Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blagojevich: Chicago, Corruption and Control

This week, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruption charges. A three year investigation has found the governor involved in a pay-to-play scandal for the appointment to the U.S. Senate to replace President Elect Barack Obama. This is only the latest in a series of corruption cases that have seen light in the state of Illinois. By essentially putting up for sale a U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, Blagojevich has set himself up to be the next governor of the state to be arrested and jailed. Five such governors have been arrested. The previous governor, George Ryan is still incarcerated as of now. To say the least, Governor Blagojevich's arrest is embarrassing. It embarrasses the Governor. It embarrasses Illinois politics. It embarrasses whoever the next senator that is appointed. It embarrasses the democratic process. It embarrasses the President-Elect Barack Obama.

So what does Governor Rod Blagojevich do in response to his arrest?

He went back to work. Like nothing happened. Like he didn't do anything wrong. And has said as much. Now, far be it for me to be against anyone who wants to continue their livelihood after any sort of arrest and released, but it don't take a gynecologist to smell something fishy going on here. It doesn't look good. Not at all. Whether he is guilty or not. His best course of action would have been to recognize this and to go find a good corner and go there and shut the hell up and quit talking like nothing at all happened. Because you're only showing what kind of asshole you really are and giving something good for your enemies to talk about. Which they now have plenty of because Blagojevich wanted to do something stupid.

I mean if it were bad enough, looney toons on the right already believe Barack Obama is corrupt for having associations with Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko or whoever else they want to lump him in with(even though not a single one of these guys has ever held an elected position to corrupt). But we will undoubtedly see the right salivating at the chance to right their wrongs from last month as if Barack Obama's up for re-election next week. They hadn't been this happy since Sarah Palin bought a new outfit. As a natural inclination, after John Kerry lost the election in 2004, most Democrats were looking introspectively at what they did wrong, having a table set for victory only to let the same scumbags who set the table enjoy a five-course meal. But these guys are masters of the blameless. Nothing is their fault. Just look at the world famous Joe-the-Plumber and him throwing McCain under the bus. This is what these guys do.

So why the hell is Blagojevich trying to act like them?

It's bad enough that even Democrats have problems with the ridicilous amount of arrest of elected officials that comes out of this state. It's no wonder why Barack Obama ran for president after only half a term as a senator from the state and less than a two term state senator. Hell, I'd be looking to run for Secretary General of the U.N. if I had to go through the Chicago political machine myself. And then take a shower after I run just to make myself feel better at the end of the day. Someone needs to clean up this state, starting with the state's highest office. Here in Virginia, our governors are only allowed to run for one term. Perhaps if Illinois' governors had this same restriction, then perhaps they'd be interested in actually doing their jobs and less interested in the bullshit they find themselves trapped in doing.

You got to start with something.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Date that Lived in Infamy

December 7, 1941

Of course it was the day that the Empire of Japan attacked the United States. Today, December 7, 2008 is the 67th anniversary of that day of infamy. And there is much that has happened since that day. On that day the Japanese attacked the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor. In all, 15 ships were damaged or sunk, 188 aircraft were destroyed and nearly 2,500 military personnel were killed. The attack was intended to cripple our Pacific Fleet and caused the United States to become an active participatant in World War II.

On the Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001 Ninetineen men boarded four separate airplanes in the United States bound for parts of the nation. Just after take off, they left their seats and took control of the planes by force and changed the destination of the planes. Amist confusion and panic, the planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in what is now the largest attack on American soil.

In 1941, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed, in a single attack, in our homeland. Nearly 60 years later, nearly 3,000 more Americans were killed, in a single attack, in our homeland. Almost without question or pause, comparisons of the two have come. Both were unsolicitated. Both sparked our nation's involvement in war. Both preceded unprecedented waves of patriotism. Both were days this nation will never forget.

Or be allowed to forget.

The thing is, these days those days are now used to symbolize those attacks. They are used to capture a feeling, a emotion and to bottle to transfer it to be used as a weapon of influence. There are forces today that will use a rallying cry of 'Nine-Eleven' as a blunt-force object weilded against those they want to demonize. The claim is made that those opposing these certain forces have not internalize the losses on these unfortunate days.

