I remember the State of the Union address in 2003 vividly, watching the President speak while sitting on my futon after a long day inside a homeless shelter and I remember thinking then holy mother of god, this guy is going to invade Iraq for oil. This man is actually going to take America into war. And on March 19th, 2003 he did just that.
Almost 3,000 Iraqi men, women and children are killed on average in Iraq each month. That's a world trade center attack over and over. And we've lost 4,000 US men and women during the course of the five years. Yet we justify this killing in the name of democracy, the price of the horrors barely making news. We talk about eradicating evil, about bringing freedom to those who want it. But after five long years we stand defeated. The Iraqi people are suffering, America is suffering, and Halliburton made a shitload of money.
I don't know how we will ever truly understand the devastation this administration has brought during its reign. I don't know that we'll ever truly comprehend what this debt means to our country, how bad things will continue to get and if it's even possible to recover.
I don't know that we can imagine our country if we'd chosen to do something else with the price of the war. But I do know that in the State of California alone, taxpayers have contributed $66.2B (of the total $507B and rising daily) to the war and if we'd chosen to spend that money on affordable housing we'd have 198,124 new affordable housing units in our state. If we'd used the $66.2B on Healthcare, we'd have been able to insure 27,242,554 more people. If we'd used the $66.2B to build Elementary Schools, we'd have $6,612 more of them today. Now that would be one hell of an aggressive domestic policy.
But instead we invaded a country and called it war. And America is paying the price with high gas and food prices, cuts to domestic programs, a shaky economy and sinking stock market. But our mostly armchair suffering pales in comparison to a nation with over 1M displaced people, high unemployment, widespread poverty and sporadic electricity. And we did that. We used a war to force our agenda on another country and we've left it a mess, just like we did in Vietnam. And who pays the price?
Dante says the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality, and if that's true we'll all be sitting there in our armchairs looking dazed and confused. But I have to think that those who perpetuate the crises roast too, so George, perhaps I'll meet you there.
All I really know is this: Five years ago the President of the USA used his power to carry out an illegal war to mask an agenda of oil and greed. Instead of bringing forward criminal charges we've allowed this man to remain in office and he continued to run our economy into the ground, allowed thousands of people to be needlessly injured and killed, and has damaged the United States both internally and externally seemingly beyond repair.
And today I am again sitting on my futon shaking my head, my heart broken for this great country of ours who acts a dumb puppy, so ready to do good in the world and yet desperate for someone to show us the way.
Happy Anniversary George W. Bush. Shame on you and shame on us.This post and many more are rotating over at MOMocrats where we are participating with many others in The Iraq War Blogswarm commemorating the fifth anniversary of a war that never should have happened.