Posted by: distributorcap | April 12, 2008

The garbage nobody wanted

Back in the summer of 1987 there was an infamous barge that floated around the eastern shores of North America like an orphan without a home. What was so ‘unique’ about this flotilla was that it was a open barge consisting of 3,000 tons of stinking, filthy garbage . It set sail from Islip, New York in March 1987 for a pilot trash burning program in North Carolina. When the state of North Carolina refused to let it land, the barge began a journey to look for a ‘home’. This trip would take the garbage barge as far away as Florida, Mexico, and Belize – where all refused entry. Guess what? – the garbage barge ultimately landed back in New York, where the city incinerated the trash and brought the ashes to — Guess Where? — Islip, New York. (is this reminiscent of the story of the MS St. Louis I wrote about or whast?)

So what’s my point? (other than the whole barge story was kind of humorous back then)

The war in Iraq is just like this garbage barge. It floats out there – we all know it is there and we all hate that is there. So like any other unpleasant story — after it has been floating aimlessly for so many months, we begin to ignore it — and silently we hope that perhaps the barge will sink. Meanwhile the barge reeks to high hell, there is virtually no use for it, it is rotten to the core and nobody wants to take responsibility for it. But most of all, the barge demonstrates that we are not adult enough to deal with the problems we have created ourselves.

Bush has already passed the buck on this barge to the next president. The cockroach in the White House checked into the bug motel on 1/20/2001 and, unlike the roach motels you get from D-Con (you know D-Con means dead-end for bugs), this cockroach is about to check out in January 2009. In the past year, he has twice sent his generals, puppy dogs, lemmings, lackies to Capitol Hill to say the same thing about this garbage. Be patient, it will find a home — there really really is a use for this war garbage. He could have saved the public a lot of money and just send a broken record of the testimony given by countless other of the goose-stepping sycophants in the administration about the garbage barge war in Iraq©.

And not only is the garbage barge war in Iraq© rudderless, no one is taking any responsibility to try and find an end to it. Feith blames Wolfowitz who blames Cheney who blames Condi who blames Rumsfeld who blames Feith who blames the Generals who blames Powell who blames Bush who blames Wolfowitz who blames Libby who blames Condi……and everybody blames the Democrats. So like Joni Mitchell wrote it is round and round in the circle game. What if they threw a war and no one was to blame? If you ask me, it is a brilliant strategy – because it is frigging working – an unaccountable war is an unending war.

Recent polls (oh here he goes again with those polls) show the public gave up on the the garbage barge war in Iraq© years ago and wants the troops home. Those same polls show Americans think it wasn’t worth it, that we were lied to about the war, that it is being poorly managed, and that the whole this is one big clusterfuck. And yet at the same time — those pesky polls show that John McCain — who has publicly stated on many occasions he wants to continue with these failed, insane and downright delusional policies of Bush — is tied or leading the Democratic candidates. Talk about a schizophrenic (or is it bi-polar) American psyche. Talk about a society that is floating at sea without a home. Talk about garbage.

If you remember the Tareyton cigarette ads:

Why would Americans rather fight than switch? Tim Russert said this week is it “because Americans hate to lose”, and that McCain is the only one who is talking up that we can “win” this war and that the US is finally in the right direction. Well Russert sort of got it right. Americans hate to lose, but he left out one critical phrase — Americans hate to admit they have lost. Those 40-50% who say they support McCain, even though a good chunk of them probably believe the war is hopeless – would rather hang their hat on someone who professes winning than someone who talks about reality. We can’t lose, we are America. Resistance is futile. And since Bush was so kind to dump this garbage barge on whomever is the next President, none of them want to be the one that be defined as the President who “lost Iraq” – the two Democratic candidates, while not professing the same retarded policies as Bush/McCain, they have tiptoed around how they finally will dispose of the barge.

Problem is — we have already lost – it is over. This country needs to finally own up to that. There is no winning – McCain-defined or otherwise. How can we ever proclaim “winning” when we have lost so much — 4,000+ American soldiers, hundreds of coalition soldiers, over 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqis, more than $1 trillion dollars+ stuffed down the Bush cess pool, a destroyed Iraqi infrastructure, a decaying American economy, and finally, the complete loss of respect for our society, country, people and laws by the rest of the world. Many of these losses are never coming back. The losses that can be revived will take decades to fix. So how can we ever say we have “won.” We can’t. And every day we stay deepens those losses for generations.

It is amazing that we didn’t learn from Guatemala in 1954, Cuba in 1961, Chile in 1973, Vietnam through 1975, Iran in 1979, Lebanon in 1983, and countless other times — that we cannot dictate the policy for accepting garbage. Nobody wants our garbage, and in fact, I don’t think we really want our own garbage either. But for some reason that I just cannot figure out — we do not have the wherewithal or capability to elect leaders that can admit we have lost and we were wrong.

But like the garbage barge – at some point America will eventually return the exact same spot it left and be NO wiser or better off for the journey it took. And in many ways that might be the biggest loss of all.


  1. America? Learn? Ha ha ha ha! But I saw this documentary on teevee once where there was a giant garbage ball in space and we launched a rocket with an even bigger garbage ball that future generations will have to deal with! Maybe we should try that, launch the war into space! Can’t be any worse than any other solution we’ll likely end up trying.

