Moneybag Democracy


To view the original art, please travel to “Moneybag Democracy” [Archive No. 9703]

copyright © 2008.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

“Now, that doesn’t mean that questions of Taiwan, Tibet, human rights, the whole range of challenges that we often engage on with the Chinese, are not part of the agenda. But we pretty much know what they are going to say. We have to continue to press them but our pressing on those issues can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crises.

~ Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (February 20, 2009)

The news appeared in cyberspace on Friday, February 20, 2009.  As Yogi Berra once elucidated, it was as déjà vu, all over again. International and domestic activists have come to realize, once again, America is a democracy dependent on dollars.  Amnesty International advocates shook their heads, wondered, and worried of what might be.  Students for a Free Tibet collectively shrugged their shoulders and expressed a shared distress.  Citizens at home, in America, barely blinked.  An avid Obama supporter, was resigned to realities that, only weeks ago, she might not have thought she would willingly accept.  Moneybag democracy lives.  Hillary Clinton serves the President, the precedent past, present, and perhaps, future.

Days ago, with Secretary of State Clinton abroad in China, the world was given an opportunity to witness America’s new direction.  Most anticipated dollars would no longer have a greater influence on United States policy than humanitarian concerns did.  Globally, people waited to cheer for the change that had certainly come.  Then, Secretary Clinton, pleaded with Beijing to buy United States bonds.  Contrary to her pointed comments on human rights, made during her presidential campaign, as a representative of the Obama Administration, Secretary Clinton spoke as though she no longer believes as she had, Chinese ownership of US government debt had become a threat to national security.  

Perhaps, Hillary Clinton, and her President, surmised Capitalism, or a democracy devoted to dollars must survive at all cost.  Certainly her husband, and his Secretary of State, Madeline Albright had reached this conclusion near a decade earlier.

Like Secretary Albright, Hillary Rodham Clinton, chose to sell America’s soul. When the first woman Head of State spoke of her decision, few United States citizens said a word.  In the 1990s, then Head of State, Albright, in a 60 Minutes interview, discussed the American policy decisions that caused the deaths of more than half-million Arab children in Iraq.  She said without hesitation, the loss of young lives were the price the Clinton Administration thought wise to pay.   Madeline Albright mused; the sacrifice of little ones was “worth it.”

Hardships on fellow humans are the cost citizens in a comfortable and “civilized” society must pay for democracy.  Apparently, Americans, even the most Progressive amongst us, seem to agree.  Then, as now, few if any said a word.

Today when news came over the wires, Secretary Clinton stood firm in favor of economic relations with China, regardless of human rights violations, only a few countrymen responded.  Activists were ‘shocked’ when they heard the American Ambassador, Clinton, take such a stance.  Representatives from Amnesty International and Students for a Free Tibet spoke out.

T. Kumar of Amnesty International USA said the global rights lobby was “shocked and extremely disappointed” by Secretary Clinton’s comment.  The advocate for honorable and equitable civil liberties may have trusted that at least where China was concerned, the Clinton’s had a record, or at any rate, had offered respectable rhetoric.

James Mann, a Johns Hopkins scholar who wrote a history of U.S.-China relations, also recalled.  When asked of Secretary Clinton’s most recent comment, Professor Mann stated he was struck by the contrast.  Bill Clinton, he said, as president more than eight years earlier gave strong speeches on behalf of political freedom in the People’s Republic.  “Bill Clinton told the leader of China he was on ‘the wrong side of history,'” Mann recollected.  “Now, Hillary seems to be giving them the reverse message: that China is on the right side of history.”

However, historians might consider the statement that President Bill Clinton is better known for was his truer agenda.  “It is the economy stu***!”  In March of 1997, writer for China Daily, Ren Yanshi avowed the Chinese government certainly perceived the United States had a record of human rights violations, during the Clinton years.  In a “Moneybag Democracy,” the United States of America caters only to the rich.  In the States, a consumer culture allows the prosperous to profit further.  The people, the poor suffer greatly.

