No Money For Peace?

 

Al Jazeera reports that the UN’s budget for peacekeeping missions is empty. No money left, and the nations can’t agree on restoring the fund. Funding for warfare on the other hand, appears to be limitless. One wonders what the impact would be if the trillions being spent on war were instead spent on the promotion of peace?

Perhaps humanity will never evolve to the point of being able to settle our differences without war? Perhaps the people who wrote “The Day The Earth Stood Still” had it right? Perhaps we need to give the UN a literal nuclear option, the ability to completely annihilate those who refuse to settle their differences peacefully?  Maybe then we would stop slaughtering one another? 

 

Happy Birthday, Yosemite

 

Seeing that today is the 150th birthday of Yosemite National Park, I felt compelled to comment.

Best wishes go out to Yosemite on its 150th birthday.  After cancelling a trip to Lake Louise in Canada due to a new-found fear of flying immediately following the attacks of 9-11, we arrived in Yosemite by car, where we were told we needed to strip the interior of our vehicle of any kind of liquid or foodstuff.  Even a single stick of gum or a bottle of water we were told, might cause the bears to tear our car to bits in the night.  We were assured that it was a distinct possibility.

We then entered the lodge to discover that my wife had left most of her luggage back in Los Angeles.   Having nothing to wear was no problem though, as the lodge had lost our reservation.   After finally getting a room, my wife found a small note on a bedside table informing us that we shouldn’t be startled to see field mice running about, as it was a very old building and apparently the mice were permanent residents.   Whatever the case might be, they were there and clearly we were going to have to live with it.  That’s pretty much what the note said.

Badly in need of liquid sustenance, we went to the bar where we paid a small fortune for two drinks only to be threatened by a swarm of what appeared to be either bees or yellowjackets on the bar’s veranda.  I’m not sure exactly what type of stinging insect they were, as my wife and I were busy running away.

Later, Karen remembered she had forgotten half a protein bar in the car.

I saw the photos posted by the front desk of cars with their doors torn off by the bears, who would undoubtedly find even half a protein bar to be irresistible.  With that in mind we headed for the parking lot which was through the woods and badly lit.  So there we were.  In the woods.  In the dark.  Without a valet in sight.   Alone, except for the bears who were surely somewhere nearby, huddling in a confab trying to decide which car to attack.

We decided to let them have the car and the half-eaten protein bar and returned to the lodge, walking fast enough to get the hell out of there but not so fast as to make the bears think we were afraid  - which might have given them a reason to chase us, maul us to death and then eat us.

Just to keep the good times going my brother then called from Minnesota, with news that my mother was dying.  I now had to  go to  the front desk and cancel the reservation I had been forced to engage in verbal warfare to obtain only a day before.

Back in L.A., I was relieved to find U.S. airspace was once again open, the airlines were all up and running, and I was able to buy two tickets to Minneapolis.   Neither of us wanted to fly anywhere, but what were we supposed to do?   When your mother is dying, you go.

So happy birthday Yosemite.  I know none of this was your fault, except maybe for the field mice and screwing up our reservation, but you’ll have to forgive me if I never return.

U.S. Supreme Court Rockets Us Into The Past

 

More than 40 years in journalism have left me just a bit jaded.   However, some days continue to leave me speechless.  This is one of those days.  It is nearly inconceivable to me that the Supreme Court of the United States, or perhaps I should say, the five boneheaded, backward thinking, Neo-feudal justices that make up the conservative majority, could in their infinite stupidity rule that pregnancy is not a health issue and that public-sector unions have no real right to collect dues from their memberships.

So the five Neo-feudal justices mystical and ancient religious views on sex trump the reality of people actually having sex and needing to deal with it in the 21st Century?  Did the justices consider that their decision could be viewed as a refusal to separate church from state, and that it could also be interpreted as meaning that companies will now be allowed to order their employees to attend church services twice a day, or pray to Mecca regularly?  If a company owner can impose his will with regard to his workers sex lives based upon his personal religious beliefs, then why not other aspects of their lives as well?  It’s already happened.  Henry Ford, did it with workers on his first assembly lines.

Does this open the door for a Christian Scientist business owner to refuse offering any traditional healthcare at all?

