Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Iraq, ONLY 73 dead this month

From the AP:

"BAGHDAD - The U.S. military said Tuesday that a Marine was killed in fighting west of the capital, bringing the American death toll for July to at least 73 — still the lowest in eight months."

As if 73 more dead Americans is somehow good news? The implication and the spin of course will be that the "surge is working" because less soldiers are getting killed. Could it be that those bent on killing Americans have just gone somewhere else? Maybe taking a summer vacation till the heat wears off?

The other thing, is that there is still this strain of thinking that says there is not enough "good news" coming out of Iraq, and that's why Americans are so down on the war.

It doesn't matter how many hospitals are built, schools are built, power plants restored, etc, as long as the situation within the Iraqi government remains the same (ineffective, corrupt, squabbling, wracked with ethnic and religious infighting, etc), there can be no permanent change for the better.

It is like the guy on life support in the hospital. The staff says, we did physical therapy on him, we bathed him, shaved him, cut his hair, put some clean undies on him. He's still dead from the neck up, but gosh he looks good doesn't he?

The Iraqi government MUST be able to do the things that normal governments do: provide security, infrastructure, uphold the law, and so forth (and as a PS, the governments in the Lebanon and the territories must do the same thing or perish).

We keep hearing that we just need a little more time to "complete the mission". So many Americans are so damn uncritical of these statements it is very frustrating.

I thought the mission was to disarm Saddam Hussein (done), then it was regime change (done), then it was giving the Iraqi's a freely elected government (done), who knows what the reason
du jour for us still being in Iraq is now. They have to tack on a new reason every so often to make us being there plausible.

If the "mission" is to end sectarian violence, this is an impossible mission. If it is to make the streets of Iraq safe, well, heck, we can't even do that in some of our own cities, up to and INCLUDING our nation's capitol. If it is to defeat an insurgency, while creating more insurgents weekly simply by being a large occupying force, this is an impossible mission as well.

WHAT IS OUR "MISSION" IN IRAQ, AND HOW WILL WE KNOW WHEN IT'S OVER? To many Americans, it seems that the thinking is that it will be over when the government tells us it's over.

And the months roll on and on, and ONLY 73 more Americans are dead. What "mission" are these guys (and gals) dying for?

Sunday, July 22, 2007


"The terrorists are coming to kill us,
They want our way of life to end,
We must live every day in fear,
Because fear is our only friend."

This poem came from a Saturday Night Live skit with Darrell Hammond as Dick Cheney reading Valentines day cards. This poem comes from the end of the skit when he reads Lynne's card to him. Then he says "you really know the way to my heart."

But there is so much truth in this humor.

According to Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh (and others, or as I refer to them, The Axis of Evil) I must be in some kind of denial because I refuse to live my life in fear. I refuse to live in fear of Al Qaeda. Fear of Iran. Fear of whatever the government tells me I should be afraid of. I fear none of it.

I have said many times that I have more of a chance of a drunk driving plowing into me any night of the week than dying at the hands of Al Qaeda.

We are told now, that Al Qaeda is back to pre-9/11 strength and, they are probably going to strike again, and probably soon. After all, Secretary Chertoff had a "gut feeling" (I get a gut feeling too - it's called nausea, and it comes from the incompetency of the people running our country)

The attack will most likely come from elements on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, where Al Qaeda has "reconstituted" itself.

It is pretty interesting that the Administration would have you to believe that the war in Iraq is going to somehow magically prevent this from happening. People simply must begin to look more critically at the Administration's claims regarding the Global War on Terror. NOTHING done in Iraq to date is going to prevent another terrorist attack on our soil.

In fact, it makes it more likely that a more dangerous attack will come because of the "practical experience" gained by operatives in Iraq.

Do I think that Al Qaeda is capable of causing harm to this country? Absolutely. I have never believed anything otherwise.

Do I fear them as the biggest threat to this country? Hardly. The biggest threat to this country is going to come from within. With the next big attack (it might not have to even be a big attack, maybe just a few car bombs), the possibility exists that we'll go to martial law. Or that citizens will panic and demand that the government "do something", which they will be too glad to comply with (like tying it somehow to Iran and getting an excuse to make war with Iran). Or more of our civil liberties will be eroded.

We must live every day in fear? You can, but I will not.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

They keep sending them off to war

They keep sending them off to war.
Our brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins,
That guy you played football with.
The guy who worked with you at McDonalds.

They keep coming back broken and maimed.
In spirit, body and mind.

We are told,
We must Stay the Course
We must not Cut and Run
Victory is just around the corner,
The insurgency is in it's final throes,


They keep coming back broken and maimed.
In spirit, body and mind.

We are told,
If we don't fight them there,
We'll have to fight them here.
Never mind that 9/11 was planned in Hamburg, London and the Good Old US of A.


They keep coming back broken and maimed.
In spirit, body and mind.

Americans say,
I support the troops.
I have a yellow ribbon on my car, I wear a red shirt on Friday and I send out
every inspirational e-mail about a Soldier that I get.
I NEVER question whether the war is right
My government says it is, so I just support the troops.
I never think about how it is inconsistent to leave them to face snipers,
IED's and death around every corner,
and yet to say that I am supporting them.


They keep coming back broken and maimed.
In spirit, body and mind.

How long till we realize that as long as they are at war
They will keep coming back broken and maimed.
In spirit, body and mind.