By Ben Tanosborn
Poor Jeb! The Bushes' presidential oddity is not about to continue with a Bush-45, and Barbara Bush's dynasty-from-hell appears to have performed its final royal act. Farewell to Bush-41, Reagan's heir to the conservative crown; and to Bush-43, the affable but definitely bird-brained political godson of the criminal regent-in-power, Dick Cheney!
On the 20 of March, we are celebrating another oddity: the 13-year anniversary of the Iraq War. And to the superstitious, as well as the mathematical-minded amongst us, not only are 41, 43, and 13 odd, but also prime numbers. And today's very special 13, disregarding any biblical or numerological interpretations, gives us an opportunity to reflect on where we are as a nation and as a civil society; and whether it's in Americans' best interest, all Americans, to maintain a pretend-empire that has diminished most of us in every possible way: economically, morally, politically and spiritually.
Thirteen years ago, America's legions were thrust into Iraqi lands in a true war of choice that only criminals, or fools, in the White House, Congress and the Pentagon said to understand. That March 20, 2003 was the start of America's Waterloo, a battle that had a none-of-our-business beginning to bring Saddam Hussein down; a battle different from other Waterloos with a final, crushing defeat; a never-ending battle that continues on morphed into myriad incredible ways... presently extending longitudinally 5,000 miles, from Northwestern Africa to Pakistan.
This ongoing battle has cost the US well over two trillion dollars to date and it continues sucking much of our economic life-blood; life-blood that America's elite - which include politicians and corporate moguls-carelessly force us to shed in pursuit of their personal objectives which most often translate into money and power.
Our corrupt and highly ineffective government, whether in the hands of Tweedledee-Republicans or Tweedledum-Democrats, has long ago become the enforcing, legitimized tool by which the elite has transformed a presumed democratic Republic into a shadow Plutocracy; a Fascist Plutocracy in the minds of an ever-growing upended society.
Whether we accept it or not, the war in Iraq continues on if by other names, in Syria and elsewhere... ours is a Waterloo without an end.
As I write this article on this first afternoon of spring here in the Pacific Northwest, right across a field from my residence in Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Bernie Sanders is now delivering his generic candidacy speech for the Democratic nomination, already in the bag for Hillary Clinton and her political machine. His speech will be advocating a voters' revolution, promising a path to cure our social ills; one of social justice. And he'll be repeating his call to arms against a corrupt economic, social and political system that foments extreme income inequality and promotes social policies that accelerate the disappearance of a middle class that once upon a time was the envy of the entire world. His audience at Hudson's Bay High School will be, I'm sure, frivolously optimistic; an audience mostly of hopeful, politically-uncontaminated young people.
Americans, not just conservative Republicans, but a majority of Democrats and even so-called politically-independents, have been indoctrinated for generations into beliefs that simply put are pure, unadulterated myths. So Bernie's social, or socialist if you prefer, ideas will be tagged as un-American, un-enterprising and un-pragmatic; and the success of such ideas in much of Europe - Denmark and other Nordic countries often cited - will be attributed by our predatory elite, and its ignorant followers, as result of homogeneity of both people and culture in those nations... in contrast, it will be said, to the diversity found in the US. Are we totally blind to the diversity in Europe today?
And that's where the myths should end. If you study contemporary Europe, including the Scandinavian nations, you'll find that universal health care, better public free education (including college), and countless other universal social policies prevail... aiding, not harming, the success in opportunity and free enterprise - surpassing these days the level of opportunity existing in the US. Unfortunately, for now, honest Bernie will be derogatorily viewed as a socialist by too many Americans, and even be pointed out by Wall Street, charlatan-in-chief Donald Trump, and others, as a "Commie."
If only we could receive some enlightening political education instead of that Kool-Aid laced with delusional ignorance we get from both ruling elite and mainstream media!
Perhaps naysayers to Bernie's cause are correct, and our nation cannot afford all those "benefits" so many Europeans get. It's an economic challenge to run a pretend-empire with a military budget as large as those of the rest of the world... combined! And with an added hidden budget created by a "national security system" that we are told, and miserably lied to, in order to keep us safe! Have you recently traveled domestically, visited government buildings, or just carried on with regular life? Do you feel safer?
On this 20th of March we should, no... must, reflect on Iraq and its aftermath: Al Qaeda, Isis, names that emerge, for the most part from actions the US has taken in the recent past. No, we mustn't forget Iraq, or be forgiving towards politicians who took us there.