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February 03, 2006
I have memo fatigue....

From Crooks and Liars:

Think Progress: Bush Made Up His Mind On Iraq Two Months Before Invasion.

    "A memo of a two-hour meeting between the two leaders at the White House on January 31 2003 - nearly two months before the invasion - reveals that Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons programme...read on

First off, I am begining to believe it highly unlikely that these guys would have allowed detailed notes to be taken at such a meeting. Secondly, who cares anymore. These memos and allegations have not made one dent in the case that Bush lied about the war, at least not with those who count the most, the undecided voters and non-aligned.

So what happens, another accussation is made, the Right and Administration supporters pooh pooh the whole thing, and we look like a bunch of conspiracy freaks.

I say show me the memo when it is verifiable, clear and definative that the administration lied. This is the kind of thing that back in the glory days of 60 Minutes, would have cleaned these clowns out of office. Now the U.S. Media is scared to touch them, even to further investigate. And as much as our beloved blogs can inflame the masses of the faithful, the real impact is NIL.

Posted by David A at 01:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 242 Words
January 30, 2006
Had to be said...

Hehe...

Remember the whole controversy last month over whether the American government - one way or the other - was eavesdropping on CNN star foreign reporter Christiane Amanpour?

The National Security Administration denied it. But if they weren't listening then, they'll probably start now! Matt Drudge has this breathless report on the top of his notorious Web page:

CNN's top war correspondent Christiane Amanpour now says the Iraq war has been a disaster and has created a "black hole."

Amanpour made the comments Monday evening on the all-news network.

"The Iraq war has been a disaster. It's a spiraling security disaster," Amanpour explains to Larry King. "It just gets worse and worse."

Of course she is a quasi-arab, liberal yada yada... Might as well sent her to Al Jazeera. Right Boys?

All jokes aside, Amapour showed a lot of brass in making that statement, Michelle Malkin and the like will be sharpening sabers over this one, and claiming how WONDERFUL things are in Iraq. The question I always wonder about is how many of these yodells would consider things wonderful, if they knew that just going to the market could get their asses blown to hell?

Posted by David A at 10:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 198 Words
January 28, 2006
Right On Iraqi's

From Iraq the Model:

The Anbar tribes' campaign to rid the province of Zarqawi's terror organization, al-Qaeda in Iraq is in its 2nd day and so far, 270 Arab and foreign intruders have been arrested.

Usama Jad'aan, the leader of Karabila tribes in Qaim told al-Hayat that "the operation will continue to eliminate terror elements according to a quality plan" and added "270 Arab and foreign intruders have been arrested, in addition to some Iraqis who were providing them shelter".

To bad the Afghan's didn't do this a long time ago. If they had, maybe there would not have been a 9/11.

Hat Tip Dean

Posted by David A at 02:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 106 Words
January 23, 2006
Define Winning?

Rob defines it as less American Casualties in Iraq.

How many innocent Iraqis have died during the same period? How many policemen? How many others...

I don't know what you call it, but winning, no...

And saying so just makes it harder for Americans to realize that this is going to be a long war and that really winning it will require us to continue to sacrifice.

Posted by David A at 11:49 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | 69 Words
January 19, 2006
When does a LIE, get called a Lie?
WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 - A high-level intelligence assessment by the Bush administration concluded in early 2002 that the sale of uranium from Niger to Iraq was "unlikely" because of a host of economic, diplomatic and logistical obstacles, according to a secret memo that was recently declassified by the State Department.

Among other problems that made such a sale improbable, the assessment by the State Department's intelligence analysts concluded, was that it would have required Niger to send "25 hard-to-conceal 10-ton tractor-trailers" filled with uranium across 1,000 miles and at least one international border.

The analysts' doubts were registered nearly a year before President Bush, in what became known as the infamous "16 words" in his 2003 State of the Union address, said that Saddam Hussein had sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

The White House later acknowledged that the charge, which played a part in the decision to invade Iraq in the belief that Baghdad was reconstituting its nuclear program, relied on faulty intelligence and should not have been included in the speech. Two months ago, Italian intelligence officials concluded that a set of documents at the center of the supposed Iraq-Niger link had been forged by an occasional Italian spy.

A handful of news reports, along with the Robb-Silberman report last year on intelligence failures in Iraq, have previously made reference to the early doubts expressed by the State Department's bureau of intelligence and research in 2002 concerning the reliability of the Iraq-Niger uranium link.

But the intelligence assessment itself - including the analysts' full arguments in raising wide-ranging doubts about the credence of the uranium claim - was only recently declassified as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group that has sought access to government documents on terrorism and intelligence matters. The group, which received a copy of the 2002 memo among several hundred pages of other documents, provided a copy of the memo to The New York Times.

The White House declined to discuss details of the declassified memo, saying the Niger question had already been explored at length since the president's State of the Union address.

I guess they would decline to discuss it... I mean what were they going to say, "Damn! Busted again! Hope nobody reads this!"

I dont expect to see many conservative bloggers rushing to apologize to Joe Wilson or his wife either... I have gotten to the point where I just have to laugh at the ridiculous nature of some of the other side's arguments when it comes to Bush. I mean either they are incredibly stupid, naive, or just don't give a rats ass as long as their boy stays on top. This rancid meat has been stinking for so long that it's not even apetizing to maggots any more... And yet they keep excusing and denying... Makes you wonder... Makes you think, that sometimes all the talk about the traitorous Left, is just a reflection of their own guilt in being unable to acknowledge that they were sold a bill of goods, and in making the buy, they sold out their conservative ideas and the country as a whole...

Posted by David A at 12:04 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | 530 Words
January 08, 2006
Who didn't know this?

Candy and flowers baby! Candy and Flowers....

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Paul Bremer, who led the U.S. civilian occupation authority in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, has admitted the United States did not anticipate the insurgency in the country, NBC Television said on Friday.

Bremer, interviewed by the network in connection with release of his book on Iraq, recounted the decision to disband the Iraqi army quickly after arriving in Baghdad, a move many experts consider a major miscalculation.

When asked who was to blame for the subsequent Iraqi rebellion, in which thousands of Iraqis and Americans have died, Bremer said "we really didn't see the insurgency coming," the network said in a news release.

The network, which did not publish a transcript of the interview, added that Bremer's comments suggested "the focus of the war effort was in the wrong place."

Posted by David A at 11:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 141 Words
December 27, 2005
Top 10 Myths about Iraq

This is an interesting post by Juan Cole. If you really want an honest and objective analysis of the situation on the ground, it's a must read.

Posted by David A at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 27 Words
December 23, 2005
Iraqi Elections follow up

Lots of Bruhah on the Righty Blogs last week over the Iraqi elections, but cant find a mention of this... Wonder why?

Posted by David A at 02:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 23 Words
The Saddam Trial

I got an interesting question today on my blurb about Saddam's torture accussations. I was going to respond in comments, but I think it is worth a post.

Don said:

Interesting in what way, Dave? The reactions of the left and right blogosphere, or the effect Saddam's claims have on his trial?

For my part, I'm really looking forward to reading diatribes on:

(L) Since there was Abu Ghraib, this is entirely believable - no, almost certainly true...

and

(R) This is utter bullshit, and doesn't even bear looking into.

In the real world, of course, it certainly warrants a visit from a Doctor and a review of the access logs for Saddam's quarters - with a hefty dose of salt (it's Saddam, after all). Whether or not any of the high traffic blogs on the left or right take that tack remains to be seen.

My Answer:

Interesting in it's political implications. I don't believe that Saddam was tortured. But... he has put the message out there, seeding doubt in the minds of those who believe that the American invasion was illegal (Especially the Muslim World and some Europeans). He is experiencing his greatest fantasy right now, the whole prayer bit, the Anti American Diatribes, the torture accussations, the questioning of the reasons for war. I would say at this moment that Saddam is getting just what he wanted, a stage... A world stage, to promote his case against the American invasion.

Posted by David A at 12:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 244 Words
December 21, 2005
Saddam claims to have been beaten

I am watching CNN International right now, live coverage of the Saddam trial. Saddam is claiming that he was beaten by American jailers. "Yes I was beaten, and the marks are all over my body." Now this is going to be very interesting....

Posted by David A at 10:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 43 Words
December 18, 2005
Bush's Speech

Bush gave a major speech tonight on Iraq. While I did not catch it live, I was able to read the transcript here.

Did it break new ground... Not really, except the President once again accepted responsibility for sending American Troops into Iraq, and not finding WMD's. This is pretty groundbreaking in and of itself for a President who just a year ago was still holding on to the WMD argument.

Like David at the Moderate Voice, I give the speech a B. I find myself agreeing with a lot of what Bush said tonight, including completing the job. As I have said many times, leaving an unstable Iraq would be a far worse decision than going to War in the first place.

I believe, unlike many of my bretheren on the Left, that the Elections were a major step in the right direction, and I am willing to give our troops on the ground and their commanders the time that they need to finish their mission.

I believe many mistakes have been made in executing this war, the first being going to war in the first place, but I am willing to acknowledge that if a stable, peaceful and democratic Iraq results from the war, then it may have been worth it.

Time will tell. At the moment, this Administration faces a steep uphill climb in earning my trust and respect, something I was willing to give them in the days following 9/11, but which they have thrown away with dirty trick after dirty trick. Nevertheless, I am pleased to see the President at least trying to provide some real leadership and vision on Iraq, even if it fails perfection.

