Friday, October 21, 2011

Over There? President Obama announced today the extrication of all forces from Iraq by December. The one position I regret that I took after 9/11 and after observing the American political scene for decades is naively and with astounding stupidity I believed George Bush and his Iraq WMD phony claim convincing most (including me) that Sadam Hussein was an imminent threat. Some may even say today Sadam Hussein who? Tom Ricks, according to Foreign Policy Magazine is a Senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a bipartisan think tank, contributing editor to Foreign Policy Magazine, special military correspondent to the Washington Post and author quite correctly named his book about Iraq during the height of its fury "Fiasco." We can see now how apropos that title was. We can observe how destructive, how murderous, how deceitful, sending troops to wage a war based on lies against a country which did NOTHING to us was.

The US, under the dreadful leadership of George W. Bush, paid for this mistake in much lost blood and treasure conveniently ignored by Republicans today when assessing their perceived horror of the deficit. Clearly, George W. Bush was woefully unprepared for the presidency. At his order the US nearly singlehandedly destabilized an entire region, handed Iran the keys to the kingdom of power and broke a nation. Now we allegedly are leaving Iraq and see how difficult it is to do that. Colin Powell, Secretary of State under Bush, was quite correct when he said “if you break it you own it.” We shattered it without knowing what to do to fix it.

When American troops leave Iraq -- as the president today says they will by December -- and it does not explode into civil war it will be miraculous. How Iraq maintains a continuity of power with so many factions at each other’s throats I do not know. Can it meet the needs of its people or will it fracture into a million pieces destabilizing the region further with a nuclear Pakistan? I will breathe a sigh of relief if Iraq works with a semblance of normalcy and non violence. Until then, I need a tranquilizer to calm my fear! Never again will I believe a leader simply because he says it is so. As Ronald Reagan, a man I seldom quote, said: "Trust but verify." Next time I surely will and so should everyone else.
Money can’t buy you love so the Beatles song said--the flaw of Steve Jobs: I am reading various pieces about Steve Jobs. A tell-all book about him, being released soon, makes visible his warts and all. Understatedly, his ego was IMMENSE. He was a self absorbed, often angry, caustic man many times cruel to those with whom he worked and certainly to those he competed against. Yes, genius can make that of men but that is no excuse to me. I can appreciate what is created by great minds but if one does not have compassion -- even to one’s competitor­s -- then to me the genius means nothing. I am SURELY glad I never worked for him nor competed AGAINST him. He was an explosion waiting to happen perhaps a creative psychopath. Umpteen BILLION was not enough money for him. He had to devote much of his energy fighting Google because Jobs alleged it copied his product. When someone copies me I consider that flattery but Jobs considered it war. If he had to he was going to devote his entire company fighting Google perhaps even decimating the jobs of his own employees (and Google's) to do so. He sounds like a brutish man.

As Tevya would say IF I were a rich man I would … give all my family five million, all my friends five million and then distribute the rest to humans crying out for help, for food, for shelter for a JOB both here and around the globe as Bill and Melinda Gates are doing. Jobs cannot walk in Gates's shadow. Steve Jobs turned from humane liberal to stone cold conservative wanting to give corporations a break with the elimination of regulations; he wanted to gut unions, teachers, and other public servants’ positions who make EVERYONE’S life livable even his own short one.

He could have given to the little kids who pan for gold in Africa; kids who die doing it because the work is so brutal. They wade into a mud containing immense amount of mercury and ultimately get poisoned by it. He could have set up humane conditions so people can work like human beings for which unions advocate instead of humanity working like barbaric animals. I care nothing about all his creative gadgets when the ethics of his leadership and the policy for which he ultimately advocated hurts people but helps people like he create billions more to buy not jobs but yachts. He neglected his own children because his massive ego was more concerned about a NON human company to make what more billions?

Steve (I know you cannot hear me) but you should have given most all your money away before your death to those who are so desperate. NO ONE needs billions of bucks to live the good life. I would create MORE jobs and do for our county what the president cannot because of an obstructio­nist Congress. I think the LSD the formerly liberal Steve Jobs claimed helped create his insight destroyed the compassion center of his brain! John Kennedy said: “We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.” Steve Jobs was, indeed, mortal. Alas, death, the great equalizer of man, got him too. It knows no money, no social class, no massive egos but comes to all of us in the end even to Steve Jobs. Too bad he was not known as simply a nice man but money cannot buy quality of character.

Instead of advocating for the non-human corporation turning himself into an uncompassionate conservative he should have dedicated his life to installing a Congress which really DOES care about humanity instead of being bought for the all mighty buck. He rudely kept the president waiting days for a meeting insisting the president call HIM disrespecting the high office of the presidency and our country.

How come this genius did not realize that DECADES of Republican rule favoring the deregulated banks conservatives love so much decimated this economy? How come he did not realize what corporations and Wall Street did to hijack the pensions of its workers? How come Steve Jobs did not know what the financial, real estate sector and rating companies did to ruin our middle class, the poor and the American Dream? Who cares about Steve Jobs’s genius? In my opinion, he was a lousy human being.