In many ways the word has moved beyond the original spiritual meanings and become a handy placeholder for a basic tenet of cultural logic: Do stupid things, mean things, or both, and it WILL bite you squarely on the ass eventually.
Whatever his motives, Bush's Karma is pretty well and truly fucked at the moment.
If he had stopped with invading Afghanistan, he might be in a lot better shape today. But at some point he listened to a bunch of hawkish advisors who were STILL steaming over the results of that first Iraqi conflict stewarded by the older and (as it turns out) considerably WISER Bush Sr. In a way that's MY Karma nailing me for all the things I used to bitch about Bush the daddy.
But Bush senior knew that invasions and occupations always SOUND like a good idea, but are never simple matters. Let's look at history for a moment: Much hand wringing is done over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. True, we could have accomplished a more "humane" result through a "demonstration" of the atomic bomb's power in some public, yet less lethal way. That aside, if we hadn't gotten the bomb, we would have had to invade Japan, resulting in ten times the casualties. "But that's what we did in Germany!" you might respond. Yeah, and look how well that went, with TWO major armies pressing in on Berlin. The only reason a significant resistance never arose from that mess was that we literally crushed the country under foot, followed by the revelations of the most horrendous systematic and unapologetic atrocities ever committed against a group of human beings in recorded history. That tends to take the moral foundation out from under even the most nationalist personality.
We had already invaded and occupied one country when we attacked Iraq. Without the help from other armies, we tapped as many able bodied persons even remotely capable of carrying a gun. Somehow, the "national" guard became fair game for an international adventure. People warned that this could be a disaster in the making if some domestic crisis were to arise. You know, the sort of thing that the National Guard is SUPPOSED to be around to deal with.
Like a borderline Cat 5 hurricane striking the American coastline.
Katrina made landfall on monday. It's now FRIDAY. People are dying of starvation and lack of clean drinking water. An entire major american city has been rendered uninhabitable on a scale that hasn't been seen in decades, if not nearly a hundred years. The emergency response has been nothing short of a full scale cluster fuck -- and they could see it coming. It's finally being pointed out that, what if it had been terrorists blowing the levee? No warning, the city fully occupied... what then?
So, let's review: Iraq is headed toward an inevitable civil war after Bush deliberately lied about Saadam's weapons, our civil liberties have been trampled under foot and we're LESS secure than we were four years ago, and the current regime seems more concerned about keeping women from controlling their bodies and internet porn then getting off it's ass to save actual lives.
At this point it's all perceived as damage control -- the best Bush can hope for is a minor hit in his polling numbers. At worst, the big anti-war rally later this month in DC could force some Republican congress-critters to remember that their not SUPPOSED to be walking in a locked goose-step with the administration.
I was going to add a bunch of fun links, but elfs and misia have beaten me to it in this post and this. I especially like Misia's idea that we should be deluging congress and the white house with as much paper and electronic complaints as possible.
[Edited to Add]: Oh, and Roni and I started to laugh last night when W pulled Clinton and his Dad into the oval office. It was as clear an admission of inadequacy as we've ever seen... bring in the man who you've replaced (AND on the other side) and your daddy to help.