Posted by David A at 11:13 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | 283 Words
December 16, 2005
Does the ends justify the means?

Dean writes of one Iraqi's grattitude to Americans for making yesterday's elections possible. He closes with this statement:

"What's saddest of all to me is that congressional Democrats could have taken a big share of the credit for this. But instead they embraced that jackass Howard Dean and the "Bush lied!" and "Bush's war" crowd."

My point is a simple one. There is no reason in my mind that one can be proud of the Iraqi people for taking this monumental step, and proud of the sacrafice of our troops in helping them to get to this point, and at the same time question the policy and means in which we got into this war.

The question is not the ultimate success which has been achieved, but the right of the American people to know the truth about why we are sending our sons and daughters off to war. This is a fundamental issue which some on the Right seem to consistently ignore.

I am not Anti War. When America or our allies are threatened, I support 100% our right and obligation to defend ourselves. If Weapons of Mass Destruction had been found in Iraq, I would be 100% in support of the War. They were not, and sufficient questions have arrissen to make many Americans suspicious as to whether our Government knew this. My oppossition to the war lies in the principle that the American people have the right to know WHY we are going to war. If the reasons given for doing so are invalid, regardless of the ultimate results, our government needs to be held accountable for both the cost in blood and the cost in taxpayers money.

From Today's Washington Post:

A congressional report made public yesterday concluded that President Bush and his inner circle had access to more intelligence and reviewed more sensitive material than what was shared with Congress when it gave Bush the authority to wage war against Iraq.

Democrats said the 14-page report contradicts Bush's contention that lawmakers saw all the evidence before U.S. troops invaded in March 2003, stating that the president and a small number of advisers "have access to a far greater volume of intelligence and to more sensitive intelligence information."

More troubling questions about what our lawmakers knew in approving the war. Now some on the Right will pooh pooh this as nothing new, irrelevant or worse... Some on the Left will see it as proof that, "Bush Lied." I am saying niether at this point. What I am saying is, "Don't we have the right to know?"


It is a simple proposition, I dont see why more on the Right, DONT GET IT?

Posted by David A at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 447 Words
December 15, 2005
Iraqi Elections

It isn't all about sour grapes Jeff. I caught some coverage on CNN (International Edition) today about the Election. It seems all possitive to me. Even the hardliners in Iraq seem to be giving the elections a chance. If you are/were expecting me to try to find a copper lining in that golden cloud, you are mistaken. I was against the war. I am still against the war, I will be against the war... None of that changes the fact that I am extremely proud of the heroism of the average Iraqi in going to vote today and in trying to put their country back together. So I wish them well, and most of all I wish them a speedy recovery of their Sovereignty, and a return of our troops to their homes.

Posted by David A at 03:25 PM | Comments (28) | TrackBack (2) | 134 Words
December 03, 2005
Hmmmm....

How long will Republicans continue to block information about pre-war intelligence?

I don't think much longer. This thing has been stinking for a LONG time, and most Americans have chosen to ignore the stench, but recent dissatisfaction with the war has forced Republicans to change the spin from "a justified war," to "We need to finish what we started." The second part I agree with, but the Truth about why we went to war in Iraq and why over 2,000 Americans are dead, needs to be exposed.

There is a lot of discussion going on about Congressman Murtha's recent comments about getting out of Iraq. Some of the response from the Right has been called "sliming," that may be the case in many cases, but the debate is legitimate. In my opinion we simply can't leave Iraq at this point, but that does not mean we should not examine why we are there in the first place.

Hat tip... The Moderate Voice

Posted by David A at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | 164 Words
December 02, 2005
LMAO!

Good news from Iraq.

Posted by David A at 12:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 5 Words
December 01, 2005
The Keystone Kops Of Iraq... Or how we blew another one....
LA Times: U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press. As part of an information offensive in Iraq, the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq. The articles, written by U.S. military "information operations" troops, are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor, according to U.S. military officials and documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

As Gillmor says, the Keystone Cops masquerading as PsyOps Troops have now ensured that the Average Iraqi wont believe anything they read in their own papers... Where do we get these idiotic ideas?

Posted by David A at 08:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 121 Words
November 30, 2005
Bush Maps Out Iraq War Strategy?

Okay, so here it is... The long awaited strategy for dealing with Iraq. Now the question on my mind is....

WHAT STRATEGY?

It looks to me like the same tired rhetoric, complete with the same tired Proclamations. Mr. President, is that it? Did I miss something???

Posted by David A at 12:25 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | 48 Words
The War Debate Continues....

Dean asks a simple question today regarding my post from yesterday:

David A. says it's our fault, it's up to us to fix it.

Two questions come to mind:

1) Is that fair? and

2) Okay, if it's fair, what do we do now?

One of his commenters took offense to my comment that Iraq is a more dangerous place today.... Something which seems pretty common sense based on the news reports, but to back up my point I did some googling....

While Wikipedia has the most exhaustive analysis of the War's casualties, I found this piece (A bit dated), to be very compelling:

Saddam: between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Iraqis killed (includes Kurds)

U.S. Occupation: about 100,000 killed directly or indirectly (includes Kurds)

What this means is that if the U.S. invasion has lead to an average of about 70,000 deaths per year -- based on the survey that finds Iraqi death rate increased by 100,000 over the first 18 months of the occupation -- then it is likely that Iraqis are dying at a higher rate under the U.S. occupation than they were under Saddam's regime.

If we take the estimates that between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Iraqis died during Saddam's rule (1979 - 2003), it yields an annual death rate of between 25,000 to 50,000 per year under Saddam.

Based on the figure of 100,000 Iraqi deaths from the invasion, it could be said that the new annual death rate under U.S. "rule" (or lack of) is somewhere around 66,000 Iraqis per year.

It does not take a Rocket Scientist to understand that Iraq under Saddam was a dangerous place for many Iraqis. If you somehow ended up on the wrong side of the debate with Saddam or his regime, you died, it was that simple. But what percentage of Iraqis lived in that kind of fear? Today, going to the Market, sending your children to school, simply wandering outside, can lead to unexpected death. The reality of the situation in Iraq, regardless of one's position on the war, is that the country is in turmoil. And it appears that it is not just the Jihadist that the average Iraqi has to worry about.... So the blow sunshine up our collective assess set, can go on with their fantasies about Iraq the Model, we are a long way from any model other than one of Chaos!

Posted by David A at 10:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 399 Words
November 29, 2005
Creating a Secure Iraq...

I am sure that this is just an isolated incident, just like Abu Gharib, right????

A "trophy" video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis.

Hat Tip, Gillmor.

Posted by David A at 05:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 84 Words
Fix it, we broke it...

The Iraq argument is in full swing right now. There are the "It was right, no matter why it was started," crowd, the "Bring our troops home now," crowd, and the "We should have never been there in the first place," but we need to finish the job crowd...

I read this piece on Dean's Blog today, and while I don't agree with the blanket assessment, I do happen to believe that we can not leave Iraq without establishing stability (whatever that means in the crazy world we now live in).

The truth is that I don't believe the majority of those who are against the war, "want us to fail." No doubt there are some whose hatred for Bush is so intense that they might feel that way, but I am compelled to believe that the majority of Americans who are against the war, simply want to see an end to it. Many don't care at this point what the eventual outcome is for the Iraqi people, they simply want to see Americans stop dying. I can't allow myself to feel that way. My own sense of justice compels me to believe that we created a far more dangerous Iraq for the average Iraqi, than the one they lived in under Saddam. We have to fix that, and I can not support another Saigon Syndrome, where we simply walk away...

While I DO Think we need to understand why we got into a war in Iraq in the first place... The American People and our veterans deserve no less... It IS time we discussed how we get out, and more importantly, how we leave a better place than we found.

Update Here.

Posted by David A at 07:00 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (1) | 284 Words
November 25, 2005
The Truth about Iraq

Despite all the denial, the truth is coming out... bit by bit. Not that the truth has not been there all along. The apologist for the war, and the out and out propagandist, have done a good job of distorting the facts and creating an amazing array of confusing spin that would discourage even the most ardent seeker of truth to walk away scratching their head. This Slate Article does a good job of breaking it down, read the whole thing, then think about the nearly 20,000 dead and wounded Americans and tens of thousands of dead and wounded Iraqis!

Here's what we do know already, without a congressional inquiry: Members of the Bush Administration were dishonest with the public and with Congress about prewar intelligence. We've known this for some time—see, for example, the comprehensive and damning story Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus wrote in the Washington Post in August 2003 ("Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence"). Over the past two years, several incidents of executive-branch dishonesty in the run-up to the war have turned into subscandals of their own: the aluminum tubes that Iraq used for missiles and not gas centrifuges, the yellowcake uranium that Saddam didn't try to buy from Niger, the mobile biological warfare laboratories that turned out to be hydrogen generators for balloons, the al-Qaida chemical warfare training that was based on a false confession, the meeting with Mohamed Atta that didn't happen in Prague.

