Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Iraq's Congress takes off -- all of August ..

Without passing any laws that would help stabilize the country before they flew away for their vacation.

Every day they are vacationing, living it up outside the dangerous areas of "their nation," more than 8 million of their fellow Iraqis are suffering - trying to survive without basic resources like water, food, electricity, health care, housing and any measure of safety.

This after the US has paid some 200 billion *borrowed* dollars for reconstruction of the nation devastated from invasion and now civil war, with US soldiers caught in the middle.

Every day in August that American soldiers and civilian workers are wounded, maimed or killed because the Iraqi government literally refuses to stay and work to take control of their country is another day that President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney claim they need to "stay the course" and "win the war."

Exactly what does that "win" look like?

We Americans will have to pay for the hundreds of billions that Bush has borrowed to invade and fight that war, plus interest. A war we ought to have never entered to begin with.

Iraqi congress members are not stupid. Why should they stay and do their work when they can be on a paid vacation while the US keeps spending money on their corruption and time off, letting Americans die for President Bush's "crusade."

Rightly, those 8 million suffering Iraqis blame the US for their plight. If we had not invaded and occupied their nation, these problems would literally not exist.

Our military would have actually been able to disarm the terrorists at their previous and current headquarters in Afghanistan along the Pakistani border.

And, gosh, it's been proved a dozen times over that half the insurgents in Iraq killing Americans are from our "ally" Saudi Arabia. Just like the terrorists who flew planes into the Twin Towers on 9-11.

More, Saudis are funding these insurgents.

But what did we do for Saudi Arabia just last week?

President Bush asked the US Congress to allow the sale to Saudi Arabia $20 billion dollars in state-of-the-art weapons! They include advanced satellite-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighter planes and spanking new naval vessels.

Why give the Saudis all those advanced weapons?

In the minds of the Saudis, to offset Iran's supposed building of nuclear power, and President Bush agrees with his Saudi friends.

His close Saudi friends who warned him NOT to invade Iraq because he would set off more problems than he solved if he did.

And of course arming the Saudis means that we'll have to give another ally, Israel, more billions in support and sell them the same state-of-art weaponry because you *know* Israel is screaming that they are now more vulnerable with the Arabians having those state-of-the art weapons.

Hmm. True. But do you understand that this escalation is because of President Bush's "crusade?"

Do you understand that it's only common sense that many more world stability dominos will fall thanks to the "crusade" that President Bush is hell bent on "winning" at our expense.

Our "ally" Pakistan, which also houses terrorists, right on the border of Afghanistan from which Bush ordered our forces withdrawn to be redeployed to Iraq a few years ago, already has nuclear weapon capability.

So does India (thanks to the US), Pakistan's longstanding enemy.

Before President Bush invaded Iraq, there were serious concerns about these nations, their growing ability to arm themselves with nuclear weaponry because the stability of the entire region hung by a thread.

Please look at the map to see the close proximity of all these nations to one another and understand that leaders from all other nations and many members of the US Congress who voted against giving President Bush authority to invade Iraq were well aware of the tenuous relationships they had before the invasion of Iraq.

Um, none of those countries have moved. They were in the same place and just as close to one another before President Bush decided to make Iraq a democracy. Which it has no chance of becoming because of the additional warring factions of the Sunnis and Shiites and Kurds.

All three factions of Iraq who are no different now than they were before the invasion. Except they're armed. And dangerous to each other as well as to American soldiers.

Yep, the Bush-Cheney team not only broke the thread, they cut it with a hachet in 20 places.

All compliments of you and me paying our taxes, unlike Haliburton, which is paid billions to "rebuild" Iraq. It moved its headquarters from Texas to Dubai in order to avoid paying taxes in the US.

I have no idea how it could possibly happen - seriously - but I believe that as more and more facts emerge about the astonishingly dishonest actions and proclamations made by Bush and Cheney and their henchmen over the past six years, US Attorney General Alberto ("I don't remember.") Gonzales will be out within a month; and that Bush and Cheney will be out of jobs long before the end of their term.

Not because of any sort of liberal movement - but because conservatives are just as upset with him as the liberals. They believe Bush lied to them and is in no way reflecting a conservative agenda.

