A girl seated on a subway platform bench was playing the keyboard. Her teeth bore the marks of obscenity and her slender hands tightened up and quivered whenever someone threw a coin into her hat. The young man sitting next to her, tattoos on his arms and long blond hair, rubbed his weary eyes, yawned, and stared up at the ceiling. She talked to him but he seemed not to listen, gazing instead towards the cigarette-strewn railroad tracks where rats, dead and live, mingled with each other.

He kept throwing coins and aiming for the rats. Every time he missed, the girl's hands loosened up and her teeth glimmered. "You fool," she would say and narrow her smile into an expression of bitter malice. He wouldn't even turn into her direction and merely waved her off with his right hand. She kept on playing her electric keyboard whenever she wasn't telling him that he was a fool. He kind of liked the music. It was melancholy. The melody was broken up by the light drops of a smoky pungent liquid that originated from the mushy ceiling whose strips of plaster peeled off and illuminated the dark den as they swayed to and fro.

A person would walk by, an elderly lady with veins on her hands and hollows in her cheeks and throw in a coin into the hat. The young girl stiffened herself up every time that happened. She assumed a position of dignity and graciously fixed the woman with a pointed gaze. But the look was in vain: the lady had already walked away and the girl's dilated eyes turned to the rats.

The silent gray corpses weren't that different from the old lady. These creatures never returned a gaze either. Too quickly had they scurried along. And though she had wanted to, she was unable to make any meaningful eye contact with them. But then again, the dead ones had a beautiful stillness to them. True, their eyes were vacant. But they never turned away.
Borgo beat me to it.

It's the fifth anniversary of the War in Iraq.

As is to be expected, Bush is defending his insane, and costly, folly. According to the New York Times:

In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday at the Department of Defense, Mr. Bush said, “Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision—and this is a fight America can and must win.”

Reiterating his theme that fighting in Iraq help protect Americans domestically, Mr. Bush said, “Defeating this enemy in Iraq will make it less likely we will face this enemy here at home.”

He's been repeating that twisted logic for five years now.

The reality is the world is a far less safe place now than on March 18, 2003, thanks to Bush and his people. Yeah, they got Hussein, the boogey man under the bed - what about bin Laden? And where oh where were those weapons of mass destruction that Bush and Company claimed were in Iraq? And, what about the other two Axis of Evil nations Bush was so worried about in 2002? Did they just disappear? Did the United States just scare them into playing nice with the rest of the world?

Oh, look! Shiny thing!

In his prepared remarks, Mr. Bush acknowledged that there have been difficult times: “A little over a year ago, the fight in Iraq was faltering. Extremist elements were succeeding in their efforts to plunge Iraq into chaos.”

But he said the recent strategy of sending additional troops to the country, known as the surge, “has done more than turn the situation in Iraq around — it has opened the door to a major strategic victory in the broader war on terror.”

Mr. Bush said the reduction in violence in Iraq and the alliance of some local groups with American forces is “the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama bin Laden, his grim ideology, and his terror network.”

Noting that some political candidates are calling for an early withdrawal of troops, Mr. Bush said, “If we were to allow our enemies to prevail in Iraq, the violence that is now declining would accelerate — and Iraq would descend into chaos.”

The result, he said, would be that “the terrorist movement wold emerge emboldened, with new recruits, new resources, and an even greater determination to dominate the region and harm America.”

He said the United States is helping establish democracy in Iraq and in the heart of the Arab world. “By spreading the hope of liberty in the Middle East, we will help free societies to take root — and when they do, freedom will yield the peace we all desire.”

This is nothing but out-right lies. The same set of lies he and his cohorts have been telling since 2002.

The Emperor has no clothes people.

See some of the cost of these lies on riverrun's homepage. As of last week there are 3,990 dead Americans. Just Foreign Policy states that 1,189,173 people have died since March 19, 2003 because of Bush's invasion.

And then there is a monetary cost - over 500 billion US and rising moment by moment - plus gas at over US$3.26 a gallon as of this morning fill-up in Stratford, Connecticut. The obsession with the War On Terra has meant no on is minding the store in the United States and it is, in my opinion, directly related to the meltdown we're seeing in the US economy. Trickle down effect, if you will.

After five years, what has Bush's crusade accomplished?

  • Approximately 4,000 Dead Americans (and rising). As of the end of January 2008, 4,228 total dead coalition forces.
  • Final cost of the war to be estimated at roughly 2 trillion US dollars (GDP in 2006 was 13 trillion - roughly - or 16% of the entire gross domestic product of the nation). In a /msg to me StrawberryFrog made an excellent point that the US$2 trillion has been spent over a period of five years where as the GDP in 2006 was amassed in one years time.
  • Significant endangerment of religious and secular minorities all over the Middle East and an increase in "ethnic cleansing" in the region.
  • Displacement of nearly 4,000,000 Iraqi people. It is estimated that in Syria alone 50,000 Iraqi women and girls have turned to prostitution just to survive, making Syria a popular destination for sexual tourists.
  • 5,000,000 Iraqi orphans. That is, roughly, twenty percent of the entire population.
  • And I could go on and on.

    But what's the point? It's not like anyone really listens anymore.

    Happy Anniversary Mr. Bush. I'm sure you think it was worth it. I'm sure you believe the lies you spew. Too bad Pelosi took impeachment off the table. You deserve to be impeached and then goose-stepped to the Hague to stand trial for War Crimes and for Crimes Against Humanity.

    But it will never happen.

    Because no one really cares anymore.

    And when you finally leave office next January, you leave behind you an unprecedented level of chaos and destruction in both the foreign and domestic arenas. Congratulations.

    Sources:

    icasualties
    AlterNet: Five Years After Invasion of Iraq: Why Did We Do It?
    Leading to War
    Iraq Veterans Against the War
    Wiki

    Thanks be to riverrun for reminding me of journalist Dahr Jamail's website covering the War in Iraq, from the inside. His blog of March 18, 2008, gives even more information on the real human and financial cost of Bush's Folly.

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