If you examine these and other pillars of the administration's case for invading Iraq, a clear pattern emerges. Bush officials first put clear pressure on the intelligence community to support their assumptions that Saddam was developing WMD and cooperating with al-Qaida. Nonetheless, significant contrary evidence emerged. Bush hawks then overlooked, suppressed, or willfully ignored whatever cut against their views. In public, they depicted unsettled questions as dead certainties. Then, when they were caught out and proven wrong, they resisted the obvious and refused to correct the record. Finally, when their positions became utterly untenable, they claimed that they were misinformed or not told. Call this behavior what you will, but you can't describe it as either "honest" or "truthful."

Many of the White House's most serious misrepresentations involve the case that Saddam was trying to build nuclear weapons, which he had in fact stopped trying to do in 1991. "We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons," Cheney said in August 2002, in one of his conclusive comments on the subject. This position was echoed by Bush and Rice, who both conjured the specter of a mushroom cloud, as well as by Rumsfeld and Colin Powell, who went into more detail about aluminum tubes and uranium. If you were on the inside and read even the now notorious National Intelligence Estimate of 2002, you at least knew that such statements were at the very least overdrawn. Analysts at the departments of Energy and State weren't buying the aluminum tubes and yellowcake theory that formed the basis of the nuclear case.

Or consider another component of that case that has gotten less attention, the description of fresh "activity" at Saddam's known nuclear sites. A draft paper produced by Andrew Card's White House working group on Iraq, and cited in the 2003 Post article, was characteristically distorted. The document inaccurately attributed to U.N. arms inspectors the claim that satellite photographs showed signs of reconstruction and acceleration of Iraq's nuclear program. It went on to quote something chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix told Time: "You can see hundreds of new roofs in these photos." But the White House paper left out the second half of Blix's quote: "[B]ut you don't know what's under them." In February 2003, American inspectors visited those sites as part of U.N. teams and saw that nuclear bombs weren't being made at them. But Bush officials acted as if such counterevidence didn't exist.

Those who continue to support the war and the reasons for being in Iraq will continue to do so, and will continue their attempts to rewrite history, "It was never about WMD's." But the American people are catching on. Read TCF's post which shows how polling trends are indicating that the American people are now convinced that they were lied to about the war. Those of us who have known for a long time about the lies and have screamed about it at the top of our lungs, are finaly getting some MSM support and while it is a bit late, it will define Bush's presidency as the corrupt and vile thing that it was.

Posted by David A at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 767 Words
November 22, 2005
Gratitude...

From Yahoo News:

Iraqi leaders at a reconciliation conference reached out to the Sunni Arab community by calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces and saying the country's opposition had a "legitimate right" of resistance.

A day after the communique was finalized by Iraqi Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni leaders, Washington reiterated Tuesday that the United States would stay only as long as it takes to stabilize Iraq.

The communique condemned terrorism but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if they don't target innocent civilians

or institutions that provide for the welfare of Iraqis.

How about that RESISTANCE movement in Iraq?

Posted by David A at 08:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 114 Words
November 07, 2005
Hmmmm... I wonder

How this one will be spun?

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 - A top member of Al Qaeda in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to newly declassified portions of a Defense Intelligence Agency document.

Looks like the administration has some 'splainin to do.

Hat Tip Balloon Juice

Posted by David A at 09:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 77 Words
October 25, 2005
Grim Milestone Reached... 2,000 US Dead in Iraq

So the moment has arrived after days of speculation and drum beating on both sides of the political spectrum. Based on the amount of spin the last couple of days, I am sure this is going to get major media play. 2,000th American Dead in Iraq! But when it all comes down to it, that will simply be simplifying an issue that most Americans simply don't want to deal with... The question of whether invading Iraq was worth even ONE American life?

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The U.S. military has announced the death of an American soldier who was wounded in Iraq.

That brings the U.S. death toll to 2,000.

The toll compiled by The Associated Press reached 2,000 with the death of an Army sergeant who was wounded by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad. He died last weekend in Texas.

Staff Sgt. George Alexander of Killeen, Texas, was wounded last week in Samarra, north of Baghdad. He was based at Fort Benning in Georgia.

Earlier Tuesday, President George W. Bush warned the nation to brace for an even higher casualty count, saying there's more work ahead in Iraq before the job is done.

But the first U.S. service member to die in the Iraq war is just as important as the 2,000th. A U.S. military spokesman said that is why the military does not consider the death of the 2,000th American in Iraq a milestone.

And the chief spokesman for the American-led coalition force is asking reporters not to treat it as a milestone, either.

The military earlier Tuesday announced the deaths of two Marines killed last week in Baghdad. Their deaths raised to 1,999 the number of members of the U.S. military killed since the Iraq war started in March of 2003. This latest death makes the toll hit 2,000.

But in an e-mail, military spokesman Steve Boylan spoke of what he calls the "daily milestones" in the war against terrorism, which he said are rarely covered. Those include the struggles faced by families of soldiers serving for a year or more. and the Iraqis who've fought along with U.S. forces, making themselves daily targets for militant attacks.

As for the 2,000 death, Boylan calls that an "artificial mark on the wall."

I have mixed emotions about the numbers game. I would tend to agree that the first soldier killed is just as important as the 2,000th. I would also tend to agree that it is but one statistic among many sad statistics of this war. Discounting the thousands of Iraqi's dead, or the victims of terrorist atrocities in Iraq since the war started is a slap in the face of those sacrifices.

Nor is it possible to look at the state of the war in Iraq today and to imagine 2,000 being anywhere near the finaly death tally for American troops. We are a society obsessed with numbers and no doubt when the number of U.S. killed surpasses that of those who died on 9/11, there will be other comparisons.


102303_dead.jpgI had a long, (too long) conversation with a conservative friend of mine today about the war, and I realized during that discussion how fruitless it is to even have a discussion on the subject.

Those who believe this war was just, will continue to do so no matter what. Those who think we should bring our troops home regardless of the eventual outcome in Iraq, will likewise continue to feel that way. Those like me....

I feel that the war was wrong, possibly illegal and almost certainly based on lies, but believe we need to, "fix what we broke," and will more than likely continue to believe that way.

None of it matters to the dead... And none of it will bring them back...

Posted by David A at 02:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 628 Words
This is a must see....

This flash presentation really broke me up.

Posted by David A at 01:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 7 Words
September 28, 2005
The Pride of America...
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Army is investigating reports that troops took photographs of dead Iraqis and traded them to a pornographic Web site in return for access to that site, Army sources said Wednesday.

Army spokesman Paul Boyce told CNN that a preliminary investigation had found "no evidence of a felony crime," but both he and Col. Joseph Curtin said the Web postings, if verified, could constitute a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice provisions on good conduct.

"There is no criminal investigation into the matter of photos of deceased bodies in Iraq being posted on the worldwide Web anonymously," Boyce said. "Army criminal investigators examined this recently as a preliminary inquiry but found there is no specific evidence of a felony crime."

Curtin acknowledged an ongoing investigation, however, saying it was focusing on "allegations that soldiers may have exchanged personally taken photographs of dead Iraqis in exchange for pornographic access."

Chris Wilson, owner of the site, told CNN that he had given members of the military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan access to the site for free -- if they provided him with a photograph proving they were serving there.

If these allegations prove to be true, it is another sad example of how U.S. Military conduct standards have deteriorated in the last half century. If we were shocked by Abu Ghraib, then these latest allegations are all the more shocking and evidence of moral decline and a lack of discipline on the part of some of our American Troops. We have come a long way since the hallowed days of "America's Greatest Generation," and we are NOT a better place for it.

This represents a decline in military discipline as well, one that will never be fixed as long as we focus on punishing individual soldiers instead of focusing on the command structure that ignores such behavior and in some cases even advocates it.

Update: Boyd points out below that I painted with too broad a brush in this post, so I made a change above. But I do dissagree with Boyd on one point. This is a command issue, and a disciplinary one. Now perhaps more is being done behind the scenes to address these types of issues than we know about, but certainly there is enough evidence of abuse accross the spectrum of the "war on terrorism," to be justified in assumming that something is seriously wrong.

Posted by David A at 01:58 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | 404 Words
September 19, 2005
It's about time!

Clinton finaly opens up:

Former US president Bill Clinton sharply criticised George W. Bush for the Iraq War and the handling of Hurricane Katrina, and voiced alarm at the swelling US budget deficit.

Breaking with tradition under which US presidents mute criticisms of their successors, Clinton said the Bush administration had decided to invade Iraq "virtually alone and before UN inspections were completed, with no real urgency, no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction."

The Iraq war diverted US attention from the war on terrorism "and undermined the support that we might have had," Bush said in an interview with an ABC's "This Week" programme.

Clinton said there had been a "heroic but so far unsuccessful" effort to put together an constitution that would be universally supported in Iraq.

The US strategy of trying to develop the Iraqi military and police so that they can cope without US support "I think is the best strategy. The problem is we may not have, in the short run, enough troops to do that," said Clinton.

On Hurricane Katrina, Clinton faulted the authorities' failure to evacuate New Orleans ahead of the storm's strike on August 29.

People with cars were able to heed the evacuation order, but many of those who were poor, disabled or elderly were left behind.

"If we really wanted to do it right, we would have had lots of buses lined up to take them out," Clinton.

He agreed that some responsibility for this lay with the local and state authorities, but pointed the finger, without naming him, at the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

And if you have ANY doubts about how poorly the war in Iraq has been executed, you need look no further than this week's Time Magazine.

