The celebration is beginning as we speak. Americans are traveling to distant celebrations, family picnics and getting ready to enjoy our Fourth of July holiday, fireworks and all! And if we ever needed a time to celebrate, it is now. Given the dire condition of the economy, the wars we are waging and our lack of status around the world, we desperately could use a time to kick back and enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We did get some good news earlier this week, when we began the pullout of our troops from Iraq. Contrary to former VP Dick Chaney predicting all hell would break loose, it looks as if for the time being things are pretty calm. Or so says the American press that has all but forgotten about the war in Iraq! Iraq who?
Contrary to Cheney’s dire wishes for failure of the pullout, life in Iraq is no picnic for anyone, least of all the common person on the street. The bubble of America liberating a country and having it return to happier days busted a long time ago. Therefore, hollow ears are meeting any words of negativity coming from the former VP. Any semblance of getting back to reality is still years away. Over one hundred thousand civilians died in this war and bodies turn up everyday, at last count forty-eight so far this week.
It is a way of life or should we say a way of lost life. We now have a country that can be considered a police state with a very shaky government of elected officials that still owe their allegiances to religious lines of thinking rather than to the people who elected them. Bottom line, in a world where everyone who wants one has a gun, people young and old, innocent and guilty all face increased risk of death daily. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss comes to mind.
Seeing the Iraq police force all adorned in new uniforms you paid for, flashing weapons and badges you paid for, and celebrating our departure neither instills confidence in this writer that freedom means less than it ever did in Iraq. What really means anything is that death in the streets there will be a reality for a long time to come. Oh yeah, one other thing Dick: not that you were asleep on the job when it happened but your former boss set the date a while back for the pullout. Had the other guy won I’m sure an excuse for moving the pullout date back a while would have been found. But it wasn’t to be.
And as we move from one war which I believe was called for supposed liberation, to what is now become our new war on drugs, the prospects for leaving that country in any better shape than this one grow dimmer by the hour. The idea being that if we attack the drug dealers and fields of poppies that seem to flourish all over this stone age landscape, we can cut the funding out from under the Taliban and get one step closer to bringing all our troops home for good.
Not to dash anyone’s hopes but our wars on drugs haven’t exactly had the greatest of proven track records. At least three or four billion dollars have been spent right here at home fighting the war on drugs. Last I heard the crack is just as nasty, heroin is cheaper and more available than ever and grass is twice as powerful as any of you dead heads remember from the sixties. But hey, we got to keep trying. It all comes down to the fact that as of late, we don’t war very well anymore, regardless of what we call it and despite who is in charge of it. Yeah that was right: meet the new boss, same as the boss.