Category Archives: Iraq

4,004 30,000 100,000

Random numbers? Hardly. These are the latest counts of American dead, American wounded and estimates of the Iraqi casualties of the current war in Iraq.

The hubris wrought by this war goes further than dollars and mountains of debt. It is mocked by the graves, the maimed and the lives that will never be the same.

Now that we’ve been entrenched in this morass for so many years, it will be beyond difficult to get out. This election seems to be hinging on so many issues except this war. Yeah, the issues relate to the war – the debt we suffer because of the war DOES effect the economy, but despite the selling of the surge, we are a long way from home.

Despite how you feel about all this, this war should be a paramount issue in this election. We can’t allow obfuscation. We must insist on the real cost, both economically and in the human psyche.

What will those running for President do to undo the damage in foreign relations and out standing with the rest of the world? I do believe our relations can be salvaged, but I’d like to hear what these folks think they can do.

Mostly, I don’t want us (myself included)  to forget that a lot of people have died and are suffering because of all this.

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Filed under Iraq, politics, sanctity of life

Right-wing guide to honoring the military

First, ascertain if said person was or is indeed part of the military.

Second, ascertain if said person supports our President’s effort to go after Bin Laden, find weapons of mass destruction, bring democracy to Iraq, at least achieve most of the benchmarks we set in Iraq belittle the benchmarks as not realistic safeguard markets when politicians and generals visit said markets to ensure their safety bring some semblance of safety and normality to some part of Iraq.

Ok now..if our military person agrees with the current mission and doesn’t whine about not having enough protection or equipment to keep him/her safe – YOU CAN HONOR THEM. ABSOLUTELY. SAFE FOR HONORING.

However, if former or current military member questions the effort to go after Bin Laden, find weapons of mass destruction, bring democracy to Iraq, at least achieve most of the benchmarks we set in Iraq belittle the benchmarks as not realistic safeguard markets when politicians and generals visit said markets to ensure their safety bring some semblance of safety and normality to some part of Iraq, you DO NOT, repeat DO NOT have to honor them. In fact, you can call them phonies*.

And now the big bonus, if a war veteran runs for office or holds office and they criticize ANY of the above, they can be vilified, smeared, besmirched and slandered. ABSOLUTELY NO HONOR SHOULD BE GIVEN AT ANY POINT TO THIS TYPE OF PERSON. NONE.

If you have never served at any point in your life in the military and you have ‘achieved’ multiple deferments, you get to make extra rules about who we should and should not honor.

Tomorrows question: How many innocent civilians do Blackwater Security Guards have to kill before THEY lose honor?

*Yeah, I know that Limbaugh is backtracking about some wash-out soldier, but the truth is, and the transcript shows he used the word ‘PHONIES’. Maybe he has a multi-mirrored studio!

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Filed under Iraq, irony may be the shackle of youth but I love it

When is a benchmark not a benchmark

Bush at the State of the Union re benchmarks in Iraq:

“Iraq’s leaders have committed themselves to a series of benchmarks,” Bush said at the time. “To achieve reconciliation; to share oil revenues among all of Iraq’s citizens; to put the wealth of Iraq into the rebuilding of Iraq; to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation’s civic life; to hold local elections; and to take responsibility for security in every Iraqi province.”

The non-partisan Government Accountability Office recently issued a report stating that 13 out of the 18 benchmarks in Iraq have not been met. The Bush administration, maneuvering in a manner that baby crabs would be proud to emulate, is now saying that benchmarks were never realistic and that it’s unfair to expect the Iraqi government to meet such benchmarks.

So, there were definitely WMDS, then there weren’t, then we were showing the terrorists that we wouldn’t back down after 9/11, then we were getting rid of a bad bad man and bringing democracy to democracy-starved Iraqis who were going to greet us with hosannas and rose petals and laurels, and then we were going to do something else that I’ve forgotten. Oh yeah, we were gonna stay the course, and then suddenly we weren’t.

Now we have the surge and God knows what next. If the news is good, the Bushies embrace it, if the news is bad or doesn’t meet their standards, the Bush team just takes a jump to the left, then a step to the right. It’s not just time these guys are warping.

Meanwhile, there’s no THERE THERE. You can fight until every cow, sacred or not, comes home, but unless there’s a government that can govern, an army that can hold it’s own, and a police force that upholds the laws for ALL Iraqis, the cause is eternal and benchmarks, fossils.

Those of us against this war are not ‘Defeat-o-crats’. We’re just telling the truth. The Iraqi empire has no clothes. Here’s a benchmark that I can guarantee. Unless the Bush team and the cadre of loyal congressmen change their tune, the Democrats will be swept into power with large majorities next year.

