Tuesday, May 01, 2007

4 YEARS AGO, IT WAS "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"

Four years ago today, a lot of us were feeling pretty good. The President of the United States had landed on an aircraft carrier and told us all (in essence) that the unfortunate business we had to take care of in Iraq was pretty much over. Oh, we still had some work to do, but not to worry. Or like that oldie but goody many of us remember, "Don't worry, be HAPPY!"

And a lot of us were. I know I was. I had yet to join the vocal (small) minority who said to anyone who would listen, "Iraq? What the hell are we doing in IRAQ?!? 9/11 was all about a murderous nut-job named Osama something or other and he's hiding out in a cave in Afghanistan! What's the big deal about going after Saddam Hussein? He's a bad guy, but he's a bad guy to HIS people! This Osama guy was the bad guy to OUR people! Smoke HIM!"

But the rest of us smiled. President Bush looked good in his flight jacket and he made us feel good with his smile while he stood on that aircraft carrier and we made ourselves believe, that like with the Allstate Insurance guys, we were in "good hands" with the White House guys.

Shoot, I bought it! I silenced that small part of me that said, "But...?"

Ya know what? Looking back, we were all like people who went to the carnival and the greatest huckster of them all, the carnival barker, assured us that winning was easy and when we walked away with no money in our pockets, we didn't feel stupid until later. More times than not, MUCH later.

Those of us who blindly followed like sheep, aren't feeling very smart today, are we?

Oh, some, like former CIA boss George Tenet, come out with books that say (in essence), "It wasn't MY fault! It was HIS bleepin' fault!" And when we ask, "Why didn't you say something THEN?", he tells us he felt he could do more by keeping quiet and staying. And when we see what happened WHILE he stayed, we understand why the carnival barker liked having Tenet around.

As a lifetime Republican, I was slow to accept the fact that the party of fiscal restraint had been hijacked by a bunch of phony patriots and off the charts religious zealots.

There's an old military saying; "Those who talk the most, have seen the least." This White House crowd doesn't do it as much as they used to, but for a while they were very effective at silencing differing views by challenging a person's patriotism. That argument began to subside when folks began to respond with, "Wait a minute! During times of previous conflict, where were YOU guys?"

And from "Mission Accomplished" four years ago, where are WE?

An examination shows us a 4-star General who said, to succeed in our mission, we would need hundreds of thousands of more troops. He was thanked for his service, given some parting gifts and left the building.

But everytime a reporter asked about troop strength, the reporter was told that if commanders told our President more troops were needed, more troops would be provided. Generals, seeing what happened to a General who DID speak up, kept their mouths shut.

Slowly, stories began to leak. Bulletproof vests for our troops? Parents of soldiers were buying them and sending them to their loved ones because many of the ones issued by our government were bullet attractors as opposed to being bullet defectors.

Armored vehicles that were safe? They were available, but for whatever reason, our troops were slow to get them and as a result, many died or received injuries the likes of which most of us can never imagine.

Which leads us to what happened to many of our injured warriors once they returned home to be treated and cared for. "If you don't give us the money, you're not supporting the troops! If you say something negative, you're not supporting the troops!" Our Commander in Chief keeps telling us that, but this bulletproof vest, tin can vehicles, shameful health care for the injured, etc. on top of etc., keeps coming back to haunt us.

"Mission Accomplished?"

Have you noticed how often the name Ronald Reagan is mentioned when this group of Republicans and their supporters talk about whatever it is they dream of accomplishing domestically or on the world stage?

I knew Ronald Reagan and this group of incompetents in the White House and their media supporters aren't qualified to shine his shoes.

"Mission Accomplished?"

THAT will be the day when we are rid of President Carnival Barker and the gang who couldn't shoot straight, once and for all.

Tomorrow:

Would you like to make a MOVIE?

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