Yeah it's a worse disaster than than we knew. And is beginning to look like the... shall we say it... Quagmire, that supporters are so afraid of.

In the meantime, hundreds continue to die weekly, British soldiers are torched in their tank, and it appears that the, "Last Throes," are going to last a long, long time.

As for the Hurricane Katrina thing.... I am a Gang Banger.

Update: John Kerry joins in and hammers the administration. If he had shown this kind of spirit on the campaign trail, he might be President.

Posted by David A at 03:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 394 Words
August 31, 2005
Talking Loud and Saying Nothing...

Bush is well known for his soaring rhetoric, especially when it comes to Iraq. It is a conflict born out or rhetoric, and indeed sustained by it. But the rhetoric has begun to ring hollow with a majority of the American public, and statements comparing Bush's War on Terror with the greatest conflict of the last century is well.... Ridiculous!

From Slate:

Accept for a moment the argument that Iraq is but one theater in a global war on terrorism. Overlook that, to the degree this is true, it's because Bush's invasion of Iraq and his many miscalculations afterward helped make it so. Even so, it would be an enormous leap to claim that the war in Iraq or the broader war on terror is the political, strategic, or moral equivalent of World War II.

Al-Qaida or its sundry offshoots could crash many more airplanes, wreck many more buildings, and bomb many more subways and the magnitude of their power, and the urgency of their threat, would still fall far short of that posed by Nazi Germany. The panzers of the Wehrmacht rolled across the plains of Europe, toppling governments with ease, imposing totalitarian regimes, and killing millions in their wake. This was a war of civilization on a level that today's war however you might define it doesn't begin to approach.

But let's say that the two wars World War II and Iraq (or the broader war on terrorism) are comparable, that their stakes are even remotely as high. Then why is President Bush fighting this war so tentatively?

From December 1941 to August 1945 the attack on Pearl Harbor until the declaration of Allied victory the United States manufactured 88,430 tanks and 274,941 combat aircraft. Yet in the two years after the invasion of Iraq, much less the four years since the attack on the World Trade Center, the Bush administration has not built enough armor platings to protect our soldiers' jeeps from roadside bombs.

To fund World War II, the United States drastically expanded and raised taxes. (At the start of the war, just 4 million Americans had to pay income tax; by its end, 43 million did.) Beyond that, 85 million Americans—half the population at the time—answered the call to buy War Bonds, $185 billion worth. Food was rationed, scrap metal was donated, the entire country was on a war footing. By contrast, President Bush has asked the citizenry for no sacrifice, no campaigns of national purpose, to fight or fund the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. In fact, he has proudly cut taxes, heaving the hundreds of billions of dollars in war costs on top of the already swelling national debt.

If this war's stakes are comparable to World War II's, the entire nation should be enlisted in its cause not necessarily to fight in it, but at least to pay for it. And if President Bush is not willing to call for some sort of national sacrifice, he cannot expect anyone to believe the stakes are really high.

Bush has not asked the American public to sacrifice for the war in Iraq. If he had, I doubt it would have taken this long for the American Public to become fed up with it. This disorganized, disjointed conflict, in which our young men and women are sent to die in a meatgrinder of RPG's and Roadside Bombs, has been a disaster from it's inception.

And despite claims to the contrary, the shortage in available Guard Units due to the war, has no doubt had an impact on the ability to rapidly respond the victims of Katrina. Would anyone argue that we are one disaster away from a tragedy of ungodly proportions. This administration is an undeclared National Disaster. We put a drunken Frat Boy in the highest office in the land, fronted and propped up by an old boy network and a political hack in Karl Rove, and NOW... NOW with thousands dead in Iraq, New Orleans wiped off the map,fiscal problems that would make The Lemon Drop Kid blush, political scandals ranging from Gay Hookers in the Press Room to Outing CIA agents for revenge, only NOW do we start looking at the five year train wreck and international embarrassment that this administration is...

It is beyond belief to me, that an entire Nation, a nation with the backbone of heroes, could be so cowed by 9/11, that we allowed this man to waltz back into the White House on an Agenda of "Fear All the Time." That Bush is President for three more years, means that the opportunities to continue to squander this nations assets, destroy our international esteem, and generally continue to FUBAR everything in sight, is a reality that we all must face, and all must take responsibility for. My ONLY hope is that in the Mid Term elections, The American people wake up and realize that the only way to apply some sanity to an America on the brink, is to throw those out, Republican and Democrat, who have collaborated with this government. Then there is a long path to getting our house back in order, and I am afraid it will be a few more years yet, before we can start the real cleaning...

In the mean time, The President continues his "vacation," while 10's of thousands of Americans in Louisiana and Alabama wonder how they are going to live now that they have no job or place to live....

Posted by David A at 10:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 912 Words
August 29, 2005
Reality Distortion Field

Only 12% Feel That Terrorism Will Stop If We Pull Out Of Iraq

That headline heralds the latest bit of drivel to spill from the keyboard of Rob, "Say Anything," Port, (I think he takes his name way too literally.)

The post goes on to excerpt a bunch of polls that:

a.) Document the obvious... (I don't think anyone on the Left believes leaving Iraq will end Terrorism. HELLO, 9/11 happened BEFORE Iraq, and had NOTHING to do with Iraq.)

b.) That only about 39% of Americans believe we should immediately pull out of Iraq. (Ahem... Americans are inherently decent people, we FUBARED Iraq, we can't leave it FUBARED.)

c.) That 3% more Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Cindy Sheehan, than have a favorable one. (Is Cindy running for office and someone forgot to tell me?)

Now, I have read the post about six times now, and other than a LAME attempt to convince the already convinced (Wizbang Readers), that Americans somehow support the war and hate Cindy Sheehan, I frankly don't get it...

Posted by David A at 03:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 177 Words
August 28, 2005
Better late than never...

With nearly 60% of Americans seeing Iraq as a mistake, and 56% of Americans expressing disapproval of the President's job performance, it does not come as a surprise that Bush is doing the rah rah routine over Iraq.

Likewise it is no surprise that the Conservaphere continues to try and spin positives out of what obviously has become a disaster. The war has become a boat anchor around the President's neck, and it is only getting worse. Rather than face reality and admit that the policy is a failure, the Right Wingers are so upset that they are attacking each other... And these are people who are always talking about "hate."

It has become obvious over the last week that Cindy is having an impact. The Spin, and spin of the spin continues on the Right, trying to discredit her. Roughnecks show up in Crawford in an attempt to intimidate her, and yet her message only grows more compelling as day after day, the "Last Throes," in Iraq seem to grow longer.

Time to do a reality check guys. Cindy is not going away. Iraq is not going to suddenly get better, and the truth about what led to the war is finding resonance with more and more Americans. Time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Posted by David A at 04:21 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | 219 Words
August 26, 2005
Right Wing Meme: "Cindy Sheehan is a Wacko"

Reality: This country is being run by Wackos! Thanks to my reader who left that link in a comment to one of my posts.

I am not real big on conspiracy theories, and my BS meter is about as fine tuned as they come. But the stuff in the above report, and this one, are enough to scare the bejeezus out of me.

We have some very interesting people running our country right now, and I have suspected for some time that Bush isn't really the one doing the running... What they are doing is not exactly new. I have pointed out in recent posts that the resentment for US foreign policy and meddling is high in some parts of Latin America, and with just cause. What is going on right now is nothing but a return to and re-emphasis on American Imperialism. What is different is that these guys are arrogant about it, while in the past we always went about it on the QT.

Islamic terrorist have walked into the cave of a sleeping bear, woke him up and pissed him off, and given him an excuse to slap the living shit out of them, while at the same time taking their honey and anyone else's honey that they covet. In the interim, these people have made living in our country infinitely more dangerous. Everyone wants to take down the bear. In the process they have also made it a more uncomfortable place for every American who steps off the shores of the U.S.. Those who have come to and will come to hate America will not distinguish between it's leaders and it's citizens, when it comes to exacting revenge.

It has been said before but merits saying again. After 9/11, America had the sympathy and support of most of the world. That we sought justice in Afghanistan was seen as an indisputable right. On that day and for sometime afterward, Almost everyone was an American. But the people behind the Neocon Agenda sought to capitalize on that tragedy to push their agenda. The war in Iraq was a turning point for us as a state and an empire. It was the moment when we went from benevolent to BULLY, and it persists...

That these plans existed previous to 9/11 are not up for debate. Some on the conservative side would argue on the relative merits or degrees of "wrong," in these plans. Most of us, at least those among us NOT drinking the Kool Aid would argue that whatever the merits, we were lied to, and that in and of itself makes them suspicious.

Posted by David A at 05:42 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | 439 Words
August 24, 2005
The Iraqi Constitution

The Commissar has the entire document in English. I know that the biggest concern people have expressed regard women's rights. To be honest, it is difficult to tell how Women's rights will shape up under this constitution. Article 2 is the article that raises the most concern, and yet hope:

Article (2):

1st - Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation:

(a) No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.

(b) No law can be passed that contradicts the principles of democracy.

(c) No law can be passed that contradicts the rights and basic freedoms outlined in this constitution.

2nd - This constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and the full religious rights for all individuals and the freedom of creed and religious practices.

The constitution covers extensively the issue of human rights, and implies that Iraq will adhere to international standards in this area.

