Friday, February 29, 2008

Recipes for Disaster in Iraq


In the week that oil prices once again crested above $100 a barrel and more Americans than at any time since the Great Depression owed more on their homes than the homes were worth; in the year that the subprime market crashed, global markets shuddered, the previously unnoticed credit-default swap market threatened to go into the tank, stagflation returned, unemployment rose, the "R" word (for recession) hit the headlines (while the "D" word lurked), within weeks of the fifth anniversary of his invasion of Iraq, the President of the United States officially discovered the war economy.

"Bush: I don't think so. I think actually, the spending on the war might help with jobs.

"Curry: Oh, yeah?

"Bush: Yeah, because we're buying equipment, and people are working. I think this economy is down because we built too many houses."

In other words, in honor of the soon-to-arrive fifth anniversary of his war without end, the President has offered a formula for economic success in bad times that might be summed up this way: less houses, more bases, more weaponry, more war. This, of course, comes from the man who, between 2001 and today, presided over an official Pentagon budget that leapt by more than 60% from $316 billion to $507 billion, and by more than 30% since Iraq was invaded. Looked at another way, between 2001 and the latest emergency supplemental request to pay for his wars (first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq), supplemental funding for war-fighting has jumped from $17 billion to $189 billion, an increase of 1,011%. At the same time, almost miraculously, the U.S. armed forces have been driven to the edge of the military equivalent of default.

What follows is a monster list of ingredients for two recipes for the disaster that is currently well under preparation, and also who the main feasters are. All the usual suspects and then some.

The American public and their children and grandchildren are being made to pay for this sumptuous repast, but are specifically uninvited to partake.

To prepare:

Heat whatever crude oil is available in the largest kettle you can find until smoking. Dump in all ingredients in whatever quantities in any order you choose. (Warning: popping oil, shield eyes.) Add polluted water. Bring to a roiling boil at highest heat. Cook for as much - or as little - time as you want. Pour the soup, boiling hot, across the table (no need for bowls) and dig in.

Bon app├ętit! Happy anniversary!

The writers left out one part of these recipes, without which none of this could have happened:

Find someone who can't cook and should never be allowed in the kitchen. Marinate him for many years in heavy alcohol until his brain is thoroughly stewed, baked, fried and boiled. Then prop him up where people can see him and let others do the actual cooking. Tell him he must stick to the recipe no matter what anyone tells him.

Sear the ingredients on both sides to seal in the disaster, and cook slowly until our military and treasury are completely drained away and done. Cooking times may vary up to 100 years or more.

Us peasants will be allowed to gnaw the bones of this dish for many years to come.

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