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Old 02-10-2007, 10:50 PM   #1
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Iraq rant

I have just been reading some articles about the upcoming budget regarding military spending for the US this upcoming year. Yeah, someone might argue something about this using GDP percentages but whatever,

Anyway, it is stunning to sit back from another country and watch the government of the most powerful nation on the planet expend so much of it's treasure on something that has no direct effect on it's own citizens. Yes, one could argue that they are making the US safer from it's enemies albeit a weak argument or it is securing future oil reserves. But none of the spending is improving the day to day life of a single American save for investors in weapons manufacturers or contractors like Haliburton. Soldiers are probably benefiting to some degree I guess too. There are sooooo many other problems in a society which could be literally solved with the money spent on the war machine in the US. It is amazing to see how much money is spent on so called "defense" yet millions of Americans struggle in their daily lives.

The US forces have aircraft carriers, warships, missiles, high tech jetfighters, drone planes, infrared equipment, tanks, satellite technology, state of the art medical equipment, nuclear weapons, bunker busters, a huge array of bombs, over 100,000 boots on the ground, modern communication equipment such that every soldier can talk to every other soldier via radio headphones and so on. The enemy ( whomever that is since there is so much crap going on in Iraq, it's hard to pick one) has none of this yet is holding it's own after 5 years of fighting. Have you ever stepped on an ant with a boot and lift your foot only to see it scurry away? That's what the Iraq thing looks like, a giant boot stepping on ants but the boot is ineffective cause the ants can hide in the grooves of the sole. It is almost laughable were it not so tragic.

The Iraqi people live in a chaotic country in which millions of people including highly skilled ones have left for safer countries. The civilian infrastructure is still weak, and there are still a multitude of problems in the country besides the constant bombings. Combined with the recent mainstream news announcement of the missing billions of dollars, dishonest contractors stealing from the government, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, accusations of murder by soldiers, the friendly fire deaths, the eroding of civil liberties in the US, total disgust at the present administration (and for many by extension, the US in general) by just about every person on the planet except for that incredibly loyal 30% or so of US citizens and the overall destabilization of the Middle East, how has this benefited the US in any possible way?

And now there are persistant rumours suggesting an air strike upon Iran, defenders of said policy say it's not going to war. Well, what do you think the effect of a US air strike on another Muslim country will be in the general populace of the region. I am fairly certain it won't be a good one. Is Bush the real madman on this planet?

There are some really HUGE problems facing our planet right now. Climate change, genocide in regions like Darfur, and massive poverty and preventable disease around the world are being ignored as the Iraq conflict continues to take front stage. Not to mention the other issues facing the US like North Korea, the rise of socialist governments in South America, and the rise of China and India as economic powers in this century.

The lesson taught by Bush is regardless the possible consequences of your decision, do it anyway. If other people have legitmate concerns, disregard them and do it anyway. If the decision turns out to be a bad one, vigorously defend it anyway. Being stubborn and pig headed is apparently in the views of some, a positive leadership quality. Leadership involves ensuring your entire staff uses the same catch phrases over and over again until it becomes part of the common vocabulary. Then deny ever using such a phrase when it goes wrong. Refuse to admit failure or show weakness, just like the Soviets or Cubans refuse to acknowledge the impending death of their leaders. And best of all, if you make a big mess but don't worry about cause someone else has to clean it up, not you. Boggles the mind.

Well, I just had rant for a minute about my frustration about this whole mess. I have no desire to debate since I pretty much know many positions of the usual suspects already. And yes this has been a Bush bash, if you don't like it, post a Bush boost thread. Just ranting that's all, carry on about your business.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:20 PM   #2
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Re: Iraq rant

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Originally posted by trevster2k

The lesson taught by Bush is regardless the possible consequences of your decision, do it anyway. If other people have legitmate concerns, disregard them and do it anyway.
And treat the Constitution as your own personal toilet to shit all over.

I don't understand why your average US citizen wouldn't revolt with having so much of the country's money spent on a ridiculous war while they sit at home without viable health insurance. But there are a lot of things about US elections and government of the last 7 years that completely escape me.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:25 PM   #3
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All I can say is:

Don't blame me, I voted for Gore and Kerry.

Seriously, I look at Bush's poll numbers now and think, "Why didn't people figure this out two years ago?" When Bush first "won" in 2000, I thought it would be bad. In my wildest nightmares I didn't imagine it would be this bad.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:58 PM   #4
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didn't you read Resolution 1441?
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:04 AM   #5
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^haha! I feel better now.
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:37 AM   #6
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my rant is these billions may have been stolen and no one cares

Quote:
Lost billions in Iraq

By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY
McClatchy Newspapers

Show me the money, or at least some receipts scribbled on the backs of old envelopes and grocery bags.