I am cautiously optimistic....

Posted by David A at 06:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 167 Words
August 22, 2005
The Violation of Cindy Sheehan...

From Frank Rich's NY Times Column:

Hat Tip Dan Gillmor.

CINDY SHEEHAN couldn't have picked a more apt date to begin the vigil that ambushed a president: Aug. 6 was the fourth anniversary of that fateful 2001 Crawford vacation day when George W. Bush responded to an intelligence briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" by going fishing. On this Aug. 6 the president was no less determined to shrug off bad news. Though 14 marine reservists had been killed days earlier by a roadside bomb in Haditha, his national radio address that morning made no mention of Iraq. Once again Mr. Bush was in his bubble, ensuring that he wouldn't see Ms. Sheehan coming. So it goes with a president who hasn't foreseen any of the setbacks in the war he fabricated against an enemy who did not attack inside the United States in 2001.

When these setbacks happen in Iraq itself, the administration punts. But when they happen at home, there's a game plan. Once Ms. Sheehan could no longer be ignored, the Swift Boating began. Character assassination is the Karl Rove tactic of choice, eagerly mimicked by his media surrogates, whenever the White House is confronted by a critic who challenges it on matters of war. The Swift Boating is especially vicious if the critic has more battle scars than a president who connived to serve stateside and a vice president who had "other priorities" during Vietnam.

The most prominent smear victims have been Bush political opponents with heroic Vietnam resumes: John McCain, Max Cleland, John Kerry. But the list of past targets stretches from the former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke to Specialist Thomas Wilson, the grunt who publicly challenged Donald Rumsfeld about inadequately armored vehicles last December. The assault on the whistle-blower Joseph Wilson - the diplomat described by the first President Bush as "courageous" and "a true American hero" for confronting Saddam to save American hostages in 1991 - was so toxic it may yet send its perpetrators to jail.

True to form, the attack on Cindy Sheehan surfaced early on Fox News, where she was immediately labeled a "crackpot" by Fred Barnes. The right-wing blogosphere quickly spread tales of her divorce, her angry Republican in-laws, her supposed political flip-flops, her incendiary sloganeering and her association with known ticket-stub-carrying attendees of "Fahrenheit 9/11." Rush Limbaugh went so far as to declare that Ms. Sheehan's "story is nothing more than forged documents, there's nothing about it that's real."

But this time the Swift Boating failed, utterly, and that failure is yet another revealing historical marker in this summer's collapse of political support for the Iraq war.

As usual Rich pulls no punches...

Read it all. It demonstrates an all to clear pattern of abuse on the part of this Administration, abuse of power, abuse of the truth, abuse of the trust of the American Public. It also demonstrates further the sense of invulnerability that this administration feels. And rightfully so. They have successfully used the same tactic again and again and again...

But as Rich says:

When the Bush mob attacks critics like Ms. Sheehan, its highest priority is to change the subject. If we talk about Richard Clarke's character, then we stop talking about the administration's pre-9/11 inattentiveness to terrorism. If Thomas Wilson is trashed as an insubordinate plant of the "liberal media," we forget the Pentagon's abysmal failure to give our troops adequate armor (a failure that persists today, eight months after he spoke up). If we focus on Joseph Wilson's wife, we lose the big picture of how the administration twisted intelligence to gin up the threat of Saddam's nonexistent W.M.D.'s.

The hope this time was that we'd change the subject to Cindy Sheehan's "wacko" rhetoric and the opportunistic left-wing groups that have attached themselves to her like barnacles. That way we would forget about her dead son. But if much of the 24/7 media has taken the bait, much of the public has not.

this time the vast majority of the American Public is NOT buying it. The very principle of repeating something often enough until it becomes truth, has backfired. The American Public has been hearing about Administration lies and manipulation for years now, and the idea is finaly starting to sink in...

The majority of Americans feel compassion for Cindy Sheehan. While her protractors are vocal, the majority see her as a Mother grieving over the loss of a son, who is entitled to her moment with the President. His fundraising, vacationing and grandstanding with Lance Armstrong have come across as callous and heartless, at the very moment when he needs to be explaining some things not only to Sheehan, but to the whole nation. Bush ran the first time as a Straight Talk candidate. Those of us who watched the campaign from the Left, never bought this in the first place, but a lot of people did. His failure to provide Americans with a straight answer on the debacle in Iraq has eroded American confidence in him, and his administration. It does not help his case when his Generals are saying one thing, His SecDef another and Vice President something entirely different altogether.

Recent poll numbers more than anything, demonstrate a lack of confidence on the part of the American Public in ANYTHING having to do with Iraq, and rightfully so...

The attacks on Sheehan have only made the matter worse. I predict that Bush will eventually meet with Sheehan, calls to do so from within his own party have made this a nearly forgone conclusion. The delays at this point are more than likely based on Karl Rove trying to determine the best way to spin a lose/lose situation for Bush.

Posted by David A at 12:46 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | 959 Words
August 21, 2005
Welcome Salon dot Com Readers - Updated

Welcome to Daou Report readers. Please feel free to comment on the post that the Daou Report linked to, as well as anything else you find interesting on ISOU.

And if you want to read two more interesting viewpoints on the effects of the war in Iraq on Bush's legacy. Professor Bainbridge and Kevin Drum have two excellent pieces on the subject. It is heartening to see Conservatives like Bainbridge waking up to the reality of this folly.

I found these two comments, particularly compelling:

The trouble with Bush's justification for the war is that it uses American troops as fly paper. Send US troops over to Iraq, where they'll attract all the terrorists, who otherwise would have come here, and whom we'll then kill. This theory has proven fallacious. The first problem is that the American people are unwilling to let their soldiers be used as fly paper. If Iraq has proven anything, it has confirmed for me the validity of the Powell Doctrine.

and

The second problem is that the fly paper strategy
seems to be radicalizing our foes even more. For every fly that gets
caught, it seems as though 10 more spring up. This should hardly come
as a surprise to anybody who has watched Israel pursue military
solutions to its terrorist problems, after all. Does anybody really
think Israel's military actions have left Hezbollah or Hamas with fewer
foot soldiers? To the contrary, the London bombing suggests to me that
it is only a matter of time before the jihadists strike in the US
again, even though our troops remain hung out as fly paper in the
Augean Stables of Iraq. {Update: The news
that Scotland Yard foiled a gas attack on the House of Commons, for
which the Yard deserves mega-kudos, doesn't change my mind. As the
climax of Tom Clancy's novel Debt of Honor suggests (and I still wonder of that inspired 9/11), the terrorists only need to win once. Conversely, the latest news
about that rocket attack on a US Navy ship in Jordan seems to confirm
my concerns: "The Abdullah Azzam Brigades -- an al-Qaida-linked group
that claimed responsibility for the bombings which killed at least 64
people at Sharm el-Sheik in July and 34 people at two other Egyptian
resorts last October -- said in an Internet statement that its fighters
had fired the Katyushas, bolstering concerns that Islamic extremists
had opened a new front in the region." Indeed, the NYT reports
that: "The possible involvement of Iraqis and the military-style attack
have raised fears that militants linked to Iraq's insurgency may be
operating on Jordanian soil."}

I have to admit, I often wonder what some Conservatives out there are smoking, that they can't see the obvious. I am convinced that they do see it. If 2000 was a heady experience for Conservatives who had suffered through eight years of Bill Clinton, despite aggressive attempts to get rid of him at any cost, then 2004, after surviving numerous mini scandals and debunking Rathergate, must have been the greatest of highs.

That Republicans managed to take healthy majorities in both Houses, and seemed to dominate the U.S. political agenda, must have given Conservatives a sense of invulnerability. But the cracks have been showing in the armor for some time now, and it has taken "Rovian," measures to keep the fact of the Emperors Nakedness from the American Public. It must be painful in the extreme to see those cracks appearing, and know that not only did they make a monumental mistake, but that all they worked so hard for is based on a foundation of lies, deception and corruption.


Admittedly, the Downing Street Memos, in and of themselves might have been compelling to those who already suspected the truth, but they were not "smoking gun," enough to convince the majority of the faithful. This is especially true of those who invested so heavily in what they felt was a new Conservative Revolution. They have been rewarded by stark failures on the part of the Administration to propel that Revolution forward, and have instead seen it get bogged down in a morass of ineptitude. For a time, they were able to defend against this ineptitude by making the issue "Liberal Hate of Bush," rather than accepting the realities of consistent and repeated failure by the Administration to accomplish much of anything, except successfully defending itself against charge after charge. Now, with more and more Conservatives beginning to acknowledge the obvious, the spin begins to ring hollow, even for those who once believed it.

Even still, some refuse to acknowledge the obvious:

I honestly don't see anything "inappropriate" about it. Cindy accuses the President of "lying" about several of the reasons for war in Iraq, so maybe these television stations are worried about giving air time to somebody calling the President a liar when its clear to most of us with common sense that he didn't lie about Iraq. But that's just a guess.

Were it up to me, I'd have let the ad run. Most Americans don't agree with the idea that the President "lied" about the WMD's and know that Saddam had plenty of ties to al Qaeda, though not to the 9/11 attacks specifically. This is why Americans re-elected the President in the face of these accusations of lying. Putting Cindy Sheehan up to repeat these accusations again is only going to do more harm to her causes than it would to the cause of the President.

