As the big red word above this article states, this is my opinion.
Five years ago, I was one of the proud Americans who bought and proudly plastered “Stars and Stripes” bumper stickers on my car windows, windshield and bumper.
Five years ago, I was one of the Americans swollen with pride who gave a “thumbs up” to every redneck pick-up truck that had a U.S. flag graphic in its back window.
Five years ago I bought a large “casket flag” from the local VFW and flew it from my penthouse’s balcony.
Five years ago, I was one of the bigheaded Americans who cheered President Bush at the announcement that we were invading Afghanistan in order to route the Taliban and to capture and punish Osama Bin Laden. I loved that “Mission Accomplished” banner on the aircraft carrier and bought it hook line and sinker.
Five years later I feel like a fool, as do many other proud Americans, because the man who financed, authorized and gladly took credit for the destruction of thousands of lives in what’s known as 9/11 is still nowhere to be found—though he gleefully taunts us constantly from his hiding place(s).
While President Bush uselessly distracted our attention and finite military resources to Iraq, the Taliban Militia regrouped, refinanced and rearmed in Pakistan. The “Students of Islamic Knowledge” have recently roared back across the Afghan border into power and are reported to hold influence over two thirds of Afghanistan again. The Taliban’s militia has become so cocky, that they openly display their numbers and weapons on U.S. evening news broadcasts.
Nearly Five years later, the Afghan people have good reason to turn away from the U.S. and re-embrace the Taliban; after all, what have we really accomplished in the region?
Five years after 9/11 and many of President Bush’s grand promises, 53 percent of Afghans live on less than the equivalent of a dollar a day. Despite squandering $12 Billion in foreign aid so far, Afghan jobs are nearly impossible to find and there’s no discernable rise in their standard of living. The Afghan economy is still the sixth poorest in the world. Seventy-five percent of the Afghan people have unsafe drinking water.
Afghanistan’s Helmand province still produces a third of the world's heroin, despite the administration’s flaccid “war on drugs.” Poppy fields that could’ve been destroyed with only a few incendiary bombs while we were/are there and had/have the chance, are still producing addictive misery for the American People… why?
Because the focus on Bin Laden and Afghanistan was shifted to Iraq and despite the presence of thousands of U.S. troops “and their allies,” the border security between Afghanistan and Pakistan is as much of a joke as it is nonexistent. Because of that lack of protection, larger and larger groups of rested and well-trained Taliban fighters are reentering the country and making their existence known. They are also reasserting their strict religious dominance of the region using their superior knowledge of the terrain, beheadings, roadside bombings and the suicide tactics taught to them by Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda.
Despite our celebrated “defeat” of the Taliban, why are they still such an influence in Afghanistan? Why are their fighters growing more and more bold against our forces?
It seems to escape Mr. Bush that Pakistan hasn’t arrested a single Taliban official since 2001. Pakistan knows that sooner or later, like the Soviet Union before it, the U.S. is going to pull out of Afghanistan. If Pakistan eventually decides to go to war with India, it’s likely that they’ll need Afghanistan as a geographically strategic ally, which wouldn’t happen if the U.S. is still in charge.
Now that the November elections are drawing near, President Bush is again telling the American People to “Stay the Course”. Bush knows the only way to get the American people’s support is to wave the flag in our faces, all the while using fear tactics to secure our backing to shore-up his sagging poll numbers.
To not rally around the president during wartime is to be considered treasonous and unpatriotic, but the American People have gotten used to the status quo and numb to the number of daily deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Are we at war; or just in a useless military action that in the end will have as much future effect on Iraq as we did on modern-day Vietnam? Are we bound to repeat our mistake in the lives needlessly sacrificed then as now?
Now when President Bush starts waving the flag, most of us see it for what it is—political posturing. The man has used the word “evil” so often that it no longer has the effect it once had. He’s turned it into an opinion, rather than a specific description. To rally God to his breast is now seen as self-righteous political self-promotion instead of true Christian concern, aimed only at the core voters he’s taking for granted to keep a Republican majority in congress.
If the fear of Osama Bin Laden doesn’t work and has been over used, then go back to the fear of God and try to convince the American People that he’s the spokesman for the almighty. To question or be in opposition to George Bush is to oppose God?
The Republican Party has found itself in a desperate attempt to distract the American People from the obvious fact that Congress has achieved nearly nothing of any value to the people it supposedly serves! Well… in all fairness they have given us “Freedom Fries”, trickledown economics that doesn’t really “trickle down”, immediate tax cuts for the rich, eventual tax cuts for the lower middle class and poor, and an attempt at controlling the American People in a political “Taliban-style” coup by the Religious Right… oh and let's not forget billions of dollars worth of business in no-bid contracts to Cheney’s Halliburton.
In my opinion it’s time for the American People to realize that the “evildoers” Bush keeps screaming about are really the Republican “pork-barrel, bridge to nowhere, rubber-stampers” that are in office right now! You know: the very ones that we allowed church-bus loads of pre-programmed voters to elect to congress. That would be their choice of pre-programmed and oblivious (to the common man's needs) Republicans to "represent" us because we ourselves were and still are, too lazy to go to the polls?
In my opinion, it’s time we got off our complacent asses and boot them out of their jobs before it’s too late.
The Republican Party has succeeded in making “liberal” a bad word. The Religious Right of this country is absolutely counting on us common folk to stay complacent so that they can continue to win elections. It’s time to show them who the real majority in this country are.
Now if we can get the Democrats to grow some balls and make “Born-again Christian” a bad word, and realize that the vast majority of Americans don’t care that much about whether they’ve been “saved” or not, this country might actually get somewhere.