America, I hardly recognize ye.
This is a great country, and what I am about to say takes nothing away from that. I love her with all my heart. It is why I'm writing this in the first place.
Six hundred eighty billion dollars. 680,000,000,000.00. Two-thirds of a TRILLION dollars.
That's a running total, including projected budget for 2008, of what we have spent in Iraq. A country which was attacked preemptively because we thought maybe they were building a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
We thought. Maybe.
We had satellite photos of something that might be the weapons. We had hearsay, we had conjecture. We had "intelligence."
So we attacked a sovereign nation, dethroned a brutal dictator, and made a mess that won't be cleaned up anytime soon.
Why? Since when have we become a nation of preemptive attacks? It's never been our M-O. Did 9/11 really change our approach that much? If so, the terrorists have already won.
Further, we decided that, since the hijackers on 9/11 operated within our country, trained and planned their attack, moved about freely, undetected, that we needed to be able to tap the telephones and intercept emails, without a warrant, of citizens who we think are conducting themselves in a suspicious manner.
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing to hide, read my email all you want. (you might want to avoid the stuff from my friend Ada) But gosh, doesn't this all seem less free to you? Don't you have a problem with any of this?
"They hate us for our freedom." That's insulting, simplistic bullshit... but apparently someone believes it, because the current administration is slowly removing the reason for the hatred.
And now, the sabres are rattling all over again, as congress approved a bill that asks the administration to use "all means" to contain Iran's influence on Iraq.
Iran has 65 MILLION people.
America undoubtedly has the most advanced, skilled and technologically superior military in the world. I am proud of our soldiers and their skill and dedication. God have mercy on the country that ever tries to take us on. The problem is, the "war" on terror can't be fought with military might. We're going into a knife fight armed with a tank.
The president of Iran was invited to speak at Columbia University. Why? I can't imagine giving this guy a pulpit, it seems silly to me. But why do we fear him? Isn't freedom of speech what we're all about? Give the man some rope... he'll hang himself. But instead, congress spent its valuable time hand-wringing over it, instead of doing the work of the people.
What else has congress done recently? Passed a resolution condemning moveon.org for the "General Betray Us" ad in the NY Times... and they are now trying to pass a resolution condemning Rush Limbaugh for his "phony soldiers" miscue.
Guess what - get the hell back to work! It's NOT your job to worry about what is being said by the citizens of a nation that is supposed to have freeh speech. Instead, DO YOUR JOB.
Congress has an approval rating of 11 percent, yet continues to plod clumsily forward. We have citizens who have no insurance and no prospects of medical care, if needed. We have a huge education problem. Our borders are as loose as Paris Hilton. We HAVE Paris Hilton.
Yet we're foolishly on the way to spending a trillion dollars on a war that cannot be won... and if you say that aloud, you're considered a traitor.
The apathy of the citizenry is pathetic. As long as the economy is "good," as long as we can shop, continue receiving reality television and play our video games... we're all good. My grandpa would be embarrassed.
Where is the America I know? Where is the wisdom? Where is the leadership? Where is the pride, the dignity?
Sometimes I don't even recognize this place anymore.