Thursday, August 19, 2010

Randi Rhodes 'The War in Iraq is OVER!'

Hey, the Iraq war is over!
They really snuck that one up on us. They lulled us into complacency for seven and a half years and then “BAM!” Wow. You just blink… continuously for seven and a half years… and it’s over. It might have been nice for President Obama to have invited George Bush back to do the “Mission Accomplished” thing, in kind of a do-over. He could have ordered a banner for Bush that said “Mission Accomplished, For Real This Time. Honest.” The last U.S. combat troops left Iraq yesterday. We still have 50,000 soldiers there in a non-combat role. So now we don’t have people there who shoot, just people who get shot at. This is being billed as the end of combat in Iraq. From here on out it’s no longer combat, it’s just violence. Oh, and there are still some 100,000 contractors in Iraq. So we still have an army in Iraq… just not THE Army.
At seven and a half years, the Iraq War lasted longer than the Revolutionary War. On the whole I’d say we got more out of the Revolutionary War. We got a nation out of the Revolutionary War. I suppose in a sense you could say we got a nation out of the Iraq war, but not nearly as nice of one. On the other hand there are similarities between America after the Revolutionary War and Iraq after this war. They both had an infrastructure appropriate for the late 18th century.
The quality of life indicators for Iraq are not good. For starters, some 600,000 Iraqis have been killed since the invasion began. And as quality of life goes, death is as bad as it gets. Meanwhile, consumer price inflation in Iraq is 50 percent. So even if you manage to stay alive in Iraq, you can’t live in Iraq. 40 percent of professionals have left Iraq since 2003. Great. We went in to get rid of Saddam, and we ended up getting rid of all the doctors, engineers, and architects. Only 37 percent of Iraqi homes are connected to sewer systems. At those numbers the country itself effectively becomes a sewer system. Well, at least if the streets are full of sewage, you can’t see it at night. There are no streetlights. In July Baghdad had five hours of electricity a day. At least when our troops left, nobody had to say “Remember to turn out the lights.” The lights go out on a regular basis on their own.

Today’s Homework Discuss

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