Before we start today, this video from the Olbermann show is worth a close look. Check out the exchange between Rumsfeld and the CIA guy, and then send the link round to everybody in your address book.
Do we dare sit and endure this a day longer in silence? Or do we roll over and say, "you live your life under the government you have, not the government you want."
Todays' contributions come courtesy of Red Hook Red on the lilying of the American liver; followed by Terry McKenna, who offers a solution to the oil madness. Both of these pieces reveal that (as Bob Herbert also described) when you pull the dipstick on the true motive for this war in Iraq, all you find on it is blood and emptiness.
The silence of the mainstream media in the wake of Colbert’s little soliloquy (if you haven't seen it, just click the link at the top of the sidebar) speaks volumes about what a spoiled, willfully stupid, lily-livered nation we have become. We’re led by criminal clowns who do nothing to address serious, pressing problems – many of their own making – while they continue to insult our intelligence (what’s left of it, anyway) with such brilliant initiatives as solving our gasoline addiction by handing us each a $100 fuel rebate that we can use for our next fill-up.
Hey, you fatheads, why not eliminate 200 million middlemen and just cut a check to the oil companies? At least it will save a few of those annoying trees. We know damn well we’re being led by charlatans, blackguards, mouthbreathers and knuckle-draggers yet we’re too afraid to call them out on their hideous quackery and, worst of all, we continue to look to them to preserve our God-given right to drive an SUV that gets 15 feet to the gallon. The solution is clearly in the hands of the little guy, but too many of us are fat, happy, cross-eyed and painless. We’re getting what we deserve – right up the poopchute and out the ears.
—Red Hook Red
The current gasoline crisis and the failed Iraq war have a lot in common. Both are the result of ideology winning out over prudence. In both cases, we’re in a fix where there is no easy way out. And, yes we can get out of Iraq, but we’ll leave one hell of a mess.
And both problems are the result of a move that Bush made right at the beginning of his first term. Remember the energy meeting that Cheney set up. He looked only to support the status quo – and that’s where we are stuck right now. Regarding Middle East policy, we also now know the neo-cons dreamed of invading Iraq even before Bush was elected. What Bush needed was a causus belli.
With the idea that it is better late than never – here are my suggestions on both scores. First, my suggestion for a better energy future. We should start with an increase in the gasoline tax so that gas costs at least $4.00 per gallon (yes, increase the price); second, mandate a 25% increase in both car and light truck mileage. The first will force a meaningful change in our driving behavior. The second will provide the improved cars and truck we’ll need to allow us to make good on our desire to reduce oil consumption. Again – there is no quick fix, but surely we can recognize that it's better now than never.
Now to foreign policy. We can admit that aggression has failed – so let’s start backing down. Let someone place a post-it on the presidential podium with the note: “there is no axis of evil” – that’s right. Water down the rhetoric. And prepare for a world where Iran has the bomb. Decades ago, when China got the bomb, we thought we were in trouble, but over time, we’ve found a way to deal with the Chinese. It’s time to start dealing with Iran.
Time can be on our side, but only if we allow ourselves to change.
Or, as Pink Floyd told us about 33 years ago (god, has it been that long?)—
Forward he cried from the rear
and the front rank died.
And the general sat and the lines on the map
moved from side to side.