Baghdad Burns Bush In Effigy-- When Will Detroit Follow Suit?
My theory about the Iraq War was always a little different from anyone else's. And it certainly had nothing to do with the NeoCon's fairy tale about liberation and a democratic domino effect in the Middle East. Nor about sweets and flowers and a square named for George Bush. It took into account the Bush Regime's utter inability to ever articulate a vision of "victory," not just an achievement of victory-- that's absurd on its face-- but even an idea of what "victory" would look like. That's because for Bush, the Iraq War was a way of telling annoying little dictators that if they messed with "us," we would destroy their country, upend their society, bring unspeakable misery to their citizens, kill their family members (and kill them as well).
For Bush-- despite what the consequences, both globally and domestically, have brought in its wake-- the mission really was accomplished. Iraq is in ruins. Once the most advanced society in the Middle East, it is now a smoldering wreck. George Bush showed them. When the puppet government's cabinet presented the parliament with an agreement extending the occupation of their country by U.S. troops-- even though the agreement is far from acceptable to the professional U.S. military or to people with genuine concern about security, or the Constitution-- fist fights broke out on the floor of parliament and the debate had to be "postponed." Today there were mass demonstrations against extending the occupation in downtown Baghdad.
So would someone be surprised to hear that an effigy of Bush was burned in Baghdad? And, fittingly, it happened in Firdous Square where the Bush effigy was placed on the same pedestal where U.S. Marines toppled the Saddam's statue in 2003 when they took over the city.
After a mass prayer, demonstrators pelted the effigy with plastic water bottles and sandals. One man hit it in the face with his sandal. The effigy fell head first into the crowd and protesters jumped on it before setting it ablaze.
Before it fell, the effigy held a sign that said: "The security agreement ... shame and humiliation."
Before he finally falls-- for good-- in this country, we should contemplate how Bush has also caused tremendous shame and humiliation for millions of American families. Fathers and husbands have to explain to their families why they have to move from their homes and uproot their lives. Those moments are very personal and inward looking. How can someone tell the family it's Bush's and the politicians' fault? It is though; they failed us dismally and, in all likelihood, criminally. Obama, of course, will just want to move on. The idea of justice, let alone retribution, is unthinkably un... un... unfair! Unfair to the rich and powerful who own everything... including the rest of us. No, it's time to move on and let's make sure we learn nothing at all from this so we can give the crooks a chance to do it again in a few decades. (The unlikely alternative: pay attention to someone really smart like Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York.)
Today Krugman's column offers a look at an alternative to burning Bush's effigy in Detroit-- or, more effectively, giving him and all the relevant participants in the looting of our society blindfolds and last cigarettes. I don't find it at all comforting and I'd much rather see trials and... appropriate punishment.
Everyone’s talking about a new New Deal, for obvious reasons. In 2008, as in 1932, a long era of Republican political dominance came to an end in the face of an economic and financial crisis that, in voters’ minds, both discredited the G.O.P.’s free-market ideology and undermined its claims of competence. And for those on the progressive side of the political spectrum, these are hopeful times.
There is, however, another and more disturbing parallel between 2008 and 1932 — namely, the emergence of a power vacuum at the height of the crisis. The interregnum of 1932-1933, the long stretch between the election and the actual transfer of power, was disastrous for the U.S. economy, at least in part because the outgoing administration had no credibility, the incoming administration had no authority and the ideological chasm between the two sides was too great to allow concerted action. And the same thing is happening now.
...There’s now a real risk that, in the absence of quick federal aid, the Big Three automakers and their network of suppliers will be forced into liquidation — that is, forced to shut down, lay off all their workers and sell off their assets. And if that happens, it will be very hard to bring them back.