I was originally going to write another post about the cost of the ongoing occupation of Iraq, but two people far more important than I am have written things you should read instead.
First, bask in the calm brilliance that is Keith Olbermann’s response to the president’s recent comments on Vietnam. If you didn’t catch it, Mr. Bush went to Vietnam and told the American public the lesson he thinks he’s learned from that long, bloody mess: “We’ll succeed unless we quit.” (No, I’m not making this up.)
Second, take part in what might prove to be the antidote to such bloody-minded idiocy. Senator Barbara Boxer has created an online petition calling for the president to begin redeploying U.S. troops out of Iraq now. (Emphasis hers.) I usually advise against Internet petitions because they don’t have any teeth, but this one is different. It’s being sponsored by an official representative with some real power (especially now), so it has at least some chance of being heard. There’s more information in her press release about the petition, which makes some compelling arguments itself.
So read Keith to get fired up, then go do something about it.
Once again, Keith Olbermann gets right to the point and says it in a way I never could:
At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial — barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field — Mr. Lincoln said, “we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”
Lincoln used those words to immortalize their sacrifice.
Today our leaders could use those same words to rationalize their reprehensible inaction. “We cannot dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground.” So we won’t.
Instead they bicker and buck pass. They thwart private efforts, and jostle to claim credit for initiatives that go nowhere. They spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they’re doing instead of doing any job at all.
You must, must, must read the rest of his post. And let’s hope others do, too.
From Crooks & Liars, thanks to Brian:
Keith [Olbermann] had some very choice words about Rumsfeld’s “fascism” comments tonight. Watch it, save it and share it.
Olbermann delivered this commentary with fire and passion while highlighting how Rumsfeld’s comments echoes other times in our world’s history when anyone who questioned the administration was coined as a traitor, unpatriotic, communist or any other colorful term. Luckily we pulled out of those times and we will pull out of these times.
Video and transcript are both available at C&L. It’s an absolute must-read (or watch). Spread it as wide as you can.
Here’s a ponderable: was a man at JFK actually required to remove his t-shirt because it had a peace protest slogan in arabic? If so, what does that say about the (police) state of our airports?
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this study before, but I finally found a source I can cite. Back in 1998, the International Center for Technology Assessment released a study called “The Real Price of Gasoline.” It showed that if all the costs of gasoline (including subsidies and externalized costs) were included in the price at the pump, gas would actually cost between $5 and $15 a gallon. (At the time, gas was $1 a gallon and we weren’t spending $100 billion per year in Iraq and Afghanistan.) The full report is online (as a PDF), and I strongly recommend it to anyone.