Well, our fearful leaders from the Iraq war are in town this week. Our Ambassador (damn bastard) Crocker and General (Delay-us) Petraeus and giving new "testimony" to various congressional committees on Tuesday and Wednesday. They have already given some yesterday and continue today. Oh joy, more of the same old horse manure folks.
First off, our congress critters seem to be totally unable to ask a real question. They give speeches that "pass" for questions. Lots of hot air, but that is what we usually get from congress. Hey, maybe that is THE cause of global warming! Stop our congress from blowing hot air and smoke up our hind quarters and we just might be able to at least slow global warming.
Of course our two fearful "leaders" of the Iraq war in Iraq, are unable to give a straight answer, even if they were to be presented with a real question. They read from their scripts that have been done up in advance for them by the White House staff writers. The entire charade has been scripted better than most TV shows and movies. A damn joke, but only for American consumption. The folks in Iraq, Iraqi and American are not laughing at this show. They are trying their best to stay alive and survive.
Another aspect of this war is the actual cost. No, not the bull crap that comes from "official" sources. I mean the REAL actual cost in OUR dollars to date. By the best, honest accounting of the war so far, we have ALREADY spent close to $1 trillion. For those who are not used to such large numbers, like me, here it is; $1,000,000,000,000.00.
To put this in a different light; 1 billion seconds is equal to 32 years. 1 trillion seconds is equal to 300 CENTURIES. Any more explanation needed? Consult Wikipedia, I'm not an economist nor a mathematician. Damn big number any way you cut it though, just my opinion.
Poor little Shrubbie. He went to the NATO conference and did not get his way! Wow. His "buddies" aka "clients" like France and Germany said NO to letting Georgia and the Ukraine join the "alliance". Greece nixed the admission of Macedonia due to the "name" being a section of Greece and not available as the name of a separate country. What's in a name? Apparently more than some might think.
For a good review of NATO one might enjoy reading the following. www.nationalinterest.org/printerfriendly.aspx?id=17296. This article titled "The Babysitters Club" gives a realistic look at what NATO has become with the expansion it has undergone in the years since the end of the cold war. Just my 2 cents worth, but NATO became a totally irrelevant organization with the fall of the old Soviet Union. If you go back in history, NATO was created after World War 2 to defend western Europe from an attack by the Soviet armed forces.
Once that threat had ended, the reason for NATO to exist ended as well. This proves that once a government agency has been created, it will keep on draining resources long after its job has been completed.
NATO has expanded to include such world military "powers" as Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and now Albania and Croatia. Wow, world class powers indeed. Now, I am NOT making fun of nor "putting down" any of these countries. I am just pointing out that they are NOT the sort of groups that will add to the strength of any real military alliance. As the article I refer to makes clear, those countries are security consumers, NOT security providers.
Why would NATO take on this added responsibility? Well, Albania has promised to send some of its troops to Afghanistan to assist with that war. Oh joy, a few hundred, at best, new "troops" to be cannon fodder for Shrubbie.
Back on the "home front" things are not going well at all. The economy lost more jobs again in March. That makes real, net jobs lost EVERY month so far this year. In reality, if we exclude the federal government, we have had net job losses for even longer than just (!) this year. The economy is sinking fast, but not to worry, our government is coming to the rescue. IF you are J.P.Morgan Chase that is. Maybe other large investment banks as well as the large commercial banks will get their "bail outs" also. Actually, we can count on it. This, of course, does absolutely nothing for the average person who is having trouble with the monthly mortgage payments. Then, it wasn't designed to do that. All the talk of "help" for the regular folks who are in deep debt, well, it was/is just that, talk. Oh, and don't spend all of your "stimulus" in one place either. And whatever you do with it, do NOT put it in a savings account! As old Ron Reagan said, it is time to spend our way out of debt. Yes, in my view, it is the 1980's all over again with this "stimulus". What a joke. Yet we the people keep taking it. Is the entire nation asleep? Are you all sitting in front of the tube watching "reality TV"? We are being screwed again folks. Business as usual. Some day Americans will wake up and be surprised at the horrible state of our country. Unfortunately, I think by then it will be way too late. The Constitution is already in shreds, our civil liberties have been trampled and discarded. We are being spied on by our own government. We must be careful who we talk to, what we say, where we go, how much we spend. And this is freedom? It looks more like the very same freedom that we have "given" (or in truth, crammed down the throats of) the Iraqis and Afghans. It sure as hell is NOT the freedom and democracy of the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. This America today looks nothing like the America I was taught in high school in the mid 1960's.
America today would not be recognized by the founders of the country.
Why do I keep on with this ranting? Why not just kick back, grab a cold beer and watch the country go to hell in a bucket? In my view, quite a few Americans seem to have done just that.
Well, this old heathen just can't allow that sort of personal behavior. No, I do NOT consider myself to be "more patriotic" than the next person. I DO think that this country is worth fighting for. I joined the Marines in April of 1968, not the smartest move I ever made. Remember, just earlier that year was the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. Enlisting at the time I did, I HAD to have known that some time during my enlistment I'd be in that war. Now, I realize that the war was just another in a long series of American Imperial Wars. At the time, I didn't pay all that much attention to politics, that was for the "old people" to worry about. My goal was to not get drafted into the Army. So, Mr. Smart Guy (me, I thought) enlisted in the Marines, and sure thing, I was sent to Vietnam in 1970-71.
If it was worth my time and nearly my life to fight "for" America then, it is surely worth it even more so now. That is why I keep this rant/venting of mine on this blog going as best as I can. I am not nor have I ever been trained/schooled as a writer. High school English classes do not count along those lines to me. I was a machinist before I became disabled. Typically, a machinist doesn't do a great deal of writing during the course of her/his work day. With that in mind, I am sure that I have made and will continue to make big and small mistakes in my writing here. This is NOT an excuse to "let me slide", just an honest explanation. Any professional writers who might venture into this "corner" of mine, please feel free to send me your suggestions on how I might improve this blog. Hey, knowing how "smart" I was in the spring of 1968, it ought to be obvious that it takes quite a lot to offend me. I CAN take honest criticism, I even take dishonest criticism, but respond to that sort quite differently.
I had best stop for now. I have had my "say so" for this post. I hope that somehow, I can convince some of you to think that America is worth fighting for. That our country can stop the abuses of power that we have endured these last few years. That our country can reverse course and again, after some real serious work, be the country we wish it to be, one that can proudly take its rightful place with other decent, law abiding nations and work for true world peace.