© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert
Please view the video presentation. Do the Math. What might The Cost of Iraq truly be?
Chapter and verse has been written on George W. Bush and his history of addictions. None doubt his alcohol abuse. The President speaks of this obsession often. His own struggle to stop drinking may have endeared him to many voting constituents. People in America can attest to their own struggles with alcohol dependency. Some feel certain George Bush did his fair share of cocaine; perhaps, it was another drug of choice. It seems marijuana was part of the party boy's bingeing. Currently, and for the last twenty plus years our President has been clean. George W. Bush is sober and possibly no longer addicted to intoxicants, unless we are speaking of war.
I am told killing and defeating personal enemies can be exhilarating. I know not. I think none are my foe, forsaking my own fixations. I do know that many, myself included believe they have addictive personalities. When I relish a pastime, I truly do. However, I do not believe in the contention, "Once an addict; always an addict." Although, I acknowledge many do. People can present a panoply of reasons to support their claim. Rationale for such a belief is abundant. Nevertheless, I am of the mind that habits can be left behind permanently. No replacements are necessary.
Over the course of my life, I have indulged in much that was unwise and unhealthy. However, each of my habits was pursued simultaneously. Slowly, I rejected one after another, until they were all gone. I accept that my life and stories are my own. Yours or George's may be different.
However, I do assert as a friend, familiar, or family of an addict I would not be willing to support the habit of a devotee. I wonder; would you happily bankroll the drugs, the booze, or the food that feeds the addiction of another? I have, out of "necessity," sponsored my own abusive practices. Still, I surmise supplying the obsessed is unwise. The habit will not die easily as long as it is fed. Part of what helped me work through my addictions was the need to consciously consider the cost.
Drowning our sorrows in sauce, escaping in amphetamines, or feasting on foods until your body can hold no more is expensive. Spreading democracy to satisfy an ego or to leave an impressive legacy takes quite a toll. Trillions of dollars are necessary to continue this compulsion.
Money is not the only concern when we assess addiction. The damage done to the devotee is awful enough. The harm that comes to those the addict encounters is immeasurable. When a person chooses to engage in abusive habits many are hurt.
Thus, I ask, do we really wish to support an unhealthy practice? Consciously or not, we do. We fund the President's habit. American citizens, Congress, or we the people sponsor the war in Iraq.
I do not believe in tough love; nor do I think behavior modification releases a person from their dependency. I think each of these "treatments" offers only a temporary solution. The hair-of-the-dog and drug therapies delay deliverance; however, these methods do not suppress a desire. I maintain we must choose for ourselves when or how we work through our addictions.
George W. Bush chose his path. Mister Bush mentions that turning to the Lord, locating a place of faith contributed to his healing. In 2005 . . .
Bush, a Methodist who credits his religious faith for helping him stop drinking and handle the demands of his job [said] "There's all kinds of ways to quit drinking," he added in remarks to a March conference of faith-based social service providers, "but one of the most effective ways to quit drinking is for a person to make a choice to go to a place that changes your heart."George W. Bush may be "right." For some, faith can move mountains. Yet, a strong belief in the Lord does not seem to help with George's current fixation.
G-d, Jesus Christ, and President Bush's belief in these miracle workers does not dissuade this man from evil doings. George W. Bush violates the Commandments daily. The tablets proclaim, "Thou shalt not kill." Yet, George W. Bush does. This man is responsible for murderous acts. He encourages mass slaughter. These reactive behaviors do not benefit a nation, a world, or even an individual. What seems to be another addiction for George W. Bush is devastating the globe and we are paying for it.
I do not understand what motivate us, as a nation. I do not comprehend what moves Congress to act as they do. Iraq war veterans are against this war. Some of these soldiers were elected to office in hopes that they would find a way to stop the blood bath. Freshmen members offer words of wisdom; yet nothing changes.
