Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Unhappy Anniversary

Blgswrm3 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.

35 comments:

cinnamon gurl said...

I haven't read Dante, not really, but that is a powerful quote. Great post!

kristen said...

i'd like to believe that there's a special place for W, just waiting.

truly, he will go down in history as the worst president we've ever had.

my stomach hurts when i think about the state of our country these days. i feel sad for the next president and the one after that, because they have the monumental task of cleaning up the mess this ass hat has made.

wheelsonthebus said...

And he was re-elected on the morality vote.

Bob said...

Dubya and his machine have so snowed america that we as a nation seemed to have forgotten that he lied (or his administration did - which is the same thing) to get us into the war.

KC said...

And our servicemen and women...mental health and families suffering.

Defiantmuse said...

I often spend time wondering "what if...."

What if the American people cried "Foul" and had never allowed W to enter office. Where we would be?

Eh, it's pointless to question these things though b/c we are where we are and nothing much seems to be changing.

We're headed into the shitter and quite honestly I think it's where we need to be headed. Maybe people will wake up when it gets *really* bad and they're forced outside their cushy existence. Maybe that's what it will take for a shift.

It's difficult to be a part of this country most of the time.

I know you know.

deb said...

It is a crime against humanity what George Bush and his advisers have done. Stupidity and greed always seem to trump good sense and morality. You'd think we'd learn this lesson but we don't, it happens again and again and again.

We need a prayer for peace.

liv said...

i thought of you this morning as i went into my bank to deposit some money. his voice was on the television and i felt the distinct urge to vomit.

Pendullum said...

My heart is so sad for the mess that Mr.Bush has caused all in the name of democracy, and for whatever part, I am so grateful that my government, never signed up to fight... as much flack as we got for not being good neighbours...
Sorry for this anniversary...

Annie said...

Well said Jen!

Too many people, here (and in other parts of the world, but mostly here) have ostrich syndrome. If they stick their heads in the sand, then it isn't happening.

When one looks at what the impeachment trial against Clinton was based on - it makes you wonder...

mamatulip said...

Excellent post, Jen.

crazymumma said...

It's the climate of fear he created and maintained in his quest that astounds me. That one person could stoke the fire of doubt and irrationality in so many.

May karma visit this man.

Gwen said...

The mind boggles, really, at the mess we've made and the way he's still insisting it was all worth it. "life and treasure"? the hell?

cce said...

I feel your rage and meet you there.
Well said, Jen, well said.

PeterAtLarge said...

So well put, Jen, thank you. My late father-in-law said in resignation, when Nixon was elected, Well, one man in that office can't do too much harm. Bush has proved him wrong. One man, with those who have enabled him, has done a world of harm, from which it will take us all decades to recover. If we can. Shame on him, indeed. And shame on us all for having empowered such a man, whether by intention or neglect.

meno said...

You are not alone in shaking your head.

Such sorrow.

Hetha said...

It is all totally unimaginable. And just the other day my father-in-law says to me "I think that George W. Bush will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents ever"...no I did not vomit or smack him in the head. I might have passed gas and left the room though.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

We're almost done with the man. Remembering that helps me sleep at night.

Jennifer said...

No, I don't think we, safe here in our bubbles with our big cars and big homes, will ever really know, truly, all of the harm that's come from what we've done. Yes, shame on us. On GW most of all, but on all of the rest of us, too, for setting things up to happen this way.

Amy Y said...

Yes, shame on us. I just don't know, other than voting against him, what to do?? I feel helpless and unsafe here in this country that I love but no longer know how to defend because they do so many horrible things in our name. :(

Oh, The Joys said...

Standing Ovation!!!

FENICLE said...

Seems sickening, but very well written & needed to be said.

Hillary Clinton is in our town tomorrow campaigning. This post has increased my political interests for our future as a country!

Loralee Choate said...

I'm not thrilled with how things have gone but I do not agree with a lot of what was said here.

That said, I do respect the passion with which you state your beliefs.

urban-urchin said...

Here Here!!! Well said Jen- excellent post.

Gina said...

I can't help but to find myself always thinking "there's 307/306/305 days left - he can do SO much more damage in that time"

Candy said...

All we as Americans can do, short of revolution, is enact change with our vote. And I think we're going to just do that in a few months. The times, they are a-changin'. I'm a cup half-full kinda gal, I guess.

Kelley said...

Awesome post.

Mad said...

For two days now I haven't known how to comment b/c there is nothing left to say. Bush may well be headed to hell but secular folks like me would like to see him in The Hague first b/c if ever there was a perpetrator of war crimes, it's him.

Janet said...

Yes, he did. Much like Mad, I don't know quite what to say. So I'll quote my husband, who turned to me the other night while we were watching a news feature on the war, and said, "I can't believe that guy was re-elected."

HW said...

I'm actually a little torn about this, to be quite honest. While I most definitely want our men and women to come home from Iraq, and for the killing (on both sides) to stop, I can't help but ask "what if."
What if we hadn't invaded Iraq and Sadam Hussein had been allowed to remain in power, filling more and more mass graves, raping more and more women and young girls, torturing more and more citizens who broke some arbitrary law? What if this country was not an oil hot spot and we had heard this was going on? Would the world, then, have been crying our for America to go in and stop the madness?
I want this crazy war to come to an end, but what will be the next one and when will we next hear "Where is America? Why are they not stopping this....?"

Susanne said...

Five years already. Not good.

Christine said...

it just makes my heart ache to know that this has been going on this long. and now my friend just left for Afghanistan.

his wife and 4 kids are waiting for him here at home. for one year.

christ, what the hell are we doing??

Running on empty

painted maypole said...

i was on my couch, nursing, watching CNN, and my "shock and awe" was not at all what Bush was aiming for

RickB said...

Hey thanks for swarming and a great post.

Arwen said...

I am amazed at the people I work with who aren't outraged. Is it that they just aren't paying attention? We talk at lunch about Iraq and Bush and they don't get it. They don't understand there is no infrastructure left there. They don't understand that the billions of dollars are going to American contractors, not Iraqi people. They know it costs a lot but they don't know why because they can't pay attention because if we scratch the surface the ugliness is too great.
I have caught up (and ran out of wine).
You are such a great writer...