It's been five years today since GWB announced on the USS Lincoln that the mission has been accomplished.
In hindsight we see that the mission was not (and never was) to bring democracy to the Middle East or to put down the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a foaming-at-the-mouth enemy. Nor was it even, apparently, contrary to the conspiracy theories of the day, to build a pipeline through Iraq to ensure the ready availability of petroleum for the energy-bulemic West.
If Jesus's statement "by their fruits you shall know them" retains any meaning today, the mission of the second Bush White House has been
(1) to stir up lawlessness and chaos in Afghanistan and Iraq--characterized by a high level of malice and cruelty only possible when religious factions vie for sovereign power in a society;
(2) to establish a 100-million-acre "campus" for training budding terrorists;
(3) to drag the Geneva Conventions, along with Just War Theory in general, into the mud;
(4) to debase the image of America among its friends and increasingly embarrassed allies;
(5) to reduce and severely restrict benefits to US military personnel who have imperiled their lives and futures for a set of cheap gold-plated platitudes and nebulously defined ideals;
(6) to transform a $127-billion surplus to a projected $410-billion deficit (for 2008);
(7) to raise the costs of energy, housing, health care, and food in the USA so that everyday needs now look a lot like luxuries;
(8) to maintain a vague, yet perpetual state of fear, suspicion, and low-grade panic among the American people;
(9) to convert large masses of Americans into drooling simpletons and coerce the remaining citizens who resent being treated like idiots to "play the fool" just the same; and
(10) to tattoo George W's arrogant, monkey-like smirk onto the brains of millions of US citizens whose only sins were to allow their votes to count for nothing and look on silently while corporately financed crooks dismantled American civil liberties and democracy.
This mission has indeed been accomplished--perhaps irreparably.
And though, naively perhaps, I am shocked that any American presidency would show such disdain for fundamental processes of law as to willfully destroy them, I am almost as appalled at us Americans who would let this outrage stand, who at best wring our hands and shrug our shoulders, laughing feebly (though we may believe it is "ironically"), and cannot summon up enough outrage to demand that the sickening turds responsible for this treason be impeached.