The headlines are everywhere: Secrecy Shrouded Bush Trip to Iraq.
Secrecy seems to be a repeated pattern in the Bush Administration actions and behavior. Go for the surprise; show up for the staged show. Today, White House officials reportedly bristled at the idea that the trip was a publicity stunt.
The question they need to ask if how their actions, history and execution might have left such impressions?
"There are some people who might try to deride this trip as a photo opportunity," Perino said. "We wholeheartedly disagree. This is an opportunity for the president to meet with his commander on the ground and his ambassador on the ground. ... And he will be able to look Prime Minister (Nouri) Maliki in the eye and talk with him about the progress that is starting to happen in Iraq, what we hope to see and the challenges that remain."
The secrecy we live with has permeated every aspect of American life and we keep allowing it to hoodwink us as our human treasure and tax dollars are spent for greed and corruption as the expense of people here and there.
One of the Bush's secrets are the facts about the dead, maimed, wounded and displaced in Iraq. Oh, we occasionally hear the soldiers death total via the media --- and we show a picture up on the screen of some young life gone; and occasionally, we hear a profile of wounded soldier, but none of these paint the gruesome picture of the impact this war has had on soldiers and "collaterals". This would seem to be a key part of any status report.
Have you heard Bush personally give the American people a clearly stated assessment of the status about the lives loss and sacrificed in this war that is costing billions every month? This would seem to be key accountability requirement.
The totals are shocking...
IRAQ WAR STATISTICS
158,509 wounded and medical evacuations
3740 dead - 118 self-inflicted
2.2 Million fled Iraq for Jordon or Syria in last four years
"The mass exodus and internal displacement of people have been brought on by escalating sectarian conflict combined with the presence of foreign troops. United Nations refugee agency spokesperson as saying that massive displacement of Iraqis, internally and externally, continues unabated, causing a great deal of suffering and uncertainty. Estimates put the number of people fleeing the violence at 2,000 daily." Source: Relief Web - Act Communications, Geneva, Switzerland.
Why is this administration left without accountability?
In the classic anti-war book, War is a Racket, written by someone who earned the right to provide a trusted perspective, Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler, known as America's most decorated soldier, wrote in 1935 what remains true today:
"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."
Founder, Global Dialogue Center and
Leadership Solutions Companies