Saturday, October 22, 2011

Out of Iraq

After 10 years, over 800 billion dollars and just under 5,000 fatalities our president announced that we will be withdrawing all troops from Iraq by January of 2012. It's about time. Since we never should have been there in the first place, one wonders what took us so long. But bad things happen when you displace a government and attempt nation building. You'd think we would have learned our lesson in Viet Nam, an action in which in I was involved. But it has not happened. Our country has been blithely engaged in two wars for the last decade with little or no protest from the populace.

The old saying about "those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it" applies to our foreign policy for at least the last 40 years. Now, with the factually challenged warrior wannabes in charge of the congress and perhaps the senate as well (in spite of a supposed Democratic majority) we continue on the path of waste and destruction with little or no thought to the outcome or consequences.

From my perspective our leaders have lost the ability to think big enough to help the majority of the people. Most seem tied to some cause or worse, to some corporation whose only goal is profit. Witness the exodus of middle class jobs in the last 30 years. Where did these geniuses think our citizens would work when they sent hundreds of thousands of jobs to China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Whereeverthefuckistan? They didn't care then and they don't care today.

This country has been divided into two distinct classes; the investment class that owns 40% of everything and 50% of all stocks and bonds. These folks constitute just %1 of our population. The other 99% of us make up the other class. Most of us depend on employers, the government and the cycles of the economy for our well being. Since 1980 and the conservative revolution headed by Ronald Reagan our government has made it easier and more profitable for corporations and the wealthy while making it much harder for the other 99%.

This has been accomplished by applying the science of Madison Avenue (marketing) to political dialogue, with devastating effect. "Framing" has become the modus operandi of the pundit and media class. No longer are issues reported on and discussed without some variety of "framing" involved. The majority of the electorate remains ignorant of what is being done to them and this allows them to continually vote against their own self interest. Amazing!

As just one example of the duplicity of the factually challenged in power is the current buzz word "Job Creators". What a Crock! These very people are the ones responsible for millions of jobs lost, not the ones that remain. After all, someone has to do the work on the ground, don't they? The lucky folks still have jobs, though they pay less and have fewer benefits than just 5 or 10 years ago. I guess the Corporations and Wealthy think it's OK if the people who made this country what it once was, who fought in its wars, and continue to lay down their lives to this day, should struggle to make a living in the richest nation on the planet.

I applaud all those in the "Occupy Wall Street" protest for at least identifying the enemy within. It is too bad they lack a spokesman to articulate the anger and frustration felt by so many and the injustice of supplying the financial sector with over 13 TRILLION dollars in bailout money while continuing to decimate the middle class. The Greed of the ruling class in our nation is so apparent and ever present that one wonders why it took so long for the people to rise up in protest.

Perhaps it will come to something, but I remain cynical that any action will be taken to right the wrongs done to us.

Of course we are now in the election season or "silly season", where we will be bombarded with BS from all parties. Most if not all of this will be a smokescreen to divert our attention from the real and most pressing issues.

For comic relief I recommend any so called Republican debate, but only if you can turn off your critical thinking and need for facts. Just sit back and laugh for a bit. Oh, and wait for the news of our next invasion of a foreign country, its just around the corner. My guess is somewhere in Africa this time.