MISS USA, Slut
2006-12-26 20:13:33 UTC
By Bill Gallagher
DETROIT -- The nation's emergency military call-up system is being tested.
It's just a test, the Busheviks assure us. They have no intention of
reviving the draft. This is just a test. Sure.
President George Bush is determined to send a surge of troops into Iraq.
What his military commanders say about more troops is meaningless. Bush
decides first, then his minions fall into line, fabricating facts to support
whatever fantasy the Great Decider has conjured up.
The delusional Bush remains convinced more military action will bring
"victory" and more troops will make him "successful" in Iraq. Bush -- like
Lyndon Johnson before him -- is a self-anointed Carl von Clausewitz, in his
twisted mind a superb military strategist who knows more than the generals.
The Washington Post reports, "The Bush administration is split over the idea
of a surge in troops to Iraq, with White House officials aggressively
promoting the concept over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of
Bush, whose own military career was largely spent AWOL -- blacked-out in
bars in Texas and Alabama, and ducking drills and a required physical for
pilots -- is now calling the shots and ignoring the commanders. Bush always
trusts his "gut" over wise advice, facts and truth.
Bush is crazy enough and poised to order U.S. forces to square off with
Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi militia. Those fighters, 60,000
strong, are now systematically killing and displacing Sunni residents of
A new Pentagon report notes the Shiite militia has replaced al-Qaeda as "the
most dangerous accelerant of potentially self-sustaining sectarian violence
in Iraq." A United Nations survey found 40,000 people are fleeing Iraq every
month for Syria alone.
Bush thinks sending in more troops for a confrontation with the Mahdi
militia would help stem the sectarian violence and prevent the cleansing of
Baghdad's Sunni population. He wants to gamble that U.S. troops deployed
into the streets of Sadr City, the Shiite stronghold in Baghdad, can
forcefully extinguish the civil war.
Rep. Ike Skelton, a Missouri Democrat and the incoming chairman of the House
Armed Services Committee, considers a troop surge far more soberly than
trigger-finger Bush. Skelton told The New York Times, "Everything I've heard
and everything I know to be true lead me to believe that this increase at
best won't change a thing and at worst could exacerbate the situation even
Iraq is quickly fragmenting into a failed state that could ignite a regional
conflict, drawing neighboring nations into a proxy war. The International
Crisis Group, based in Brussels, offers a bleak assessment of Bush's
experiment in nation-building: "Hollowed-out and fatally weakened, the Iraqi
state today is prey to armed militias, sectarian forces and a political
class that, by putting short-term personal benefit ahead of long-term
national interests, is complicit in Iraq's tragic destruction."
Bush and the neocon crazies whose lies, arrogance and messianic madness
brought us "Iraq's tragic destruction" are equally complicit, along with the
other politicians and cheerleaders in the media who rooted them on.
The week between Christmas and New Year's Day presents many overworked and
underpaid Americans a chance to relax, get together with families and
friends, have a few gentle libations, chat and catch up on what everybody's
been up to.
I certainly don't want to spoil the tranquility of such moments, but the
tumultuous times we live in require reflection on serious life-and-death
issues. Bush's war should be topic No. 1.
Make it into a parlor game. Let's have a show of hands. How many want their
parents, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins and friends to join the
military and go to Iraq to fight in Bush's war? How many think Americans you
don't know should continue to pour into Iraq and be placed in the crossfire
of a civil war and the unrelenting sectarian violence the invasion and
incompetent occupation have fostered?
"A lot has been sacrificed in Iraq, a lot has been invested in Iraq,"
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Associated Press last week.
"But the president wouldn't ask for the continued sacrifice, the continued
investment, if he did not believe, and in fact I believe as well, that we
can in fact succeed and in fact that it's imperative we succeed."
Bush, Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney will sacrifice countless more
Americans and Iraqis in their desperation to save face and salvage their
eternally stained reputations. They lied their way into an unnecessary war
that is now a hopeless fiasco. They are willing to see more Americans die
trying to rescue their investment.
Legendary war correspondent Joseph Galloway says Bush's "move is 'doubling
down,' a gambler's term for upping your bet when you've already lost a
Galloway says if Bush chooses the troop surge option, "it will be against
the best advice of the American military commanders on the ground, the
unanimous opposition of the service chiefs in the Pentagon and the most
thoughtful military analysts in and out of uniform."
Let's have another show of hands at your holiday gathering. How many have
confidence in Bush as a military strategist? How many want your children's
future in his hands? How many think Bush is a madman incapable of
recognizing and admitting his mistakes?
We are now spending $2 billion a week on the war, and next year the total
could top $170 billion. Before the bloodshed is over, U.S. taxpayers may
drop $1 trillion into Bush's hole. Working-class people whose payroll checks
are taxed are paying inordinately for the war that is largely financed
through deficit spending. Fifty million Americans have no health insurance,
while we pay for state-sponsored coverage in Iraq.
Another show of hands. How many favor paying more taxes to pay for Bush's
war out front rather than tacking the costs on the national Visa card? Would
you rather see the government do more to reduce the cost of student loans
for college or spend that money on Halliburton's no-bid contracts in Iraq?
As Bush plots more violence, more and more of the former supporters of the
war are renouncing it. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is abandoning Bush as
she prepares to make a run for the White House. After voting in 2002 to
authorize Bush's attack on Iraq, Clinton is now backpedaling, telling NBC's
"Today" show, "Obviously, if we knew then what we know now, there wouldn't
have been a vote and I certainly wouldn't have voted that way."
Hillary has long defended her vote in favor of he war, never apologizing for
it. She just blamed Bush after things soured in Iraq, claiming the mistake
was "the way the president used the authority."
One more show of hands. How many believe Hillary is just an opportunist,
jumping off the war bandwagon to save her own political hide?
The great Irish writer Oscar Wilde once quipped, "As long as war is regarded
as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it's looked upon as
vulgar, it will cease to be popular."
I guess for Hillary Clinton, the war she long supported has reached a vulgar
Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city
councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is