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Filed under Iraq, liars

Another crazy moonbat comes out for troop withdrawal..or, it’s Warner, brothers and sisters~!

what’s new..oh yeah, This time it’s crazy Senator John Warner, Republican stalwart, heretofore a big supporter of Bush’s war.  He’s calling for troop withdrawals beginning later this year and a change in course.  Finally, the big guy sees what many of us have seen a long long time…just what is it that we’re supporting over there?

There is no government in Iraq that can govern all the people.  There’s no police force to quell local violence because the police force is riddled with militia sect members.   We should arm the folks fighting Al Queda, advise them and fund them, but we have no business in the civil war.  Which side are YOU on, Sunni or Shia??

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Make time for Sergeants – The Iraqi War from the Inside

Political reconciliation in Iraq will occur, but not at our insistence or in ways that meet our benchmarks. It will happen on Iraqi terms when the reality on the battlefield is congruent with that in the political sphere. There will be no magnanimous solutions that please every party the way we expect, and there will be winners and losers. The choice we have left is to decide which side we will take. Trying to please every party in the conflict — as we do now — will only ensure we are hated by all in the long run.At the same time, the most important front in the counterinsurgency, improving basic social and economic conditions, is the one on which we have failed most miserably. Two million Iraqis are in refugee camps in bordering countries. Close to two million more are internally displaced and now fill many urban slums. Cities lack regular electricity, telephone services and sanitation. “Lucky” Iraqis live in gated communities barricaded with concrete blast walls that provide them with a sense of communal claustrophobia rather than any sense of security we would consider normal.

The real war…not the one spun from the White House or from the pen of the right-wing flacks. This NY Times article wasn’t written from the safety of the editorial chair or from some anti-war club-room. These are the words from the men who lived there..the sergeants.

Many folks want this to be black and white. There are gradations. The current course is leading us into Middle East suicide and is eroding any moral suasion we have world-wide. Despite the wishes of many (of us), complete immediate withdrawal is not feasible either. The world awaits our next move and our next President. The current President is stubborn and morally bereft. His brain-trust is dissolving.

I’m not hearing any plan from either side of the aisle that strikes me as courageous. This war was ill-conceived and ill-executed. The aftermath of the fall of Saddam is pock-marked by cronyism, over-paid contractors who have ripped off the American AND Iraqi public and fiction emanating from the White House blare.

I applaud the courage of our troops and especially the courage of these soldiers who dare to tell the truth. I pray that we listen.

Thanks to Bridgett for the link.

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Turning the corner in Iraq…

maze.jpg

In order for the US effort in Iraq to succeed there has to BE an Iraq that can carry the load when we leave. From those folks who continue to proclaim we’ve turned the corner in Iraq, please provide evidence that the Iraqi government (on vacation by the way) represents all the people and that the Iraqi police enforces the law equally and is not infiltrated with sectarianism.

Yeah, we can stay forever and put pressure in different areas of the balloon, but the balloon is just going to expand somewhere else..if you understand my meaning. This is not a ‘Democrat hoping the war goes well so that we can win elections‘. The world does contain shades of gray. I can guarantee you that the Democrats will win big in 2008 if Bush continues the current path, but that is not why we need a new strategy. This war continues to exhaust our coffers, kill our young, destroy thousands of Iraqi lives and the maiming of hundreds of thousand others. To continue the current 5 year course that brought us to this point is nothing more than folly – elections be damned.

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Honey, did you see the 190,000 AK-47s I put down somewhere, or, it was a bad day, I couldn’t find my aaaaa-kay…

The GAO is reporting that ‘we’ have lost track of 190,000 AK-47s given to the Iraqi government and Army back in 2004 and 2005. One doesn’t have to take a great leap of imagination to surmise that some of those weapons were used against American troops. Despite some horrible aberrations, the problem is not the American military. The problem was, is, and will be that there is no center of control. There is no strong central government un-splintered by sects that can control violence.

The hours with electricity in Baghdad are even fewer than a few months ago..the cities that were getting a lot of the electricity that had been siphoned off from Baghdad are now facing shortages, largely because of sabotage. A surge really is needed, but the center is not holding.

Those folks who decry and belittle those of us who oppose this war as defeatists and pro-terror need to explain what really is being accomplished. If we occupy Iraq for the next twenty years, we can continue to control some of the country and give the people who want to be free of sectarianism a haven, but ultimately, Iraq is not going to be the 51st state, despite having more money dumped into it than any state in the real union.

The truth of the matter is that we are arming all sides in the civil war, and attempting to provide a center. Candidates for the Presidency who cling to the current policies will be doomed. Candidates for Presidency who don’t believe in the current policy better be clear on the alternatives. So far, I’m not real impressed by either side.

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Filed under Iraq, politics