Piling up so much national debt is a good start; conservatives don't like government spending money. Disregarding the US Constitution and Bill of Rights comes a close second. Not supporting our troops comes right behind that - the troops are not getting what they need in the way of armaments to protect themselves (perhaps if they were Saudi Arabians....), the war in Iraq was mismanaged from the getgo, and US veterans are not receiving proper care when they come back wounded, maimed and in coffins.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Renewable resources: the key to a healthy economy and life!

A renewable resource continues to create something new rather than simply be used up or destroyed.

For example, education is a renewable resource because it helps people create work, art, skills and ideas that not only help the students, but the workforce, society and culture.

It gives a great return on the investment. People go deeply in debt for an education expecting to make many times over that amount when they graduate.

War is not a renewable resource. Its machinery and weapons are intended to destroy and are expected to be destroyed. More, the machinery are intended to destroy the resources of the enemy - their economy, natural resources, infrastructure, populations, animals and plant life.

The breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) is attributed to that government investing so much money in war machinery and military - spreading their fighting forces so thinly - that there was no money left to run the country.

There has to be some sort of balance or the economy of a nation suffers - or can be completely destroyed.

When we invest so much money in war machinery and armies, that is money paid out with no money coming back in, even when politicians insist there will be.

One of the reasons the Bush administration said that invading Iraq would not harm our economy is that Iraqi oil would pay for the war and rebuilding the destruction there.

Well, the war has crippled Iraqi oil production so the war has cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars - which we've had to borrow from other countries (China is a major source).

So after promising that the war would in effect create a new renewable resource for the US because it would bring oil to America? It turns out to not only be a *non*-renewable resource but a huge drain on our national resources.

People are a renewable resource. If they are killed in war, they cease to be a renewable resource and a need is created for replacing them.

Another reason war is a source of economic depletion: our wounded, maimed and traumatized veterans need expensive medical, dental and psychological care when they return and the government doesn't want to pay for it. The military really is a cheap workforce - the pay is deplorable. Medical and psychological care is not cheap. The payment to survivors of US veterans killed in war is also deplorably low.

Think of the renewable resources that surround us: animals who produce milk we drink. They not only provide the milk we drink - but babies who grow up to give us more milk. It's important to protect these animals from abuse or overuse so they can continue to be a renewable resource without having their lives cut short.

Egg-laying chickens? Renewable resource - again, as long as they are not stressed and abused to overproduce, cutting miserable lives short.

Imported goods? Renewable if exported goods are exchanged in kind.

This economic philosophy is known as guns and butter.

And it's pretty simple. If there's not some sort of balance? There's too much money going out with no promise of sufficient income? The drain on an economy laden with debt can be brutal.

You or I would be tossed out on the street if we lived this way.

The government just borrows money from other nations. In the case of Iraq, which is costing us more money than we generate in the US, it's many billions of dollars from China.

Larry Johnson, a former CIA agent who used to be a conservative Republican, now writing and speaking about the insanity created by the Bush administration in Iraq, says that this issue of the US being mislead into a war is not a matter of "left" or "right," Republican or Democrat.

It's a matter of right or wrong.

Oil companies, the Bush family bread and butter, are cleaning up at the gas pump as prices skyrocket - and will continue to through his presidency (remember he promised to keep gas prices down when he ran for election?).

His family will, as usual, enjoy fabulous Christmas celebrations for centuries to come while we try to figure out how to dig our way out of the sickening debt and recover from the unnecessary deaths created by his war.

The unlimited tax money and massive debt used to pay Halliburton (vice-president Cheney's former employer) to "rebuild" Iraq without a single bid or even a plan will certainly keep the Cheney family warm at night for centuries to come while other Americans freeze to death.

New government reports declare that attempts to rebuild the majority of warring Iraq are fruitless. As soon as something is built, it's blown up. But Halliburton is paid still more money to re-rebuild or re-re-rebuild ad infinitim, while it moves its main headquarters to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to avoid paying US taxes.

Guns and butter.

War and peace.

The people making money off the war are the cronies of Bush and Cheney - including private armies like Blackwater hired by them.