Rob's argument is deeply flawed... First off, recent polls indicate that as many as 51% of Americans feel the American Public was deceived about Iraq. With some polls nearing 60%. So the argument that "Most Americans believe that the President did not lie is intellectually and morally dishonest.


The Left has often made this spin easier, by failing to stay on message, and by failing to present a clear alternative. The Left has also been guilty of wimping out at key times. Those who have shown strength, have been attacked as members of the "Loony Left." Rove has been able to successfully exploit this time and time again by pointing out the inconsistency of the Left's message, while hammering away on the Administration's, even in those cases where it was obvious that the Administration message was a nefarious one. Rove and his Conservative Disciples have been Masters of hammering away on a message until it BECOMES truth, even when it is clear to any thinking person that the message lacks logic.

9/11 was a catharsis for America. Karl Rove and the Administration have shamelessly taken advantage of this to smear Liberals, out a CIA agent in an act of revenge, and execute a disastrous and unjustified war. This administration's legacy will be based on Post 9/11. With information coming to light almost daily on how badly they bungled the so called "War on Terror," and with little else to point to as accomplishments, Bush's legacy will likely suffer. More significantly, he may join Nixon as a President corrupted by his own sense of infallibility.

Posted by David A at 11:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 1187 Words
The Right Wing Distortion Field
Last week, I heard repeated for the nth time the charge that the war on terror is a failure. Why did we invade Iraq, and more importantly, why is Osama Bin Laden still out there somewhere? Where is he? And how can we say we're winning the war if he's still unaccounted for?

I can see that argument. There's a part of me (the liberal, emotional, vindictive, touchy-feely part of me) even sympathizes with it. I want to see his ugly, bearded head on one of the spikes on the White House fence. But my intellect dismisses it as a non-issue.

Osama Bin Laden is not THE enemy. He is not who we declared war against. He is not the be-all and end-all of our foes, and even if he were to surrender today, that would not put an end to the struggle.
Jay Tea
Wizbang

Eh, are these the same people who supported and continue to champion a war based on, "Saddam Hussein is a bad, bad man... and needed to be removed from power?" Well, I don't know, maybe I am missing something, but I see the dude who ordered the murder of thousands of Americans as being a pretty bad chap too, and "rendering him irrelevant," while convienant for those who want to deflect from the embarrassment that we have not captured him, does not make it so..." Neither do I see us, "thoroughly stomping," anyone. If we have, then the terrorist that Osama continues to at least provide inspiration for, must be roaches, 'cause for every one we "stomp," ten more seem to appear. Jay Tea was once someone I respected, as at least inserting logic into his arguments, now he is nothing more than a well written apologist for a failed policy and a disgraced administration, one that does not quite know it has been disgraced.... YET...

Posted by David A at 03:23 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0) | 312 Words
Bring on the Burkahs!
burkahs.jpg


BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. diplomats have conceded ground to Islamists on the role of religion in Iraq, negotiators said on Saturday as they raced to meet a 48-hour deadline to draft a constitution under intense U.S. pressure.

So what exactly was it we were fighting for in Iraq?

Bringing Freedom to Iraq? It will be interesting to see how Women's rights are respected under the new constitution. It will also be interesting to see how the Administration spins this. Conservatives continuously scream loud about not cutting and running, and it is one of the few areas I agree with them about Iraq. But this is just cutting and running under a another name folks. The administration will do ANYTHING to get out of Iraq at this point, including selling out the Iraqi people to the very terrorist who have been cutting off their heads and blowing up their markets for the last two years.

In the Meantime...
The NEW Iraq promises to be a model of stability, with none of the torture, abductions, cruelty and injustices of the Saddam Regime.... Yeah Right!

BASRA, Iraq -- Shiite and Kurdish militias, often operating as part of Iraqi government security forces, have carried out a wave of abductions, assassinations and other acts of intimidation, consolidating their control over territory across northern and southern Iraq and deepening the country's divide along ethnic and sectarian lines, according to political leaders, families of the victims, human rights activists and Iraqi officials.

While Iraqi representatives wrangle over the drafting of a constitution in Baghdad, forces represented by the militias and the Shiite and Kurdish parties that control them are creating their own institutions of authority, unaccountable to elected governments, the activists and officials said. In Basra in the south, dominated by the Shiites, and Mosul in the north, ruled by the Kurds, as well as cities and villages around them, many residents say they are powerless before the growing sway of the militias, which instill a climate of fear that many see as redolent of the era of former president Saddam Hussein.

Posted by David A at 02:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 345 Words
Further TRUTH comes to light on the road to Iraq and War!

It is going to be interesting as HELL to see how the right spins this, the latest barrage of evidence to support the idea that the American Public and possibly even Colin Powell were bullshitted into believing war in Iraq was justified.

Powell's speech, delivered on February 5, 2003, made the case for the war by presenting U.S. intelligence that purported to prove that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Wilkerson says the information in Powell's presentation initially came from a document he described as "sort of a Chinese menu" that was provided by the White House.

"(Powell) came through the door ... and he had in his hands a sheaf of papers, and he said, 'This is what I've got to present at the United Nations according to the White House, and you need to look at it,'" Wilkerson says in the program. "It was anything but an intelligence document. It was, as some people characterized it later, sort of a Chinese menu from which you could pick and choose."

Wilkerson and Powell spent four days and nights in a CIA conference room with then-Director George Tenet and other top officials trying to ensure the accuracy of the presentation, Wilkerson says.

"There was no way the Secretary of State was going to read off a script about serious matters of intelligence that could lead to war when the script was basically un-sourced," Wilkerson says.

In one dramatic accusation in his speech, Powell showed slides alleging that Saddam had bioweapons labs mounted on trucks that would be almost impossible to find.

"In fact, Secretary Powell was not told that one of the sources he was given as a source of this information had indeed been flagged by the Defense Intelligence Agency as a liar, a fabricator," says David Kay, who served as the CIA's chief weapons inspector in Iraq after the fall of Saddam. That source, an Iraqi defector who had never been debriefed by the CIA, was known within the intelligence community as "Curveball."

After searching Iraq for several months across the summer of 2003, Kay began e-mailing Tenet to tell him the WMD evidence was falling apart. At one point, Wilkerson says, Tenet called Powell to tell him the claims about mobile bioweapons labs were apparently not true.

"George actually did call the Secretary, and said, 'I'm really sorry to have to tell you. We don't believe there were any mobile labs for making biological weapons,'" Wilkerson says in the documentary. "This was the third or fourth telephone call. And I think it's fair to say the Secretary and Mr. Tenet, at that point, ceased being close. I mean, you can be sincere and you can be honest and you can believe what you're telling the Secretary. But three or four times on substantive issues like that? It's difficult to maintain any warm feelings."

The whole thing just reeks, stinks to high heaven, and it is beyond the pale to me that anyone can continue to justify this war. I believe very seriously, that the only way some Right Wingers will acknowledge that this war was based on unadulterated lies and deceptions, is if Bush wakes up one day and just says, "Sorry folks, the guy tried to kill my Daddy. It's a Texas thing, I had to get some payback. And we all know that Saddam was a loony so who cares why we went to war. We did, and in the end, the ends justify the means." And even if he did, I still think some people on the right would try to spin it.

You go to war when you have to. You weigh the dangers and you make a decision based on the imminent threat to the United States. It is clear to all but a rabid Bush Supporter at this point, that no such threat existed, and that the administration not only knew it, but sought to invent one.

UPDATE: Post makes the Daou Report.

Posted by David A at 01:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 665 Words
August 19, 2005
Last Throes News... We're f*&$ked Edition!

From Crooks and Liars:

Michael Scheuer ended his interview on Hardball last night with these words.


Full transcript


O'DONNELL: "And, finally, the president has made the case that winning the war in Iraq is central to winning the war on terror and making sure that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda cannot take harm the United States. Is that true, if we win there, will that help?"

SCHEUER: "No, ma'am. The war in Iraq has broken the back of our counterterrorism effort. I'm not an expert on the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, but the invasion of Iraq has made sure this war will last decades ahead and it has transferred bin Laden and al Qaeda from being man and an organization into being a philosophy and a movement. We've really made sure that the war against us is going to be a long and very bloody one. Iraq was an absolutely disastrous decision."

Read the whole thing, and watch the video. Of course our Brothers on the Right will just say that this is Left Wing Propaganda, Treason and Harmful to the moral of our troops.

Well let me tell you something. It just might be, because my moral is harmed every time I see another body count from Iraq. My moral is harmed every time I hear about the number of dead Iraqis. My moral is harmed every time I hear about another incidence of terrorism in Iraq. Hell my moral is harmed by knowing that Iraq has become not only a rallying point for global terrorism, but also a training ground that is 100 times more effective than Afghanistan. You see in Afghanistan, the terrorist did not get a chance to practice on the best of our technology and people. In Afghanistan they did not get a laboratory on U.S. Tactics. In Afghanistan they simply LOST...

Posted by David A at 10:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 310 Words
The Definition of Hypocrisy

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
--Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

Amen...

Please read all of this post. Cant wait to hear what Chris has to say.

