Apr 9, 2005

It's time

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country."

-Hermann Goering (1893-1946)
Second in command of the Third Reich, Nazi Germany

It is time for people in the arts to start speaking out about the things that are happening in this country regarding the war and certain legislation that is being enacted by Congress. When you see young men and women on television returning from Iraq with horrible wounds, missing limbs and broken bodies in general, many of whom will never be normal again, it is time to speak out. The idea of fat old men sitting in overstuffed chairs sending kids just beginning their adult lives to fight a war which turned out to be completely unnecessary, a war in which normal warfare is obsolete, a guerilla war where every action is a sneak attack and therefore indefensible, should turn every peace loving person's stomach. The sight of Rumsfeld and Rice visiting hospitals and telling injured soldiers how proud they were of them and how much they cared about what happened to them is beyond ridiculous. Because if they cared enough, THEY WOULDN'T HAVE SENT THEM INTO A SLAUGHTER. This war will be but a chapter in the lives of the power brokers, and it will pass and become a memory. Many will assume top positions in the private sector; some already have. However, the boy with a 3rd of his head missing and the one with no legs will live a different life, and that life doesn't include a CEO position with stock options. The members of congress who voted in support of this war should be run out of office. Anyone with any sense at all could see this was going to be a quagmire that would be impossible to escape from. Apparently the powers that be learn nothing from history. Mc Namara's Viet Nam war killed 50,000 of our youth, and he went on to become president of the World Bank. Wolfowitz's war will be responsible for thousands of deaths, and he has also ascended to that position. If George Bush was so pissed off at Sadaam, they should have set up a ring in Bagdad and the two of them could have gone 15 rounds. Why do someone else's kids have to die because someone takes a disliking to someone else?

The Iraq war in 1991 was an failure because all it did was wreak havoc on the population and leave a brutal monster in power, because of the hypocritical policy that said it was not our custom to remove heads of state. I wish the CIA had remembered that when they assassinated the democratically elected leader in Iran in the 60's and put us in the situation with them we're in today. Since then the "don't touch leaders" policy is apparently "not operative" (a Nixonian phrase,) since the new war was specifically to target a head of state. So, standards and morals are apparently subject to the whims of who ever is in power at the moment. So much for the moral superiority of the USA. For the US to expect Europe to jump into a questionable conflict was not only unrealistic, it was downright naive considering the violent history of Europe. The US has not been invaded in recent history, so they can't think in the shoes of a Frenchman, Italian or Pole. The image of the United States inviting Europe to join them in invading Iraq, and Europe wisely saying "no thanks," then sending Colin Powell to Brussels to say to the Europeans, "you wouldn't come to our party, but how about chipping in to help us pay for it," has to be one of the most bizarre and embarrassing moments in diplomatic history.

I think I've figured out why they send young men to war and not old ones. If someone with a government badge on tells an 18 year old to to go and kill that person over there, there's a plausible chance he will carry out that order. If the government thug tells a 50 year old man to do the same thing, he'll likely tell the thug to go forth and multiply, but not in those words. It has to do with acquired pacifist views, which reasonably intelligent people learn through life experience.

Now that we're at it, I have a problem with the "fair and balanced media, and I'm not talking about the rabid neo-cons either. For example: a government official will make a speech filled with false fear mongering and fascist overtones, playing on the basest emotions of the public, and the "objective" media will come down right in the middle, when they should come down on it for exactly what it is. If it looks likes a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then don't say it is an "alleged" duck. Have the guts to call a spade a spade, and if they call you a liberal, so be it. Some things are more important than being accepted.

The bankruptcy bill that was just passed by the US Congress is one of the saddest moments in a legislative session full of low points. The credit card companies bought and paid for this bill and got every penny's worth. Now they can hook young people with no income on credit card debt (which they've always done) and never lose a dime. Supposedly the high interest rates charged by most companies was to offset the loss caused by people who got out of repaying by means of bankruptcy. So, I guess interest rates will be drastically lowered now that no one will be able to avoid settling up with the blood-suckers. I won't hold my breath.

The image sold to our law makers was a huge throng of slackers using credit cards to build up a fortune and then use bankruptcy to walk away from the whole thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have it on good authority that most people who declare bankruptcy do it as a last resort because of job loss, catastrophic illness, divorce or other serious reasons. Now that the credit card companies can hound someone until the day they die, the suicide rate should increase by leaps and bounds. Way to go, lawmakers! The bill even passed without amendments, which would have provided relief for the most tragic cases. Shame on the politicians who sold out the public good for the interests of the greedy credit card companies.

The law makers also showed that they can also get things done when they really want to. Not national health care or social security mind you, but so called "moral" issues. That heart-breaking case of the brain-dead woman in Florida should have been left completely to the family to decide, but the good old "get the government off your back" conservatives got a bill done in one day, and the President even flew in that night to sign it. You see? Who says there's gridlock in Washington?

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