Tuesday, July 31, 2007
August 1st addendum: Well, it appears, Two fine Warmongers are citing this piece of writing as "evidence" we need to stay in Iraq...
Golly, I wish I could type faster! But, two fine gentlemen, Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack have stunning news from Iraq! according to their latest article, We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq.
And they would know, because they were there for a WHOLE EIGHT DAYS! Interestingly, they list several cities where they visited after landing in Baghdad; Ramadi, Tal Afar and Mosul.
So, while I don't have their itinerary, they can't have spent more than a few days in each. Tell you what fellas try spending 15 months in one of those cities and then you tell me, "things look much better than before."
But Mr. O'Hanlon and Mr. Pollack how did you come to these conclusions? On what metrics?
US KIA and WIA? 691 and 3801 since Jan. 2007.
Civilian deaths? These numbers don't strike me as positive signs.
Perhaps overall attacks are down? At over 5000 attacks per month?
Perhaps Baghdad has reliable power for longer hours now? Oops, once Baghdad's amount of electricity dropped under 6 hours per day, the State Department decided to stop reporting it.
Maybe the political situation is improving? Mr. O'Hanlon's own words belie any hope of that, "there is nonetheless little good to report on the political front..."
Maybe Iraqi forces are ready to take over in the Al Anbar province? Well, Marine Major General Walter Gaskin in Al Anbar says the Iraqi forces won't be ready for 'a couple of years'?
"But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008." Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack.
Ah and that's the key isn't it, the Surge should go on for another year, despite everything to the contrary, the troops have to stay, the money has to keep flowing, the anti-war loonies have to be marginalized and the blood of Americans and Iraqis has to keep flowing because you spent a week in the desert.
Monday, July 30, 2007
The classic Appeal to Authority or an argumentum ad verecundiam. However, as it is understood by the Glorious Commander Guy, "Because I say so"!
Hmmm, let's see how many times the authority has been correct:
A big claim was an Al Qaida/Saddam link in Iraq prior to the US invasion? Nope.
Will it be a short war? Donald Rumsfeld -"Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that." Nope.
Okay so it's going to take longer than expected. But, how much will it cost, 20 or 25 billion? Paul Wolfowitz - "We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.” Nope.
Hmm, so it's more expensive than we were lead to believe. How many troops need to go into Iraq? Eric Shinseki stated several hundred thousand, but Mr. Wolfowitz retorted that was "wildly off the mark". Hmmm, I guess more were needed if the army has been extending tours and rotating troops in multiple times.
But, those troops must not be in much danger How are the troops being treated? Dick Cheney -"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." And again nope.
Okay, so on every major facet of the war the "Authority" has been wrong. Tell me again why I should believe you, trust you, listen to you or even respect you Mister Mighty Glorious War Decider? Because when it comes to credibility you have NONE.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Asking the 'do you plan to enlist' question is sure to get one banned from his site, consequently I am now banned. However, prior to my banning I also asked several other questions which I believed were salient to his quest.
These questions ranged from tactical scenarios to overall strategic goals:
Do you feel the 500 billion spent in Iraq has been well allocated? What about the other 2.5 TRILLION spent by the DoD in the last 6 years? Could this money have been better spent?
Do you feel agencies such as Blackwater, Triple Canopy, and DynCorp add to the security of Americans in Iraq or hinder them? Do you feel it is proper for men working for those agencies to make 150K to 180K during their deployment while a US soldier makes 1/5th to 1/6th that
Do you feel the spending of that money on Los Angeles class attack subs and DDG Destroyers is the best way to fight the generational War on Terror?
Do you feel increasing airstrikes "In the first 4 1/2 months of 2007, American aircraft dropped 237 bombs and missiles in support of ground forces in Iraq, already surpassing the 229 expended in all of 2006, according to Air Force figures obtained by The Associated Press," is going to gain us allies amongst the Iraqi populace?
Do you think it is fair that marines and soldiers should have multiple deployments into Iraq? Is this just the price of serving one's country?