What is now unfortunate is that days like December 7th no longer has the same meaning it prior to September 11th 2001. Its meaning has been forever re-arranged. What was actually felt by our entire nation then through the afternoon and evening of September 11th 2001 has been usurped and hi-jacked much like the planes on that day were. It's unfortunate that it is no longer something to be proud of, but to be weary of.

It was a day that lived in infamy.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Canned Juice

Yesterday, NFL Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson was sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison.

And I can only imagine the sorted feelings of retribution so many across the nation are feeling. I can only imagine because I cannot begin to understand why O.J. Simpson being given a stiff sentence is a cause of celebration. But appearently it is.

Before I go on, let's examine the entirety of this sentence. He was convicted on several counts of robbery and kidnapping. A 15 year sentence for kiddnapping, 12 years for assault and six years for robbery, this adds up to a possible 33 years, with the minimum being nine years. He may be eligible for parole after serving a third of the sentence. I have several problems with this. Now, I know some may think that because I have problems with the sentence, I must support O.J. Simpson in some way, whatever-the-fuck. O.J. Simpson's imprisonment changes my life none. But that doesn't change some serious issues related to the sentencing.

First of all, two things should and would stick out as relevant. First, he maximum of years of the sentence is steep, undeniably so. Secondly, there's an immediate thought to the relevance of his prior court case having an impact on the decision. It should be said that if it were anyone else, just your average convicted felon, I sincerely doubt this sentence would be given out. In fact, I doubt that if it were anyone else they'd be facing the same charges. Not withstanding those instances, what if we were talking about a over-sixty year-old, non-repeat offender in this case? Admittedly, I am no where close to being a legal expert, but somehow I doubt that this happens often, if at all. Honestly, the prosecution suggested 18 years for crimes that would carry a minimum of six. But he gets a maximum of 15 years? Seriously, can a legal expert tell me how often does this happen?

Unfortunately, there is so much more related to this case than neither the judge or prosecution would want to admit to. The fact that the judge even mentioned the previous trial during sentencing tells me it was not far from the minds of those in the courtroom. It was the 900 lb. gorilla in the room. Frankly, about everyone associated with the trial has been corrupted. Unless you 18 or 19 years old and was about four or five when the first trial when down, then it's likely you've formed an opinion on O.J. Simpson's guilt or innocence and whether you like the guy or hate his guts. And quite frankly most hold the opinion of the detrimental, which already clouds their mind and colors their lense when they approach the case. I doubt an unbiased opinion is possible.

So O.J. Simpson got what was coming to him, eh? I mean, just as Fred Goldman. I'm surprised he had shot O.J. to death yet. I'm quite sure that in the inexistent chance that O.J. Simpson would have gotten an aquittal or parole or some other freeing circumstance that he probably would have. And as a note, I never seen someone so focused and filled with hate in such a circumstance has that guy. He cares more about O.J. Simpson getting what he deserved than he is about grieving and caring for his family. The man's a bigger douchebag than O.J. Simpson. This trial had absolutely nothing to do with him. But he, being the decider of all things O.J. follows him around, calling him a monster and saying it's satisfying to see him behind bars and in shackles.

In the end though, O.J. Simpson did wrong. He was given a chance to explain himself and his actions and for what it's worth, I believe what he says. From his perspective, he was going to confront known aquantances that had items, technically or not, that belonged to him and he wanted to get them back. He probably didn't think what he was doing was a crime punishable for 33 years. Hell, I doubt anyone would have thought that. Oh well, you can't change the law. And you can't change who you are either. The actions he took were technically illegal and because he's O.J. Simpson, he's got to be incredibly dense to not know he has had a huge target on his back. He had to know that if he were going to get in any more trouble, they were going to thrown the bookcase at his ass. But it's entirely doubtful that O.J. Simpson, infamy or not, will serve 33, 15 or even nine years in prison. If I had to guess, considering appeals, parole and other considerations, he'll probably serve three to four years and released by his 65th birthday and return to the golf course.

As much as people in this country want to pretend they are beyond race just because they elected a man who has transcended the concept itself, there are still deep problems of race this country doesn't want to face. It's almost scary how thoughts and opinions on O.J. Simpson and his trials have divided almost exclusively on racial lines. Even the most liberally of minded white folks I've see be totally of the opinion of O.J. Simpson's guilt.