Moreover, if a company owner can impose his religious belief system on his employees, then don’t his employees have a right to practice their system of beliefs while on the job, regardless of what their belief systems might be?   Shouldn’t Scientologists be able to take time off for regular auditing breaks?  Or is this whole freedom of religion thing a one-way street?   And if the Court is doing away with it, then why not our other freedoms as well?   Sadly, the boneheaded conservative five are working on it.

The other Neo-feudal ruling, limiting a union’s ability to collect dues, plays right into the hands of the masters and kings of big business who are destroying our middle-class and turning us into a two-class society with only the very wealthy at the top, hiding in their gate-guarded estates, and the rest of us on the bottom, trying to scratch out a living on whatever pittance the wealthiest 1% will allow.  “Gathering up the crumbs from their tables,” if you will.

We need to begin recognizing contemporary liberals and conservatives for what they actually are.  They are progressives and regressives.   Being a true conservative has little or no linkage with those on today’s far right who wish to take back us into the 19th Century.

Most frightening of all is the number of Americans who, with the assistance of an increasingly negligent news media,  do not understand or do not care, as they continue to believe somebody “up there” is going to take care of it all for them.  I’m convinced that many of these folks belong to the “pray the gay away” crowd.

This isn’t to condemn people of faith.  I was raised as an acolyte in the Episcopal Church, and went through years of Bible study.  We were people of faith.  But, we were also common sense Minnesotans who understood that “God helps those who help themselves.”  That too, was drummed into me to provide some balance between the value of blind faith the obvious need to deal with reality.   So often in life, balance is everything.

Those on the far-right in the United States are no better than the crazed and largely unschooled ISIS fighters marching across Iraq, who are willing to kill in their drive to make church (mosque) and state, one and the same.  Is there any difference between that kind of religious mania and the greed-driven promotion of carbon-based fuels that’s destroying the planet?

Ignorance is the tyrant’s friend and Fascism, his byproduct.

Time For The West To Stop Meddling With The Middle East

Some wonderful thoughts from Bill Moyers, on the need to honor the lessons of history and the words of T.E. Lawrence.

The Democrats Are Far From Perfect, However…

House Speaker John Boehner, is showing himself to be ignorant at best and an outright liar at worst, condemning President Obama for acting like a monarch and issuing too many executive orders.

Mr. Obama, has issued fewer executive orders than more than a half-dozen presidents who proceeded him.  You can be sure Boehner, knows this.  The  facts obviously don’t matter to the Speaker or his Republican cronies who also deny climate science, break out in hives at the very thought of universal health care, refuse to support equal pay for equal work for women and abhor the idea of expanded background checks on firearms in spite of the repeated slaughter of children in our schools.  There’s more, but even the short list of what they refuse to do is outrageous beyond belief as they continue to put party politics ahead of the common good.

The Republican Party, carrying America backwards under the banner of, “People hating people.  Moving America into Neo-feudalism, and damned proud of it.” 

This latest insane and time-wasting Boehner broadside may be nothing but a publicity stunt designed to get the base all whipped up prior to the election.  Who can tell when dealing with a gang of thugs like this contemporary Republican Party which lives by the big lie designed to give the rich whatever they want while denying the masses what they need?  Boehner’s latest is the claim that the Keystone Pipeline would create 100,000 new jobs.   The truth, is that it would create between 10,000 and 15,000 temporary construction jobs while the pipeline is being built (over a period of several years) followed by 35 permanent and 15 temporary jobs while promoting an energy source that’s destroying the planet.

The Republicans are a sham.  From George H.W. Bush lying about non-existent Iraqi troops amassed on the border with Saudi Arabia and fictional dead babies in Kuwait to goad the U.S. into the first Gulf War, to his son, George W. Bush, fabricating WMD’s and Jeb Bush and Kathryn Harris, rigging the election in Florida.  They need to be called out for their despicable and anti-American behavior.

The Democrats are far from perfect.  They too are stuffing their campaign war chests with money from corporate lobbyists, but how often in our history has our system forced us to choose between the lesser of two evils?

The upcoming elections in 2014 and 2016, may offer what could be our last best chance at choosing between a growing Republican crime family which holds a majority on the Supreme Court and has done everything in its power to eliminate our representative democracy on one side, and the Democrats on the other, a few of whom, like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, appear able to balance their need for big money donors with carrying on the fight for the increasingly antiquated notion of maintaining the common good.

