Out of Iraq
"The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
George W. Bush
State of the Union address
28 January 2003
My! My! What a difference sixteen little words makes!
"It was a stupid fucking war."
-Molly Ivins on the subject of Vietnam
There will be no Life magazine photo of a fired-up sailor embracing an unwitting passerby in a spontaneous, passionate kiss. There will be no jubilant celebration in Time Square or at the Hollywood Bowl or the Boston Commons - or anywhere else for that matter. There will be no ticker-tape parades. The brave men and women who were used as pawns by these dirty old men should be honored and respected, but there is no reason to feel good about any of this except for the fact that it's finished. This stupid fucking war - a war that should never have been fought - is over and done with.
There is a tiny stretch of real estate where I live in Goshen called "Triangle Park". It borders North Church Street and Delta Place. It is directly across the street from the childhood home of my old pal Kevin Swanwick. When I need to do some serious thinking about something or other, I'll go there in the late afternoon and early evening; I just park my van, sit in the dark and think. That's where you would have found me last night. How was I going to write about the stupidest military blunder in the history of this country? Where does one even find the words? Do the needed adjectives even exist? This was gonna be tricky.
"Bring 'em on."
The question is determined to rear its ugly head: Why the hell were we there to begin with? Oh, right. Saddam Hussein had a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction that he was about to unload on the helpless American people. The smoking gun would "come in the form of a mushroom cloud". Remember that line? Anyone with half-an-eye open at the time knew what a load of shit that claim was. Those of us who bother to pay attention to affairs of state knew damned well the reason George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were literally hellbent on going into that country: Iraq sits on an ocean of oil. Their scheme failed miserably. The American occupation of Iraq got horrifically out-of-control within three months of its start. By the summer of 2003, the mission became a pathetic attempt to save face. When the premise for invading was finally and irrevocably exposed as the lie it was, the mission became one of "nation building".
Nation building? Just take a good look at the "nation" these homicidal assholes have "built".
George W. Bush. It still infuriates me that this half-witted little bastard called the White House "home" for eight, long years - the same house that Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt once lived in. Here's a clip from the very first piece I ever posted on this site on June, 2, 2006:
"In November of 2000, when the voters of the United States of America foolishly sent this moron to the executive mansion, we effectively pointed the proverbial loaded pistol at our own collective head. Four years later, on Election Day 2004 - make no mistake about it- we pulled the trigger."
My opinion hasn't changed in five-and-a-half years.
Was Iraq worse than Vietnam as some have implied? Certainly not in terms of lives lost, thank goodness. But in terms of the damage done to our economy and infrastructure, Iraq clearly wins out. Also we need to be reminded that Vietnam only gradually evolved into the quagmire it eventually became. In the case of Iraq America stupidly dove headfirst and smiling - eyes wide open - into the muck. For the first time in history, taxes on the rich were actually lowered during a time of war. Saddam Hussein was going to destroy us we were led to believe. It was a lie of course. We destroyed ourselves quite handily thank you very much. We didn't need Saddam Hussein.
What is the final tally of American servicemen and women killed? Four-thousand? Five-thousand? I lost count a long time ago. The amusing thing is that they still tell us (with faces as straight as a two-by-four I swear) that these unfortunate victims "died to keep us free". Here's a fact that no one wants to acknowledge: They died in vain. Every single one of them. They only died to increase Halliburton's coffers. They only died so that Corporate America might score some megabucks on the killing fields of Baghdad. Operation Iraqi "Freedom" will be remembered as the world's first privatized war. They died to keep us free? Bullshit. I'm a lot less free than I was on the night of March 20, 2003 when the United States invaded the (like it or not) sovereign nation of Iraq. You're a lot less free, too. You don't believe me? Three words: "The Patriot Act". Need I elaborate?
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Hardly any of us knew anyone doing the actual fighting in this debacle. In almost a decade of war, I only knew one serviceman stationed in Iraq, and only casually at that; a guy named Irving Media. He was killed when the vehicle he was riding in hit an Improvised Explosive Device. His broken body lies about two miles from where I now sit, at the Orange County Veterans Cemetery which is located at the edge of the village of Goshen, New York. Irving Media died in vain.
What is the final tally of Iraqi men, women and little children killed in this atrocity? Here's the punchline: Nobody seems to know. Nobody bothered to keep an eye on the numbers. They can't even give us a rough estimate. Isn't that a scream? Some human rights organizations believe that the number is well-over a million souls lost to the Bush Mob's greed and stupidity. We'll never know how many innocents died in that stupid fucking war.
And finally, what is the final tally of men and women whose injuries on the battlefield were so severe they will be dependent upon assisted living for the rest of their lives? Somewhere around thirty-thousand or more. How many men and women have been so psychologically damaged by the trauma of Iraq that all they can look forward to are lives fraught with emotional dysfunction? No one has any idea. We'll be living with the sick legacy of the Iraq war for a long time into the future. Here is something you need to keep in mind: The last surviving American veteran of World War One ("The war to end all wars") passed away only a couple of months ago. A long time indeed
War is over
If you want it
War is over - NOW
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Given the fact that he was murdered during the Christmas season, this is the time of year when I feel John's absence from our lives the most. I often wonder what he would have had to say about all of this. No doubt he would have written a song or two about that stupid fucking war. We really could use him now. A tip of the hat to the jackass who decided that his life had to be terminated,
So let's try to be optimistic. "Always look on the bright side of life", as Monty Python instructed us. The war in Iraq - or American involvement in it anyway - is finally, mercifully over. Now we need to set ourselves to the task of putting our house back in order. How do we do that? It's Easy!
I'm sorry, I was only kidding
SUGGESTED READING (or viewing)
Valerie Plame's excellent book recounted the persecution she and her husband Joe Wilson were subject to after he revealed to the world that the Bush Mob's justification for invading Iraq was a goddamned lie. It has been made into a movie which is out on DVD. Read it. Watch it.
And so, happy Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
Happy Christmas, folks!
For more recent postings on this disgusting commie blog, please go to the link below:
"The Rant" by Tom Degan
See you there!