They demanded we trust them because they, and they alone, knew best.
They proclaimed they, and they alone, could and would keep us strong and safe even though it turns out it was them foolishly pushing us into danger with their international chest thumping and posturing. They then proceeded to jeopardize us further with their laxity and inattention to the very details needed to actually keep us safe and strong.
When the almost inevitable blowback came, they expressed dumbfounded surprise, but still insisted we trust them, and them alone, because they were supposedly the only ones capable of bringing to justice those attacking us. Worse, they were secretly delighted because they believed it gave them a blank check to seek fulfilment of their hearts’ fondest desires, things they could never achieve otherwise in a sane society. In a cosmically comic irony, the violent response of others to our earlier ignorant arrogance was declared an excuse for new egregious excesses of our own, excesses unrelated to the real task at hand, catching criminals.
Reason, rationality, research, and reflection were all declared useless baggage. Common sense? How quaint. Something apparently to be ridiculed.
Impatient to proceed with their secret agendas, they then proceeded to lie about the most critical aspects of what they were doing and why. Heedless of possible consequences, they surged forward unprepared for future needs or end games or contingencies for the usual glitches and unintended effects that plague all wars. After all, according to them, they and they alone knew best. Plans? “We don’t need no stinkin’ plans” seemed to be their operating motto or at least their modus operandi. God was on their side or at least they declared it was. 9/11 - the violent precipitating event of our current troubles was perceived almost as a “gift from God” encouraging them to indulge in their own previously stalemated lust for violence against Unbelievers.
In any event, it became clear they had absolutely no trust in the rest of us at all, we who would have to carry out and bear the burdens of the policies they declared. Interestingly, they alternated between being terrified of us and dismissive of us. They certainly did not trust us with the truth having no confidence at all in their own persuasiveness to win any debates on the merits. They still don’t trust the courts, the Constitution, the Congress, the voters or the small portion of the press they could not isolate, intimidate, mislead, or bribe with perks.
Astonishingly, they lied about even things they did not have to lie about. They became almost textbook cases of the pathology known as “pathological liars.” Aided by their exclusive possession of all the nation’s “Top Secret” rubber stamps, they could lie with almost impunity.
Secrecy became an end in itself, especially useful to cover up mistakes and lies. Their cone of silence was broken only when revealing a state secret might prove useful to attack anyone who disagreed with them or might have proof of lies. This is yet another in the cornucopia of ironies they have gifted us. Having loudly declared secrecy was imperative and inviolate, they felt free to ignore or sacrifice it at whim. It did not seem to matter the cost to the country of the secrecy violations by themselves. That was somehow “different” and legal solely because they were the ones doing it.
When their lies or inconvenient and contradictory facts are ultimately discovered, they pretend it did not matter. It is sometimes so obvious they are wrong, they appear to be downright delusional. Their grasp on reality is becoming increasingly questionable at best.
Nevertheless, they successfully seized the carte blanc they demanded after 9/11 to do exactly what they wanted even before. They began diverting resources, bodies and money. They got all they claimed they needed. But, although a massive hemorrhaging of blood and money continues to pour out and has never stopped or slowed, about the only thing they have shown is that success in seizing power and deluding their own country is not necessarily a predictor of success in doing so in others. Beyond the subversion and perversion of this country’s former ideals, none of their stated goals, except the most minor of ones, one that could have been accomplished in other ways, were successfully accomplished.
That was probably because they tended to fire the people who understood the problems. They replaced those who knew how with liars, self aggrandizers, incompetents, zealots, crooks and even traitors (assuming the word “traitor” includes those who blatantly ignore the words in their oath of office about swearing to defend the Constitution). Many of the flunkies installed by them seemed to see it only as an opportunity to line their own pockets.
All of them, the ones in charge, the ones responsible for where we are today, repeatedly told us the task was almost finished. They told us so often that the phrase “mission accomplished” is now officially an oxymoron, an antonym for the words “success” or “completion.” Yet, what they really did was make the problems far worse, perhaps now unsolvable thanks to them. Plus, they irresponsibly cost our treasury and our grandchildren trillions. They cost thousands of our finest young dead, thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, more maimed mentally or physically. That doesn’t even begin to count the totally innocent women and children diminished as “collateral damage.” They cost us our morality, our good word, our trust, our unity, our ability to respond to disasters or future threats, and possibly even our future. They immeasurably weakened us in so many ways. They strengthened those who resolutely hate us, for good reason it turns out. So far the only things they have “accomplished” are to fulfill the fondest dreams of terrorists and those who wish us harm.
There is no end in sight as long as they are in charge. They have screwed it up so bad that thanks to them, and them alone, we can no longer “win” Iraq by any conceivable meaning of that word and the results of getting out are now almost as bad as staying. It is being to appear the only person who might have been able to do as much permanent harm to us would have been for the partisan Republicans sitting on the Supreme Court to have put Osama bin Laden in the Oval Office instead of Bush.
Yet, somehow when everything goes horribly wrong, as it has, they blame others, never ever themselves. For a religious person, the plagues we have been saddled with might make it appear that God is so irritated at those in Washington, he is aiding the other side.
Despite all that, despite the mounting evidence of stupidity and wrongdoing and costs, they still refuse to allow genuine debate and routinely refuse to listen to anyone who might disagree, no matter how conclusive the arguments or proof. They certainly never actually change their core tactics or use other tools. They cannot see anything of value in approaches except using force to get their way.
They seem incapable of cost/benefit analysis. Like a spoiled petulant child, they are utterly incapable of being sufficiently adult to admit when they are wrong so that it can be fixed. They are a party of rich white boys who continually cry “Wolf!” Worse, they have been downright thuggish in attacking anyone who disagrees even mildly on anything. They want to continue forever doing what clearly does not work.
On top of being steadfastly, unchangingly dishonest and/or outright stupid, many have turned out to be unbelievably corrupt. It can probably be said with little exaggeration they have never been right on any subject except how to steal elections, let alone any decision having anything to do with Iraq. It can probably be said as well that all the bank robbers plus all the welfare cheats of all of our history put together have not stolen, wasted or broken as much as this particular gang.
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