Hell on earth
Speaking of hell (both that place in which faux Jesus-loving types, but who love power and war and wealth more, might just have reserved themselves a timeshare, and also the metaphorical kind that our very nonmetaphorical war is), however, I just ran across this stunning piece by veteran war corespondent Joe Galloway,"Five Years of Broken" (h/t Mike's Blog Roundup at Crooks and Liars), posted at a site called "military.com" which doesn't look terribly lefty.
"All of it will be a lie." Oof.
[President Bush] is starting off the fifth year with $400 billion already spent foolishly, 3,200 soldiers and Marines killed, more than 50,000 wounded or injured and nothing in sight but more of the same.
[big snip] A nation that approved the president's conduct of the war by nearly 70 percent now disapproves by almost the same percentage. That nation underlined its disapproval by handing control of Congress to the Democrats last fall.
The president can still swagger and smirk on occasion, but all he can promise now - with 150,000 American troops operating in the middle of a bloody civil war that our actions unleashed - is more of the same. More billions. More dead and wounded Americans. More slaughtered Iraqis. That, and as he told the nation: "There will be good days and bad days."
I can promise the president from Texas that this ill-begotten, poorly planned and mismanaged war will be his lasting legacy when, in 22 months, he packs his bags and heads home to the ranch in Crawford.
Iraq will hang around his neck - and those of Cheney and Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle and Douglas Feith - like a rotting albatross for all the days of their lives.
No doubt the contractors who are bloated like ticks on the billions they've sucked out of the public trough will write the checks to build George W. Bush a really fine presidential library on the campus of Southern Methodist University.
All of it will be a lie, just like the lies his administration told to beat the war drums five years ago.
How will the curators portray the broken military, the broken Constitution, the broken laws, the forever broken troops who came home missing limbs or eyes or pieces of their brains, the broken promises to cherish and care for the families of those who were killed and those very wounded veterans?
How will they portray the corruption, both real and spiritual, that this man and his accomplices have visited upon a nation and a people who once could be proud of their place in this world?
There are days, WallDon, when it occurs to me that the traditional Christian notion of hellfire is a (necessary?) component of a sense of cosmic justice, and the idea of hell (as well as heaven for that matter) first arose among Jews, well before the time of Christianity, in the face of brutal imperial oppression and pretension. The Last Judgment is the genuine "no spin zone", so to speak.
I guess this is almost, but not quite my full reply to Walldon's recent column, "Politics of fear", after all. Let's just say for now that WallDon's final comment "Me, I'll go ahead and do whatever the hell I want to" sounds too much like el Presidente and company for my taste. I prefer the politics of mercy, compassion and justice myself. (And I suspect so do both WallDon and for that matter the Pope, but they can speak for themselves-- though I am sure that WallDon was speaking against a cheapened sense of hell and morality [Bill and Monica, omigod!!] in the context of that posting.) It is far easier to say, "politics of mercy, compassion and justice" than it is to do them, let alone to know what they require me (or us) to do: something other than endless military campaigning abroad and growing income inequality at home seem places to start, however.