The Perilous Process Of Ignoring The Past

 

Mr. Obama, is now requesting $500 million to train “moderate” rebels in Syria, in an attempt to offset the ISIS army marching across a piece of land the west designated as Iraq, following the First World War.

Give it up.  We continue to try and impose our will based upon our 21st Century opinions of how Middle Easterners and North Africans will act and react and all we do is fail.  Please be invited to examine the record.

There is no way to speed up the thinking process of a people who are stuck in a Medieval mindset.    They have been behind a cultural and philosophical wall for centuries while the west, with the exception of some in Alabama, Mississippi and a few other parts of the deep South and Texas, has moved forward.   It will take time for their thinking  to evolve.  All we can do is get out of the way.  Otherwise, like a police officer arriving at the scene of a domestic dispute, both parties will deflect their wrath away from one another, and focus on us.   The harder we try, they angrier they will become.  It’s been happening for years, and still our politicians soldier on, with one failed attempt after another.   The United States can neither fight nor buy what it wants in the Middle East, which requires a political and cultural shift rather than a non-existent military solution.  Again, examine the record.

Are we fighting and investing in the well being of the people of the United States, or the financial health of big oil and the various other components of the Military Industrial Complex President Eisenhower warned us about?

How many jobs might have been created here in the U.S. through programs to rebuild our infrastructure and improve public education and healthcare with the trillions of taxpayer dollars our political leaders have thrown away on death and destruction in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa?    How much of our unemployment and homelessness might have been eradicated?  In Detroit, people have lost their jobs, had their pensions cut and now their water is being turned off by the city.  This is madness.  Give the $500 million to the poverty-stricken people of Detroit and let the Syrian rebels and the Iraquis take care of themselves.

At the very least Americans who spent a lifetime earning a pension only to have it snatched away in their retirement should be entitled to clean running water.

Ask Not For Whom The Wolfman Howls…

The year was 1973.  I was a young reporter still earning his chops chasing George McGovern across the great rolling prairie of South Dakota.  It was there, at a theater in Watertown, that I first saw the motion picture that set the tone for an entire generation,  “American Graffiti.”  My generation.  Our movie.  It touched us all.  It marked our lives, and its heart and soul came from the northern end of California’s mighty San Joaquin Valley.  From the Modesto area, where movie great George Lucas was born.

And then came “Star Wars,” and a collaboration with Steven Spielberg that produced Indiana Jones, and George Lucas Industrial Light and Magic, and Lucasfilm, and LucasArts, and Skywalker Ranch, where the great American philosopher and educator Joe Campbell spent some of his final days.

From the San Joaquin Valley to the San Francisco Bay, the life’s work of George Lucas and his home state of California will be forever tied.  So why am I reading that he’s decided to locate his new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, his personal legacy, in Chicago, rather than California?  Really?  Chicago?   Surely this is a joke?

It’s said  that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel lobbied hard to get the museum in his town.  I’m sure he did.  It’s also being reported that Chicago is giving Lucas a plot of land near the Shedd Aquarium for a measly $1 a year and that  San Francisco wanted $30-million for a location in the Bay Area.   Lucas, apparently wanted to locate the museum in the Presidio, but he and the Presidio Trust couldn’t come to terms. There’s also the fact that his wife is from Chicago, so that may have played a role in his decision.

But none of the magic happened in Chicago.  It was all California.   The legacy belongs to both George Lucas and his home state.  How and why the State of California let him get away, is a question that should probably be answered.

While businesses flee to Texas and Arizona, Chicago has stolen one of the State’s true artistic treasures.

In the northern reaches of the San Joaquin Valley, Bob Falfa cruises main street in search of a race, while the Wolfman howls through the night for the displaced legacy of a native son.  How empty.  How sad.

Love The World Cup But Not The “Flopping”

Really getting hooked on the World Cup, but I can’t understand the “flopping,” or feigning of injuries.

When these guys are actually injured, with a broken nose or a concussion, they ignore it. When they aren’t hurt at all, they dive to the ground, grimacing as though they are about to die and grabbing their shins - when they obviously have no injury at all.  A few seconds later, they’re just fine.

I know it’s part of the game, but I wish it wasn’t. Perhaps with time I’ll learn to appreciate the value of a bogus injury, but I doubt it. Too much like professional wrestling.   The rest of it is great.