In recent years, as the rich got much richer, this truth was revealed in radical ways.  The word “Katrina” evokes much empathy.  “Bank bailouts elicit more emotions within the ranks of what once was the Middle Class.   Some might say, these truths are the reason that change has finally come to America.  Until today, the thought was coins and currency would no longer guide an Administration or US policy.  Barack Obama brought hope to the world.

Students for a Free Tibet embraced the new Administration.  They believed the current White House could and would make a difference in the lives of all people.  Surely, a President Obama would not serve only the affluent.

As a Senator, Barack Obama was among the sponsors of the act, which bestowed the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, on the Dalai Lama.  Senator Obama urged Chinese president Hu Jintao to “meaningfully address the Tibet issue.”  After the election, Tibetans were encouraged.  They sent President Obama letters of Congratulations.  Thus, it was an unexpected and an unwanted surprise to hear Secretary Clinton cavort, cajole, and say as she did.  The proponents of social justice stated, Clinton’s remarks “sent the wrong signal to China at a sensitive time.”

“The US government cannot afford to let Beijing set the agenda,” said Tenzin Dorjee, deputy director of the New York-based advocacy group.

Long-time activists, domestic supporters of Barack Obama, persons such as Jessica, see Secretary Clinton’s statement differently.  This woman who energetically endorsed Barack Obama from the moment he announced his campaign would have welcomed a more mindful position.  She yearns for United States policy to be benevolent as she believes Barack Obama, the man, is.  Jessica, who organized her community to come out and work for what she craved, an Obama White House, now thinks America cannot “afford” to do other than cater to the wishes of the Chinese government.

A jubilant Jessica has been joyful since her presidential candidate was chosen to serve. She avows; “Unfortunately, due to our greed, China owns us.  If they pulled their money, this country would die.  Sad fact but true.”  

American lives would be lost if foreign affairs focus on humanitarian concerns in China.  There can be nothing worse.  Who would buy the wares that please the people in the States, or Jessica might say, in her own defense, furnish jobs for those born in the Far Eastern nation.  The argument could be made; and certainly, descendants of Wal-Mart founder, Sam Walton, would be the first to offer it.  US dollars support a much-improved Chinese culture.

George W. Bush might have mused the latter claim an important one.  Perchance, that is why the former President chose to attend the 2008 Summer Olympics.  United States indebtedness served to justify relations with China, a country well-known for human rights violations.  The desire to feed a Capitalist market, the need to assuage the hunger of citizens who habitually consume on credit, and a country famished for cash, will do all that they can to appease those who beat and brutalize Chinese citizens.

The people of China, many Americans cried at the time, cannot be punished because they live under totalitarian rule.  Nor can US athletes be penalized.  Cruel and inhumane treatment is not acceptable, or at least it would not have been months ago, to Jessica who did all she could to help place the now President, Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

In primary season, Jessica stood staunchly against what she then thought were Hillary Clinton’s hawkish views.  She, might have agreed with essayist Stephen Zunes when he wrote for the Foreign Policy in Focus on December 11, 2007, “(F)ront-runner for the Democratic nomination for president shares much of President Bush’s dangerous attitudes toward international law and human rights.”  

Nonetheless, today, Jessica, the proud Progressive, a self-identified peace lover offers, “If there is no money, people will die.  Fact.  I hate it (almost) as much [as an idealist would.]  I also agree we are a soul-less country.”

Then, she quickly deferred to her disgust for the George W. Bush years.  She stated the crimes committed by the former Administration were deplorable.  Jessica concludes, “(W)e have to hold the previous administration accountable for their crimes.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose position on censure has wavered would concur with Jessica, today. If the subject were an investigation or possible prosecution of the Bush White House, Nancy Pelosi would be on-board.  However, Speaker Pelosi may, or may not, think the United States can ignore human rights violations on the part of China.  One never knows.  History and statements made in the past, are often inconsistent.

