|Leave 'Em Laughing|
Ten years ago as I write this, the United States started a war of choice on the word of liars. The fact that some people will read these words as being something involving a personal bias is nearly as big of a problem as the sentence itself.
I remember watching the events unfold with a dull sense of horror, and a growing sense of desperation, both that no one could see through this, or that the media was just taking the pipe. At the time, I lived in the Bay Area in Northern California, a safe little cocoon that felt no real impact from the events. I had been out there for two years, was working for a booming start up, worked and commuted every day in an area that delighted the senses in just about every way. The war made remembering all of that a challenge. It also led to spending thousands of dollars and hours to try to get George Bush thrown out of office in 2004, and a serious plan to emigrate. It's taken most of a decade, but the majority of Americans now feel the same way that I did from the start. With luck, they'll remember this the next time we get sold a war.
As horrific and absurd as the conflict was, and as grift-tastic of the rebuilding effort that caused such a spectacular hole in the budget of the country that should have profited from inventing the Internet for decades and is now more or less screwed... the fact that it happened is not the most galling thing to me. Here's what it. The fact that the people who were wrong on this, on the single biggest judgment call of the age, have suffered NOT AT ALL for the error.
The media that reported the lies still have jobs. Dozens if not hundreds of elected officials who sold this still have jobs. Men and women still get to run for office, particularly in the red states and on the other side of the aisle, despite what should be a clear and obvious litmus test that they should never, ever be near any decision more serious than what to have for dinner ever, ever again.
And no one in this country went to jail for it, either.
Hell, many made an absurd amount of money from it. Donald Rumsfeld walks the earth without leg restraints, and goes on Twitter to note the anniversary, and he can type freely without handcuffs. Dick Chaney is allowed to go in front of television cameras and do his Burgess Meredith impersonation, rather than worry about getting a shiv from a guy who lost family. George Bush can do naked self-portraits rather than staring at iron bars. Condi Rice gets guest spots on sitcoms and panel shows. Heh heh, remember when they were responsible for trillions of dollars of debt and uncounted dead? What a wacky time.
We'll be paying for it for, well, ever.
And the same thing, of course, happened with the bankers following the financial bailouts.
No perp walks, no accountability, no justice.
And people wonder why voting levels are low, and why the media isn't trusted, and our discourse is course and not prone to compromise or productivity.
How can we, when we can't even agree on facts, or punish the guilty for one of the worst things ever done?