MAD AS HELL: "...But to Do and Die." 

Bush has bought himself another year in Iraq. Mission accomplished -- again! Barring a miracle (doubtful) or impeachment proceedings (inconceivable), our brave troops are guaranteed to be stuck in Iraq for the next 16 months. Kick the can on down the road.

The buildup to this Crocker/Petraeus dog-and-pony show has been coming for months, and arrived on the Hill like a big whoopee cushion. General David Petraeus, Bush's new poodle, threw out some stats, flipped a few charts, and pointed to tables indicating the so-called surge is working. Surge splurge. This rigged report, contradicted by a host of recent independent reports, was total poppycock and to quote the immortal words of Bob Dole, "You know it, I know it, and the American people know it."

Petraeus, like the other cast members in this show, tried to stick to script. There were a few shockers, however, when the general was forced to extemporize.

Petraeus made the claim that the surge of 30,000 additional troops is working to improve the security of Iraq. However, he also announced that the same number of troops will soon be leaving Iraq. If Iraq is so safe as the result of the 30,000 troops, why would we suddenly jeopardize the nation's safety by pulling them out? It was a simple question the general tap-danced around and, like the other lies Bush and his lackeys have told, this boner brazenly defies all logic. It reminds us of their continuing whopper that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.

When Senator John Warner astutely asked the most important question in the hearings, "Is the strategy this administration laid out making us safer?"(a Howard Baker moment), Petraeus squirmed like a greased pig until blurting out, "I don't know." Petraeus then volunteered stutteringly, that in fact, he just could not say for sure if we are safer or not as a result of being in Iraq. Imagine that! Almost a trillion dollars, over 3,500 casualties, and five years into a war - a war he is supposedly leading, this general does not know if being there has made us any safer. Not one to suffer fools, Warner's insightful question led the general to admit, however indirectly, that the entire war policy of this president has been a failure. It was deja vu, as we suffered another "heck of a job, Brownie" moment.

The other revelation that should get everyone's focus off Britney Spears is the news that, as General Petraeus later strongly implied in a news interview, it would soon be necessary to obtain authorization to take action against Iran within its own borders, rather than just inside Iraq. This is a confirmation of several reports made chiefly this year by the New Yorker's Seymour Hirsch claiming we currently are, and have been, fighting a proxy war with Iran within the borders of Iraq. Bush, lacking any clear record of achievement in Iraq, is now wanting to drop bombs on Iran.

Let's be clear about what is happening right before our eyes: our government, of the people, by the people, and for the people is openly stating, by way of its highest general, that it is of no consequence to this administration whether the people of the United States or the people of Iraq obtain their desire to stop this occupation. After years of being told that if we fight them over there, we won't have to fight them over here, we learn, by the military's reluctant admission, that we are no safer over here for having invaded Iraq over there. Unfortunately, only a brave few in either the congress or military have mustered the grit to call this form of governance and military aggression by its real name-----tyranny.

General David Petraeus, ever the good soldier, has followed the orders of his commander in chief. He seems to have adopted, literally, the words of the poem "Charge of the Light Brigade" by Lord Tennyson:

Not tho' the soldier knew

Someone had blunder'd,

Their's not to make reply

Their's not to reason why,

Their's but to do and die.

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