Almost a year to the day, on February 21, 2008, Secretary Clinton’s good friend, the esteemed Representative from San Francisco, Pelosi, spoke eloquently of what she did not publicly discuss with fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton, now in 2009.

“If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China’s oppression in China and Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world,” House Speaker Pelosi told reporters during a visit with the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala, India.

Indeed, America, the Moneybag Democracy has forfeited ethical influence.  Economics has replaced principled certitude as US policy.  The press understands the priority.  The commercial media knows dollars deliver.  Damn the lives and liberties of our brethren abroad.  In the United States there is but one mission, moneybag democracy.

Perchance this truth explains why coverage on the decision to forego human rights concerns is limited.  An article appeared here, or there.  Yet, few commentaries focused on the human rights aspect of the Secretary Clinton’s travel.  The Los Angeles Times reported, Clinton added environmental and security issues to economic talks in China.  Most say Secretary of State Clinton has sealed the deal.  She has merged the past with the present. Former First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton has performed laudably for her President, Clinton, Bush, Obama, or for the precedent moneybag democracy.

References for varied reality . . .

Hope for Hillary Springs Eternal



Hillary Clinton to Accept Secretary of State Post

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Hope for Hillary springs eternal.  This deed is done.  Numerous accounts say the documents are signed.  The die was cast, perchance before the public knew what they might say or do.  Change has come; yet, it has been thwarted with but a single statement.  Hillary Clinton will be Secretary of State, according to news sources.  Today, as more than a decade ago, First Lady Clinton is welcomed into the White House.

Senator Clinton spoke of her certainty on the campaign trail.  She trusted, once again, she could and would sit in the most esteemed Executive residence.  Indeed, the word heard on the streets is Hillary Rodham Clinton has succeeded.  She found her way to the place she calls home.  With the Chief Foreign Policy Officer appointment attained, a sense of her articulated desire is an action, a fait accompli,  

Conventional wisdom is Hillary will realize her aspiration.  For  now, that prophecy is but a oft-expressed faith.

Years ago, the prominent First Lady crossed the threshold from the front.  Today she enters from a side door.  Tomorrow, or in 2012, the soon-to-be sanctioned Secretary intends to stride across the promenade, placed upon the path to the Oval Office.  All the while Bill Clinton was, as he will be, by her side.  

Americans may recall the day the duo initially appeared on the national scene.  From the first, when the people gazed upon the potential co-Presidents, up until, and through the 2008 Primary Election, the coronation of the Clintons, together, and one at a time, was expected.  Moments ago, when the announcement was made, few gasped in amazement.  Citizens have always known; America is Clinton country.  The periodicals only print what was a foregone conclusion.  Hillary has arrived once more.  

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is Hillary Clinton’s castle. The people, throughout this global village, are hers.  The former First Lady Clinton reigns.  In our name, she will speak with world leaders, Premiers and Prime Ministers.  Secretary of State Clinton will establish the rules.  Hope for Hillary is more than a perpetual power.  What she wants is realized.  However, what others had yearned for may be lost with her appointment.

People may muse.  When an individual freely expresses a desire to obliterate another nation, with what she thinks raison d’être, as Hillary Clinton has, that person does not define diplomacy as an ambassadorial arbitrator might.  For those who crave planet-wide peace, a scornful Secretary of State Clinton could be the cause for much concern.  Some say, with Hillary at the helm, world peace may remain the impossible dream.  Her vision may be international doom.

No one can know with certainty what will be.  Nonetheless, while the Obama Transition Team proclaims the terms of the contract have not been confirmed, others believe as was guaranteed, in the New York Times.


Clinton Decides to Accept Post at State Dept., Confidants Say

By Peter Baker

The New York Times

November 21, 2008

WASHINGTON – Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to give up her Senate seat and accept the position of secretary of state, making her the public face around the world for the administration of the man who beat her for the Democratic presidential nomination, two confidants said Friday.

