Monday, May 29, 2006

Haditha is Our Problem, Afghanistan Too, Colombia Slides Right, Frist Sucks and CEI Lies.

The cover-up didn't work. Containment didn't either. With it's first two options not working, the military resorts to an old standby, go after the lowest common denominator, enlisted personnel, NCOs and junior grade officers, prosecute vigorously and try to sweep it all under the rug.

The Pentagon is already talking death penalty for those directly involved.

Swift, American style justice and case closed, problem solved.

Except that the whole country is just as guilty as those Marines who actually pulled the trigger.

It was us, as a country that waved the flag and cheered Bush's mad dash into a war for no good reason. Even those of us who disagreed with the invasion of Iraq are at fault for not pushing the issue harder. But in the news media, war sells advertising. And if you believed what you were told, the war would be short, cheap and relatively casualty free. Plus, you eradicate vast stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Seemed like a great idea at the time.

Now we know better. After three years the U.S. and Iraq are both worse off than before the invasion. The troops on the ground are in much worse shape.

For three years, the troops have borne the stresses of the situation we've put them into. Anyone, no matter how tough or well trained, can only handle so much stress. Some Marines reached their breaking point at Haditha.

While we have to have courts martial for these killings, it will be pointless if we don't start giving troops the mental health care they need and we do a real study of the situation that led to American troops taking innocent lives. If we don't know the reasons behind the killings, we can't correct the problem.

The Iraqi people are so shell-shocked that they are indifferent about it, we can't afford to be.

Still, the Marines said, the public needs to understand
the pressures
of being on the front lines.

"I think it's unfortunate that Marines were driven to something like that,"
said Lance Cpl. Miles O'Reilly, 18, of Marin County. "It was out of line and
they should be punished, but something must have frustrated them pretty badly to
push them over the edge."

It's getting just as bad in Afghanistan. We have got to get our military out so that it can rest and regroup. It's time to get the UN involved and us out.

KABUL, Afghanistan -- U.S. and Afghan security forces fired on protesters in
the Afghan capital after a riot erupted Monday because of a deadly traffic
accident involving U.S. troops, police and eyewitnesses said. At least four
people were killed.
Witnesses said the incident began when a convoy of at
least three U.S. Humvees came into the city from the outskirts, then rammed into
a rush-hour traffic jam, hitting several civilian cars.

"The American convoy hit all the vehicles which were in their way. They
didn't care about the civilians at all," said Mohammad Wali, 21, a shopkeeper
who said he saw several dead bodies.
Three people were killed and 16 wounded
in the crash, which sparked a riot by dozens of stone-throwing Afghans who
shouted "Down with America," said Sher Shah Usafi, a Kabul police chief. U.S.
forces then fired on the crowd, killing one person and wounding two, he

Iraq and Afghanistan, chopper crews can tell the difference.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Military helicopter crews over Afghanistan and Iraq
know better than most what the wars in those countries have in common: There's
more below than meets the eye. They also have an unmatched view of what makes
the conflicts different.

Elections keep Colombia in U.S. pocketbook.

BOGOTÁ, Colombia, May 28 -- President Álvaro Uribe was reelected in a
landslide Sunday in Colombia's most peaceful elections in more than a decade,
strengthening the U.S. ally's mandate to crack down on armed groups and drug

Uribe's critics say he has shown a lack of interest in social programs
despite the country's rampant poverty and fear that his reelection will lead to
a strengthening of his alleged autocratic tendencies.

As part of his "democratic security" agenda, Uribe has put 25 percent more
troops and police on the streets during four years in office. Military spending
has nearly doubled, backed by $4 billion in U.S. aid for the anti-drug effort
known as Plan Colombia.

If you think the Republicans aren't sucking with all their might, just listen to what Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) thinks are the biggest problems facing America today. These guys are so clueless.

HOST: …Are gay marriage and flag burning the most important issues the Senate
can be addressing in June of
FRIST:…When you look at that flag and you tell me that right now people in
this country are saying it’s okay to desecrate that flag and to burn it and to
not pay respect to it, is that important to our values as a people when we’ve
got 130,000 people fighting for our freedom and liberty today? That is
important. It may not be important here in Washington where people say, well,
it’s political posturing and all, but it’s important to the heart and soul of
the American people. … Why marriage today? Marriage is for our society that
union between a man and a woman, is the cornerstone of our society. It is under
attack today


The Competitive Enterprise Institute has another lying ad about Al Gore. And this one is lamely bad.

This screen capture shows that Gore's CO2 meter is about 683,000,000, while the
one for the average person is 177, so apparently Gore's flying around produces
4,000,000 times as much CO2 as the average person does in their regular
activities. The average person produces
about 170 pounds of CO2 per day
. According to the CEI video Gore only makes
flights from one side of the USA to the other and never flies to somewhere in
the middle of the country or on the same coast. This calculator says
that a cross country flight produces 1600 pounds of CO2. It seems that the CEI
believe that Gore must take 4,000,000*(170/1600)=400,000 cross-country flights
every day of the year.

Enjoy the day off, be careful and think about those who gave all in the service of our country.

1 comment:

  1. Hey mate -- I don't consider it my fault any more. I marched against the war before and after it started, wrote to Congress-critters, agitated to anyone who would listen, and it didn't do shite to stop the madness. As soon as the weasels stole their way into another four years of power, my wife and I began planning our getaway. Luckily, I'm a registered nurse. It took some doing, but I was able to get a work visa and emigrate to Australia. I only make half the salary I did in San Francisco, my wife's not working at all, and we sold a beautiful house with a 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean. (The profit from that took some of the sting out.) Life is not quite as good here on the material plane, although the Aussies are great people. But some of us are lucky enough to be able to flee with clear consciences. I'm convinced that the fascists who have taken over the U.S. are going to attack Iran with nuclear weapons and commit megacide (a word I made up, signifying killing a million people with one act.) I'd say God help the U.S., and God damn President Cheney, except I don't believe any more. That's another thing that's nice about OZ, BTW -- they're not religious at all down here. Good luck with what's coming, mate. You'll need it.


I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)