In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Saturday, April 13, 2024

How can you not be cynical?

Is it any surprise that we've lost track of over 100,000 guns in Iraq? A cynic might wonder if the guns even were manufactured, let alone made it to Iraq or were just billed for by defense contractors. Either way, its our tax dollars not at work. Missing body armor and five missing Iraqi cabinet ministers, and we're supposed to be winning this war? Can you imagine (one can fantasize) if five of Bush's cabinet went missing?

Is it any surprise that we’ve lost track of over 100,000 guns in Iraq? A cynic might wonder if the guns even were manufactured, let alone made it to Iraq or were just billed for by defense contractors. Either way, its our tax dollars not at work.

Missing body armor and five missing Iraqi cabinet ministers, and we’re supposed to be winning this war? Can you imagine (one can fantasize) if five of Bush’s cabinet went missing?

Meanwhile, some Democrats still run scared when faced with the (trembling in their boots, made, apparently for running) possibility some rovian ad will accuse them of being soft on terrorists.*

Hillary Clinton’s cleavage and Rudy Guiliani’s daughter’s political crush on Barak Obama is reported as if it’s hard news.

A bridge collapse dominates the television news for several days replaying the same footage over and over again as if there’s nothing else going on in the world.

The latest suicide bombing in Iraq is reported but causes barely a stir, let alone outrage that for every innocent killed in Iraq an entire family is devastated.

It isn’t news that American troops are quietly accepting the demands of longer tours with shorter breaks. They carry the burden of the war while the rest of the country goes on thinking that a magnet ribbon on their car proves how much they support those putting life and limb at risk.

Troops are still coming home mained for life. They have high rates of PTSD, a disorder which unless successfully treated will effect them for the rest of their lives.

Yesterday we saw George Bush and Afghan Prime Minister Harmit Karzai in a joint press conference which inspired less confidence than following Mister Magoo through a mine field.

Meanwhile, most American’s don’t even know that millions of people across South Asia are facing hunger after some of the worst floods in decades, amid fears of disease and fighting over supplies while mainstream news is using E! Online as their source in reporting Lindsey Lohan’s latest stint in rehabilitation.

*(The premier technology web site CNET has an excellent article “FAQ: How far does the new wiretap law go?”. It offers an answer to the question “why did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership bring this bill to a vote over the weekend, instead of delaying it until fall or killing it outright?”)

33 thoughts on “How can you not be cynical?”

  1. adb8917/ADB

    I read your post, but for the life of me, except for the first two paragraphs, I simply do not understand your points in the last three paragraphs. In fact, I read the last three paragraphs several times, thinking I must have missed something.

    I do, however, assume that by new fields you mean oil fields? If so, I doubt few people would disagree with new oil fields. The question is: how do you go about getting them? Declaring war on another nation and THEIR resources, or developing new ones in our own back yard?

    But, in any event, it is good that there is interest in this subject matter. Take care.

  2. I’m a former civilian employee of the U.S. Navy and am quite familiar with the FAR. I knew right from the beginning that the no bid contracts re: Iraq stank to high heaven. Each contract constitutes a felony as far as I’m concerned. The whole Bush regime is illegal from top to bottom beginning with the Supreme Court decision installing Bush in office. The court should have refused to hear the case as it is outside their jurisdiction. Each state establishes its own voting laws. It all stinks. And thousands of U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis are dying as a result. 911 was nothing more than “blowback” resulting from U.S. interventionism, militarism and general meddling where it does not belong, all of it in support of “U.S. interests” meaning the interests of multinational corporations, all financed by your tax dollars. You are actually paying to have your job shipped overseas. Milo Minderbinder can’t hold a candle up to these guys.

    — Kent Shaw aka ekaton

  3. Vietnam Vet and Ekaton…

    Unless or until somebody picks up the drumbeat, this crap will continue, and those of us who are “only” voices in the blogosphere will be treated with disdain by the people who make the “real” decisions.

    Appending a label to the disease does not cure it. It only helps the diagnosis. The cure is always much more difficult.

    Dick Cheney articulated the terms of war with the energy industry in his meeting at the beginning of Bush’s term: The very policy that promised them new global energy sources and mentioned Iraq specifically.

    In the follow on to the Supreme Court decision guaranteeing Cheney a free ride under the rubric of “Executive Privilege” I think it’s a safe bet to assume that the “War on Terror” has been the basis for our continuing engagement in Iraq.

