Is This Man Bush, Actually Murdering America ?
So we're starting this Sunday's blog with an excuse, again. And sad to say, it's the same old, same old - as I've previously pled - on occasions aplenty.
Me back aches. Me hips hurt. And I'm constantly craving more tea-breaks.
Not to mention all the extra time taken up by so many extra toilet trips.
And it's all the fault of flippin' old age. Believe me. Trust me - I'm an OAP.
Y'see - though the mind may remain razor sharp and [as we invariably insist to all who'll listen] the intellect, insight, inborn instinct and analytical abilities all remain remorselessly [and thankfully] intact.
For while freely admitting that current concentration spans are somewhat shorter than they should be - the comprehension element's actually improving -- in direct proportion to the growing number of birthdays being tucked under the belt.
In other words, although we're growing older - we're also growing wiser.
Cor blimey, Charlie.
Wrap it up, Richard.
Cut to the chase, Old Brit.
Move on, Mate.
This preamble's now resembling a ramble.
Okay, okay! Alright, already.
Over one whole day ago, this story should have showed up here - so I'm sorry. But, better late than never. Eh?
Here's the header.
IS THIS THE DEATH OF AMERICA?This Purgavie piece actually made it to the UK's Mirror, on Saturday 8th.
America's sense of itself - its pride in its power - has been profoundly damaged.
By Dermot Purgavie, Veteran US Correspondent
Here's a paragraph plucked at random, to be used as a taster.
With TV providing a ceaseless backdrop of the country's failings - a crippled and tone-deaf president, a negligent government, corruption, military atrocities, soaring debt, racial conflict, poverty, bloated bodies in floodwater, people dying on camera for want of food, water and medicine - it seemed things were falling apart in the land where happiness is promoted in the constitution.
Sound about right, so far?
So see some more.
Americans feel ashamed by the violent, predatory behaviour Katrina triggered - nothing similar happened in the tsunami-hit Third World countries - and by the deep racial and class divisions it revealed.
The press has since been giving the country a crash course on poverty and race, informing the flag wavers that an uncaring America may be No.1 on the world inequities index.
IT has 37 million living under the poverty line, largely unnoticed by the richest in a country with more than three million millionaires.
Not nice - is it? But please don't shoot the pianist.
Next, examine this excerpt.
The US, we learn, is 43rd in the world infant mortality rankings. A baby born in Beijing has nearly three times the chance of reaching its first birthday than a baby born in Washington.
Those who survive face rotten schools. On reading and maths tests for 15-year-olds, America is 24th out of 29 nations.
On the other side of the tracks, 18 corporate executives have so far been jailed for cooking the books and looting billions. The prosecution of Mr Bush's pals at Enron - the showcase trial of the greed-is-good culture - will be soon.
But the backroom deal lives on and, in an orgy of cronyism, billions of dollars are being carved up in no-bid contracts awarded to politically-connected firms for work in the hurricane-hit states and in Iraq.
Then there's this too.
The war, seen as unwinnable, is becoming a bleak burden, with nearly 2,000 American dead.Stomach still strong enough for a final cut & paste peek?
Two-thirds think the invasion was a mistake.
Americans have been angered by a reports that US troops have routinely tortured Iraqi prisoners. Some 230 low-rankers have been convicted - but not one general or Pentagon overseer. Disgruntled young officers are leaving in increasing numbers.Please peruse, via the link provided, Purgavie's complete piece, personally.
Meanwhile, further damaging Americans' self image, there's Afghanistan. The White House says its operations there were a success, yet last year Afghanistan supplied 90 per cent of the world's heroin.
America's sense of itself - its pride in its power and authority, its faith in its institutions and its belief in its leaders - has been profoundly damaged.