This week, we were treated to the spectacle of the former U.S. civilian overlord of Iraq, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, squirming in the hot seat as he attempted with little success to explain what he did with 363 tons of newly printed, shrink-wrapped $100 bills he had flown to Baghdad.

That’s $12 billion in cold, hard American cash, and no one, especially Bremer, seems to know where it went.


Bremer, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role in totally screwing up the first two years of the Iraq occupation, said that a lot of the cash was delivered to ministries of the Iraqi government to meet payrolls that were patently fraudulent.

The Department of Defense’s special inspector general for Iraq, Stuart Bowen, said that a 2005 audit he conducted found that in some ministries the payroll was padded with up to 90 percent “ghost employees” — people who didn’t really work there or perhaps didn’t really exist.

Bremer said that he decided to provide the money to meet those payrolls, even though he knew they were bogus, for fear of starting riots and demonstrations among the Iraqis, real and imagined.

After all, the former czar told the representatives, it wasn’t really our money anyway. It was Iraqi money — oil earnings and bank accounts seized from Saddam Hussein’s government — that we were holding in trust.

I can think of no period in American history when we sat idly by while $12 billion just disappeared, poof, without a paper trail; without heads rolling; without someone going to prison.


What does it take for the American people’s gag reflex to kick in? When do we begin to realize that this is only the tip of an iceberg of fraud, waste, abuse and corruption perpetrated on a monumental scale by the Bush administration, its buddies among the military contractors and their handmaidens on Capitol Hill?

The cost of this war is swiftly building toward a trillion dollars. How much of that was siphoned off by crooked and incompetent contractors, greedy defense corporations and Iraqi crooks in a government that we created and installed?

No one in the congressional hearing has yet asked Bremer or the inspector general how much of that $12 billion in cash was handed out to American contractors in Baghdad, although that question begs to be asked and answered.
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:08 AM   #7
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Yes, deep, I saw a report about this last fall on PBS or CBC. Apparently, the money which is unaccounted for is Iraqi money as Bremer suggests. Which kind of explains why they don't really care in the first place.

I figure there is lots more money being "misplaced" through different means too.
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Old 02-11-2007, 04:12 AM   #8
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thank you thank you - I agree with this all. As i've said before, I cannot believe people have sat back and watched this whole fritening bad mess go up the spout and yet nothing has been done. I don't know WHAT can be done - surely there is a clause where you can overthrow the government? I mean the us is a democracy - if the government is chosen by the people for the people, surely with a 30% pop vote - then someone could start proceedings to do something, or is their no clause like that? Its just so immeasurably frustrating to watch - and its not even my government (though some would say we're not too far behind!)

But seriously fantastic post- you said everything i think and much better written then I could have done.
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:51 AM   #9
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^ Amy the problem is unfortunately there's a large portion of my country that supports the war & Bush. And it's very regional; the South & Midwest were for Bush, while us folks on the east & west coasts did our best to oust the Dim Reaper and just didn't have the numbers.

The sad truth is much of my country lacks either the will to make changes or the intelligence to see that change is necessary. The American people were offered up a steaming pile of crap, that attacking Iraq = defending us from certain terrorist attack (fear-mongering), and predictably the "red-staters" were dumb enough to buy it.

I never thought I'd see a day come when 90% of the rest of the world either hates my country, or just thinks all of us are plain stupid. Well GWB sure isn't "my" President, and Iraq isn't "my" war...those of us in New England & other areas did our part at least.

I can imagine how the rest of the world must feel...a bunch of delusional Americans forced Bush upon them.

Is it 2008 yet?
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:32 PM   #10
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Originally posted by CTU2fan
The sad truth is much of my country lacks either the will to make changes or the intelligence to see that change is necessary.
It's the intelligence that's lacking.
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:35 PM   #11
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I suspect it's more that they are not paying attention. I would suspect more indifference than lack of intelligence. And a reluctance to admit you were wrong.

I also suspect that a good portion of the population, either side of an issue, only gives credence to the "information" that supports their viewpoint. There seems to be a certain wilfullness about all this.
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
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It's the intelligence that's lacking.
Agreed. Hopefully the recent elections were a sign of change to come at the executive level.

