Friday, March 21, 2008

What Do YOU Define As Success?...

This may be a day late, but our country is a trillion dollars short.

Two days ago, our misguided Commander in Chief addressed the nation regarding the fifth year anniversary of the "War on Terror," calling the efforts in Iraq "a success." Yes, folks, while soldiers have been overseas, unable to see the babies they left behind grow into kindergarteners, the war itself became one around them, and this selfish, haughty man-child chooses to celebrate that fact like it's just any kid's birthday party.

When the country went to war in 2001, Bush assured us that we would be eliminating the power of a regime that harbors terrorists. Back then everyone was still reeling from the shock of 9/11, so very few (and even fewer publicly) called him out on the fact that al Qaeda Was. Never. In. Iraq! Although over the last few years more and more have used that fact against Bush and his liberal attitude towards war funding, it has never been enough over which for the masses to get up in arms. Two nights ago, protestors stood on the streets of Westwood (as they're prone to do) with signs and banners: "Honk if you're for an end to the war" and "No more blood for oil" were the staples. Earlier that day there was a similar march in Hollywood where hundreds of young people carried empty coffins draped in the American flag to symbolize what this is really costing us. Unfortunately, though, that attempt falls on deaf ears to a country of capitalists who can't understand anything beyond the numbers.

So let's try this then: 75: that's the number of bases we have in Iraq to date. 190,000: that's the number of guns we use to defend those bases. 3,989: that's the number of our guys (and girls) killed; no one's counting the other side. 29,385: that's the number of severely wounded without proper VA care to which to come home (30% of which have serious mental conditions). 155,000: that's the number of US troops currently in Iraq. $390,000: that's the cost of keeping one soldier deployed for a year. $9,500,000,000: that's how much of taxpayers' money was considered "mismanaged" or wasted". $10,000,000,000: that's how much of our spending was reported as being "mismanaged" or wasted in total. $12,000,000,000: that's how much we spend in Iraq per month. $600,000,000,000: that's how much of taxplayers' money was spent on this pointless "cause."

Now, entering it's sixth year later, Bush is sticking to his story, and at least I will give him that. When he commits to a lie, he stands by it-- not unlike OJ in that regard. He still claims "we are working toward freeing the Iraqi people... and defending our nation from grave danger." He still claims we are doing everything in our power not to harm civilians while we roll our militia tanks through their residential neighborhoods and drop bombs like water balloons. He still claims we have no agenda there other than to ensure our future safety and to disarm a potentially huge threat. He made no mention of the young boys and girls who watch what they see as injustices at the hands of our soldiers daily and who will inevitably grow up to hate us as much as they fear us. We're creating more threats, and we haven't even eliminated the one we went to war for in the first place.

Bush spoke little of the aforementioned financial cost of the war, other than to say it has been "more costly than we anticipated," and I had to laugh out-loud at that one. No sir, the figures were all there, estimated in part by your own economic advisor (who of course you had to fire because of that), but just because you chose to low-ball to make it look like a better investment doesn't mean you won't step in shit when the production is underway and the costs keep raking up. If I did that as a Line Producer for even one small film, I'd never get hired again. It's just common sense bad business practice, in addition to being decadently deceitful. The current financial cost of this war is estimated at $505,000,000,000, with the interest expected to match that, so it's no wonder our citizens are in debt: they're just following the poor example of the country as a whole.

In 2001, Hillary Clinton stood by Bush's side in political solidarity and supported the war. In 2001, she did something so innately optimistic, I admit it's in part why I support Obama over her: she blindly trusted Bush and Co. were not just being self-serving but actually doing what was best for the country by invading Iraq. She did not ask the pertinent questions; she did not dare to challenge the authority; she just accepted their word and robotically complied. Perhaps as a new New Yorker, she was partially still just in shock from that awful day. I, too, was guilty of numbly following the herds that day, seemingly incapable of free thought for the first time in my life. So perhaps Clinton just couldn't see past her blind rage that something so awful could happen on her home turf. Perhaps she just wanted to ingratiate herself to a man higher up on the political food chain in a time when his approval rating was the most respectable it would ever be. I can't prove her motives back then, but I can certainly tell you her noticeable absence now is not just due to a busy touring schedule. Thankfully she has seemed to learn from her mistakes now, though, and she has wised up enough to know that the best thing for her is to distance herself as much as possible from the beady-eyed warmonger.

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