Friday, April 20, 2007

Time for a poll…

Raise your hand if you think the American military is incompetent?

I thought not. I don’t either.

So please explain to me why we can’t even keep the Iraqi Parliament building secure? (Eight people were killed there last week when a suicide bomber walked right in and blew them self up during lunch hour.)

The reason we can’t maintain control in Iraq is that the situation is uncontrollable. It is a civil war between religious sects in a foreign land whose culture and language we literally cannot understand. Reports vary on the actual numbers, but there is generally agreement that, of the thousands of U.S. employees in Iraq, only a handful is fluent in Arabic. Is it any wonder we can’t figure out what is going on? Not to put to fine a point on it, but this is Iraq’s problem, not ours. It is just making us look like fools, or rather, at this point, even more like fools.

Looking like fools is what George Bush did to us, when he suckered us into believing in weapons of mass destruction, when he convinced us that the tin-pot dictator of a third-rate third world country was a threat to the most power nation on earth. It turns out the biggest threat to the most powerful nation on earth was, the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. "we have met the enemy and he is us." Where have I heard that before? (Thank you Pogo.)

We should withdraw from Iraq now. Cut our losses and come home. Not next August, not next month, or next week, but now. It is costing precious American lives, valuable tax dollars, and scarce diplomatic credibility. At this point, all of that is being spent with nothing nobler as a possible outcome then to salvage the reputation of an incompetent chief executive. A peaceful, democratic Iraq is no longer an option on the table and George Bush knows it. In our hearts, we all know it.

Salvaging George Bush’s reputation is that last thing on which money, let alone lives, should be spent. Rather the opposite should be on the agenda, presenting the bill. As soon as we are clear of Iraq, we should forthwith get about with the business of impeaching, for gross incompetence, the man who has brought America to the brink in so many ways.

For those of you who haven’t been paying close attention, our country – the sole remaining superpower on the planet – is perched on many precarious precipices…

The value of the U.S. dollar has collapsed in world currency markets. Don’t plan on traveling to Paris or Tokyo anytime soon. You can no longer afford it. Besides, you won’t be welcome. Americans are pretty much persona non grata anywhere these days. … At home, inflation is skyrocketing. I was in a Burger King the other day that had “value meal” on the menu priced at $7.95! Iraq is costing us – our children, and grandchildren – a fortune. However, with all those, “ I won’t raise your taxes promises,” the only way to pay for the war is to simply print new money – which is exactly what the government is doing. Reports are circulating that the military has been flying crate loads of freshly minted dollars to Iraq to pay for things off budget, under-the-table, in cash. All that new currency is causing significant unreported inflation, and inflation is just a hidden tax – which you pay every time you check out at the register. … America’s diplomatic credibility has evaporated. We were once the most listened to nation in the world. Now, to put it politely, even our allies only might invite our Secretary of State to dinner if they needed to avoid thirteen at the table. We are no longer welcome. Six years ago the world was laying wreaths and tears on the steps of our embassies, today our tourist money isn’t even welcome.

In the event of a real crisis, we have no reserves: no military reserve (they’re all in Iraq, on their third extended tour), no financial reserve (in the black seven years ago, but deep in the red now), and no diplomatic reserve (everyone is tired of the lies, even our friends).

And we have primarily one man to thank for this, George W. Bush.

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