I may need to get a bigger sign, running out of room for the numbers again.
Let's be clear about how damaging the Bush/Cheney Iraq catastrophe really is.
About how far-reaching and long-lasting the damage will be when it all plays out several decades into the future.
Large events like the war in Iraq and an American presidency ending in disaster on the scale of this one exert immense Jupiter-like gravitational force on everything else in their part of the universe, bending language itself.
The meaning of the word "now," for example, has warped visibly.
"Now" pre-Iraq was equivalent to "today" or "before you leave your room," generally.
Like Albert Einstein predicted, "now" has stretched out...
"nnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwww...." as the Bush/Cheney gas giant warps time itself and the language used to describe it.
In the real world that military families live in, ending the war in Iraq "now" means more closely "continued open-ended sacrifice, face it."
And the Administration continues to bat zero in Afghanistan, having taken their collective eye off the ball to invade Iraq when they could have hammered the actual terrorists behind 9-11 in Bora Bora. Sometimes you will only get one swing at the pitch.
While the Bush/Cheny Administration is pinching pennies at home, requiring poor children and children of working families to be without health insurance for an entire calendar year before gaining access to some pittance of a benefit, they are building a half-billion dollar embassy in Baghdad that may become the only edifice named in honor of George W. Bush.
There is some irony in that, but it is lost on me.
The new super-sized American Embassy in Baghdad will probably not be occupied as a fully-functioning embassy for many years anyway, as it becomes increasingly difficult to find Americans willing to either bring their families within a hundred million miles of Iraq or remain separated indefinitely.
The first three rules of future embassy service will be, I understand: 1. "Vary your routine." 2. "Watch your back." and, 3. "Do not, under any circumstance, gather in groups or in places that are known American hangouts." (thanks to Elinor Burkett for the insight)
"Welcome to Baghdad."
The likely fate for the new Baghdad American Embassy is that it will sit mothballed for a decade or so, like the Wapato jail in Multnomah County, only on a giant scale, and with rocket shards and mortar holes.
The people who howl every time a gallon of gas goes up a nickel in these troubled times will have a great deal more than the cost of their transportation options to worry about.
But a sample statistically representing some 27% of the population admitted that they hadn't read a single book at all in the last year.
I understand that publications featuring the television schedule were included in the definition of what objects could be loosely construed as a "book" for purposes of the survey.
This population may never come to understand the significance of the Sunni-Shiite-Kurdish conflicts, the Sykes-Pichot agreement and the other gravitational forces that shape the future of this region, or understand that even the United States cannot sustain an overseas adventure indefinitely, or without cost that reaches absolutely every one of us.
Unfortunately, this information was locked away in book form prior to the invasion of Iraq, where too few Americans could access it even if they tripped over it, the intellectual lethargy of this Nation At War overwhelming even common sense.
You would have to read several books to get to a reasonably well-informed point of understanding...how sad this is!...regarding Iraq alone, yet the people can't be bothered with reading books.
The good news is that these non-readers-of-books, lacking the motivation to self-educate, probably lack the motivation to vote, even if all they have to do is mail the ballot in.
The bad news would be that they get their "information" from the mouth jockeys riding the radio circuit, mistaking an informational experience for what should be clearly evident is a crude form of entertainment and use the clown show approach to marking up their ballot.
more on this later....