The apparent accord between perhaps the two leading figures in the Democratic Party climaxed a week-long drama that riveted the nation’s capital.

Mrs. Clinton came to her decision after additional discussion with President-elect Barack Obama about the nature of her role and his plans for foreign policy, said one of the confidants, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the situation.

Mr. Obama’s office told reporters on Thursday that the nomination is “on track” but this is the first word from the Clinton camp that she has decided.

“She’s ready,” the confidant said, adding that Mrs. Clinton was reassured after talking again with Mr. Obama because their first meeting in Chicago last week “was so general.” The purpose of the follow-up talk, he noted, was not to extract particular concessions but “just getting comfortable” with the idea of working together.

A second Clinton associate confirmed that her camp believes they have a done deal. Senior Obama advisers said Friday morning that the offer had not been formally accepted and no announcement would be made until after Thanksgiving. But they said they were convinced that the nascent alliance was ready to be sealed.

Internationally everyone awaits further corroboration.  Few doubt what seems pre-determined.  Most have faith the coalition of challengers is complete.  For now, Hillary Clinton will hold hands with Barack Obama.  The President Elect can pull her up and into the White House, officially.  His assistance may secure a forever achievement, a legendary legacy.  The future, perchance, belongs to the First Lady, the Senator, the Secretary of State; the potential is eternal for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Source for the Secretary of State Clinton . .

The Unstoppables; Bill and Hill



US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

How do you stop a train that long ago left the station?  How might you un-ring a bell that rang weeks months, or even years, before you knew the chord was struck?  How can a countryman, or woman rewrite history?  How might a Clinton, or two reclaim entrance into the White House?  Perhaps, she [or he] has already done what, since Barack Obama secured the Democratic nomination, no one expected.  The Clintons have found a way through the front door of the White House prior to 2012.  Days ago, President-elect Obama met with Hillary Clinton to discuss her role, and her husband’s, in the Oval Office and in international affairs.  Senator Clinton emerged as the candidate for Secretary of State.

While Americans voted for change in 2008, and millions cast aside even the politics of past Democrats, the Clintons included, Barack Obama calculated his choice for this most senior position would be his former antagonist, Hillary Clinton.  Some reports say the New York Senator requested time to think.  Other accounts suggest the Obama Administration asked only for her thoughts.  What might Hillary Clinton wish to pursue.  As the hours pass there is one certainty.  “Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has engaged three prominent lawyers to help President-elect Barack Obama vet her candidacy for Secretary of State.”

Several within the President Elects inner circle were critical of the possible appointment.  Advisers to the former First Lady said nothing is definite.  Senator Clinton will weigh whether to take the job if President-elect Obama offers it.   Yet, it seems the die has been cast.  Senator Clinton and her spouse have secured the powerful position of Secretary of State.

Breathless with consternation, numerous inquire; is there a way for one small individual to sway a gargantuan group who controls what was and will be our government?  Countless fear not.  It seems the Clintons will once again control policy, people, and alter the political landscape planet wide.

Momentum builds.  A rolling stone, or a rumor, gathers no moss.  When a report is not immediately rescinded, we must accept, as frequently occurs, gossip grows into reality.  Hence, scores conclude, Hillary Clinton will be the next Secretary of State.

The way is cleared.  Only the justifications need to be formalized.  Qualms need to be calmed.  One cabinet job would put focus on “Two Clintons.” That circumstance cannot be corrected, and perhaps, the President-elect would not wish to alter what is.  Some say the status of a former Commander, well-connected would benefit the soon-to-be current.

“He’s a former President of the United States. He’s been traveling around the world, and he’s got his foundation and a lot of foreign policy efforts going on,” proclaims Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton’s former Chief of Staff.  The current Professor of public policy, Mister Panetta pronounces, “What they will have to obviously be careful of are the potential conflicts that might appear.”

