The defining hallmarks of most of the players in the Bush Administration are surreal grasps of actuality and almost whimsically creative flights of fancy.
Reality is not allowed to intrude. White House economic adviser Larry Lindsey was let go in 2002 when he dared to estimate the Iraq war could cost as much as $265 billion. At the same time Defense Secretary Rumsfeld - the person in overall charge of all things military in the US - estimated the cost at around $55 billion. Yeah, right.
Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz assured the country that postwar Iraqi oil sales would pay for the war. Yeah, right. This has not happened either - in fact far from it.
President Bush is currently asking Congress for another $120 billion for the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan bringing the total now to well over $400 billion. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that $320 billion has already been spent since 9/11 and the Iraq war begun by Bush.
The number $400 billion is hard for us mere mortals to grasp. How much will it buy?
* It would fully fund all global anti-hunger efforts more than 13 years;
* It would provide every child in the world with basic immunization for more than a century;
* It would fund 20 million college scholarships @ $20,000 per year;
* It would build 3.5 million new housing units;
* It would fully fund health care for 235 million children for one year.
And, the list goes on. Unfortunately, it is not Bush who is paying those war bills, but all the rest of us. The tragic costs in human lives is another matter entirely and there seems to be no end in sight. Like almost everything else touched by this administration, there was poor and little advance planning and no exit strategies. The watchwords have universally been ‘cut costs where people are concerned and give away the farm to the big corporations”.
A very grave tragedy for our country has been the failure of most of our so-called ‘leaders’ to effectively stand up for truth and reality. No forceful leader from either party has come forth to say;
“Now wait just a Gol-Darned minute you frigging demented wannabe cowboy idiot. What in the blazing hell do you think you are doing? This is our national treasure and our American lives you are pissing away here in your ideological & egocentric madness.”
Arizona Republican Senator John McCain seemed to have the political capital and has come closest, but in the end he too caved in to the Neo-Cons calling the shots. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, and current chairman of the Democratic National Committee has been successfully demonized as a "loose cannon" and 'insane' and worse for daring to passionately speak the truths that so many of our countrymen seem afraid to hear.
The Neo-Cons scream 'Traitor!" at anyone who dares oppose the madness of this truly most bizarre and to me, unbelievable administration. They have done more harm to our nation in five years than we shall be able to repair in fifty more.
And, until our countrymen listen to and wake up to reality and demand an end to it, the madness will continue and our nation's moral deficit will deepen.
The good news: For the first time in living memory Patrick J. Buchanan's blather today is something I largely agree with. Is anyone else sensing a shift in the space-time continuum?: