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OOPS, BUSH SAID IT AGAIN: "LET'S SHOP."
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In a brief speech followed by a questions from the press today, Wednesday, December 20, George Bush said "The war on terror is the calling of a new generation. It is the calling of our generation."

He wants to increase the numbers of troops in the armed forces, though was vague whether he wants more troops in Iraq. In response to a question, he did say: "I am willing to follow a path that leads to victory." and "Victory in Iraq is achievable."

But he is so wrong about the war on terror being "the calling of our generation." That was cynical, feel-good political rhetoric. Because, a "calling" is something that requires committment and sacrifice. The president's generation is not being called to any sacrifice anything. All the sacrifices continue to be made by a younger generation, the generation that this president sends to Afghanistan and Iraq to be maimed and killed in the crossfire of sectarian violence, or to be targeted by those who simply want us--the U.S.--out of their region. If that's the "new generation" he spoke of, he got it half right. (Okay, there is some sacrifice by the parents of the sons and daughters going to the conflicts. But I don't see Barbara and Jenna Bush signing up to fights. The only fights they engage in are with arresting officers.)

But what ws the only thing president asked us, the general citizenry, to do? He stated: "I encourage you all to go shopping more." This was the same thing he asked of us after September 11. He should be asking us to save, and sacrifice. All that this shopping/spending orgy will produce is more personal, institutional, and government debt, as we buy more and more Chinese-made goods and run up the trade deficit. (Trade deficits aren't intrinsically bad, but they are if they are built on borrowed money.) We could end up in economic enslavement to the hard-working, fiscally responsible Chinese.

Every real "war" this country has fought required sacrifice by the populace: saving, rationing, recycling--some kind of extra effort or belt-tightening. But now, we have a sham "war" that is being paid for with borrowing, and run by powerful and corrupt officials with high-sounding but unachievable goals.

It's a lose-lose situation, but Bush and his handlers refuse to acknowledge it, all the bruhaha over the Iraq Study Group notwithstanding. The cynicism and hypocrisy of this administration is appalling. We will all have to sacrifice, indeed, when this deceitful house of cards comes crashing down upon us.


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