On Benchmarks

It’s all rather ironic, isn’t it? If it weren’t for the fact that the lives of millions are at stake, it would be funny even. Here’s what’s going on….

Bush says they won’t pull out of Iraq unless the Iraqi government (read: puppet regime) meets certain “benchmarks”! It’s quite amazing what they get away with, these “rulers of the free world.”

First, they destroyed the country in what they called Operation Desert Storm (remember that splendid little war in 1991?). Then they strangled it with 12 years of economic sanctions (yes, this was under Clinton’s watch). Then they invaded and destroyed, through Shock And Awe, anything that was left standing. They dismantled the existing state institutions, set up a puppet regime that no Iraqi would ever see as a legitimate government, ignited a sectarian conflict by setting different groups against one another, and now they claim that they can’t leave because there’s too much violence! Too much chaos!

And oh, don’t blame us, they say, blame the “Iraqi government” that hasn’t met “certain benchmarks” for “progress”!

Imagine that. Benchmarks for progress indeed.

How about some benchmarks for progress right here, in the world’s richest country. How about free healthcare for all, which could be achieved for a tiny fraction of the nearly $1 trillion that has been spent on this war? How about affordable, if not free, housing for all the victims of Hurricane Katrina who still languish in trailer parks around the country? How about repairing and upgrading inner-city schools that are falling apart? How about amnesty for all undocumented immigrants?

Is there anyone in government today who will insist on such benchmarks for progress at home? Don’t hold your breath.