Frankly, it's rather disappointing. In fact, it's my greatest disappointment in this matter still. So thank you O.J. Simpson for exposing this nation for what it has been and what it will be.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The New Coalition of the Willing

Since the beginning of the election season, one overriding question that has been on the minds of most, of course, was who would be the next leader of our country. Now that this cycle is over and we have a legitimate answer to that particular question, there is one more than remains unanswered: who will this new leader have leading with him. This is probably one of the more important decisions a leader can make, those who he will lead with(or in more specific cases, who he will lead without). And Washington D.C. is stoked and anxious over who Barack Obama selects for his administration. Of course, the first of these selections was done before the election was over with, and that was with the nomination of Senator Joe Biden to be the next Vice-President of the nation. However, since the election, President-Elect Barack Obama has been announced several key members of his administration, a team that we will assuredly see much more of and hear much more from in the next years to come.

Before I go on, there's something that needs to be addressed and redressed until some sort of apology or admission is forwarded(which I know is a vain hope). Now that Barack Obama has been elected the next President of the United States, there are some things that need to be said. First of all, despite what John McCain, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the rest would lead you to believe, we will not see Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Wladimir Putin or Louis Farrakhan in the Obama administration. In fact, we probably won't see a single one of them step foot in the White House any time over the next four years. Now, the best thing the right has to complain about is that Barack Obama, the candidate who promotes change, has selected names and faces of the past, which according to them does not represent the sort of change the candidate promoted through the election.

Well, boo-hoo.

Looking at the appointments that have been announced and it is undeniably a strong team of seasoned but fresh faces, which are more than simply a departure from the current-to-previous administration we'll have, but the strength of this group is it's connection with a past with less trouble and a future connected to a man who this nation has put an abundance of support and trust in to lead us. His first appointment, Rahm Emmanuel, for Chief of Staff was widely considered a smart choice if anything. Emmanuel is roundly known as someone who's not afraid to roll up his sleeves and working to get things done. Then there were others who have been associated with the Campaign for Change such as Susan Rice, David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, that have been appointed to key positions in the adminstration. Beyond that, there are those who have supported and have had ties to the campaign such as Tom Daschle as well as James Jones and Eric Holder, each also associated with President-Elect Obama's campaign have also been named to key positions. But the most talked about appointments have been of those rivals and also supporters who currently in power in the U.S. Senate, a head of a state as the executive or previous established emissaries. Among these selections are Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico as the Secretary of Commerce, Janet Napolitano, the governor of Arizona as the next Secretary of Homeland Security, Robert Gates, the current Secretary of Defense to continue in his position and of course the most notable of appointments, the current junior senator from New York and former Democratic frontrunner and nominee for president, Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

Now, it is clear that the group he has selected isn't a group of yes-men(or women). It is clear that this group isn't a monolith of thought and action to drive the nation on a narrow-minded endearvor, whatever it might be. This group is a group of people who have the ability to take a agenda and run with it as their own. Each of these selected have been independently successful and make no mistake, they are subject to their own ideology and philosophy, which might not be the same of the man who has selected them. This is clearly a group that is focused on getting the job done and they will.

As strong as the group assembled is, there is still more work to be done and more appointments to be named. There has been rumors of several key names being fitted for various cabinet positions. Among them, Robert Kennedy Jr. for Evironmental Protection Agency Administrator, Governor Jennifer Granholm for Secretary of Labor, Representative Chet Edwards and former Senator Max Cleland as Secretary of Veteran Affairs, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Vice-President Al Gore for Secretary of Energy. The Secretary of Education position has seen a hodge-podge of high profile names beginning with former governors Ray Mabus and Ronnie Musgrove, current governors Kathleen Sebelius and Tim Kaine and former Secretary of State Colin Powell and also former South Carolina Education Superintendent and U.S. Senate candidate(and personally one of my favorite persons) Inez Tenenbaum.

The nation's elected is his oyester. And that's a problem. Yes, it is good for him and great for the nation that these people are being tapped to serve our nation at a higher calling. But what consideration is being given to those who vacate positions they were elected to? When talks were swirling over Senator Clinton being selected as Secretary of State, I thought to myself whether she would be better served continuing in her senate position or become our secretary of state? Could more be done as senator than secretary of state? Could she serve as secretary of state, despite her obvious conflictions with the President-Elect internationally that were the news items of the day during the election? Can she leave her wide-ranging work as senator to narrow her focus to foreign affairs? Will she be able to co-exist with the Vice President-Elect, Joe Biden?

