Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ending the Disaster

The absolute worst mistake in the history of American foreign policy is coming to an end as Obama has announced the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. I suppose this is a good thing, pursuant to the first rule of holes: when you're in one, stop digging. But nothing 'good' has or will come out of our horrible misadventure that was the invasion of Iraq. The price paid will be beyond measure, but here's a quick look at some of the costs:

8 years, 260 days since Secretary of State Colin Powell presented evidence of Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program

8 years, 215 days since the March 20, 2003 invasion of Iraq

8 years, 175 days since President George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln

4,479 U.S. military fatalities

30,182 U.S. military injuries

468 contractor fatalities

103,142 – 112,708 documented civilian deaths

2.8 million internally displaced Iraqis

$806 billion in federal funding for the Iraq War through FY2011

$3 – $5 trillion in total economic cost to the United States of the Iraq war according to economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Blimes

$60 billion in U.S. expenditures lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001

0 weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq

When the shrub/Cheney misadministration slunk into power they made clear their intention to invade Iraq as soon as they could conjure up a plausible pretext. 9/11 became that 'justification', despite the fact that there was absolutely zero connection. Let's face it: the American public was rather gullible at the time, and could easily be sold that a known dusky "boogyman" was a valid target for retribution. All that was required to substitute "Saddam" for "Osama" was a relentless front page marketing campaign, and the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" certainly sounds scary, especially when repeated often and loudly enough.

It was all a pack of lies.

The real legacy of the war in Iraq wont be told for years, and many of the realities may never be faced. America unilaterally invaded another country without justification or provocation, slaughtered civilians and committed atrocities that we will never be held truly accountable for. We wasted trillions of dollars on death and destruction, while our own country and citizens fell into poverty and decay. Shrub and 'the Cheney' truly are guilty of an astounding array of war crimes, but will never be tried in any court of law despite all the evidence against them.

In short: an incredible amount was lost and absolutely nothing was gained by going to war in Iraq. Forgive me if I don't feel much like celebrating its end.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rangers? Bummer.

Once again, the Texas Rangers will represent the American League in the World Series. I hate the Rangers (almost as much as I hate the Yankees), and will never forgive them for one simple reason: they effectively are guilty of giving us shrub Bush. Shrub owned a minority share of the team (thanks to a sweetheart family deal) which he sold to finance his run for governor of Texas, which then led to his (Supreme Court aided) disastrous elevation to president. The country has yet to recover from his mis-administration, and the Rangers are partially to blame.
If you watched the games on TV, there was shrub at every Texas home game, yucking it up from his luxury box like the spoiled rich kid with a shiny toy that he is. And I'm sure we'll see him at every Texas home game during the series, when the only place I'd ever want to see his smirking mug is on trial at the Hague.
Last year it was very easy to root against the Rangers, as they were playing my beloved Giants. This year, they will be opposed by one of two teams (either the Cardinals or the Brewers) for whom I generally have rather neutral feelings. But I'm rooting for either one over the hated Rangers. Normally, I don't think of baseball as a political issue. But I'm willing to make an exception for shrub and the Rangers.