Do you think military operations can eliminate guerrilla presence in the next 2 years in Iraq? If yes to this one, what historical guerrilla war do you base this upon? The Boer War, the Malaysia Insurrection, the Spanish Guerrilla War against Napoleon, the war in Sri Lanka, The Philippine Insurrection, Vietnam?
To whom does the decision to leave Iraq rest? The President, Congress, the American People, none of the above?
I don't expect any real replies to my queries. Mr Win-The-War, like so many others, is not interested in the truth of war. And like so many others all he can do is rage and shout, "We must defeat the Terrorists!" but never at the risk to themselves or their family members or the reducing of their own base desires.
And that is the real sorrow, so many are unwilling to think and are unwilling to face the consequences of their decisions and instead allow the Glorious Leadership to do their thinking for them. And when Bush proclaims the latest banal platitude, The Warmongers intone it as their latest mantra...
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
But since the U.S. military invaded Iraq in 2003, its "show of force" brand has proved to have limited appeal to Iraqi consumers, according to a recent study commissioned by the U.S. military.
The key to boosting the image and effectiveness of U.S. military operations around the world involves "shaping" both the product and the marketplace
Who writes this tripe? "Show of Force brand" has limited appeal to Iraqi consumers? I guess seeing your grandfather blown to bits by an errant GBU-31 or having your mother thrown to the ground, zip tied and bagged tends to irk people. Also the 655,000 who have been killed in this imperialist adventure no doubt have dampened the rose petals and liberation parades.
A few years back, as we prepared for OIF 2.5 in Ramadi, a good friend clearly articulated the selling of Iraq. The War on Terror (which chicken hawks like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh can shout for hours and hours and hours on their radio shows) is an easy to handle slogan, he stated, whereas the War to realign the Middle East to conform to American business and military interests, by simultaneously protecting Israel and Saudi Arabia, placing a puppet regime in Iraq with which to gain access to their oil reserves and possessing force projection ability towards both Syria and Iran just wouldn't be an easy sell.
But, hey Americans don't want to know the truth. The truth is brutal. Americans can't be bothered.
Fortunately there are some heroes bringing the truth for Americans to see: IVAW and Operation First Casualty.
Monday, July 23, 2007
However, oddly, many who are pro-war have no intention of placing themselves at risk and the sad truth is those (here, here, here, here and here) calling for the continued Occupation of Iraq and even expanding the War (here and here) do so knowing full well it will not be their powdered asses, shitting into a hole in the desert or going 7 weeks without a shower, or washing in contaminated water.
I have to assume these people are suffering from Delusion; a false, persistent belief not supported by sensory or objective evidence.
Or... They realise this is a war for money and control of the Middle East and do not see it as worth their own blood.
As Dalton Trumbo wrote, "You can always hear the people who are willing to sacrifice somebody else's life. They're plenty loud and they talk all the time."
Saturday, July 21, 2007
I said to myself, here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.
But I have thought some more, since then... and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. ~ New York Herald [New York, 10/15/1900]
I wonder what Twain would make of the recent American Imperialist Adventure in Mesopotamia.
There are many parallels between Iraq and the Philippines:
Letters from soldiers documented the atrocities (
Between 250,000 and 1 million civilians were killed,
Water Torture was used on the Filipinos (this was eventually admitted to by future President William Howard Taft),
The only military strategy which could be imagined was to separate the civilian populace from the insurgents, this was accomplished by a scorched earth policy, ignoring the plight of the civilian population and the creation of concentration camps,
Journalists were heavily controlled and The War Department (since relabelled Department of Defense) issued reports asserting all manner of atrocities were being committed by the Filipinos in order to stem the growing anti-war sentiment of Americans,
Fighting continued until 1913 (even though as early as 1902 the War was considered won),
The Philippines gained their independence in 1946, but it wasn't until Nov. 24, 1992 the last US base closed at Subic Bay, a period of 94 years from the start of American involvement.
I think he would merely have quoted himself:
But now -- why, we have got into a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater. I'm sure I wish I could see what we were getting out of it, and all it means to us as a nation. ~ Returning Home, New York World [London, 10/6/1900