Thursday, January 11, 2007

Valley of the Dollars

If nothing else, last night's speech shows that, having all but spent his political capital, the president, like the rest of us, will now have to resort to relying on his ever shrinking line of credit.

Given that Congress has already appropriated more than $350 billion since the onset of the war, four years ago, apart from the obvious question of where the 20,000 additional troops to be deployed are to come from is this: when we already face federal deficits totalling $50 trillion, roughly four times the nation's Gross Domestic Product in 2006, where are we to find the monies to finance this obscenity? When the nation's total indebtedness was a mere $20 trillion, in 2000, per a report from the U.S. comptroller's office, and has now increased by nearly 60%, can we afford greater debt to bolster this president's "ideological struggle" between good and evil? ("The End of Money") We are, once again am-bushed by ideology at a time when we can least afford it.

As some pundits argue, CEOs of a few military defense contract firms have lined their pockets with much of the many billions of dollars already spent on his war, and the previous Republican-dominated Congress was nothing more than a shill enabling this regime to back the Shia, even their death squads, if only to be closer to the nucleus of oil in Iraq. Moreover, this president's concern about uranium enrichment is nothing more than an attempt to camouflage its own greed enrichment which poses a far graver danger to the planet than anything Iran, Syria, and others in the so-called "axis of evil" could presently devise.

Speaking of Iran, if his speech was about outlining a "new" strategy in Iraq, why did the president mention Iran something like five times? "Iran is providing material support for our troops," he asserted, but the question is who is providing "material support" to Iran now, and in the past? Clearly, a new strategy would have been if he announced that he intends to redeploy troops to Afghanistan in an effort at "democracy" that has clearly been allowed to fail there; not lucrative enough? .

But, now that Saddam is permanently out of the picture, wouldn't you think this commander-in-chief would want to go after Al Qaeda and bin Laden, and strike at their base? So far, the only thing this war has succeeded in accomplishing is the deconstruction of Baghdad which makes this president a partner-in-crime with Saddam Hussein in that, while wreaking havoc, he insists he has the best interests of the Iraqi people at heart. Indeed, only those of us who expect to see Santa coming down our chimneys, at Christmas, to bring us gifts would also expect this regime, and its gluttonous corporate cronies, to retreat from a territory that has made it rich to the point of embarrassment. Even more embarrassing is this president's argument that we must remain in Iraq to support a democracy that's "fighting for its life." The only democracy we, as Americans, can afford to support is the one that is being steamrolled, in the name of national security, on our own shores.

Despite appearances to the contrary, it isn't so much a case of diplomaphobia, or a fear of diplomacy, that afflicts this administration, and has inspired it to preemptive military attack, as well as threatens to bring us to Iran and Syria next, it is an expanding, deviant appetite for the dollar which, ironically enough, continues to be worth less and less, globally, as a result of our now legendary military misadventures. So, while the stock market remains strong, and heads of behemoth war contracting companies make obscene profits, the fact is, if we persist in the global exercise of greed, the dollar soon won't be worth the paper it's written on.

The president is right to suggest that "The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict." Yes, the challenge is to demand that the true numbers of those Americans and Iraqis who have been killed, maimed, and disfigured by this war be revealed, and not hidden The challenge is that the real intentions of this government see the light of day and not be signed away by presidential signing statements. The president is right, it's more necessary now than ever to "protect the American people" from those who wish to do us harm, and from another attack on our shores, and especially from those who have made careers of secrecy and deceit, and who are devout, and virile enemies of truth.