  2. Good points, DCNY.

  3. The garbage barge comparison was a good one. Well smelled, I mean said.

  4. We need to get someone in here to market this garbage barge, I mean war in Iraq© as a grand opportunity, basically to sell them on the idea that there is a 56 trillion dollar diamond on the inside, for someone who can win this by ending the war.Do we have any marketing majors aroung here with any wicked skills?I mean if someone can be get Paula Abdul and Ryan Seacrest their gigs and keep them there…, I’m just sayin’.

  5. This is a great post Dcap.Win what? Americans love to win? So does that mean that we should? We love to overeat, overspend and so much more- does that justify it?I know you don’t think that way. And what do we lose if we “win” whatever that means, winning?Ugh. I am screaming into the void.

  6. My dog’s breath smells like that garbage barge. It’s a problem.

  7. Brilliant post Dcap, just brilliant! We are always going in circles when it comes to wining by all cost and we will see this garbage dump gets even bigger when McCain steps into the Whit House to continue the American way.

  8. Just everyone else said D… great post. But what very people realize is that the point of the war to lose or make it seem like we’re losing so that we could keep trying to win. If you ask me, Americans are more like craps players in Vegas who don’t know their limit. Don’t they know that the house never loses, and that house is run by Bush/Cheney Co?

  9. Great post. Infuriating, but great. What’s painful is that you can see it all coming, and there’s no way to stop it. Fast forward to June 2009 and we’ll be hearing all kinds of talk on the radio about how President Obama (or president Clinton) has lost the war in Iraq.

  10. We won’t return to the exact same spot, because these assholes in the White House have just about bankrupted this nation. I have to tell you, I truly regret not moving abroad when I considered it years ago. If it weren’t for family and friends, I would be there now. But if Obama is the democratic candidate (and I assume he will be) but he loses to McCain because too many white Americans are uncomfortable with voting for a black man….I’m going to have to see what my options are.

  11. Great analogy.With any kind of luck, Bush will have ruined the Republican brand for decades to come.And I think Obama may be just sneaky enough to swift boat McCain to hell and back.It’s easy with a rageoholic, you simply look for the big red buttons and keep mashing them until he cracks.

  12. ben franklin once said “what is begun in anger, ends in shame…”

  13. You can’t learn from past mistakes if you don’t think you made one. Excellent post.

  14. Wow, that was a great analogy. 🙂

  15. Oh please, please let us learn something from this massive neocon clusterfuck that has ruined our country. We can’t keep clutching our pearls and guns and our lapel pins and demanding we win all the wars we decide to fight in. We need to purge the very thought processes that gave us the PNAC, the power-grabbing Ameritaliban fundamentalists, the fascist wannabees. We need to have the warmongers and defense contractors pay us back for the money they’ve stolen. We need impeachment, accountability, justice, trials, jail time, fines. We need to fire everyone who was hired after January 2001. We need to purge Capitol Hill of all the lurking Loyal Bushies who think they can slink back into the woodwork for a later attempt for power.This means we need to learn why we stink to high heaven and learn not just to heap our garbage onto a barge and see who is stupid enough to take it, but learn not to create such garbage in the first place.We need our country back and we’re not going to get it back until we change our ways.Can we do it?

  16. I feel sorry for the garbage that nobody wanted. **sniff**

  17. Wow, you take me back in time. I would have never thought of that garbage barge if you hadn’t mentioned it. Even in twenty years I’m afraid Iraq won’t bring back nostalgia.I actually respect some of the generals testifying before congress – the problem is in their job description. They’re supposed to testify truthfully to congress – but also obey the commander in chief. Worse yet, if a general who knows how bad things are pisses off the president, he’ll be replaced by someone who believes this stuff, and will get more people killed faster., Maliki is openly saying he wants to mediate between Iran and the USA, while the USA is saying success in Iraq will lead to toppling Iran.Anyone feel we’re being patronized? Not just by our prez, but by the Iraqi’s. The good news is Iraq doesn’t have a puppet government. The bad news is the USA might:

  18. So the people don’t like the war anymore. The heady rush of “mission accomplished” and the self-righteousness of American power has fizzled into the reality of an immoral senseless quagmire.So? How does that even matter? It’s not like this is some kind of democracy or anything.The administration’s crony capitalist war profiteers and the rest of the military media industrial complex are still making plenty of old fashioned blood money from the endless slaughter.And that’s what American values are all about these days, right?

  19. Very good post DCap. What bothers me the most is that no one on the horizon is for pulling out of Iraq. Al Gore, for example, this Presidency is his for the asking but where is he, a truly great American when the country desparately needs him?

  20. I think even my husband is growing weary of listening to me shouting, “Win? There’s nothing to win here! We don’t even know what we’re fighting for, dammit!”.I’m kind of tired of it too, truth be told.

  21. Great post, great analogy, DCap. And it inspired some great comments as well; I agree with ZipDrive–the dem candidates need to start attacking McCain for his shithouse-rat-craziness. And someone needs to be the bigger person and step up and say, “This isn’t a war, so it can’t be won. It’s an occupation. And I am ending the occupation.”

  22. And just like the toxic garbage, the lechate has crept completely into our nation and poisoned it.

  23. Holy fuckamoly distilled the war down quite clap!!! 😉

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