Conflicts may extend to interests, investments, and the invisible hand of another American widely considered a world leader.  In the past, the President may call upon another former United States Chief Executive for advice.  He, or she might ask for counsel, or invite the previous President to serve as an envoy.  However, if, as proposed, the once Head of State sleeps with and sings sweet nothings in the ear of the current Secretary of State, it may be a challenge for Premiers and Prime Ministers to determine which President presides. A nation in negotiations must be confident; the person they speak with communicates the preferences that take precedence in policy decisions.

Rogues often rise from rolls in the hay.  “You want to be able to determine when you are going to make use of a former president in terms of foreign policy or trying to help on particular issues. That can be a very powerful tool if it’s used well,” Professor Panetta advised. “It has to be used with discretion. Delicate details in an intimate relationship cannot be ignored, particularly when more than passion is at stake.  Lives can be lost on the turn of a phrase.  A United States President, be his name Bill or Barack, must not forget how much influence he has in and out of the bedroom.

Charles Hill, a Professor at Yale, perceives a possible peril if Hillary Clinton is appointed Secretary of State.  The scholar, Hill explained, the former President’s constant presence could lead some world leaders to question the authority of the new Commander-In-Chief.  As he attempted to digest the dynamics, Charles Hill asserted, “He’s got to maintain his stature. He should not want Bill Clinton getting all the ink or Hillary Clinton.”  

The ink may have already been put to paper and dried.  Deeds may be done and decisions made.  Hence, Professor Hill’s concern for supposed sins may only be academic.  Nevertheless, he states, the selection would violate “one of the cardinal rules of foreign policy: “Secretaries of State don’t deal with ex-presidents.  And if they do, the White House raps their knuckles.””

A slap of the hand, a slight blow to the wrist, a reprimand, or a retort will not change what has been a constant in the life of Hillary Clinton.  Bill will not be removed; her resolve will also remain.  

Hillary Rodham Clinton the oft-perceived to be a hawk, will deliver dictums if or when she chooses.  As she told Barack Obama in a recent debate when he remarked, it was difficult for him to know who he was running against, Bill or Hill, she replied, “Well, I am here, he is not.”  To that then Senator Obama said as Heads of States may say tomorrow, should Hillary Clinton become Secretary of State, “It is hard to tell who I am running against [or working with] sometimes.”

The sensibility expressed by Barack Obama in earlier times is not singular.  It has been stated and said again.  When an individual associates with the Clintons, direct dialogues are reported to be other than those involved thought the circumstances to be.  Some might say, for the Clintons, the shortest distance between an ambition and an accomplishment is often an indistinguishable path.

As an assistant to the Senator, a former 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue aide stated, when First Lady, Hillary Clinton learned how to be effective as a “backdoor diplomat,”  Now, through her characteristically tough talk, the once Presidential aspirant intends to acquire what might arguably be considered the keys to the second most powerful position in the world.  

A few prominent persons at home and abroad may muse Senator Clinton is not the best choice.  Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former First Minister of the province might say as he had in March when Senator Clinton and her supporters exaggerated her foreign experience record, this is a “wee bit silly.”  Nonetheless, Barack Obama never asked the man who truly brought tranquility to his homeland of Hillary Clinton’s talents.  Had he, he might have heard the tale,

“I don’t know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill [Clinton] going around,” Lord Trimble reflected.  In the Spring of this election year, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient pondered then recent statements about Hillary Clinton being deeply involved.  His conclusion was, the rhetoric was “the sort of thing people put in their canvassing leaflets” during elections.  “She visited when things were happening, saw what was going on, she can certainly say it was part of her experience.  I don’t want to rain on the thing for her but being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player.”

Perhaps, David Trimble is correct.  However, Hillary and her adept assistant have capably adopted a different  perspective; Senator Clinton mastered “a lot of the intricacies of these issues before ever joining the Senate’s Armed Services committee.  She’s tough; she had meetings with some Prime Ministers and Presidents where she had to deliver some blunt messages for us.”  Perchance, in the past, the world leader who received most of her brusque communications was her husband Bill.  