But that's not my only question. Particularly for me, a Virginia, I'm worried about what will happen in our state. What if Barack Obama selects Governor Tim Kaine to be his next Educational Secretary? Our Lieutenant Governor, Republican Bill Bolling will be our governor. Much of the gain and support the Democratic Party has received in the last four years can be undone. Can we afford this? Should we have to afford this?

The bottom line is that Barack Obama has thus far proven that his rhetoric during the campaign is more than just that. He has a willingness, almost to a potential detriment, work with this group is a bold new step and shows he not playing around. As much as I want to hope this will not backfire on him, I can't help but to believe that he's set himself up for success. Those he selected know what they're doing and are accomplished and able and can do the job, which will only make him look all the more better. Perhaps the change we needed is actually a reversion to a time of better ideas.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Living and Dying

I remember, when I was younger I used to have horrible psychological problems. I don't know whether it was a few too many bad movies or knowing too little about the subject for a curious mind like mine, but there was a time where I could not stop myself from thinking about death. I remember thinking about it in school. I remember asking others about death(as if they've experienced it before). I remember having nightmares about it with me lying dead on the side of a road with cars and people just walking by. And although it was scary, it didn't scare me. It scared my parents enough to do something about it. They took me to see a psychologist for a while. I told her about my thoughts. She would ask me if I thought about killing myself or thought about loved ones dying. She came away thinking pretty much what I now see, at that time, I didn't know much about death and dying and didn't know how to express what I was feeling. Anyway, the one thing that stuck with me during that period was the last session(actually can't remember if it was more than one really). I'm sure some of you might be familiar with child psychology where such a psychologist will talk with a child while they ask the child to draw a picture, which would ultimately express how they're feeling if they can't verbally do so. Well, I drew Superman. You know the comic book character who is invulnerable.

I guess you can make of it what you want, but I eventually stopped having the dreams and the facinations. But I was still curious about the subject. My curiousity unfortunately became a bit more dire eight years ago when my brother was killed. It's a tough thing to describe how an experience like that makes you feel... or not feel. Between the time I was a child and October 12, 2000, I wondered what would it feel like. What would a person feel, not when they, themselves die, but someone close to them. I wondered what would I feel if my oldest brother, who is my idol, the man I can only dare to dream to be, what would I feel, if he died. I wondered what it would feel like if my twin brother died, the person who knows me the most, whether I like it or not, the person who's been with me my entire life. I thought about losing my father or my mother and how much meaning life would not have without her. It was a funny thing to hear people say at that time "I understand how you feel." I thought to myself "Wow, they had a brother who they imagined would be with them in their lives forever be taken away from them a world away without having a chance to say good-bye or I love you?" It didn't make sense to me. But as time passed and there where others, friends and family who lost their loved ones. Some of these deaths were sudden. Some were progressive. I don't think I could fathom any of what these people felt. I also remember in the wake of my brother's death, I noticed my mother being more affectionate than she has ever been. I noticed it from my brothers as well as my father. I wasn't sure if this was to be expected after a loved one dies or if something actually clicked with my family. It was more questions I did not have an answer to. One of the greater unanswered questions that did spark to my mind, which is worse, to lose a loved one suddenly or to watch them breakdown over time and die.

I knew what I felt was bad. But I did not know what could be worse or which would feel worse. I now know that the question of which is worse is irrelevant. Ever since I was a child, I wonder about the worse aspects of death and the adverse affects of death. Never did I even allow myself to think about what would be on the other side of the thought.Back to comic book reading. This week, I've been reading a book, The Punisher, the MAX series. Of course it was a guy who lost his family in a random crossfire and in return, he sought out to punish anyone who would fit the mold of the randomness that took his family, that prays on others. In this particular issue, Frank Castle had come across an awfully jaded woman who he shared a similar path. Needless to say, she was killed. However, while she lie dying, in Castle's hands, she asked him for a dying wish, which was revealed later in the book. Because I knew of the characters, I thought I knew what was she had asked, she had wanted those who wronged her to pay and also to have Castle take care of other obligations I won't spoil for fans. But I was wrong in my assumption. Halfway at least. Of course she had wanted Castle to punish those who did her wrong, which he did. But as she was dying, Castle told her(rather coldly), "I can't do nothing for you." She told him there was. Outside of what was known, she had asked Frank Castle to stay. She asked him to stay with her so she did not have to die alone.