A little less “flopping” would be nice, but perhaps that’s just my American perspective.   That’s not to say that I might not be right.

Hang on.  Now an Italian player is saying he was bitten by a player from Uruguay, who, the announcers say, has a history of biting opposing players.  Aw, come on.  Not biting.

I can maybe get used to “flopping,” but not biting.  Really?  Biting? Now they are  showing clips of past biting incidents by Luis Suarez.  Aw jeez.  One hopes this is an aberration.  

Egypt Flips-Off The United States

Secretary of State John Kerry, visits Egypt where he promises to deliver Blackhawk helicopters to the Egyptian military, based upon an understanding that the new Egyptian government will improve its record on human rights.   One day later the Egyptians imprison three Al-Jazeera journalists for the apparent crime of practicing journalism in Egypt.  “Evidence” put on by the prosecution includes “videos of trotting horses and a song by an Australian singer.”  Observers report the fix was definitely in.

Amnesty International, is among those criticizing the verdict as being unfounded.  The Guardian reports, “In an official Amnesty statement, the group called the verdict a “dark day” for press freedom. “In 12 court sessions,” the statement read, “the prosecution failed to produce a single shred of solid evidence linking the journalists to a terrorism organisation or proving that they had ‘falsified’ news footage.”

Three more journalists, two British and one Dutch were convicted and sentenced to ten years each, in absentia.   In a show of prosecutorial sloppiness, Egyptian prosecutors misspelled the Dutch journalist’s name and identified her with an incorrect passport number.   Meaning, in effect, they convicted and sentenced a non-existent person.

Could be sheer coincidence, but timing is everything, and it would appear Egypt’s new President Sisi, has just flipped-off the United States in a very obvious way, and he can afford to.   Saudi Arabia, has promised to make up the difference for cuts in support from the United States or other western nations.

And now Mr. Kerry, has moved on to the U.S. caused mess in Iraq, for talks with Nouri al-Malaki, which will undoubtedly prove to be another waste of time, as the holy war moves forward without regard for the United States - which is to be expected, as this is a dispute between the Sunni, the Shia and the Kurds.  It’s no longer our fight.   It never should have been, even though some in government and the media seem to think the U.S. somehow has an ownership interest in Iraqi soil.  Is Kerry there to build upon the U.S. record of causing death, destruction and chaos in a nation the United States had no real cause to invade?

How much of what the U.S. is doing in the Middle East and North Africa is in the best interest of the people of the United States, as opposed to the wants and needs of big oil and right-wing extremists in Israel?

World Cup Pairings - As Clear As Mud

 

Looking forward to today’s World Cup match pitting the U.S. against Portugal at 2:30PM Pacific on ESPN.   I really need a break from Iran, Iraq, Syria, the Ukraine and the hopelessness of the world at war.

For me, the World Cup stands as proof that we can all come together for an event that is for the most part, peaceful and productive.  I suppose it stands as a  symbol of hope for the world, should we ever evolve past the present point of needing to kill one another because we continue to be too backward to settle our differences in any other manner.  I do though wish the World Cup was just a bit more understandable for us average Americans who are just now getting hooked on soccer, or what the rest of the world calls “Association Football.”

Apparently, if we get past Portugal, we have a pretty good shot at doing….something.  Still don’t understand the way FIFA has this thing set up.  The LA Times tried to explain it in today’s issue by saying, “…those who anticipate the U.S. advancing beyond the group stage can bide their time by checking out the fourth U.S. opponent of the tournament.  Both games involve teams from Group H, whose first-place team will face the second-place team from Group G in the round of 16. The Group G champion will play the Group H runner-up.”

There it is.   Clear as mud.   Sportswriters, announcers and others who already have an expert understanding of the World Cup, need to understand that millions of Americans are still clueless.  Millions of us here in the U.S. are just getting into this thing, and you aren’t making it any easier for soccer (futbol) to catch on.

The World Cup pairings must have been set up by the same nerd who established the BCS.  I’m looking forward to today’s game nonetheless.

