A lovely little article from Salon has the best one line summary ever of the Bush Administration’s domestic policy, from today’s Wall Street Journal:
“President Bush said he intends to nominate Michael Baroody, a lobbyist for the National Association of Manufacturers, to be chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
That pretty much covers it. The fox has been guarding the hen house for six years, and we have at least two more years to go. Yikes.
On the plus side, maybe the military health care scandal will finally be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Maybe people will finally start to see how that even the military has been poorly served by Bush. We’ve made fabulous strides in battlefield medicine, a wounded soldier’s chances of surviving long enough to be flown home have increased dramatically since World War Two. After that, they are on their own, hundreds of thousands of veterans have psychological and physical injuries that will haunt them for years, if not decades, and society is going to pay a terrible price for this Bush policy as well.
Now that that unpleasantness is out of the way, today’s news:
Fighting in Somalia. Foreign occupation troops were greeted with heavy fighting when they arrived in the capital of Somalia. This is to be expected, but of course the western press still refers to the foreign installed rulers as the “legitimate” government of Somalia, and the foreign occupation troops as “peacekeeping troops.” Such us the stuff propaganda is made of. As I frequently note, because many people either don’t understand or don’t want to understand: Legitimate governments don’t need foreign troops to keep them in power.
Afghan Follies. NATO troops began an anti-Taliban offensive in Afghanistan. This will result in more civilian casualties, and more support for the Taliban. The colonial era has been over for at least a century, but the mindset is still alive and well. Westerners will be destroying countries for the rest of my life I expect in their quixotic quest to reinstall the complacent puppet governments of old. People in the third world not only have the right to rule themselves, they now have the means to prevent westerners from ruling them. And if we don’t like their governments, the west needs to learn to live with them instead of trying to replace them with governments we do like. The best way to destroy your enemies is to make friends with them, a simple truth that Lincoln understood, but the rest of the west has yet to catch up with.
Nine Dead GIs. Nine GIs have been blown up in Baghdad. How 20,000 (now 19,991) troops were supposed to restore peace and stability of a city of seven million was always a mystery to me. Bush has never seemed to grasp that “an army of one” is a slogan.
Latin America Lost. Bush is heading south in a pointless attempt to regain American influence in Latin America, influence lost during his reign as he played cowboy in the middle east. While I certainly laud the democratically elected governments that have swept left leaning governments into power throughout the region, I do fear for the future. Will Washington try to mend fences and live with it, or will they attempt to turn the clock back? Time will tell, fortunately Bush is too busy dealing with the catastrophe he has created in the Middle East to seriously consider meddling in South America in a big way. I hope.
Canada Wins Poll. Israel and Iran have the worst national images in a world wide poll, which isn’t terribly surprising. Japan and Canada have the best! Being a native born Canadian I of course had to post this. I’m still mystified why people want to live in a land where every winter large amounts of the atmosphere freezes and falls to the ground, but maybe global warming will eventually fix that and make the country habitable. How’s that for looking on the bright side of things?
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post.)