It's a hard thing to lose someone. I think I finally found my answers. When my brother died, I regretted the time I did not have with him. I dispair over the time I will never be able to have with him. I won't be able to say good-bye. I won't be able to hold on to him, smile at him, hold his hand and make sure he knows that he's not alone. That he is loved and his life has all the more worth because he is loved and I could show him. The first part I knew. I knew I would not be able to be with him. Now, I know why it means so much. No one should die alone. Everyone should know they are loved and know and feel that love every moment of their lives for as long as they live.

My grandmother passed last week. She lived to be 84 years old. She was able to see her daughter become a heroic and courageous woman who raised four amazing children of her own. She was able to see her grandchildren find success and happiness. She was able to live a life with a grand family and have a husband for the thirty years they were together before he passed. I was told by my brother to enjoy the lives our elders and to learn from them. Not to learn about life, but to learn about their lives, their history, our history so it not be forgotten. I only wish I had more time. I am entirely greatful to God that I had the time that I did. I never knew my mother's father. He died before I was born. He lives on through his sons. My grandmother lived a full life. Her spirit lives on through her daughters. As much as they live on, as much as I can learn from them and will continue to learn from their children, they deserve to have the knowledge and the peace that they were loved, that they were appreciated and that they will indeed be missed.What I have learned about death is that no one should die alone.Our loved ones need to know that they were appreciated. That their life had cause and meaning and was full of life and love and they enhanced the lives of those around them. And they need to know it not in death, but in life.Please, do all you can to express your love to your family, no matter the circumstance or endeavor. Hold on to them. Enjoy them and enjoy your life. It is far to precious to be lost without living.

Welcome Back, Gunn

Since the beginning, my idea behind this blog was to have a place that I can be able to give an unsolicited, unadulterated and unfiltered opinion and view that is free from outside influence that would otherwise distort or reform what has to be said. Make no mistake about it, I have that ability. I have the ability to give my point of view and to give it in a manner that conveys a message that others want to hear, who can agree who will want to hear more. I do know this will come with more work than I have given and I know I can.

I know I get bored easily. I know I involve myself in a profession that frowns upon this sort of activity. I do also know I have a lot to say. I do know that I should say it. I know I need to do this and I know there are those who need to read it. So this is it. Enough of the stop and more of the go. If you don't like what I have to say, too bad. If you do, don't say I didn't tell you so.

Fire away!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Ding! Dong! The Bitch Is Dead!

Less than three hours ago, less than three days before the end of the year, probably the most imfamous Iraqis in world history was executed. At 6:05 am, on December 29th, the fromer president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was executed by hangging. And, unfortunately, Iraq was no different than it was at 6:04 am. Iraq, as content and jovial the Iraqi people may be, his death did not, will not and has not made Iraq a better place. If anything, everyone agrees that Saddam's death will not mean peace for Iraq, as if it was the picture of Woodstock to begin with.

On March 20th, 2003, the United States invasion of Iraq culminated with the fall of the Iraqi government and the capture of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. That day has been marked visually throughout history with the tumbling down of the statue of Saddam Hussein. That crumbling statue had more signifigence than a simple statue. That statue for all intent and purposes marked the end of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Nearly four years has passed and during the meantime, tens of thousand of Iraqis have been killed, nearly 3,000 American soldiers have been killed and the nation of Iraqi itself has struggled and struggled to unite their government, protect it's people and to provide for them welfare and security. But now, Saddam Hussein has been executed and the best I can describe this is a moral victory for the Iraqi people. Many Iraqi's will die tomorrow. More American soldiers will be killed. Many Iraqis still don't have adaquate electricity. The streets reek of trash, sewage and burnt rubber. Gun fire in Baghdad is just about as normal as it is in any ghetto across the nation. Regardless of the fact that Saddam is dead or alive, the fact remains, Iraq still faces a dire situation that is not getting any better.

And as I sit here, I hear of the stories surrouding his execution and cannot help but to be disturbed. It's been reported that those present at his execution danced and celebrated, not just at the fact that he died, but at the fact that they dance at his body. Now, I know this death carries a grave signifigence, but I've never killed anyone personally. The bodies of the deceased that I've given me a wide range of feelings, celebration is not among them. What's worse is the fact that Hussein kept his people in fear by publicily broadcasting executions, even on holidays. Oddly enough, the same thing has happened here.

