Another year down the tubes, another year beginning. While I tend to focus on the negative, I am also hopeful that the coming year has the potential to see many positive things happen in the world. I only wish that we in the U.S. of A. had some real leadership.
Our dear President Bush has been talking about "a new way forward." This phrase should actually be in caps because it is his latest slogan (the man loves slogans). The world is anxiously awaiting his message about The New Way Forward in Iraq - I'm not holding my breath.
But Bush gave us a hint of what he's thinking at a recent press conference (might have been December 20th). Here are his words:
As we work with Congress in the coming year to chart a new course in Iraq and strengthen our military to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we must also work together to achieve important goals for the American people here at home. This work begins with keeping our economy growing. … And I encourage you all to go shopping more.
You all certainly remember that this was also his advice to us following the September 11 attacks. Go shopping! The Bush M.O. is very clear - spend, spend, spend. "Strengthen our military" in the above statement translates to "we're going to spend a lot more money on the military" - the cost of the Iraq war is now at $2 billion per week (see footnote). "Meet the challenges of the 21st century" means figuring out new ways for consumers to spend more so Bush's supporters (puppet masters?) can reap even larger obscene profits than they already are (have you read about the record CEO compensation packages in 2006?).
The implications of the Bush "go shopping/spend" policy are very far-reaching. An excellent article by Anatol Lieven discusses the relationship between global warming and western free-market democracy - an important read. A previous post of mine discussed the relationship between American consumerism and global air pollution from China. So don't be fooled by G.W. Bush's down-home folksiness - this is bad shit, and generations to come in the USA and around the globe will be paying for it!
Bye bye '06 - buy buy '07!
Footnote: The number $2 billion is difficult to grasp. Think of it this way - if you are fortunate enough to make a salary of $100,000 per year, it would only take you 20,000 years to earn $2 billion.