Hopefully, by the time you read this, the elections will be over and the Right Side will have won. The big question, of course, is if control of Congress changed hands, and if light is at last going to be cast on the incompetence, malfeasance and outright corruption of the villains currently losing the War on Terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and the world at large.
Just to drive the point home, in the last two weeks before the election Rumsfeld, Cheney and company presided over two more infinitely shameful fiascos, adding to a surreally atrocious skein of disasters the like of which our country has never seen before.
I am referring, first of all, to the Congressional Republicans’ decision to do away with the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, currently headed by a Republican and longtime friend of Bush Senior, Stuart Bowen.
Mr. Bowen is an old-fashioned Republican, the kind who actually puts his country’s interests above those of his party. The Republicans want to get rid of him because he has done what they have repeatedly refused to do: attempted to investigate the shameless graft that has totally undermined our efforts in Iraq and not so indirectly caused the deaths of countless American soldiers.
Almost all of the contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, from Louis Berger, Halliburton and KRB to Custer-Battles and Blackwater, have placed profits above patriotism and used their contracts to reap immense profits, even if it has meant completely failing to do their job properly. Billing the government for security guards who don’t exist, stealing Iraqi vehicles at Baghdad International Airport and selling them to the U.S. military. Building a highway in Afghanistan at three times the price offered by competitors and then doing such a bad job the road is already disintegrating. Running a police training in Afghanistan that doesn’t train policemen. The list goes on and on, and yet there has been not one real effort to correct the situation and punish the guilty. The Republican majorities in the House and Senate have steadfastly vetoed any such efforts, even as they wrap themselves in the flag and call anyone who questions their cockeyed policies traitors. And now they want to silence the one voice that has dared to draw attention to the whole sorry mega-scandal.
The latest chapter in the War on Terror Theft-a-Thon came to light last week, with revelations about the Pentagon’s multi-billion dollar arms sale to the Iraqi Army. The U.S. taxpayer ended up footing the bill for, among other things, thousands of weapons and vehicles without serial numbers, repair manuals or spare parts; field kitchens – field kitchens?! – that look like they were designed by the Borat Brothers and the Kazakh Academy of Industrial Engineering; and a warehouse the size of two NBA basketball courts full of outdated 9 millimeter ammunition too dangerous to use.
More than anything, the vote this week was really about one big question: is our nation so hopelessly corrupt, so lazy and terminally dysfunctional, that stealing from our sons and daughters in uniform will continue to flourish, and go unpunished?
You would have to build a dozen Gitmos to house the guilty hordes of slime-handed profiteering traitors, from old pro goniffs like Cheney and Perle to young punk swindlers like Custer and Battles, who used their White House connections to garner Iraqi contracts for a bogus security business whose only real expertise lay in doing nothing for something, tens of millions of dollars of the latter. Jail is really too good for those who cash in by endangering our fighting men and women. For Donald Rumsfeld, a more just fate would be a padded cell and an I.V. drip of Thorazine; the man is obviously criminally insane, a psychopathic egomaniac who would rather see thousands of young Americans killed and wounded than admit the mistakes he has made. And for George Doubleya Bush, impeachment is the punishment that fits the crime.
It probably won’t ever happen – after all, he didn’t have illicit sex in the White House, he only presided over the total destruction of America as a world super-power and the betrayal of everything our nation stands for – but it would be nice if the Democrats at least tried. And the repulsive Rove? May he be locked in a steam room with the gay-bashing gay preacher from Colorado Springs with a trunkful of oversized sex toys and a duffel bag full of bad crank until the end of time.
I’ll be down in Texas on election night, on Hugh Fitzsimmons’s ranch, preparing to go deer hunting with the Kickapoo Indians, but if things work out the way the polls are trending you probably will have heard our shouts of triumph all the way from there. (Hopefully, we’ll be hearing the victory chants of Valley Floor supporters from Telluride.) Apropos of the national elections, two or three old sayings come immediately to mind: “Revenge is a dish that tastes best cold”; “The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine”; and, of course, “Payback’s a bitch.”
Let’s hope that when all the votes are counted across the U.S.A., the wheels of justice will finally begin to grind slowly, agonizingly, reducing these scoundrels into dust.