This appointment would provide her far greater opportunities to be brash with world leaders.  As benevolent as Barack Obama may wish to be in his appointments, as Lincolnesque as he longs to be, it may be wise to consider the wars Hillary Clinton welcomes, her words, and President Elect Obama’s own  experiences of the dynamic duo of Bill and Hill.  The actual person, the personality, and the prospect of what Senator Clinton brings to the world stage, may not be as magnificent as the former President-elect Obama, First couple, or their supporters would wish us to believe.  

While granted, a team of rivals who work together may be reminiscent of the illustrious words of President Lincoln, “We are not enemies, but friends … Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection,” human emotions may not evoke “the better angels of our nature.”  People, personas, and the power they seek may have wings, and wants more fragile than a seraph.

Confident in his current role, perhaps, the President Elect forgets.  In May 2008, he bellowed, Hillary Clinton has the “bluster” of President Bush.  It is she who was ready to obliterate Iran if provoked, or Senator Obama, if he stood in her way.  

On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Hillary Clinton, not Bill, offered the statement “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran [if it attacked Israel].”  The former Presidential challenger, when she thought she had a chance to sit in the Oval Office and commands said, “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”  Given the opportunity to retract her words, the potential Secretary of State did not.  

“Massive retaliation” is the message Hillary Clinton chose to cling to.  The then Presidential hopeful did not waver.  Hillary Clinton confirmed her truth, reprisals are needed.  Talk of diplomacy was for Senator Clinton naive.

Then, the candidate the people chose to govern expressed a divergent thought.  Barack Obama emphatically stated, “We have had a foreign policy of bluster and saber-rattling and tough talk, and in the meantime have made a series of strategic decisions that have actually strengthened Iran.”  Being more sensitive to slights, Mister Obama offered, “[I]t is important that we use language that sends a signal to the world community that we’re shifting from the sort of cowboy diplomacy, or lack of diplomacy, that we’ve seen out of George Bush.”  In what now appears to be ancient wisdom, the one, or that one that Americans elected to act with restraint affirmed, “[T]his kind of language is not helpful.”  Tis true!

Barack Obama may wish to recall the rants and rage expressed by Senator Clinton not so long ago.  The President-elect might ponder beyond Bill.  Hillary Clinton, on her own, now wishes to serve in an alternative capacity.  However, as she attested to through words and actions, she is her own master.  She will posit her own positions, irregardless of who might be her President, Bill or Barack.  Might it be mused, Hillary Rodham Clinton will officiate, cooperate, or obliterate, whatever she may choose.

Post Script . . .

I know not what to do with my frustration.  Do I merely restate what others have said before I put pen to paper?  I tried to, many times.  In frustration, I have walked away from a composition that expounds upon futile arguments.  I relent.  Barack Obama offered Hillary Clinton a position in his Cabinet.  He proposed she might be our next Secretary of State.  Now he and his transition team vet the New York Senator and her spouse.  However, in truth, as I assess recent history and recall that Hillary Rodham did not wish to be considered for Vice President unless . . . thus, I presume the mere consideration is a confirmation.

For days, the White House transition team told no tales.  They did not confirm hearsay.  Nor did they deny the talk.  Hillary Clinton was offered a Cabinet position in the Obama Administration.  Ultimately, after much speculation, word came down from senior sources unknown.  The former First Lady is “under consideration.” Hillary Clinton will have to decide whether she wishes to abandon her Senate career and pursue another path.

The signs say she is interested.  The smile at a Press Conference as she discussed the possibility, the saucy statements, the legal assistance she provided the transition team, all say ‘Sure, I would love to be Secretary of State.’. Hence, countless conclude.  Hillary Rodham Clinton is the one, the person who will serve at the pleasure of President-elect Obama, and I can do nothing, but voice my apprehension aloud.