Iraq - Time To Just Leave - Again

 

The more you read about President Obama sending troops back into Iraq, the more ridiculous it seems.  We tried for more than eight years to give Iraqis the ability to secure their nation.  We gave them money, military training and American blood, even though we were warned going in that there was no solution to the ongoing feud between the Kurds, the Sunni and the Shia.  We (our leaders), did not listen.  No, we (our leaders) thought the United States could fix anything.  Even a blood feud of more than a thousand years.

Our leaders were wrong.  Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, all totally and terribly wrong.  They failed, and now we are faced with the impossible task of admitting that we as a nation failed.  And we don’t like that.  It’s a political hot potato.  Okay, fine, don’t admit it.  Just get out.  Just declare victory, blame the failure on al-Maliki and his refusal to form a coalition government and get the hell out of Iraq.  Nouri al-Maliki, was handed all the tools and he failed to make it work.   That’s his fault not ours.

Spin it anyway you want.  You can even claim that the average Iraqi is better off with this current hell-hole the Bush/Cheney regime created than he and his poor bombed-out and desperate family were with Saddam.  It won’t be true, but you can make the claim.  Like U.S. officials have done so many times before.  You can tell yourselves it’s not lying, not really.   Just “spinning” the truth a bit.  Middle Easterners might not get it.  They might see it as lying.  It’s a cultural thing…

Let the Iranians deal with it.  They have a standing army of nearly 300,000 with more than 500,000 in reserve and a fleet of jet fighters with dozens of American-built F-14 Tomcats at the tip of their aerial spear.  The Iranians are Shia.  The ruling party in Iraq is Shia.   The much-feared “ISIS” fighters are Sunni.  Get it?  Let’s pack up our Bush/Cheney illusion of “democratizing” the Middle East, and get out.  Let the Shia, the Sunni and the Kurds settle their differences for themselves.

Or maybe Cheney can put in a call to Ahmed Chalabi?  Maybe he knows something we don’t?  Again?

We can’t even negotiate a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.  How in the name of all that’s holy do United States officials think they can work out a three-state solution between the Sunni, the Shia and the Kurds?

The solution is political, not military.  And by political I mean cultural, with all the religious, ethnic and other sociological complications that make up a culture most of the U.S. cannot grasp.  George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their Neocon minions, were obviously clueless.  They’re the ones who stuck us with this mess, promising we’d be out in six months max, and now they’re retired and unaccountable.  The “do it our way or hit the highway” boys are living the good life out in the wide open spaces in Texas and Wyoming.  Yee-haw!

Just pack up and get the hell out of there.   The ongoing presence of our 104 acre “super embassy” in Baghdad, is nothing but a monument to American denial of the massive failure of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

U.S. Troops Back In Iraq With No Exit-Strategy In Sight

American troops have returned to Iraq?  Why not?  Why break with tradition?  Once the United States sends in troops, we never leave.  We’re world champions at overstaying our welcome.

We’re still in Germany and Japan.  We still have bases in Guam, Honduras, Italy, England and Australia.  We have about 900 military bases in 130 countries and the world’s biggest military budget.  Well, it’s not what you would really call a “budget.”  It’s more of a blank check, as the Pentagon tells the Congress what the generals think they might need, and the Congress approves the funding, further breaking the economic back of the American middle class.  The cost of the Iraqi misadventure alone is expected to run into the trillions of dollars, buying the U.S. nothing but increased hatred and death in the Middle East.  Thank you ever so much, George, Dick and Rummy.

I suppose somebody has to defend Canada, Mexico and Aruba.  Beyond that, it’s not that all these countries can’t defend themselves, or that the military “metrics” of the 21st Century demand that the American military empire must, out of necessity, be extended to each and every nation of the world.  No, it’s just that once in, the United States never seems able to leave, be it for security or the continued profitability of the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex.   The question is too infrequently asked.

And so we are now back in Iraq, ostensibly to do nothing more than defend our embassy in Baghdad, while we do what?  Wait for the Shia and the Sunnis to settle their differences going back more  than a thousand years?   Can’t the Syrians, the Iraqis, the Iranians and the Saudis all just get along?  Are U.S. officials really so bone-headed as to believe that they can impose a settlement on these people, when any resolution would require a monumental political and religious shift covering all of the Middle East?   Or is it just a prudent political move to send troops back in to fend off the attacks from John McCain, Lindsey Graham and other assorted war-junkies, who appear to have a psychotic obsession with death and destruction on a global scale and seem to believe we can fix the societal problems of others, if only they can be made to listen to reason -even when it must be delivered at the point of a gun.