    I don’t particularly like conspiracy theories, but consider that “if” Cheney promised the industry new sources of supply, it ain’t altogether bad for them that scarcity and uncertain supply lines have managed to drive the market in lieu of new fields.


  4. RE: Submitted by adb8917 on August 10, 2007 – 2:57pm

    You hit the nail right on the head. Over the past year, as a former Government Contracting Officer, I have posted a number of comments on why nothing is being done about the award of that Halliburton non-competive contract and its subsequent management. Some time back, there were emails and other evidence that clearly indicated that VP Dick “Halliburton” Cheney had his hands around and steered that award to insure it was awarded to his old company Halliburton. What happened to the evidence and why was there not a follow-up? Could be there are just too many dirty hands in the pie? I would love to read the JD (justification document), and one is required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation, (FAR), that should be in the contract folder. It was probably NOT adquately justified, and its continued use over time was clearly against the FAR. (The FAR is considered LAW in terms of Government contracts.) I have read a number of comments, such as cokes being sold to the Government for $4 a can, mismanagement of the contract (over payments, illegal payments, what might be outright fraud, etc.) that clearly should warrant explanation. If there is ANYTHING Mr. Waxman should be investigating, that contract should be one. The American public has been and probably continues to be fleeced big time!

  5. Milo Minderbinder! THAT explains why I didn’t get the tax refund I expected this year. Instead all I got was a share certificate for M&M Enterprises. I just KNEW there had to be a CATCH.

    Kent Shaw

  6. What surprises me about this thread is how few people seem to remember the Iraq Study Group report — and for that matter a long list of Governmental Accountability Office and Inspector General reports on the same problem. Or better yet, the television images of our troops standing around with their hands in their pockets while Iraqis walked out of munitions dumps bent double by the weight of the ordnance they were carrying!

    This is an exercise in “Follow the Money”:
    1. US Government contracts to “most favored corporations” have resulted in billions of dollars misspent either through incompetentcy and misdirected and/or undelivered services, or deliberate waste, fraud and abuse.
    2. According to the Study Group, most of the money being spent to fund the insurgency is being generated internally (inside Iraq, NOT from external sources (i.e., Iran!))! Let me repeat that: The Iraqis are doing their own dialing for dollars, thank you very much!
    3. Ongoing corruption investigations are uncovering multiple examples of American contractors funneling dollars to insurgent groups directly (!!) and indirectly!
    4. Our flawed approach to contracting out whole chunks of this “war” without even minimal accountability is resulting in the US financing both sides of the conflict, and doing so with a “What? Me worry?” SEG on our face. There are absolutely no credible threats or sanctions that can be taken against any of the major players — Halliburton, Titan, KBR, the State Dept. or DoD, etc., et al — and thus they have no reason to fear retribution or to reform themselves. So losing a few thousand AK-47s is just the tip of the iceberg — or better — the cost of doing business.

    The real question is why is Milo Minderbinder running this war?



  7. Notice to all: please do not suggest, even in jest, any violent acts against public officials, or anybody else for that matter. I can’t moderate threads on my columns 24/7 but when I do I will delete all or parts of messages I consider (even remotely) threatening at my descretion.

  8. There is nothing wrong with him that a little common sense wouldn’t cure right quick. Of course I am writing hypothetically.

    — Kent Shaw

    PS – Thank you to the editor.

  9. Nu-Q:

    I heard a NPR show about the rampant and extensive looting during and after the invasion that replayed the Rumsfeld comment minimizing it and joking about the networks repeatedly using the example of footage of someone stealing a vase wondering just how many vases could have been looted.

    In fact because we went in with so few troops and couldn’t secure liberated areas the looting reached the level of people going in with heavy equipment and not only stealing what wasn’t nailed down, but what was.

    As for the list of what is still being stolen, I am sure that if we knew it all it would include not only weapons but everything from meals ready to eat to gasoline and diesel fuel.

    And that doesn’t include the good old fashioned riping off of the American taxpayer by the likes of Bechtel and Halliburton.

    Meanwhile el Presidente is mumbling and stammering and grimacing and shrugging his way through his press conference as I write this. Is it just me or is showing increased cognitive impairment these days?

    I’m just a clinical social worker type shrink, not a neurologist, but it seems to me there’s something amiss in the way this man’s neurons are firing (or misfiring). Where’s Dr. House when we need him?

  10. RE:adb8917 /ADB

    Sorry friend, but I guess I will have to let someone smarter than me to interpret your rant. I guess with a Master’s Degree plus advanced graduate studies is not enough to understand what you are trying to say. Anyone with a Phd want to try?