The losers are our honorable military men and women who with good conscience and courageous hearts put their lives on the line to carry out the orders of a president who can't be bothered to attend one of their funerals - even symbolically.

I wish on July 4, Americans would fly their flags at half mast in memory of all those American military men and women and innocent Iraqis who have given their lives over the past five years in a war that was entered by president Bush cavalierly, without integrity, honor or honorable purpose.

A US-instigated war which has fomented old wounds among all the warring factions of Iraq to the point that there is not one, but several civil wars being fought, while our soldiers become cannon fodder as they try to quell some of the killing.

Leave or stay, the Bush administration has fomented a bloodbath in Iraq that will not end until the Iraqis decide they want to stop killing one another.

What motivates too much of the killing now is one group pointing to the other, accusing the US of "taking sides."

That is the argument for the US getting out of Iraq.

Meanwhile, Bush and Cheney have plans to keep US forces in Iraq - a nation that was no threat to the US - for the foreseeable future, incorporating a policy similar to establishing a presence in south Korea.

And there is more talk of the US invading Iran, a nation which may well develop into a threat. One day.

That day is moving up more quickly because the most powerful nation in the world invaded its neighbor, Iraq.

Call them crazy, but they see invading their sovereign neighboring nation as a threat to their country.

Imagine that.

Imagine Russia invading and starting a war in Canada - think the US would consider that a threat?

Guns and butter can co-exist as long as the gun expenditure doesn't swamp the butter boat.

The situation gets dangerous when we have to start asking, as we become more and more deeply in debt because of war and money becomes scarce -- which we need more: guns or butter.

Depletion or restoration.

Some politicians know which side of their lives is buttered, because they continue to make a few people who are manufacturing war machinery -- who don't care who's buying their goods and services -- wealthy.

Very, very, very wealthy.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

The war with Iraq - who's on first?

Do you know that President Bush has *never* attended the funeral or memorial service of even one soldier killed in Iraq?

But he attended the memorial service at Virginia Tech last week, proclaiming he mourned the senseless deaths of the 32 students killed by another student.

Flags fly at half mast honoring those slain students.

No flag has hung at half mast mourning the more than 3,300 American military lives lost in Iraq in the past four years.

Only starting this year, after a legal battle was fought are military caskets brought home to American soil in public. That legal fight was brought about by the parent of a son killed in Iraq who wanted the public to see - to understand - that his son gave his life for his country.

Before this, military caskets were brought home out of public view. In fact, there was a huge broohaha over a photo released to the media that showed a plane load of caskets carrying Americans soldiers killed in action home from Iraq.

It's almost as if the Bush adminstration wants the human cost of this war shaded in some sort of secrecy for fear the public would be outraged if we found out the truth and saw for ourselves the reality of what is going on.

Speaking of truth, did you know, according to author Jeremy Scahill, that the Bush administration has hired some 48,000 "private" soldiers from Blackwater mercenary services to fight in Iraq?

Which means we can actually withdraw the US military, but still pay billions for mercenary soldiers from other nations to continue the fight on our behalf - in our name - there?

A couple more books on the subject that may interest you that are not as politically progressive are Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) by P.W. Singer, and Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror by Robert Young Pelton.

Does this mean we are paying all those billions of tax dollars for the Bush administration to outsource a "US war" with Iraq?

Actually, Bush has pushed the US into what some declare catastrophic debt by borrowing the money to fight in Iraq - mostly from our, um, "close ally" China. Right.

There are some constitutional questions - like is this a legal war to begin with? What does having expensive private soldiers fighting a war on behalf of the US - in our name - mean?

Does going into such horrific debt with China give them some sort of power over us if they suddenly declare they want to get paid what we've borrowed from them *now!*?

Again - why are we losing all those American lives fighting a war in Iraq? Why are our valiant men and women coming home missing limbs, faces, and even their sanity? Only to have problems receiving proper medical and psychological care at home? Only to have families go through hell because their soldier has been so traumatized by what they've done and seen?

Why are we viewed in the world, more and more, as terrorists, invaders and occupiers instead of the good guys - liberators, freedom fighters and defenders of the downtrodden?

The only answers we seem to be getting to these questions are more questions .... like-

who's on first?

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