Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Iraq, Haditha, War Photographers, Hookers on the Hill, Pandering Unleashed, Someone Thinks Bush is Smart and Love Republilcan Style.

OK, we've reached the point in Iraq that something has to be done.

The long hemorrage of our service personnel and our country's wealth is one option, it's what we're doing now. The War President calls it "Staying the course, we are making progress." People with adaquate mental acuity, call it dumb. It's obvious that more of the same is not the answer.

The second option is the "All Out" approach. We blanket the country with troops, declare martial law and kill anyone and everyone that puts a toe out of line. Of course, with this approach we would have to install a dictator with his own private army to keep the country under control. This option would have the benefit of insuring an Iraqi leader that is friendly to the U.S. It's a method we have used extensively in Central and South America. This option has many drawbacks, not least are, that we will be seen as even more of a rogue superpower by the world community and the majority of the American people wouldn't stand for it.

The third option would be to turn the mess we've made over to the UN and let them get in some peacekeepers that know the language and understand the Iraqi people. We would have to pay for this UN peacekeeping force, but since we wouldn't be subsidizing Halliburton, it'll seem like a bargain. The benefits would be that our military could rest and regroup and we could start working on our dismal world image. The main drawback would be having to listen to all the whining from the right.

The last option is "Declare victory and leave." It has it's own benefits and drawbacks, but they're obvious.

If you have any other ideas, I'd be glad to hear 'em.

Even now as I sit here safely at my computer, Iraq is in turmoil. Only a mile away from the one area in Baghdad that we can say is almost secure, gunmen kidnapped 56 people right out in the open.

BAGHDAD, June 5 -- "Turn back," a friend told Haji Abu Shamaa as he walked
Monday morning toward his money-changing shop in the Karkh neighborhood of
central Baghdad, a mile north of the heavily guarded Green Zone. "The Interior Ministry police are rounding up people."

But Shamaa walked on, right into a
swift, coordinated operation unfolding within sight of Iraq's Ministry of
Justice. Gunmen in police uniforms and ski masks had cordoned off the street and
were swiftly shoving captives, four or five at a time, into a dozen waiting
pickup trucks. Fifteen minutes later, the trucks were gone, and so were 56

The Iraqi Prime Minister is pledging to put a stop to the internal strife in that country, but I think he has about as much influence in Iraq as I do.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pledged Tuesday to push
ahead with efforts to curb rampant sectarian and militia violence after a series
of brazen attacks, including the kidnappings of 50 people in broad daylight in Baghdad.

Police found nine severed heads in fruit boxes in a village northeast of the
capital, which followed a similar grisly discovery there on Saturday.

War photographers are getting the shots that the media, in this country, won't use. But they will become the history of out little misadventure in Iraq.

Again and again throughout this war, amateur photographs have exposed the flaws
of the military's carefully constructed image of discipline. Photographs made
Abu Ghraib a symbol of shame throughout the world. And photographs and video
images are again undermining the military's cherished reputation for calm under
fire and heroic self-restraint.

Newsweek is asking the obvious question, "Did some Marines snap?", but it's still a good article about Haditha. We have Bush, Rumsfeld and some suck-up generals that deserve credit for this.

It is not clear exactly what happened in Haditha on the morning of Nov. 19. One
Marine and 24 Iraqis died, that much is certain. Local survivors say Americans
on a rampage massacred their neighbors in cold blood. The videotaped eyewitness
accounts provided to NEWSWEEK and other news organizations are horrifying, hard
to believe in their sordidness and brutality. The Marines at first said 15
civilians, along with Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, 20, had been killed by an IED,
and that the rest died in a shoot-out with insurgents. But the official story
changed, in part because of a Time magazine exposé in March. Now, according to
congressmen who have been briefed by the Pentagon, the military is investigating
Kilo Company for possible war crimes. Investigators have seen grisly photographs
and are pursuing allegations of a cover-up. Ominously, there are also reports of
atrocities in other places, committed by young soldiers who cracked under the
pressure of a war fought on a battlefield with no front lines, no easy way to
tell civilians from insurgents, and no end in sight.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it would seem that our part-time Congresspersons are making out OK as full-time prostitutes. $50 million in free trips. That's good benefits for someone who just rubberstamps whatever Crawford, TX' village idiot wants.

Over 5 1/2 years, Republican and Democratic lawmakers accepted nearly $50
million in trips, often to resorts and exclusive locales, from corporations and
groups seeking legislative favors, according to the most comprehensive study to
date on the subject of congressional travel.

From January 2000 through June 2005, House and Senate members and their
aides were away from Washington for more than 81,000 days -- a combined 222
years -- on at least 23,000 trips, according to the report, issued yesterday by
the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity. About 2,300 of the trips cost
$5,000 or more, at least 500 cost $10,000 or more, and 16 cost $25,000 or more.

And what do we get out of the pampered people that are supposed to be representing us? Not much, unless you're in the top one per cent of the richest in the country or you're a homophobic religio-crazy that wants to write discrimination into the Constitution.

Republican voters, are you paying attention?

Because this week's Senate agenda is all about you, with debates scheduled
on same-sex marriage and a permanent repeal of the estate tax.

Over at USNews I just saw what must be the two stupidest statements of the year, by Michael Barone.

Bush Knows His History

We're lucky we had then, and have now, a president who takes bold action and
braves vitriolic criticism to defend our civilization against those who would
destroy it.

I guess being a suck-up pays.

And if that's not enough humor for one day, from Pensito Review,

The Real Threat to Marriage: Top 10 GOP Adulterers

1 comment:

  1. Hey, just wanted to say thanks for directing to where I needed to go for book thumbnails. I got I wanted. Thanks.


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)