Here is something you need to think about today, and every day, as long as it continues: The United States is engaged in a totally immoral and evil war in Iraq, and has been for nearly four years. It is a war we cannot win, and have indeed already lost. The insurgents, who have so much money they can't spend it all, know they need only wait till politics and the next election drive us out.
This war has cost us immensely in terms of world prestige. Indeed, from an international standpoint, this is the worst thing we have ever done, period. We have gotten thousands of our soldiers killed, essentially for nothing.
We have killed tens of thousands of Iraqis, most of them civilians, and have been an effective recruiting force for all the Middle East's crazies. We have done far more damage to Iraq than Saddam Hussein ever did.
This is the central reality of our nation today. Sometimes I think that talking about anything else taxes, the collapsing auto industry, even global warming is a mistake till we get the hell out of Iraq.
Anyone not named George W. Bush knows that the "war," which was never ours to win, is hopeless. No, New England town democracy isn't suddenly going to pop up in some zone where the Sunni and Shia are gleefully murdering each other when they can't find any U.S. Marines to snipe at.
There are decent and patriotic Americans who know this, and yet are genuinely and understandably confused about when we should get out. "Yes," a woman told me, "we never should have been there. But if we leave now won't everything just collapse into murderous chaos?"
Yes, that is a point as if murderous chaos weren't happening now. Yet it isn't as if, by staying, we could somehow calm things down.
After more than three years, all the signs show that we're just making things worse. The American people don't want any more of this. We are going to leave, hopefully sooner than our delusional head "decider" imagines.
The only positive thing Bush now could do is announce that we are leaving, and that as part of the process of getting out, we will be working to help set up a federation with autonomous areas for Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis.
That would be wildly popular with the Kurds, who have never had a country they could call their own. Would it work? Doubtful. But it would represent something positive, and might give various Iraqis something worth defending.
I recognize that this would mean hundreds or thousands or millions of people might have to move. That's what happened when India and Pakistan became separate countries in 1947, and there was a lot of bloodshed then too.
Not that George W. "Captain Queeg" Bush would be likely to agree to anything that makes sense. The finest columnist in the nation today, in my opinion, is The New York Times' multitalented Frank Rich. Check out his column last Sunday, "Has He Started Talking to the Walls?"
"We've witnessed the troubling behavior of a president who isn't merely in a state of denial, but is completely untethered from reality. It's not that he can't handle the truth about Iraq. He doesn't know what the truth is," Rich said.
"When the president persists in talking about staying until "the mission is complete" even though there is no definable military mission, let alone one that can be completed, he is indulging in pure absurdity ... urgent decisions have to be made by a chief executive who is in touch with reality."
This one isn't. There is more, much more, brilliantly put. But George W. Bush doesn't deserve all the blame for abandoning American values and putting on a bad remake of the decaying Roman Empire.
We are all to blame: The so-called "mainstream media," who were so worried they might be called "liberal" or "biased" that they chose not to report the truth. In return, some got to ride around "in bed with" the soldiers in tanks. Then there were the Democrats, who wanted to have it both ways.
Yes, to paraphrase the immortal words of John Kerry, most of them voted against taking the 30 pieces of silver before they changed their mind and snatched them up. Only much later did they start whining that they should never have gone with the Republicans in the first place.
That doesn't matter now. What matters is getting us out of this mess, and trying to figure out how to start being worthy of being Americans again.
So do I now finally think George W. Bush should be impeached?
No, I still don't. I've taken a lot of heat ever since I said a few weeks ago that I was opposed to trying to impeach the president.
For one thing, removing him from office isn't practical; there isn't enough time to make a case, and there won't be votes in the Senate to convict him.
But even if we could remove this smirking little man from office, I worry what that would do to our system. Our democracy will be weakened if we get in the habit of trying to remove any president we don't like, anytime they screw up.
Impeaching Bill Clinton over tasteless sex acts was a national farce that made our country look like the worst of Comedy Channel.
And the biggest reason not to impeach Bush is that we voted for this. George W. Bush lied and stole his way into office the first time, and then lied about the reasons for starting this insane war. Yet we re-elected him, long after it was clear what he was selling.
Nobody is innocent. And nobody is offering a white knight who will pop up and clean this up for us.
We have to do it ourselves.
Something nice about the Free Press: Every week, people disgusted with the newspapers urge me to write more criticizing them. I have, however, pretty much decided to stop. The Free Press in particular has virtually abandoned being a newspaper; that is, something that attempts to provide an intelligent and balanced digest of important national, state and local events.
What's maddening is when every so often it does show that it can still be a newspaper. Sunday's paper, for example, had a front page that looked respectable. Granted, stripped across the top was a huge headline about a football game that will never happen.
Otherwise, there was a significant story about the University of Detroit Mercy greatly expanding its dental services and a well-written and carefully nuanced package of stories about aging Nazi war criminals in Michigan.
You just knew, however, that none of those stories would have been there had Pamela Anderson murdered Kid Rock in Warren.
Every week on radio station WUOM I talk to newsmakers about stories that you never hear about. Did you know the Great Lakes are threatened by a new disease that makes fish bleed to death, and the governor can't decide what to do about it?
All I really want from these newspapers is what my muse, Lindsay Lohan, wants from life. Lindsay, who may just be the moral philosopher for the Age of Bush, wrote these two mysterious words to the late Robert Altman's family: "Be adequite," she advised them.
She was trying to tell us all something, which is that we live in a world where our media, whether movies or newspapers, are never quite adequate. And you thought she was just a party girl.Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for Metro Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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