Fact of the matter is, Saddam's reign ended inMarch of 2003. His death now is nonconsequential. Actually, this was a fore gone conclusion waiting to be reached since that time. After all he's done in Iraq, those people could not wait to get their hands on him. His trial was theater. Like they were actually going to find him not guilty. He received one appeal and security of the former president was given up for less than 30 minutes before he was executed. Thirty minutes. I can make a grill cheese sandwich during that time. They wanted him dead. The lack of a coherent legal system didn't matter. Lack of due process did not matter. What mattered is Saddam Hussein dead. And to what end? Everything he was died nearly four years ago.

Friday, December 08, 2006


A Way Forward?

The Iraq Study Group was formed back in March of 2006. It consist of 10 persons from different background, ideology and philosophy led by former Secretary of State, James Baker and former congressman, Lee Hamilton. This bi-partisan group, over the course of the ensuing nine months consulted a number of governmental leaders, former and current as well as other pertinent notables. Together, they published a report, The Iraq Study Group Report. This report is is the comprehensive opinion that is held in reguard by both sides of the pendelum because of the make up of the group, which includes cabinet members and advisors from previous three presidential administration, former senators and a Supreme Court Justice. All of this was in a vain attempt to recommend a course of action that President Bush should take to complete his war.

Their report to the president: FAILURE!

George Bush has failed and he has failed misreably. He has failed the Iraqi people. He has failed the American population. He has failed our military. He has failed our government. He has failed his own party and he has failed himself. That is pretty much a sumation of what the report has given. This foolish, idiotic crusade of an errand is the biggest folley this nation has faced since Vietnam. You would think that ever since that war over three decades ago, our leaders would have learned a damn lesson, but wait a damn minute; George Bush only decided to step foot in Vietnam last month. Why would he know any better? I mean, what better way to built support for an unpopular war by traveling to VIETNAM! I'm sorry, I cannot blame the troops in the field. They are trying their best. They are doing the best of a bad situation, taking the peanuts from the shit, but there's only so much you can do. Our fearless one's leadership has failed.

If this was a cartoon, George Bush would be about as competent as Cobra Commander. This guy has done nothing right but to continue to lead where it has been well established that his leadership is inefficent. What makes matters extremely worse is the continued and perpetuated lie he and his adminstration fed the American people for the whole time. All we heard from him, his adminstration and the talking air heads is how good things are going and how much better they are getting and how much better things are than under Saddam Hussein. THERE WAS STABILITY WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN. THERE WAS A STANDING ARMY WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN. THERE WAS POWER, JOBS AND RUNNING WATER UNDER SADDAM HUSSEIN. HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WERE NOT GETTING BLOWN TO BITS ON A WEEKLY BASIS UNDER SADDAM HUSSEIN. It doesn't take an idiot to see which one is better and which one is worse. So evidently, our fearless leader must be worse than an idiot for not seeing that.

And the only they they could tell us was how good it was going in Iraq, of how good it was that the Iraqi people are coming out to vote for a government(that we gave them). First of all, it's a damn problem when Iraqi turnout is better than ours. Secondly, what is the purpose of these people voting? Are they voting for the same things we vote for in a government? Are they voting to establish justice? To ensure domestic tranquility? To provide for the common defense? To promote general welfare? To secure the blessings of liberty and posterity? Well, if that's their goal, here's their report card: FAILED. FAILED. FAILED. FAILED. FAILED. And their failure is not in their hands. It lies in the hands of our nation. You can't expect a pre-schooler to do calculus? So why in the name of the Lord did we expect this expierment in construction this nation in our image would work? Only a fool would expect as much. Hell, even a fool would know better. Our leadership did not.

