As Christmas draws near a couple of things come to mind.
First, I continue to be amazed at the level of utter intransigence shown by our President. At every turn he just ignores everyone and does whatever the hell he wants. Remember, we’re the ones he works for, not the other way around. He’s now floating the idea that it’s time to bump up the troop levels in Iraq in an attempt to stabilize the situation there. Is he out of his mind? How in the hell does this guy sleep at night? The people have spoken. The public voted just about every Republican brown-noser out of office this past election and this guy still acts as if he’s working from some sort of mandate. For the first time in my life I’m starting to wonder about allowing for a vote of no confidence to get this guy out of there. How many more lives must we lose to an agenda very few here care about or want to be involved in?
Remember that we lost 2,752 people on 9/11. That was in an attack from Osama bin Laden who has not been apprehended as President George W. Bush promised. We’ve now lost 2,954 Americans in Iraq since the war started and 2,817 since Bush told us all that the mission was accomplished (to say nothing of the exponentially larger number of Iraqi deaths). Exactly how many more people do we need to lose before this folly is given up? Under Bush’s agenda, in order to keep from having terrorist attacks here, we need to lose more people everywhere else. Exactly how is that a good plan especially when it’s absolutely clear that these actions have done nothing to quell the hatred for our country and our political actions?
Now he wants us to send even more troops to Iraq? To what end? We could send 500,000 more kids over there (assuming we could even find them) and the situation would change very little. Didn’t we learn anything from Vietnam? It’s like sending meat to a grinder. The more you send, the more the grinder processes. More troops will not impact the psyche of the people there. Democracy must come from within. Democracy cannot be given as a Christmas gift to people who don’t fully understand the concept.
Think about our own examples in this. If you’re a devout Christian, how hard has it been to convince an atheist that there’s a god? How difficult is it for non-devout Christian’s to try to tell a devout Christian that he or she is incorrect? Now imagine trying to have that discussion with someone in a neighborhood where you’ve burned down all the surrounding houses and where you’re blamed for the lack of basic services. Sending more of our kids over there isn’t going to change the perspective there. It’s only going to make it worse just as sending more troops to Vietnam did nothing to help us win there. Two more years of this guy is two years too many. The lives of too many people will be snuffed-out for no reason. This battle cannot be won by attrition. It cannot be won by force. It certainly cannot be won by stupidity and that’s what this guy brings to the table.
On another front, I’ve been laughing about Bill O’Reilly‘s ongoing joke regarding his so-called war on Christmas. What the hell is wrong with some people? What sort of person gets bent out of shape when someone wishes you a happy holiday? What exactly is the big deal here? Companies are in business to sell product to everyone, not just Christians. How centrist and selfish do you have to be to be put off by the use of inclusive phrasing instead of phrases that clearly and obviously are exclusive? The phrase “happy holiday” wishes us all a good time regardless of our personal beliefs. Frankly I find the whole thing a bit silly. Exactly how much time do you think the marketing people behind these phrases think of us during the holidays? The entire effort is nothing more than a show to appeal to our wallets anyway. No one at Wal-Mart‘s main office is losing sleep over whether or not you or I have a merry Christmas or a happy holiday. To spend time fighting corporate America over the phrase is just ridiculous. If you support this rant of O’Reilly’s, wake up and grow up. We share this country and this world with people of all faiths. It’s time we started acting like we understand that. I suspect if we could truly embrace that thinking, much of the rest of the problems we face would begin to head in the right direction as well.