Sunday, October 15, 2006

Out of the Mouths of Boobs?

I know I'm late to jump on this particular Bushism but it's remarkable how unconsciously revealing it is. In his September 6 interview with Katie Couric Bush said, "one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." Of course, since the president "doesn't do nuance", it's fruitless to wonder what he might come up with if he reflected upon his own statement and wondered why he might be having this difficulty. He's had almost five years to demonstrate to the American people precisely what this connection is, why should he have such difficulty?

Of course, after three and a half years of pursuing this horrendously expensive and lethal pseudo-conservative adventure, his policies have succeeded in creating a connection that, to begin with, was not there. In my immediately previous post I commented upon Robert Pape's book, Bombing to Win, and his contention that "both publics and policy makers should stop thinking of coercion as a silver bullet to solve intractable foreign policy dilemmas. Coercion is no easier, only sometimes cheaper, and never much cheaper, than imposing demands by military victory."

Cheap? A recent estimate I read suggested the Iraq war could cost $1 TRILLION. If you want to become severely depressed think about what just a sliver of that might have done to improve our inner cities, our homeland security, our independence of foreign oil, our health insurance mess, our public education system, our provision of college loans to working families, etc. How can it be that the American people willingly allow the government to spend truly massive amounts of money on "blowing stuff up", but apparently believe that we "can't afford" to do important things? Oh well, I know the answer: the pseudo-conservative right in alliance with the business lobby, have convinced us that spending upon PUBLIC goods is vile "socialism" while blowing stuff up and legislating for business interests is "Americanism".

Pseudo-conservatives also are successful in convincing us that "coercing" opponents will be "quick". Hmmmm. The Vietnam war lasted at least 10 years, depending upon when you place its beginning, and the 2003 Iraq war is already longer than World War II and the Civil War.

And how about "lethal"? The latest Johns Hopkins Iraq Mortality Survey suggested a LOW estimate of over 400,000 deaths. If we ignore the high and median estimates and settle upon the LOW estimate, how does this "Christian nation" respond to having been responsible for the death of 400,000 people? I guess the death of a single person is a "tragedy" but the deaths of 400,000 is a "statistic".

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