Should Senator Clinton become Secretary of State, America and the world will have to weigh each day what perchance, Barack Obama did not wish to, or thought would not be a problem.  Bill and Hillary Clinton are forces not to be underestimated.  Negotiations are not their forte.  The two favor force and power.  Peace is not the prospect they pursue.   If this train leaves the station, and the bell rings, no one will be able to look back.  The damage will be done.  Perhaps, we will live the truth of the words oft cast, “Past is prologue.” Woe is me or we.

Sources of Scorn from the possible Secretary of State . . .

America in Iraq; Bull in China Shop

BllChnShp

“Bull in China Shop” Art By Vic Roschkov [Canadian Editorial Cartoonist]

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Americans are five years into a battle gone awry.  Citizens of the United States cry out, “too much blood has been spilled, too many lives and limbs were lost,” we the people want to, “Bring the troops home.”  Hence, Congress holds hearings.  The inquiry is intended to help define the future.  For many it is time to exit Iraq and end a futile war.  The people have questions; when and how will we complete a failed mission.  On April 8, 2008, the Senior Commander of multinational forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, American envoy to Baghdad, spoke to United states Senators and attempted to address the public’s concerns.

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker described an Iraq torn and in turmoil.  Each official spoke of the significant, although still-tenuous political progress.  The civil servants assured the United States Senators, Iraq is more stable and secure than it was a mere seven months earlier.  However, they state improvement is “uneven.”  

Senators, who supposedly speak on behalf of the people, proposed there must be a plan.  Several said America needs to make a correction.  A few pronounced the course must be stayed.  All agreed; Americans must have a strategy if Iraq is to ever be a successful, sovereign nation.  These thoughts have been expressed for years, and little truly changes.  A near million [or more] innocent Iraqis have lost their lives and many millions more have no home.  For refugees and residents, employment is but a vision from eras long passed.  Electricity and essentials are not part of daily life.  Nonetheless, reports are progress has been made.

The rhetoric rises high up into the halls of the Capitol.  As the world listens, people cannot help but be reminded of a bull in a china shoppe.

In a boutique, filled with fragile leaded crystal, porcelain wares of superior quality, sumptuous silver, fine figurines, and cherished collectibles, a beast, unfamiliar with the etiquette or elegance in this setting, enters and effectively destroys what once was beautiful.  

Initially, the bovine is attracted to the glimmers of light.  Refracted beams glow as the bull observes the glorious finery.  The shiny surfaces are hypnotic for the animal.  In a stupor, the bull moves towards what attracts him.

The bovine is as Americans.  Citizens of this country are drawn to the radiance of black gold.  Those who depend on petroleum products are mesmerized when they think of a place where the supply seems as endless as their demand.  People who  profit from the sale of fuel are also charmed.  Indeed, those who have the means are more enamored.  The oil-rich know that they can profit from the sale of the substance.  Two of these tycoons work in the White house.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are the biggest bulls man has seen for some time.  These leaders of the herd were spellbound as they gazed upon fields of oil.  Moneyed moguls who work within the Executive Branch of government led the herd into a crystal palace, or a nation State known as Iraq.  

The two oilmen elected to office, bullies that they are, had smiled at the mere mention of Texas Tea in the fields of Iraq long before they ever claimed to have reason to invade the symbolic china shoppe.  The aggressive cattle, also known as the Bush Administration, may have appeared clumsy in their calculations.  However, these cows planned their entrance into the specialty store.  The tycoons expected to shock the shopkeepers, and awe their fellow Americans.  The bulls thought they would quickly clean up the mess they made.  Then, they would exit triumphantly with treasures in hand.  The bovine projected that they would accomplish their mission just as suddenly as they crossed the threshold.

However, the livestock did not understand; boutique proprietors and patrons might not welcome the destruction of valuable property.  