For whatever reason, the United States has sent troops to Iraq, apparently with no idea as to how or when we will be able to get them out - except that it appears the goal is to provide security for our embassy until things stabilize.  Which will be when?  In two or three hundred years, following the great Muslim reformation, finally allowing all the Muslim sects to lay down their arms and live in peace?

What’s your game-plan for cleaning up the Bush/Cheney mess, Washington?  What’s our exit strategy this time around?  It’s not an unreasonable question - although asking it is probably a waste of time.  Because once the U.S. military arrives, they never seem to leave.

Our Best To Dean Baquet

Dean Baquet

Best wishes for a rapid recovery go out to friend and former colleague Dean Baquet, Executive Editor with the New York Times, following surgery to remove a malignant kidney tumor.

“Doctors discovered the tumor on Thursday,’ Mr. Baquet said, and felt that it required “immediate attention.” He had “minimally invasive, completely successful surgery,” he said, “and my doctors have given me an excellent prognosis.” -NY Times

Baquet says he will be back on the job “as soon as possible.”

The U.S. And Iran - A Geopolitical Razor’s Edge

As ISIS marches across Iraq, the United States announces it will attempt to work with Iran in confronting the threat to Baghdad.  CBS News is already speculating about whether ISIS will “…plan a 9/11 style terror plot against the U.S.?”

An equally interesting question is posed by Boston University history professor Andrew J. Bacevich in his op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, as he ponders whether Iran will be to Obama as China was to Nixon, following the American misadventure in Vietnam.  The position of Israeli right wing extremists supported by hawks in the U.S. Congress pushing for war with Iran, make this line of thinking all the more interesting, not to mention problematic for the Administration.

Workingreporter.com is struck by the potential for fear driving necessary government reform from American minds.  For all the serious and necessary questions that have been raised by Edward Snowden and Julian Assange to be so diminished, that unnecessary spying and overtly unconstitutional government oversight by the NSA becomes a non-issue.

It’s been said time and again, throw a big enough scare into people and they’ll let you do almost anything, including surrendering their freedom(s),  in the name of “protection.”   Do you suppose we’re headed down that road again?

Republican Madness

 

Sen. Lindsey Graham

Happy Father’s Day.  I see in the morning papers that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair are leading the charge, demanding that we re-engage with the holy war in Iraq.  Some of the same people who mistakenly got us involved in that mess in the first place, are now trying to convince Mr. Obama to go back in, even if it means cooperating with Iran.  Take sides with the Shia against the Sunni?  Not all that long ago Neocon wingnut Graham wanted the U.S. to bomb Iran.   And now he wants to take the Iranians on as an ally?

Tony Blair, must be on a Bush/Cheney denialitis iv drip as he insists that the U.S. and Britain “didn’t cause (the) Iraq crisis.”  Guess he’s forgotten about the invasion and the removal of Saddam, followed by the absence of anything resembling a plan for reconstruction?

Apparently the Neocons don’t care who we attack, so long as we’re attacking somebody.   They have no better understanding of the religious and cultural issues at play in the Middle East, than LBJ had of the Vietnamese.  Or perhaps Graham thinks we should go back to the old Republican plan of “democratizing” all of the Middle East?  And what?  Occupying it for the next two hundred years?

What nonsense.  What do they hope to prove?   That the terrible Bush/Cheney mistake of lying to the Congress and the American people to take us into Iraq, wasn’t a mistake after all?  How many tens of thousands more must die to satisfy their denial?

Whatever the outcome in Iraq, it will be largely on the head of  Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his supporters who could not reach a compromise with the Sunnis, leading to the degradation of everything the U.S. and its allies were trying to build, including the Iraqi military.  If the Shia and the Sunni aren’t at a point in their cultural and religious development whereby they can’t live together without war, then there is very little the United States or any other western power can do about it.

We gave it more than 8 years and over 4-thousand American lives, not to mention the tens of thousands of Iraqis who were killed in the Bush/Cheney drive for regime change based upon nothing.  The American people have figured it out.  By a margin of 38% to 50%, they think going into Iraq was a bad idea.  Enough is enough.  No one will benefit from further U.S. engagement in Iraq, other than the Military Industrial Complex.

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