BY WILLIAM C. Henry Remember that nondescript swath of Syrian desert that Dubya decided to remake into Arlington National East? Well, S U R P R I S E, we’re forty-six-thousand-American-
I’ll give you this much, George, you appear to have exhibited a teensy-weensy shred of albeit unconvincing remorse by slinking off into the Texas sunset and remaining relatively silent once your eight-year depravity had blessedly passed. Cheney, Rove, and Rummy have remained appropriately repulsive to this day. The abhorrent human and economic ruin you left in your wake mirrored your character and that of the slime you surrounded yourself with. A worthy testament to the man whose premier campaign promise was “to restore honesty and integrity to government.” You introduced and sustained a level of deceit, treachery and abject corruption in the corridors of power theretofore unimaginable. You denigrated the highest office in the land with your own colossal incompetence, and the full faith and trust of the American people with your yellowcake lies to facilitate a duplicitous invasion of a blameless sovereign nation. You were determined to have your very own dirty little war, and you did. You were a Presidential pestilence, Mr. Bush, a true American scourge. But I stray.
Here, in no particular order, are some facts and figures about this monumental obscenity you may NOT be aware of. THREE YEARS AGO it was reliably estimated that eventual total costs of the Iraq catastrophe would exceed THREE TRILLION DOLLARS. None of those estimates have been lowered since. We know that 12+ BILLION in cash was most likely stolen simply because we have little or no idea what happened to it. The costs associated with private contractor waste and outright fraud are expected to exceed 25 BILLION. Long term health care costs, both mental and physical, for America’s wounded are expected to top a TRILLION DOLLARS! The cost of the war in Iraq is exceeded only by that of WWII and was financed solely with borrowed money. It has been quite accurately evaluated that, at a bare minimum, Iraqi civilian deaths top the 100,000 mark. Unfortunately, it’s difficult know for certain since apparently no one found it imperative to keep accurate track of such inconsequential “collateral damage.” Finally, the long term harm to the American soul is almost impossible to discern. Since the vast majority of Americans claim to pride themselves on their “Christian values,” one might assume that it would be substantial. However, overt expressions of antipathy towards this war are currently running about a “one” on the anti-Viet Nam scale of infuriation. I “pray” I’ve misjudged. On to the present.
One of the most pressing concerns on our current President’s agenda is what to do about the ongoing cataclysm at this point in time. Whatever he decides will have far-reaching repercussions both at home and in the Middle East. Unfortunately for all concerned, U.S. troops and Iraqis alike, any decision he makes will entail life and death consequences. In any event, it’s your war now, Mr. Obama. With what degree of American participation are you going continue this travesty? I know that you’re wrestling with a failed economy, and anti-war sentiment which could build to politically critical proportions. But stuff like that goes with the job. You know, I’ve long felt that George H. W. Bush sought each of his many high offices simply because he wanted to “be” something; I’d like to believe that you did so because you wanted to be able to “do” something. Here’s an opportunity to make a real difference. Anyway, taking all that into account, and recognizing that my opinion’s even dimmest hopes for consideration are slim and non-existent at absolute best, especially since we’re already a year passed your broken sixteen-month-
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.
1,747 = The number of Americans killed in action in Afghanistan
13,011 = The number of Americans wounded in Afghanistan.
0 = To date the number of financial industry kingpins indicted for having committed the most massive FRAUD in American history and wrecking the global economy, plunging untold millions into lives of misery and deprivation.