Raging bulls rarely contemplate how a perilous circumstance would effect any sane storeowner, shopper, or sovereign nation.  A charging bovine does not comprehend why the clientele within the walls of the shop, or civilians within the confines of a country’s borders does not greet the charging creature with rose petals and open arms.  

Again, we are reminded of an American Administration and the prospects the leaders of the herd envisioned as they proposed the United States and its allies attack Iraq.  

The bulls, President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and then Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice did not consider the culture, the civilization, or the fact that every being has the right to choose independence or his or her leaders.  Nor did the creatures who replaced a few of those in the corral.  Future leaders of the herd were as blinded by the light of power as the previous beefy bulls were.

The cattle now labeled the Cabinet, are no more conscious of what occurs when you purposely break the treasures of others than the earlier group of mammals was.

Hence, the axiom framed by the former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, cattle extraordinaire continues to guide Americans, “If you broke it, you must fix it.”

Indeed, the awkward, unaware animals busted the bone china, crushed the crystal, smashed the silverware, and flattened the figurines, and they continue to do so.  

Fortunately, these bulls have money; although admittedly they beg, borrow, steal, or print the dollars and cents used to fund a futile attempt to fix the country they fractured.  Regrettably, the beasts of burden do not realize they cannot repair what has never made sense to them.  The bulls cannot restore health to a shop that was not fashioned in a style they are familiar with.  Few of these creatures reflect on the wisdom of a physicist, the genius of a man who studied the scientific principles of matter, energy, force, and motion.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

~ Albert Einstein


What the bulls believe is best is send in the young.  Calves trained to act as the bigger beasts did and do, now crash into china shop doors and obliterate the fragile finery that is, or once was life in Iraq.  Generals and Ambassador, similar to the elders in a herd, gather the broken glass.  They collect the cattle in one locale or another.  The emissaries, just as the leaders in a pack, attempt to repair relations with proprietors and the public.  

However, these persons also approach those in the Persian Gulf as the Commander-In-Chief did and does.  To the people in Iraq a bull is a bull is a bull.

None of the livestock fully understand as long as they occupy the shop, more treasures  will be trampled.  The merchant wants no missionaries, or mammals to demolish what for him was his own.  Nor does the retailer appreciate a brutal beast in his shop or State.  The Iraqi citizens, just as customers in the shattered shoppe do not crave advise from cruel cattle.  “Correct” information from a bull who demolishes all creature comforts, seems contrary to those who have been terrorized by out of control cows for too long.

Information is not knowledge.

~ Albert Einstein

Money will not mend what was shattered and what will be razed as long as the bulls reside in country.  Yet, the bulls bellow that they cannot continue to finance the destruction they have done and do.  Cattle exclaim too much cash has gone to cracked crystal.  Senator Clinton, who aspires to be the Lead of the American beasts explains, “We simply cannot give the Iraqi government an endless blank check.  The question might be asked, why not.  

The cattle found the dollars to destroy as they desired.  Why might the Lead bulls and those who wish to have the title of Cattle Commander-In-Chief believe they have the resources to remain in the shoppe, with the promise to be less visible and destructive; yet, the bovine does not have greenbacks available for repair or recompense.

Might the bovines consider as long as Americans stay in the boutique and break the bone china, we owe the proprietor reparations.  We bulls cannot ever fully compensate for what we caused.  The only way we, “the American people,” can clean up the mess we allowed our herd to make is to leave now, with sincere sorrow, and issue a blank check as a meager attempt to pay for the horrors we have wrought.

We cannot turn back the clock; nor are we able to replace the antique vases, or extraordinary entities once titled Mom, Dad, son, daughter, friend, or family.  Bovine blunders and bungles will not provide property owners and patrons to live their lives free of fear and further folly.  Perchance the adage bulls might adopt is, “If you break it; you pay for it and then, please, immediately leave the premises.”

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

~ Albert Einstein

Sources and the Reality of Americans in Iraq; Bull in China Shop . . .