So why did we do it? Other than the facts of oil, previous beef and a hard-on for legacy, we involved ourselves in this mess because we could. Who would stop us? We thought we could want into Iraq, depose the government, decimate the army and control the populace. Well, it turns out we were wrong. Or were we? Our goal was to remove Saddam Hussein, to install a democratic government and to leave peacefully. Well, considering that last goal is obviously not going to happen, we've done all we ever thought we had a mandate to do. Everyone's worried about winning the war and securing our objectives and truth be told, we've already done it. As painful as it might be, it's time to let the training wheels go. We can't hold Iraq's hand forever. They are going to have to learn on their own. It's going to be tough, but how else are they supposed to do it? Unfortunately, they were not strong enough or willed enough to lead in the command of their freedom and democracy, like we were, which is why they cannot succeed. Our presence is not helping them, it's hurting them. Yes, in the long run, the U.S. presence in Iraq is doing more harm. The longer we are there the less effective we are. Our presence there is nothing more than a damn, a blockage from something that needs to flow freely. As rough the waters might be, it's going to flow reguardless of what we do so we need to remove ourselves as an obstruction. The only reason why the United States of America is the United States of America today is because we took command of our own destiny and took our freedom and took our democracy. We did not wait for France or Russia or anyone else to give it to us, nor did they have to step in and say King George is a failure and America is ripe for regime change. We did that. And becasue we did that, we had the strength to continue. Iraq does not have that. Iraq has an enabler called the United States army. As long as we are there to be their crutch and to hold their hand, they will never be able to have the strength to soverign and that's real.

And this foolish thought of a continued armed combat is foolish. Again, it's beyond foolery. This cannot turn into a battle of atrition because again, VIETNAM, we've seen that will not work. Unfortunately this seems like the only thing the president knows and now we're paying for it. He seems to think that armed combat against terrorist and insurgency in Iraq will work, when any military leader will tell you if you want to win a battle you are going to have to think like the enemy thinks and we are not doing that at all. If we were, we'd see how futile military combat is against much of this element. They are fighting for a way of life. We are not. We cannot grasp that they are fighting for something far greater than themselves. Their future and entire being is at stake and we are threatening to take that from them. The first thing that comes to my mind when you realize what we're fighting is a similar will, the will the Black Americans had to obtain our civil rights and liberties in this nation. Those like Martin Luther King Jr, Medger Evers, Emmitt Till, Linda Brown, Rosa Parks and the rest of those who came before me, they fought against a juggernaut that was steadfast in denying them their future, their way of life adn their entire being. Did they give up? Did they retreat and say, the U.S. government is too strong, let's bend to their will? No. They fought. The harder the U.S. government fought to deny them, they fought twice as hard, until the government did something unprecedented for someone like George W. Bush and actually turned to the people and LISTENED. And that's the same thing we'll go through in this current crisis. Taking up arms and killing these people has done nothing more than the strengthen their will. And that's all we are doing, which is just another reason why we should leave.

If you don't want to leave. If you are still one of those who believe our military presence is a good thing and beneficial to Iraq and it's people, I feel sorry for you. But please do not deny the power that is gained when you listen. When one is listening they are learning. When one is learning, they are understanding. When one understands, they are accepted. And that will help both sides. Not entirely accepted for a better relationship, but accepted for knowing where you stand. Because right now, we're doing nothing but proprogate slaughter.

And so now, the adminstration has not taken this report as a report of failure but has taken it as a report of new opportunity. The new monniker is "A way forward". Even dispite all evidence on the table that he has failed, that the reality that has smacked him in the face, he still thinks he can take advantage of this situation. He doesn't understand that it's far, far too late for progress. Not that progress can be achieved, his mentality will not allow it even if it were possible. From day one he has made up his mind about Iraq. No matter what this report says, George W. Bush will do what he wants anyway, reguardless all recommendation, realization and repudiation. He has claimed a stake on A way forward, but has demonstrated a clear lack of vision, integrity and trust, I am entirely confident he does not know of A way forward more so than away/forward. Because for every step forward he thinks he takes, he takes three steps away. Away. Foward. Away. Forward. Now because of his will of force and foolery and lack of a sense of direction, we will pay dearly.

So, in the end, the faults of this man does not fall upon him. Those who are the real failures are us, the people. We elected him. We elected him again. Before we knew how strong his grasp was on the world around him and we elected him. Then we knew how badly he failed us and we elected him again. Now, we bear the fruits of what has blossomed from our ignorance and divison. We, the people of the United States, have failed ourselves. We allow for this to happen. We allowed for him to be in office. Now we have failed him. We have failed ourselves and the opposing ideology. We have failed the Iraqi people and we have failed our government and our democracy. And the Ambush of George is complete.

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