Okay. I can take a picture of a small patch of grass that's green and weed free and say, "look at what a wonderful yard I have." If you pan out, however, you will see one tiny patch of green among weeds, and dead and dirt. So much for my yard. This is how I see President Bush's assessment of how things are "better" in Iraq.
The Iraqi government is dragging it's feet because they want us out. They have their own power struggle they'd like to get on with. They don't care, either side, if it's a blood bath. Civilians are dying, starving, have no power, no oil revenues. Ah, what a life. Car bombings are down. Now they're using bicycles. Things look really great.
One only need watch Michael Ware's reports on CNN night after night; or Richard Engle on NBC to know Bush's statements aren't just stretching the truth. They are the antithesis of it. Christiane Amanpour had a revealing series on a few weeks ago called God's Warriors. It did a good job of telling how deeply seated extreme views are within not only Islam, but among the Jews and, yes, Christians. If anyone came away from watching, and more importantly, listening to what was said, and thinks we're going to be able to impose our standard of democracy on these cultures is smoking something funny. Not in another year. Not in another fifty years.
Saturday night there was another excellent program, Afghanistan Unveiled hosted by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. She trekked around Afghanistan to see if in the six years since we invaded the country, conditions for women had become as rosy as Bush would have us believe. Well. No.
Seven year old girls are being sold into marriage. Education is mostly denied. Covered in Burkas many are reduced to begging from contemptuous men to merely survive. Women do, however, have an out when they can no longer tolerate the oppression; the beatings. Kerosene is plentiful. They douse themselves and ignite it. Often they do not die. There is little in the way of medical help. I need say no more.
The week end talk shows have been busily dissecting the Petraeus report. The "Surge" strategy. Can it work? Will it work?
I have a question of my own. What are we getting out of it? We're losing a generation of young men and women. We're losing our freedoms bit by bit. All under the guise of keeping us safe. I'd like it explained to me how carrying a bottle of water onto a plane is going to endanger the flight. What they don't tell you is how much of certain ingredients are needed to cause the effects that are feared. It's far more than any one individual could easily carry on board. Asking a flight attendant for a gallon of water and heading to the lavatory with that, a beaker and a stirrer, however, might draw some attention. But then maybe not.
Our kids can't read. Those who can can't afford college. Kids don't have health insurance. Seniors can't find doctors who will take new medicare patients. Jobs continue to go overseas. The illegal immigration problem is running rampant. Gas prices are going through the roof. So are food prices. We can't travel beyond our borders with ease, nor return easily. Our friends from overseas no longer come for visits due to the unpleasant and demeaning hassles.
And for what? To keep us safe? Oh, that still pops up every now and then. What I've been hearing more often is about Bush's legacy. We didn't elect him to create a legacy. We elected him to better our country. Not Iraq. Not Afghanistan. The United States!
I want to know up front and now which candidate cares more about our country and our people than how history will view him/her. I want to be convinced. I want a candidate to actually say something - and mean what they say!