  11. Vietnam Vet,

    What’s not to understand?

    1. Dick Cheney told the energy industry that we were going to bring Iraqi oil to the market BEFORE the September 11th attacks; cooked the books to create phony evidence to support the WMD paranoia; lied about the connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda; outed serving CIA operatives who disagreed with him; and had his Chief Executive Puppet lead us into a war from which we cannot extricate ourselves.

    2. To avoid having to account for setting up a phony war (and disclosing his promises to Big Oil) the Supreme Court that presided over the stolen election of 2000 supported his notion of executive privilege, thereby removing information from the public record that could be considered as possible grounds for impeachment.

    3. Despite the Administration’s failure to deliver the new fields in a timely fashion, it hasn’t hurt the industry that fear, uncertainty, and a carefully contrived notion of scarcity has allowed them obscene profits at the same time we’re pissing billions away in a conflict we shouldn’t have gotten into in the first place, and watching our infrastructure collapse around us.

    What’s not to understand? Cheney and the megacorporations really are arbitraging the conflict in a way that would make Joseph Heller proud.

    Oh, and interesting news out of Italy that their anti-mob efforts have uncovered a plot by members of the Iraqi government to obtain black market AK-47s, etc. from the Russians and the Chinese. Now why would an ally in the process of democratization be smuggling guns into their own country, when they can get them from us for free?

    The issue is and will continue to be about the corruption fostered by the megacorporations and fully colluded in by this Administration.


  12. Missing guns? What about missing explosives, er looted hi-explosives from Al QaQa. Remember Rumsfailed saying, “Freedom is untidy.”

    At least they’re consistent.

    If you like the path America is on, vote for one of the front-runner candidates for President in 2008.

    If you want to drastically change the direction that America has been on, vote for one of the “completely different” candidates.

    There’s one in the Republican primaries.

    There’s one in the Democratic primaries.

    The media makes fun of them. But then, that’s the same media that told America Saddam Hussein was an “imminent threat.”

    Pick one of them instead. Ron Paul. Dennis Kucinich. Pick one of them and change America. Pick any of the others and it will be just more of the same old sh!t.

    It’s really that simple.

  13. Well, as usual, Hal has it right on the money.
    Therein, is the problem with this administration and Congress….MONEY

    We elected a Democratic Congress due to the terrible job the Republican one did…if you can call it anything other than a hosing of the general American populace. So, new Congress, means changes, reforms way overdue and badly needed, transparency in government…all those things and more RIGHT ??? WRONG !! More SOSDD (same old stuff, different day) only IMO worse.

    Nancy Pelosi is a disaster as a speaker in my opinion. If they can’t even be honest with themselves, how on earth do we expect any of them in either party to be honest with the people they supposedly work for. The deal is they can’t, and never will. Other than making just the right amount of noise about real problems and issues that they KNOW in advance they are not going to do one thing about, that is that.

    The problem really is the American People. They don’t care in ANY real numbers that COULD make a difference. Guess what ? Your representative already knows that. This is not at all about right or left or Republican or Democrat. With RARE exception they are all guilty of screwing the American people for their own self interests

    So the questyion is, WHEN are the American people in large numbers going to stand up and be counted and say ENOUGH. As of this moment, I am afraid the answer is probably never.

  14. (LFTL) good to see you back or am I back?…hell who knows, we all come and go. This might surprise you but “things” are still “slightly” messed up. Well….actually, alot more than slightly.

    You doing OK?…sure hope so. Me!!!!…nice of you to ask or was that just my imagination? Tha same…but I did find something kind of interesting, yep…sure did. Photos of an actual underground transportations system on Mars…weird. NASA web site. Kind of freaked me out or was I already freaked out…hard to say.

    Anyway, take care and don’t forget me!!!!!

  15. If they want to run away to live in Paraguay, let them. Out of my life is where I want them. Where that happens to be is not my problem. BTW, what is it with Nazis and South America?-

  16. I’ve been wondering who had the brilliant idea to issue AK47’s in 7.62mm – probably the most common automatic weapon in the world today in a very popular caliber…. If they’d wanted to minimize the impact of the weapons they issued they should have used a less popular design in an odd ball caliber so the weapons wouldn’t be worth diddly squat on the black market.
    Sounds like Iran isn’t the state that’s arming the insurgents – sounds more and more like it’s us!
    Any word on missing shaped charges ???


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