Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, August 22, 2005

We are so screwed

Okay, Chimpy's overall approval rating is now down to 36%. That it is even detectable is an embarassment to the nation, but still, he appears to be trailing Herbert Hoover in the all-time presidential popularity rankings.

The really bad news? It just doesn't matter. The gang of murderous thieves is still in control, the corporate media still has its lips attached, remora-like, to their pasty butts, and the Democratic "leadership" still appears scared to death of making anyone suspect they might even think about dreaming of being disrespectful to the God King or mildly unenthusiastic about his Great Patriotic War.

But the worst part is, even if Chimpoleon and the rest of the gang were to be raptured up this afternoon, leaving us behind to try to fix the mess, I'm not sure we could do it. Juan Cole is thrashing around desperately for a solution, but first he lays out what he sees as the problem. Yes, there is already a low grade civil war going on in Iraq, but if the U.S. troops were to leave now -- well, you ain't seen nothin' yet. He anticipates a real old fashioned war, with large, organized formations marching against cities, slaughtering each other, ethnically cleansing. The neighbors -- Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey -- all get drawn in to protect their affinity populations, their economic interests and their borders. Guerillas blow up pipelines in Iran and Saudi Arabia. 20% of the world's oil supply goes off line and there is a world-wide second Great Depression.

Okay, that doesn't sound so good. But now we have Anthony Shadid and Steve Fainaru in the WaPo telling us that much of Iraq is now controlled by sectarian militias, mostly wearing Iraqi Army uniforms and using its weapons and equipment. And no wonder -- they are units of the Iraqi army. These courageous Iraqi patriots are engaging in organized campaigns of mass murder, torture, ethnic cleansing, theft, political thuggery. Yep, they've already started the civil war, and we're just training, arming and equipping more of them. It's our "exit strategy." Chimpy's going to go on TV this week and explain how it's all because of 9/11 and we're bringing the light of freedom -- untidy as it may be -- to the dark masses.

The great Robert Fisk tell us a bit of what life is really like in Iraq today. But we're still pouring billions of dollars and American lives down the rathole, and I don't see any way that it's going to stop, even as the situation around the occupation continues to deteriorate until the occupation itself collapses entirely and our young people find themselves huddling in island fortresses in the midst of violent chaos.

When that happens, you'll just have to slap another yellow ribbon on your SUV and sing God Bless America while you pump your paycheck into the tank. Remember, it's a noble cause.

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