Monday, September 18, 2006

What is happening in Iraq is only a blueprint for Bush's America of the future

Scary article from the Washington Post I saw earlier yesterday on the rampant cronyism in the rebuilding of Iraq...

To pass muster with O'Beirne, a political appointee who screens prospective political appointees for Defense Department posts, applicants didn't need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What seemed most important was loyalty to the Bush administration.

O'Beirne's staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade

How does abortion have to do with rebuilding Iraq?! Two applicants were interviewered about their views on Roe v. Wade. Others were asked primarily who they voted for in 2000? Do you agree with how Bush is handling the war on terrorism? (don’t you just love the subtle hint that Iraq = terror?) We all know that cronyism was rampant in FEMA and other government positions in the EPA, every cabinet position, every department, but why should we not be surprised as the Post is of the rampant cronyism amidst the rebuilding process in Iraq? Is it no wonder that political hacks and lackeys have totally bungled the reconstruction and that we have lost $10 billion of Iraq’s reconstruction money?

As more and more of O'Beirne's hires arrived in the Green Zone, the CPA's headquarters in Hussein's marble-walled former Republican Palace felt like a campaign war room. Bumper stickers and mouse pads praising President Bush were standard desk decorations. In addition to military uniforms and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" garb, "Bush-Cheney 2004" T-shirts were among the most common pieces of clothing.

"I'm not here for the Iraqis," one staffer noted to a reporter over lunch. "I'm here for George Bush."

So doing things for the good of the country is now replaced by I’m here for the glory of George W. Bush, deified as the emperors were. Disgraceful, EVERYTHING is political. This is like North Korea where even the trains have a portrait of the late Great Leader who is basically deified. It’s like the Roman emperors who could not build temples to themselves in Rome itself, but allowed the provinces to set up temples to burn incense and to offer worship, except it’s not sanctioned by Bush who wouldn’t have a problem with it anyway. At least he didn’t try to appoint Barney to a Senate seat or something. So you can consider the Green Zone a temple of Bush, sacred ground when it shouldn’t be. The cult of Bush is alive and well in the Fertile Crescent.

But that's not the worst of the story...

Veteran Middle East hands were regarded as insufficiently committed to the goal of democratizing the region. Post-conflict experts, many of whom worked for the State Department, the United Nations or nongovernmental organizations, were deemed too liberal. Men such as Kerik -- committed Republicans with an accomplished career in business or government -- were ideal.

Too liberal?! Too liberal!? Insufficiently devoted to the goal of spreading democracy in the Middle East?! (and we all know what democracy means, pro-US governments even if they are dictatorships) So just like in the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ, we have affirmative action for right-wing political hacks and Bush loyalists justified in the name of taking away affirmative action for liberals. We have the same co-opting of affirmative action language to justify affirmative action for the FMR, except that they’re claiming that they’re purging liberals whom they imply only got their jobs through affirmative action and replacing them with “qualified” conservatives who share Bush’s vision. This is what government and the rebuilding I mean Looting of Iraq has come down to because it always comes down to the liberal word. This is not the only time Bush’s cronies have used the liberal word to justify purging qualified liberals out of public service.

Rewind back to a few months back about the controversy over the Civil Rights Division which exposed the Bush' Administration's co-opting of affirmative action language to rid the division of liberals whom they accused of getting in through affirmative action while using the Bush loyalist's affirmative action to pack it with conservatives.

Magnuson also objected to measuring civil rights experience by participation in organizations devoted to advancing traditional civil rights causes. She noted that many of the division's lawyers had been clerks for federal judges, where they ``worked on litigation involving constitutional law, which is obviously relevant to a certain degree."

But Roger Clegg , who was a deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights during the Reagan administration, said that the change in career hiring is appropriate to bring some ``balance" to what he described as an overly liberal agency.

I’m sure O’Beirne is defending these political hacks as qualified to do the job, after all they love National Litterbox Bush and his policies and are ready to jump off the cliff with him just as long as he gives the order. Liberals are not qualified in Bushworld because they are the political hacks while party loyalists are shut out of public service because of some affirmative action policy that rewards the “incompetence” of liberals at the expense of “qualified” Bush loyalists. We needed people who would work with the Bush Administration, not try to obstruct it like the liberals in Congress always do. We all know what balance means to the Chimpeviks: 100% right-wingers who toe the Bush line, who do not question. Debate means how strongly you feel about the president as long as it’s supporting. We can’t have debate on how the Bush policies in the Middle East have failed. We can’t debate unless it’s debating on whether Bush is totally awesome or just incredibly awesome.

What is their agenda in the Middle East? To use Iraq as the experiment laboratory for their agenda here: to privatize everything to the point where even water becomes a cash cow for corporations (beware brown water).

Didn't we hear how privatization is the answer for everything?

Many of those selected because of their political fidelity spent their time trying to impose a conservative agenda on the postwar occupation, which sidetracked more important reconstruction efforts and squandered goodwill among the Iraqi people, according to many people who participated in the reconstruction effort.

We all know that conservative ideas rarely work except on paper with a sufficient amount of conservative bias and Iraq is just proof #7879852.

Haveman (isn't the name appropriate?) didn't like the idea that medical care in Iraq was free. He figured Iraqis should pay a small fee every time they saw a doctor.

One of these bastards objected to the Iraqis having free health care! To paraphrase Al Franken: Get those bums off the street and have them pay for treatment because getting free treatment will encourage them to get sick again!

Instead of trying to restructure the dysfunctional state-owned firm that imported and distributed drugs and medical supplies to hospitals, he decided to try to sell it to a private company.

To prepare it for a sale, he wanted to attempt something he had done in Michigan. When he was the state's director of community health, he sought to slash the huge amount of money Michigan spent on prescription drugs for the poor by limiting the medications doctors could prescribe for Medicaid patients. Unless they received an exemption, physicians could only prescribe drugs that were on an approved list, known as a formulary.

Yeah, because we all know providing life-saving drugs to the poor is socialism and this discourages them from going out to find employment. No wonder Iraq’s unemployment is so damn high. Maybe if we make them pay for their drugs, they’ll get off their lazy asses and find work!

Folks you should be f'in outraged because once the GOP gets their 60-senator majority and totally pack the courts with privatization, corporation-friendly activist judges, the process of duplicating what's going on in Iraq will finally jumpstart here. If you wish to drink brown muddy water while paying exorbitant rates for water, let us all sit back and do nothing. Otherwise, let's take our country back from these demons in November!

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