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Monday, May 01, 2006

Mayday, mayday, mayday

Today is May 1, the third anniversary of President George W. Bush's infamous "mission accomplished" post-flightsuit speech on board the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Instead of declaring that "major combat operations have ended," Bush should perhaps have said "mayday, mayday, mayday."

After all, the latter is an internationally recognized distress call. The signal is used when a vessel is facing "grave and imminent danger" and the caller is "requesting immediate assistance."

While Bush had taken the U.S. to war on the false notion that Iraq posed a "grave and gathering" danger, the truth is that the country faced that problem after he acted. More than three years into the latest Iraq war, 2400 Americans have died.

The military is bogged down in Iraq, leaving few good options to pressure Iran, or North Korea, or any other potential threat.

The Congressional Research Service says that the war cost may now exceed $800 billion. Note that the figure includes the cost of Afghanistan too, but Iraq is easily the bulk of the expense. That's one-third more than the cost of the Vietnam war, in adjusted dollars.

"Mayday, mayday, mayday."

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