There are a lot of us here in the States that are mortified at the actions of our own government. And, to be honest, for me, it's not all about how other countries perceive us, it's just about my own frustration about our actions. If I deeply believed we were doing the right thing, then I could accept our having a negative perception globally. I'd not like it, but I could deal with it. But, knowing that perception is legitimate and well deserved makes it harder to swallow. Trust me, when I travel abroad, I don't want to have to pretend to be a Canadain. And I don't, but, I know others that do and that's all kinds of fucked up. It's been a frustrating 6+ years.

I remember when Bush was first running for his party's nomination and I had read that he'd never been to Europe. It floored me. We were going to potentially have a President with 0 intellectual curiosity. Scared me badly then, and, it's something I think about every time he makes a decision that impacts foreign policy. He's simply not a bright man. This is one of the most important and powerful jobs on the face of the Earth and someone who is about as smart as my average coworker is filling the position. It's unreal, and the more I let my mind fixate on it the sadder I get. How'd he get elected in the first place? How in the fuck did he ever get re-elected??? I love my country but we're really reaping what we sowed here, and I can only hope that we wake up and truly change things here via the next Presidential election.
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by kellyahern
All I can say is:

Don't blame me, I voted for Gore and Kerry.

Seriously, I look at Bush's poll numbers now and think, "Why didn't people figure this out two years ago?" When Bush first "won" in 2000, I thought it would be bad. In my wildest nightmares I didn't imagine it would be this bad.
Same here. I didn't vote for him twice. He's not my president and when the Supreme Court gave him the office, not by popular vote, I cried and said he is going to ruin this country.
Boy was I right. I have protested the war in DC and NYC and his 2nd innaugaration in 8 degree DC weather.
Anitram, don't clump all US citizens together please! The majority of us agree with the rest of the world!!
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:35 PM   #14
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I don't think I clumped anyone. I'm perfectly aware you disagree with him, just as I disagree with my idiot of a PM here (and hope we vote him out ASAP).

I'm just a little puzzled by the low level of opposition from your opposition party. Even in Canada, the opposition parties have considerably more backbone. The Dems sat back and took it for 7 years and frankly so did a lot of your country. I don't understand why, that's why I said I don't get why your average American wouldn't revolt.
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Old 02-11-2007, 03:12 PM   #15
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I didn't mean to sound like I was dumping on US citizens but it does bring up a point. When you guys elect a president, it affects the whole planet, and apparently after all this time, Bush still doesn't get it.

And what's with all these signing statements (giving him the right to ignore the law) he has added to all the laws he signs, does he think he is the king? I thought the US had a system of checks and balances to prevent absolution of power.

Has congress taken back the power it gave Bush before the Iraq war to unilaterally declare war without approval from the Houses? If not, why not?

I think politicians have disenfranchised so many people with their childish and selfish behaviour that many people are ambivalent towards government. Sadly, this results in poor government for society as a whole. Special interest groups and powerful organizations benefit from policies while vulnerable groups in society continue to lose resources. The skeptic in me thinks that somewhere in those political parties are strategists who are glad that the number of people who participate in the process is shrinking. It is easier to placate small groups of people vs large groups of people. Our electorate turnout in Canada has been steadily decreasing since the 80's just as it has been in the U.S. Municipal and provincial elections have even worse turnouts. Democratically elected governments were supposed to govern for the benefit of the community but that has shifted to the retention of power for individuals and the party. Sad turn of events.

Our present government spends more time talking about the past government than it's own accomplishments (which are minimal) after being in power for over a year. It's ridiculous, whenever questioned about policy, they don't have an answer yet continually refer to shortcomings of the previous government. I find it stunning that no reporter says hey, we get it, we know what they did, what are YOU going to do? But no one does.

I try to apply this kind of behaviour to the workplace and find himself thinking this kind of behaviour would be totally unacceptable. Hey Tim, have you made a decision regarding our client's questions? No, but my predecessor made a poor decision when facing this situation, I will get back to you. Fire his ass!! But that is what government does all the time. Inaction is the new policy. In Canada, healthcare has been a huge talking point for a long long time especially wait times. They had a huge consultation with Canadians a few years back headed by a former Premier named Roy Romanow. After a couple of years, the report was released with recommendations on how to improve the system, what was done, nothing and health care continues to be a major concern for Canadians. I expect the same thing to happen regarding climate change, lotsa consultations, followed by recommendations, followed by nothing cause the changes will be too damaging to the economy especially Alberta.


Yes, I am hugely cynical in my expectations now but until someone comes along with vision and the courage to implement the vision, I see little reason to anticipate any changes. Oh crap, another rant.
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