Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bush, Iraq, Iran, Blackwater Air Force, Karbala, Ahmadinejad, 50 Billion to Iraq, Unhappy Troops, Abu Ghraib, SAT, Big Boom, Craig's Sex and Cronyism.

It's just amazing that at the time of this photo-op, Bush and the Right thought the war was over and we had won.

It must have been true, the White House still has a transcript of the speech in which Bush declared, "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.".

Now, after more than four years and more than 3300 American KIA since "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.", what does the "War President" think about the situation in Iraq?

Well, according to the speech he gave the American Legion, he thinks things are just going pretty damned fine. And who can argue with the record Bush has racked up as a military genius?

RENO, Nev., Aug. 28 -- A year ago, President Bush came before the American Legion convention and assured his audience of veterans
that the early results of a plan to strengthen security in Baghdad were "encouraging." Within a few months, U.S. officials
were acknowledging that the plan had collapsed and sectarian violence in Iraq was veering out of control.

Bush came before the same group Tuesday morning here and offered another
upbeat message about the U.S. campaign to bring security to the country. "Our
new strategy is showing results in terms of security," he said. "Our forces are
in the fight all over Iraq."

"The momentum is now on our side," Bush said. "The surge is seizing the
initiative from the enemy -- and handing it to the Iraqi people."

He also bad-mouthed Iran.

"Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere, and that is why the
United States is rallying friends and allies around the world to isolate the
regime, to impose economic sanctions," Bush said. "We will confront this danger
before it is too late."

Iran's about as much of a danger to the U.S. as Iraq was. But I can't see any sane person taking Bush seriously, 'cause they know that the U.S. military kinda has it's hands full at the moment.

But owing to his love of the private sector, he just might hire a private security company to invade Iran. Why not? One has even made enough of our tax dollars to buy it's own air force. From another country, of course.

Security company Blackwater U.S.A. is buying Super Tucano light combat aircraft
from the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. These five ton, single engine, single
seat aircraft are built for pilot training, but also perform quite well for
counter-insurgency work.... The bubble canopy provides excellent visibility.
This, coupled with its slow speed (versus jets), makes it an excellent ground
attack aircraft.

In the news from Iraq today, it looks good for Bush, mostly it's just Iraqis killing Iraqis.

BAGHDAD, Aug. 28 -- Riots broke out during a religious festival in the holy
city of Karbala on Tuesday, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of
thousands of Shiite pilgrims and leaving 28 people dead, police said.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted at a televised news conference that
the authority of the U.S. military will soon collapse in Iraq. "The political power of the occupiers is being destroyed
rapidly and very soon we will be witnessing a great power vacuum in the region,"
Ahmadinejad said. "We, with the help of regional friends and the Iraqi nation,
are ready to fill this void."

Unfortunately, it looks like Ahmadinejad is giving us a pretty good assessment of the situation in Iraq. It would be best for all concerned, if we could turn Iraq over to the U.N. and let them send in a peace-keeping force from Muslim nations. I mean, just what are we getting in return for our investment?

Screwed, for one thing. We're spending over three billion a week on Bush's little adventures into the Middle East. Now Bush is wanting an extra 50 billion to try to drag this mess out so he can hand to the next guy. Since our brave Democrats in Congress care more for their image than their country, Bush will get what he wants.

President Bush plans to ask Congress next month for up to $50
billion in additional funding for the war in
Iraq, a White House official said yesterday, a move that appears to
reflect increasing administration confidence that it can fend off congressional
calls for a rapid drawdown of U.S. forces.

The request -- which would come on top of about $460 billion in the fiscal
2008 defense budget and $147 billion in a pending supplemental bill to fund the
wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq -- is expected to be announced after
congressional hearings scheduled for mid-September featuring the two top U.S.
officials in Iraq. Army
Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker will assess the state of the war and
the effect of the new strategy the
U.S. military has pursued this year.

The revised supplemental would total about $200 billion, indicating that the
cost of the war in Iraq now exceeds $3 billion a week. The bill also covers the
far smaller costs of the war in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon said recently that the cost of the Iraq war has
surpassed $330 billion, while the war in Afghanistan has cost $78 billion.

When the troops lose confidence in their Commander-in-Chief and their general officers, the jig is just about up. Following orders from people you think must be idiots is not good for morale.

A recent op-ed about the war in Iraq charged that upbeat official reports
amount to "misleading rhetoric." It said the "most important front in the
counterinsurgency [had] failed most miserably." And it warned against pursuing
"incompatible policies to absurd ends."

