Blood From An Already-Squeeezed Turnip
Bu$hCo has long acted like America is a bottomless money pit, waging an expensive war while promoting increases in consumer spending through the use of huge tax cuts. It's like they have some kind of special American Excess Card which rolls over the ever-increasing balance while the end of the month never arrives in some Groundhog's Day-like manner. As a result, Bu$hCo demonstrates that they believe that we will give until it hurts - and we aren't yet feeling any pain!
For example, 'THE' DONALD RUMSFELD loudly proclaims AMERICA: A GIVING NATION: , humbly vowing that "if America claims to have a Judeo-Christian heritage, which it surely does have, then that ethic calls for giving of oneís self in order to lift anotherís burden; it helps others. It sacrifices in order to assist somebody else."
Here are some of the sacrifices Americans are making in the Christian act of assistance to others:
We aren't going to have to pay taxes as the I.R.S. Faces Tighter Budget. That will free up so much money that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights voted yesterday to lay off employees, order a staff furlough and close two of six regional offices to save about $800,000! We won't worry about those uppity minorities keeping those extravagant freedoms that King George loves to brag about - like being able to afford a place to live:
The Bush administration pays lip service to the goal of "ending chronic homelessness" - while undermining the very programs that keep poor people from ending up in the streets.
The intelligence community is striving to be the best they can be despite problems, for U.S. spies considered best in the world! They display this competence when they declare that Al-Qaeda has lost its edge in an FBI report.
But the Cunning Realist thinks that the FBI couldn't find their own asses even with the help of Rick Santorum, a guide dog, and a gay scoutmaster. Across the hall at the CIA SEkrit HeDkwarterz, they aren't getting much respect from the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee either.
Even the military is doing its part to sacrifice! Wounded American troops are helping to save daylight taking the redeye flights from military bases in Germany that arrive in the US only at night, and Military communities anticipate base closures so that we can provide United States bases in Afghanistan with a $83-million upgrade even though the U.S. cedes control in west Afghanistan to free up troops to better protect their puppet, Hamid Karzai.
Hamid has been busy, begging Afghanistan's foreign backers to speed its economic recovery and help meet a pledge to lift Afghans from poverty, even though as one Afghani avers "This is the main industry of Afghanistan":
Inside the walls of Shaghasi's garden: a small patch of poppies, enough to supply him with seeds to plant next season. The farmer, who would only give one name, stood to earn more than $5,000 from his deadly crop, or 25 times the average annual Afghan income. "My father taught me how to grow the flowers, and I will teach my children," he says.
Er, nothing to see here! Let's move along!
Foreign relations have never been better (even though In Many Turks' Eyes, U.S. Remains the Enemy)! Why else would that Libertarian we allow to claim membership in the Republican Party ask the question: ďAre we better off with a foreign policy that promotes regime change while justifying war with false information?Ē
How much better off are the Iraqi people? Hundreds of thousands of former inhabitants of Fallajah are not better off with their city flattened and their homes destroyed. Hundreds of thousands are not better off living with foreign soldiers patrolling their street, curfews, and the loss of basic utilities. One hundred thousand dead Iraqis, as estimated by the Lancet Medical Journal, certainly are not better off. Better to be alive under Saddam Hussein than lying in some cold grave.
Praise for the recent election in Iraq has silenced many critics of the war. Yet the election was held under martial law implemented by a foreign power, mirroring conditions we rightfully condemned as a farce when carried out in the old Soviet system and more recently in Lebanon. Why is it that what is good for the goose isnít always good for the gander?
We have seen none of the promised oil production that was supposed to provide grateful Iraqis with the means to repay us for the hundreds of billions that American taxpayers have spent on the war. Some have justified our continuous presence in the Persian Gulf since 1990 because of a need to protect ďourĒ oil. Yet now that Saddam Hussein is gone, and the occupation supposedly is a great success, gasoline at the pumps is reaching record highs approaching $3 per gallon.
The oil-for-food scandal under Saddam Hussein has been replaced by corruption in the distribution of U.S. funds to rebuild Iraq. Already there is an admitted $9 billion discrepancy in the accounting of these funds. The over-billing by Halliburton is no secret, but the process has not changed.
Today itís easier to get funding to rebuild infrastructure in Iraq than to build a bridge in the United States. Indeed, we cut the Army Corps of Engineersí budget and operate on the cheap with our veterans as the expenditures in Iraq skyrocket.
One thing for sure, the 1,500 plus dead American soldiers arenít better off.
The nearly 20,000 severely injured or sickened American troops are not better off. The families, the wives, the husbands, children, parents, and friends of those who lost so much are not better off.
The families and the 40,000 troops who were forced to re-enlist against their will-- a de facto draft-- are not feeling better off. They believe they have been deceived by their enlistment agreements.
The American taxpayers are not better off having spent over 200 billion dollars to pursue this war, with billions yet to be spent. The victims of the inflation that always accompanies a guns-and-butter policy are already getting a dose of what will become much worse.
Iíd say no.
Because of the war, our alliances with the Europeans are weaker than ever.
The anti-American hatred among a growing number of Muslims around the world is greater than ever. This makes terrorist attacks more likely than they were before the invasion. Al Qaeda recruiting has accelerated. Iraq is being used as a training ground for al Qaeda terrorists, which it never was under Husseinís rule. So as our military recruitment efforts suffer, Osama bin Laden benefits by attracting more terrorist volunteers.
The ongoing warís lack of success has played a key role in diminishing morale in our military services. Recruitment is sharply down, and most branches face shortages of troops.
One of the most significant consequences in times of war that we ought to be concerned about is the inevitable loss of personal liberty. Too often in the patriotic nationalism that accompanies armed conflict, regardless of the cause, there is a willingness to sacrifice personal freedoms in pursuit of victory.
It makes no sense. This willingness to give up hard-fought personal liberties has been especially noticeable in the atmosphere of the post-September 11th war on terrorism. Security has replaced liberty as our main political goal, damaging the American spirit. Sadly, the whole process is done in the name of patriotism and in a spirit of growing militant nationalism.
These attitudes and fears surrounding the 9-11 tragedy, and our eagerness to go to war in the Middle East against countries not responsible for the attacks, have allowed a callousness to develop in our national psyche that justifies torture and rejects due process of law for those who are suspects and not convicted criminals.
We have come to accept pre-emptive war as necessary, constitutional, and morally justifiable. Starting a war without a proper declaration is now of no concern to most Americans or the U.S. Congress. Letís hope and pray the rumors of an attack on Iran in June by U.S. Armed Forces are wrong.
Spreading the message of hope and freedom by setting an example for the world has been replaced by a belief that use of armed might is the only practical tool to influence the world-- and we have accepted, as the only superpower, the principle of initiating war against others. We no longer trust in trade, friendship, peace, the Constitution, and the principle of neutrality while avoiding entangling alliances with the rest of the world. In the process, Congress and the people have endorsed a usurpation of their own authority, generously delivered to the executive and judicial branches-- not to mention international government bodies. The concept of national sovereignty is now seen as an issue that concerns only the fringe in our society.
If this goal is replaced by an effort to promote world government, use force to plan the economy, regulate the people, and police the world, against the voluntary desires of the people, it can be done only with the establishment of a totalitarian state. Thereís no need for that.
Amen! From your lips to Red State ears, Congressman!
If we truly have a New Testament God running the universe, I hope she is magnanimous in granting True Conservative Ron Paul a favor that he desires. It won't cost her very much!
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