs, and the nutsy ones who think the Teletubbies are gay and the Rapture is cool, plus the crooked guys who brought you Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco and then sent your job overseas so they can pocket your salary, all got together and formed the Coalition of the Stupid and Greedy. They started a war with a bunch of angry religious folks from the Dark Ages. It's a fundamentalist thing. Ours against theirs. The joke is -- these aren't even the ones that were behind 9/11.
The Bush people had no plan, just a quick need for glory. Over seven hundred American kids who saw Mr. Bush strut on that aircraft carrier last May as he declared the Iraq ‘Mission Accomplished' have since died there.
It's fitting that Mr. Bush chose the Army War College to deliver his keynote speech on our pending 'triumph' in Iraq, which the four major networks opted to skip. It was a chilling War College study from before the war that predicted we'd be in exactly the mess we are now. A lot of professional soldiers told the Administration as much, but they knew better.
You can read the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute report yourself at http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/pubs/2003/reconirq/reconirq.htm.
As we pump that pricy, post-Iraq 'Mission Accomplished' gas into our vehicles consider that the image of the tragic Columbia Shuttle disaster might well be an apt logo for the whole Bush Presidency -- a once proud U.S. institution tumbling from the sky in shattered pieces. They have been so busy, how did they find the time to sell out the environment and the poor?
Never in the history of human conflict have so many owed so much to the ignorance of so few.
That thumping sound you hear in America on these warm Spring nights is our Founding Fathers, old Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and FDR -- all turning over in their graves.
The Republicans have the worst re-election poll numbers since Herbert Hoover -- good thing they're only facing John Kerry and the Democrats or they might be in serious trouble in November.
A lot of shady people have a big stake in getting George W. Bush four more years in power and expect them to do or say anything to pull that off. If you've had quite enough 'compassionate conservatism' for one lifetime then start getting your friends registered to vote. Get informed, get busy, get political....
No election in our history will matter more than this one.
Douglas O'Rourke is a writer in California
and can be reached via www.columnleft.com