Posted by David A at 10:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 41 Words
August 18, 2005
Obviously Chris still isn't reading...
Want more proof of liberal's hatred guiding their thoughts? Try and figure out how this article relates to the "lies" that OIF is based on. Personally, I'm baffled.

Conservative Thinking

But he is right about one thing. Hatred pretty much describes my feelings about stupidity and political blindness. The post I made yesterday referred to a number of points. One (And I will keep this short to keep Chris' attention), is that as previously stated, the Iraq war was planned and pre-determined well before any effort was made to "justify," the war. Two, despite the fact that 9/11 happened on Bush's watch, and there appears to be significant evidence that it could have been stopped, had anyone in the administration been paying attention to the threat, Conservatives continue to blame it on Clinton, Liberals, anyone but the people most responsible for it...

I have ratcheted back my blogging lately, mainly because it is just ridiculous dealing with this crap. Disagree, hate me for being a Liberal, whatever. The chickens are coming home to roost, and history will be the judge as to who is right or wrong. Most blogs are preaching to their choirs, so I am sure Chris' audience is buying his spiel. But the Truth is out there.... I am confident that it will all come to light.

Oh, and as an asside, either Liberals are the only ones taking polls these days, or a significant numbers of Conservatives have stopped drinking the Kool Aid.

Posted by David A at 01:48 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (2) | 248 Words
August 17, 2005
Bang, Bang....

That is the sound of all those who have been denying the lies this war is based on, being beat over the head with a "truth stick!"

From Shakespear's Sister comes the latest:

Link (not blockquoted due to length):

State Department experts warned CENTCOM before Iraq war about lack of plans forpost-war Iraq security

Planning for post-Saddam regime change began as early as October 2001

Washington, D.C., August 17, 2005:

Newly declassified State Department documents show that government experts warned the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in early 2003 about "serious planning gaps for post-conflict public security and humanitarian assistance," well before Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

In a February 7, 2003, memo to Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky, three senior Department officials noted CENTCOM's "focus on its primary military objectives and its reluctance to take on 'policing' roles," but warned that "a failure to address short-term public security and humanitarian assistance concerns could result in serious human rights abuses which would undermine an otherwise successful military campaign, and our reputation internationally." The memo adds "We have raised these issues with top CENTCOM officials."

By contrast, a December 2003 report to Congress, also released by the State Department, offers a relatively rosy picture of the security situation, saying U.S. forces are "increasingly successful in preventing planned hostile attacks; and in capturing former regime loyalists, would-be terrorists and planners; and seizing weapons caches." The document acknowledges that "Challenges remain."

Since then, 1,393 U.S. military fatalities have been recorded in Iraq, including two on the day the report went to Congress.

The new documents, released this month to the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, also provide more evidence on when the Bush administration began planning for regime change in Iraq -- as early as October 2001.

Meanwhile, in Iraq.....

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi police arrested four people in connection with a string of car bombings Wednesday morning that killed at least 43 people and wounded 88 in central Baghdad, the Transportation Ministry said.

The blasts came as transitional governmental officials worked to complete a new constitution, which lawmakers hope will help produce stability in the volatile country.

The attacks began about 7:45 a.m. (11:45 p.m. ET), when a car bomb exploded outside of the al-Nahda bus terminal, police said. A second car bomb exploded about 10 minutes later.

Casualties were rushed to the al-Kindi Hospital, where a third explosion was reported a short time later.

Video from the scene showed the smoldering wreckage of a vehicle near two buses, but black smoke obscured much of the view. Iraqi police said 22 vehicles were damaged.

The "last throes," continue...

While some conservative bloggers blow sunshine up our ass... which is in and of itself amazing, considering that their own heads are up their asses. You see to them, it's all about Cindy Sheehan, the outrage of it all. Too bad they dont feel the same outrage about the bullshit that lead to Cindy being in Texas huh?

Wait NO, it was Clinton's fault!!! Everything was Clinton's fault. 9/11 was Clinton's fault... Let's just ignore the fact that it happened on Bush's watch, and that evidence has now been presented that 9/11 could have been stopped.

Posted by David A at 06:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1) | 542 Words
August 16, 2005
Frank Rich Delivers a "Reality Check"

Read Frank Rich's column from the NY Times. It's a classic. Somehow the man manages to cover all the bases on the war in Iraq, including Cindy Sheehan's protest movement.

My favorite excerpt:

Nothing that happens on the ground in Iraq can turn around the fate of this war in America: not a shotgun constitution rushed to meet an arbitrary deadline, not another Iraqi election, not higher terrorist body counts, not another battle for Falluja (where insurgents may again regroup, The Los Angeles Times reported last week). A citizenry that was asked to accept tax cuts, not sacrifice, at the war's inception is hardly in the mood to start sacrificing now. There will be neither the volunteers nor the money required to field the wholesale additional American troops that might bolster the security situation in Iraq.

WHAT lies ahead now in Iraq instead is not victory, which Mr. Bush has never clearly defined anyway, but an exit (or triage) strategy that may echo Johnson's March 1968 plan for retreat from Vietnam: some kind of negotiations (in this case, with Sunni elements of the insurgency), followed by more inflated claims about the readiness of the local troops-in-training, whom we'll then throw to the wolves. Such an outcome may lead to even greater disaster, but this administration long ago squandered the credibility needed to make the difficult case that more human and financial resources might prevent Iraq from continuing its descent into civil war and its devolution into jihad central.

Thus the president's claim on Thursday that "no decision has been made yet" about withdrawing troops from Iraq can be taken exactly as seriously as the vice president's preceding fantasy that the insurgency is in its "last throes." The country has already made the decision for Mr. Bush. We're outta there. Now comes the hard task of identifying the leaders who can pick up the pieces of the fiasco that has made us more vulnerable, not less, to the terrorists who struck us four years ago next month.

I was not aware that one of Bush's "loyalist, Senator George Allen of Virginia, instructed the president to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the mother camping out in Crawford, as "a matter of courtesy and decency." Or, to translate his Washingtonese, as a matter of politics. Only someone as adrift from reality as Mr. Bush would need to be told that a vacationing president can't win a standoff with a grief-stricken parent commandeering TV cameras and the blogosphere 24/7."

It will be interesting to see if he takes this advice. Cindy pulled a brilliant strategic move today by inviting Bush to, "Pray with her," on Friday. For this President, who claims a lock on spirituality, that one may be even more difficult to pass up. I still have serious reservations about the Sheehan Strategy at the moment, but I have to admit I am impressed with some of the moves..

Posted by David A at 12:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 486 Words
August 10, 2005
You know....

I don't even want to talk politics today. Frankly, no amount of rationality is going to change any minds, read Deans comments on a recent post. Sad as it is, Dean and some of my other friends on the Right are living in another reality. I don't have the time, energy or even the desire to try and change these people's minds anymore.

I read this, on the antichimp today, and it (ALL OF IT), says it all for me.

Great report from Cindy Sheehan this morning, from outside the Bush royal compound in Crawford, Texas. She's been speaking with the media like crazy, pointing out the obvious cowardice of the chickenhawk inside the "ranch." Meanwhile, brave American Bill O'Reilly is telling both of his viewers that Cindy is protesting in Crawford because she has been bought out by "The Arab Anti-Discrimination League" and other lies. Bill, how much of a man does it take to smear the reputation of the mother of a dead soldier?

In Iraq, the violence rages and more soldiers die, even as Condi Rice insists that the insurgents are "losing steam" as a political force. Seriously, what planet are these people living on? (hint: Bizarro World). But the young men and women who have served can see the truth, and aren't afraid to tell it like it is. Terry Rodgers was there, and after his humvee was destroyed by an IED, blowing off a chunk of his leg, he was offered the chance to meet with President Bush while recovering. He refused.

"I don't want anything to do with him," he explains. "My belief is that his ego is getting people killed and mutilated for no reason -- just his ego and his reputation. If we really wanted to, we could pull out of Iraq. Maybe not completely but enough that we wouldn't be losing people -- at least not at this rate. So I think he himself is responsible for quite a few American deaths."

Dean says he is not buying that the administration lied. Well a more important question is, IS HE BUYING IT THAT THEY ARE LYING, not past tense, but present. Either they are lying, or the group we have running the country and this fucked up excuse for a war are the biggest group of morons in history. And they are getting support and comfort from everyone who acts as an appologist for them...

We have destroyed a country, turned it into a raging battleground of insurgent groups, and in the meantime. Al Quaeda slips back into Afghanistan... Rememer Afghanistan??? Where they proceed to kill Navy SEALS, and take their gear and ID as souvenirs...

What planet are Right Wingers living on when they even come close to believing we are making progress in the so called War on Terror?

Posted by David A at 05:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | 476 Words
August 06, 2005
Another Horror story from Iraq

"Sleeping in a grave-size space, defined by two walls touching both my head my and feet, and surrounded with human bodies touching me from both sides, in a way that hardly leaves any chance to move at all during the long… long night, in a 12 square meters room stuffed with 35 people trying to sleep, and to hold themselves together in order not to fight..."

So begins this post, another horror story from Post Saddam Iraq, a place where such horrors are supposed to be a thing of the past.

Hat tip The Naked Truth, one of my favorite new discoveries.

Posted by David A at 01:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 104 Words
Quote of the Day!

