My niece in Colorado, outside Denver, she turns 5 today. Happy Birthday, Charlize! (Not that she'll read this. She's 5.)
The past five years have been pretty horrific. I can't imagine them being much worse, from a national/political point of view, of course. Our inept administration...wow, there's just so much, you know? It's hard to know where to begin.
They left the war in Afghanistan before the job was done so they could invade Iraq, a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. They convinced Congress and the American people that invading Iraq was necessary due to Saddam's stockpile of WMDs and his desire for a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately, their lies worked and we've been mired in an unwinnable war, a war that quickly devolved into civil war between Shiites and Sunnis, for over three years now. We have been in Iraq longer than we were involved in World War II.
Meanwhile, the forgotten war, the first one we started, against the Taliban, oh, that's going swimmingly. After initially running off and hiding in the mountains, a resurgent Taliban has been waging a fierce battle with U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan. The violence there, some have said, is even worse than the violence in Iraq, which I find hard to believe, but it's difficult to know for sure since the media barely mentions Afghanistan anymore.
We've tortured prisoners, not only in prisons in Iraq (Abu Ghraib) and at Gitmo, down in Cuba, but also in secret CIA-run "black sites" in eastern European countries, and we continue to torture them.
The majority of people at Guantanamo Bay are completely innocent and they've been imprisoned there for over four years without ever being charged with anything.
The administration believes it's necessary to illegally wiretap millions of Americans' phone lines.
Hurricane Katrina technically didn't even hit New Orleans. The worst of the storm was to the east of the city. But the levees that surrounded the city ruptured and collapsed due to all the rainwater and flooded the city. Thousands of people died needlessly because the administration was slow and incompetent in its response.
The wealthiest one percent continue to receive tax break after tax break while the gap widens between the Haves and the Have Nots. Minimum wage stagnates at $5.15/hour because immoral Republicans in Congress refuse to hike the pay of America's workforce without attaching yet another tax cut for millionaires.
Speaking of millions, millions of Americans, many of them women and children, are without health insurance.
Kanye West had it wrong when he said George Bush doesn't care about black people. George Bush doesn't care about poor people, which is an important distinction.
He's not too fond of Jewish people either, believing that unless you're a God-fearing Christian like him you're going to hell, which he's done a damn fine job of giving us a preview of.
George Bush believes himself to be a king, an emperor, whose judgement is infallible and we're all supposed to say, "yes, sir," and allow him to do whatever he damn well pleases.
That's not America. That's not how things work here and if George Bush would take a moment to read the United States Constitution (and then have a Constitutional scholar explain it to him in small, easily understood words) he would realize that we don't live in a monarchy. We're not a dictatorship. We're not simply going to succumb to his wishes because he says so. That, despite his feeble attempts to label "the terrorists" such, is Fascism. Totalitarianism. And that is NOT MY AMERICA.
This November a hugely important election will take place. Depending on the outcome we could have invaded Iran by this time next year, stuck in yet another unwinnable war. Or perhaps, if we're oh-so-lucky, we could be in the middle of impeachment hearings for the President-Who-Would-Be-King. I suspect we'll be somewhere in the middle.
Only a Congress controlled by Democrats can strip this incredible moron of the power he's illegally wielded for the past five years. The Republicans have been nothing but yes men, pushing through every piece of legislation George Bush wants. That has to stop. Congress does not exist to do the bidding of the president. They are equal partners, along with an impartial judiciary, in governing this country. And it's about goddamn time they started fucking acting like it.
The question you have to ask yourself, five years after those towers fell, is do you feel safer yet? Cause if you do, I want to know what fantasy world you're living in.