"We stand together to tell this administration that we are against the escalation, and to say with one voice that Congress will no longer be a blank check to the president's failed policies," said freshman Rep. Patrick J. Murphy (D-Pa.), who was a captain with the 82nd Airborne Division in Baghdad. "The president's plan to send more of our best and bravest to die refereeing a civil war in Iraq is wrong."We are still funding a failed war effort. The argument is that if we stop supplying the dollars we will not be supporting the troops. The troops themselves dispute this claim. However, members of the House and the Senate fear the people will not believe this is true. It seems Americans do not recall this action has been taken in the past.
A new report from the Center for American Progress details how, over the last 35 years, Congress has passed bills, enacted into law, that capped the size of military deployments, prohibited funding for existing or prospective deployment, and placed limits and conditions on the timing and nature of deployments.Hell did not freeze over; however, with global warming it might. George W. Bush does speak to our addiction to oil and recently relented that America's compulsion to consume may be adding to the affect. Still, I digress.
For some reason the charismatic Vice President Cheney and his partner in war crimes George W. Bush have a hold on Congress; thus, negating the "power of the purse."
Vice President Dick Cheney has made it clear that he does not believe Congress has much to say about the war in Iraq, in particular, or about foreign policy in general.Perchance the forefathers also predicted the possibility of delusion and dependence. The writers of the Constitution may have known that a President can easily become addicted to power. S/he may have an uncontrollable desire to conquer every entity in his or her path. It seems George W. has this proclivity, and we, the people support him. We honor this Commander with title of Chief. The American people and their Representatives ignore the penchant of this President. We give him dollars so that he may do his deleterious deeds. Knowingly, we walk with Mister Bush down a path of destruction!
With repeated assertions that the country "cannot run a war by committee," the man who defended the Reagan Administration's Iran-Contra wrongdoing and counseled the first President Bush to omit consultation with Congress before launching the Gulf War of 1991 has established the current administration's view regarding which branch of government is in charge when it comes to warmaking. "The president is the commander in chief," growled Cheney in a recent appearance on Fox News. "He's the one who has to make these tough decisions."
President Bush has dutifully echoed Cheney's line with clumsy but apparently heartfelt references to himself as "the decider."
Were it not for the small matter of the Constitution, the Vice President and his charge might be convincing on this matter.
Unfortunately for these transitory occupants of the White House, the Constitution affords them no comfort.
The document is clear in its language: "The Congress shall have the power... To declare war, grant letters of marquee and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water; To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years; To provide and maintain a navy; To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces; To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress..."
If that makes it sound as if control over matters military was placed squarely in the hands of the House and Senate, then the founders succeeded in communicating their intent. James Madison and the other authors of the Constitution were exceptionally blunt about their hope that the president would serve as a mere commander-in-chief, implementing the directions of the Congress with regard to the targets or military actions, the characters of those actions and their durations.
The founders bluntly stated their fears about executive excess in a time of military conflict. "War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement," warned Madison, who explained that, "In war, a physical force is to be created; and it is the executive will, which is to direct it. In war, the public treasuries are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand, which is to dispense them. In war, the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed; and it is the executive brow they are to encircle. The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace."
The Constitution was written "to chain the dogs of war" by founders who believed it essential that the endeavor be "run by committee" -- with the legislative branch fully empowered to check and balance the ambition, the avarice and the vanity of the executive.
Why? Why are we willing to let a man that has a history of unhealthy habits lead us into battle. More importantly, why do we fund such folly?
I beg; I plead; write your Congressman or woman. Place a telephone call to your Representatives. Sign every and any petition. Speak to your friends and family; ask them to assist you in your quest. Let us stop this insanity; exit Iraq. End this war! Do not allow this President, drunk with power, to dip into your purse. Send the troops home before more harm comes to them. Please help save your fellow humans from a fate that need not be theirs. I thank you for caring.
Reasons to Reflect on George W. Bush and his Fixations . . .