Prodigal Petraeus

By David Swanson

This week’s sermon is from the book of Luke:

And he said, A certain nation had a son.

And the son said to congress, Congress, give me $560 billion. And Congress gave it.

And not many days after, this son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with vicious slaughter and enrichment of sinful people.

And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty resistance in that land; and he began to fear.

And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his oil fields to abuse and kill the people there.

And he would fain have taken by force that nation’s oil: but no man gave unto him.

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s on K Street have bread enough and to spare, and I am almost out of suitcases of cash with which to purchase ceasefires!

I will arise and go to Congress, and will say unto Congress, Congress, I have sinned against the people, and before thee,

And am no more worthy to be called thy son: but if you could spare just $102 billion more, I could kill all the right people this time, seriously, I know exactly, down to the man, woman, and child whom we need to kill and whom we do not. Whatdya say?

And he arose, and came to congress. But when he was yet a great way off, his congress saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

And the son said unto congress, Congress, I have sinned against the people, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

But the Congress said to its servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet, and bend him over that we may better kiss his ass.

And bring hither the riches of China which our grandchildren shall pay back someday. Give this man another $102 billion, and let us eat, and be merry:

For this our son was dead, and is yet so lifelike; he was lost, and now is… still lost but what the hell do we care. And they began to be merry.

Now what does this scripture tell us?

Here’s what we know:

On September 10 and 11, 2007, exploiting the deaths of those who died under Bush and Cheney’s watch in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania exactly six years earlier, General David Petraeus testified before Congress.

Having been elected in November 2006 to end the occupation of Iraq, Congress delayed action for months in anticipation of Petraeus’s testimony, following which it delayed action for months again and continued to fund the occupation.

Petraeus’s misleading report was thoroughly debunked following and even prior to his congressional appearance, during which many citizen protesters were arrested and even assaulted by police.

Although you might not have learned this from watching your television, the report, in fact, did not even attempt to claim success in achieving the “benchmarks” Bush had promised to meet in January 2007 when ordering a servile Congress to escalate an occupation it had just been elected to end. When Bush claimed success in a speech two days after Petreaus Part I., the Associated Press and the Washington Post broke with tradition and pointed out that he was lying. Congress still caved.

As Petraeus prepares to return and lay it on even thicker this time, violence is exploding in Iraq, political “benchmarks” have been forgotten, and majorities of the American and Iraqi people, including a majority of members of the U.S. military, STILL want to end the occupation, get Americans home, and leave Iraq to Iraqis. The so-called “surge” having failed, Bush is now openly and unconstitutionally negotiating a permanent occupation, and asking Congress for another $102 billion.

And the prodigal Petraeus will make Bush and Cheney’s case to the Senate on April 8th and the House on April 9th, 2008. And they will not swear him in. His lies will not be perjury, but they will be crimes.

If you can make it to Washington, join us on April 8th at 2:00 p.m. at the Hart Senate Office Building. Come a few hours early if you want a good spot in line. I hear it’s going to be a festive occasion. Learn more:

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