Five years into a controversial war, that harsh judgment in a New
York Times opinion piece might not seem surprising, except for this: The authors
were seven US soldiers, writing from Iraq at the end of a tough 15-month combat

The Vietnam and Iraq "debacles are not attributable to individual failures,
but rather to a crisis in an entire institution: America's general officer
corps," wrote the former West Point instructor and Iraq veteran who recently
took command of a battalion. "In both conflicts, the general officer corps
designed to advise policymakers, prepare forces and conduct operations failed to
perform its intended functions.... As matters stand now, a private who loses a
rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war."

Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, who was picked to play the lead in the Army's morality play, was absolved of any torture charges. I don't know if the guy's guilty or not. What's so sad about this is that with this courts martial, the Army will sweep Abu Ghraib under the rug. Considering that this goes all the way to the top, the Army's done an excellent job of covering every body's ass.

The only Army officer to face a court-martial for the notorious detainee abuse
at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was exonerated of mistreating detainees by a military jury
yesterday, ending a series of prosecutions that stretched over more than three

Bush, the Republicans and the Democrats who abetted them should be held accountable for the absolute mess that they've caused in this country.

On the home front, Bush's education revolution "No Child Left Behind" has had a major, if not unexpected result, SAT scores have dropped.

The Class of 2007 posted the lowest SAT averages in several years, according to
scores released this morning. Scores from the second year of an expanded,
three-section college-entrance test declined by double digits in Maryland and
the District, by five points in Virginia and by seven points nationwide,
compared with the previous graduating class.

It would appear that a whole bunch of us are missing out on the big economic boom that we're supposed to be having. Not Bush's base, the top five per cent are doing very well, thank you very much.

Although median household income, adjusted for inflation, rose for the second
straight year, it has not reached the pre-recession high of 1999.

Although the poorest households had the largest percentage income gain from
2005 to last year, income inequality remains at a record high. The share of
income going to the 5 percent of households with the highest incomes has never
been greater.

Senator Larry E. Craig (R-Id) is coming out by saying, "Let me be clear: I am not gay. I never have been gay,".

We all try to play footsie with the guy in the next stall, don't we? Don't know about you, but I don't want to see no part of nobody coming into my stall.

The right-wing blogosphere don't believe him.

From NBC's Mark MurrayA quick scan of some of the more prominent conservative
blogs shows that these bloggers aren't defending Idaho Sen. Larry Craig (R),
after Roll Call reported yesterday that Craig was arrested in June for lewd
behavior in a men's bathroom. In fact, there are plenty of calls for his

Hell, his fellow Repbulicans don't even believe him. They usually believe about anything.

Senate Republican leaders called for an ethics investigation of Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) yesterday as he dug in for a legal
and political fight to save his congressional career after acknowledging that he
had pleaded guilty to disorderly-conduct charges stemming from an incident with
an undercover police officer in an airport men's room.

Another crook that hides behind his religion, Rev. Ted Haggard, done screwed up again. He was doing his panhandling e-mail through a group has now been linked to a registered sex offender. Smirk.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Church officials supervising fallen
evangelical leader Ted Haggard plan to meet with him today in Phoenix because of
an e-mail he sent soliciting donations for himself.

Haggard told people they could send money to him or through an
organization called Families with a Mission. That group has now been linked to a
registered sex offender in Hawaii named Paul Huberty.

And to finish this with a little pure old fun, Mother Jones shows us how the White House rewards incompetence.

Ellen Sauerbreystarted as: U.S. representative to the United Nations
Commission on the Status of Women, 2002-2003

heckuva job: Sauerbrey, who had little international experience, pushed for
pro-life language in diplomatic agreements, earning boos at U.N.

soft landing: Now assistant secretary of state for population, refugees, and
migration, she runs relief operations all over the world. At her confirmation
hearings, Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) pointed out that "you don't have very
specific experience." Sauerbrey noted that she had overseen three Maryland
counties as a census administrator. Three!

Hector Barretostarted as: Administrator of the Small Business
Administration, 2001-2006

heckuva job: Under this former Bush fundraiser's watch, the sba handed out $2
billion in contracts reserved for small firms to large companies and gave
post-9/11 terrorism relief to an Oregon winery and a perfume company in the
Virgin Islands. In a 2005 survey of government employees' morale, the SBA ranked
dead last.

soft landing: In April 2006, Barreto resigned, only to emerge as head of the
Latino Coalition, a conservative Astroturf organization funded by A-list
corporations from R.J. Reynolds to Verizon.

Have a good Wednesday, 'cause the weekend getting closer.

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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)