Rant of the Week

Shocking News

Wow.  I missed the shocking news -- Saddam Hussein hated the United States and tried to think of ways to hurt it.  ABC news with exclusive audio tape!

I saw that ABC News item.  It wasn't "news".  It was a tape they had acquired which did not provide any new information that was not already out there and widely known.  In fact, the story largely substantiated the position that Saddam was not a real threat, and had no connection with Al Qaeda.

If you are watching the news, I presume you are also aware of the fact that Iraq is now near full civil war, and that the occupation is generating more new terrorists every day than Osama could have wished for in his wildest dreams, and that large Republican-connected corporations have been gleefully lining their own pockets while mismanaging the rebuilding of that pathetic little country, and that whenever a competent official emerges from the U.S. occupation administration, he says something truthful and is sacked.

I always find it strange that nobody seems to be demanding the simplest and most obvious measure of accountability from the Bush administration: tell us how long it will take and how much it will cost and how many people will die before you have what you promised us: a peaceful democratic Arab state in the Mid-east.  So far, it is estimated to be over $20,000 per American household.  How much would you say is too much, and how long, and how many lives, would you say is too many? $50,000?  $100,000?  And how long should the bulk of the U.S. military be tied up in Iraq?  10 years?  20 years?  50 years?  Any reasonable person would want to know those things before committing to a course of action that will be almost impossible to extricate ourselves from, with decency and integrity.

Well, we know why nobody from the Bush administration will give us any kind of plan.  If they did, it would immediately be apparent that the plan has failed.  By saying "nobody can say how long it would take" and "it undermines the troops to insist that we have a clue about what we are doing and how much progress we are making" Bush can hope that some miracle will come along and save his ass from the embarrassment of having to admit, "we had no real idea, when we went in, of how difficult it was going to be to get out".  It's a win-win proposition.  If things go badly, it's because we haven't waited long enough.  If things eventually go well, we knew it would.

Will anyone admit that Bush doesn't know what he got into and has no clue how to get out?  We are now into what John Nash ("Beautiful Mind") called a "dollar auction".  You are bidding on a dollar under rules that require you to pay out even if you lose the auction.  So, when you reach and pass the full "value" of the dollar, you have to keep bidding, because otherwise you still pay but get nothing.  Yes, Viet Nam exactly.

Doesn't matter to him, does it?  He'll be out cashing in in a couple years.  He doesn't actually receive suitcases full of cash from all those corporations and billionaires he has served so diligently the last six years... until he gets out of office.  And then watch the payback-- it should be absolutely glorious!  No individual in the history of the U.S. has transferred so much wealth to so many investors, shareholders, and corporate leaders.  The oil industry alone should be falling over themselves to reward him-- look at the deal they got in the Gulf of Mexico!-- but the pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, credit institutions,-- they'll all be rushing forward to thank the man who did so incredibly much for their profit margins (while doing virtually nothing for the economy as a whole or people who actually work for a living).

Meanwhile, an adult will have to take over the presidency and sit there and think: how long do we let this shit go on before we admit it was a huge mistake?  And stop bidding?  And the same adult will have to do something adult about paying bills around here.  I don't think anything Bush has done is quite as remarkably, shamelessly, outrageously childish as the handing over of billions and billions of dollars in national debt to the next generation.  Some of his most fanatical devotees compare him to Jesus Christ, and they have something there: I'm watching this man walk on water right now.  It's amazing.

It's hard to call an administration "corrupt" when it does, openly and shamelessly, what other administrations would do only in secret.  The lobbiests now enter through the front door, proudly and glibly, and meetings that used to be hidden are now simply "secret".  The Bush administration actually invites corporations to write legislation for themselves.  The same people who defend this government would be horrified at the idea of a labour union writing it's own contract or a teenager making his own house rules or an actor directing his own movie-- and perhaps should be.  But that's the way the Bush administration operates.

There are ideological differences, which can be argued endlessly, but then there's simple competency issues, of which a clear vision eventually emerges.


All contents © 2006 Bill Van Dyk