"How many times have we seen the right whip out the canard "Well so and so dem supported the war". How many times have we seen a news talk show host ask that very question of the democratic talking head and watch as the talking head sputtered and mumbled and danced clumsily away. Seems to me like a defensible response would be the simple truth: I also initially supported the war. Why? Because I trusted that the freakin President of the United States that's why! I gave the President the very support he asked for, and which he misused to the tune of hundreds of billion of dollars and a stack of dead and maimed kids."
Darksyde

Posted by David A at 12:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 117 Words
August 05, 2005
And Bush continues to slip in the Polls....
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans' approval of President Bush's handling of Iraq is at its lowest level yet, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that also suggests fewer than half now think he is honest.

A solid majority still see Bush as a strong and likable leader, though the poll indicates the president's confidence is seen as arrogance by a growing number.

Approval of Bush's handling of Iraq, which had been hovering in the low- to mid-40s most of the year, dipped to 38 percent. Midwesterners and young women and men with a high school education or less were most likely to disapprove of Bush on his handling of Iraq in the past six months.

American troops have suffered heavy casualties in Iraq this month. On Wednesday, 14 Marines were killed in the Euphrates River valley in the worst roadside bombing targeting Americans since the war began in March 2003.

On Monday, seven Marines were killed, six of whom died in a gun battle near Haditha in western Iraq.

Even Bay Buchanan, who spoke today on CNN's Inside Politics, was critical of Bush's all talk, no action stance. The 38% approval rating on Iraq is symptomatic of Americans faltering confidence in the President's strategy, or lack thereof.

It's nice to see that the people are finaly waking up, unfortunate over 1,800 Americans had to die to wake them...

Posted by David A at 03:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 227 Words
Where Progressives failed!

I read this quote on Dean's World tonight:

The Left. Hopeless. Shameful. History will record that the U.S. could have saved tremendous loss of life and treasure had we liberated Iraqi with more troops and a proper "after-victory" plan. But the chronicles will also show that America could have saved time, money and--most especially, lives--had the Left contributed its valuable resources to the liberation effort as well. Imagine if feminists, labor leaders, environmentalists, civil rights activists, artists and the media had joined in the struggle instead of sitting on the sidelines--or worse, assisting the fascists? Imagine if the clarion cry of freedom and democracy had arisen from a unified progressive front consisting of conservatives and liberals? Just as we've learned how much succor the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong took from the anti-war protesters of the 1960s, we will someday learn how the parochial, small-minded, narrow-souled opposition to the establishment of democracy in Iraq stiffen the fascist backbone of the "insurgency." But of course, the Michael Moores, Robert Fisks, George Galloways, Ted Kennedys and innumerable Hollywood celebrities and academics of this world will not care--they will always find reporters, voters, fans and tenure committees willing to dull the sting of conscience.

Written by some right-wing death beast? No. By the late Steve Vincent.

Dean goes on to agree with the quote. Well, perhaps I am showing my ignorance, but I have no idea who Steve Vincent was. I will take some time tomorrow to read his blog. But I want to offer a strong opposing point of view.

I don't think Leftist have done ENOUGH in opposing the war. Yes you read that right, and if you have read ISOU before, you are probably not surprised.

Many of us opposed this war BEFORE the Downing Street Memos. We had different reasons. Mine is sitting in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan right now. I felt, and still feel that we should have focused our ire and our energies on punishing those responsible for 9/11, and bringing ALL of the perpetrators to justice.

No, we allowed ourselves to be deceived, and to be swept up in the "War on Terror," which has become a disjointed quagmire. Iraq is a mess, more of a mess than it was under it's former dictator, and even the CIA says it has become a breeding ground for 21st Century Terrorism. All the jingoism in the world does not change the fact that there was no plan and is no plan, at least no consistent one.

Iraq has become a meat grinder for our troops and the Iraqi people, and it will probably have to get to the point where it is proven that there have been more killed during the occupation, than during the Hussein Regime, before anyone on the Right is willing to admit it.

I am not a moonbat, and stupid/dramatic protest do not make an impact on middle America. What we needed was for our elected representatives to stand up, show some spine and demand accountability in the decision to go into Iraq. What we needed and still need is for Progressives to speak out logically, sanely and without rhetoric on the true impact of this war, on the American People, The American Economy and the Iraqi people.

That we did not contribute to a war that we did not believe in is not the sad thing, that we did not contribute to stopping it, and have not suitably contributed to exposing it for what it is, is...

Posted by David A at 12:41 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | 588 Words
August 03, 2005
14 Marines Killed in Iraq

Obviously no one told the terrorist and insurgents in Iraq that they were in the "Last Throes" of their fight.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A roadside bomb blast killed 14 Marines and a civilian interpreter Wednesday as they rode in a vehicle near Haditha, Iraq, U.S. military officials said.

The military said the bomb struck the amphibious assault vehicle about 1 mile (about 2 kilometers) south of Haditha, a city along the Euphrates River about 135 miles (217 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad. The military said one Marine was wounded.

The 14 Marines belonged to the same Ohio-based battalion as six Marines who were killed in the region on Monday, according to The Associated Press.

The six sniper team members were killed in a firefight near Haditha. A suicide car bomb killed a seventh Marine Monday in nearby Hit.

In the past 10 days, 43 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq. That brings the number of U.S. troops killed in the war to 1,820, according to U.S. military reports.

Posted by David A at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 171 Words
July 14, 2005
Uh, uh, uh....

Douglas Feith, One of the Iraq War Planners is on Wolf Blitzer right now. The man is absolutely tongue tied right now, avoiding the question of "If he knew then what he knows know about the success of the war, would he still advocate the original plan." It is incredible watching these guys stumble all over themselves...

Posted by David A at 04:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 57 Words
July 01, 2005
For The Sake of Clarity....

It has never been about people's right to support the war, or their qualifications to discuss it. I don't know why someone as smart as Stephen, thinks,

"Goldstein demolishes the "Chickenhawk" rhetoric."

since his argument just rewarms and serves up the same gruel that pro-war bloggers have been serving up, every since The General started the Yellow Elephant meme.

My personal criticism is directed at all the YOUNG Republicans, and the Karl Rove's of the world who talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. If one thinks the war is such a noble cause, why not show your support by volunteering to contribute to it's success.

This does not mean that one is not entitled to their opinion, or that there opinion is somehow invalidated because they refuse to serve. What it does demonstrate however is an unwillingness to back up their rhetoric, with action.

For those who have a real passion about the "rightness," of the conflict, they come of as a bit hypocritical when they are not willing to fight it themselves, provided they have no physical reason that they can not.

Rhetoric is rhetoric, and while I agree that it can get a bit ridiculous at times discussing this issue, I believe the assumption that those most strongly advocating something, should be willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause they advocate... Is not an unreasonable position.

Posted by David A at 12:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | 232 Words
The "FACTS," about Bush's Speech!

During the 2004 Election Campaign most Democrats and Republicans agreed on the fairness of Fact Check dot Org. Lets see what they had to say about the President's Speech from Monday Night:

Summary

Standing before a crowd of uniformed soldiers, President Bush addressed the nation on June 27 to reaffirm America's commitment to the global war on terrorism. But throughout the speech Bush continually stated his opinions and conclusions as though they were facts, and he offered little specific evidence to support his assertions.

Here we provide some additional context, both facts that support Bush's case that "we have made significant progress" in Iraq, as well as some of the negative evidence he omitted.

Analysis

Bush's prime-time speech at Fort Bragg, NC coincided with the one-year anniversary of the handover of soverignty to Iraqi authorities. It was designed to lay out America's role in Iraq amid sinking public support for the war and calls by some lawmakers to withdraw troops.

The Bloodshed

Bush acknowledged the high level of violence in Iraq as he sought to reassure the public.

Bush: The work in Iraq is difficult and dangerous. Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying and the suffering is real. Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it?

What Bush did not mention is that by most measures the violence is getting worse. Both April and May were record months in Iraq for car bombings, for example, with more than 135 of them being set off each month. And the bombings are getting more deadly. May was a record month for deaths from bombings, with 381 persons killed in "multiple casualty" bombings that took two or more lives, according to figures collected by the Brookings Institution in its "Iraq Index." The Brookings index is compiled from a variety of sources including official government statistics, where those are available, and other public sources such as news accounts and statements of Iraqi government officials.

The number of Iraqi police and military who have been killed is also rising, reaching 296 so far in June, nearly triple the 109 recorded in January and 103 in Febrary, according to a tally of public information by the website Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, a private group that documents each fatality from public statements and news reports. Estimates of the total number of Iraqi civilians killed each month as a result of "acts of war" have been rising as well, according to the Brookings index.

The trend is also evident in year-to-year figures. In the past twelve months, there have been 25% more U.S. troop fatalities and nearly double the average number of insurgent attacks per day as there were in the preceeding 12 months.

Reconstruction Progress

In talking about Iraqi reconstruction, Bush highlighted the positive and omitted the negative:

Bush: We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. . . . Our progress has been uneven but progress is being made. We are improving roads and schools and health clinics and working to improve basic services like sanitation, electricity and water. And together with our allies, we will help the new Iraqi government deliver a better life for its citizens.

Indeed, the State Department's most recent Iraq Weekly Status Report shows progress is uneven. Education is a positive; official figures show 3,056 schools have been rehabilitated and millions of "student kits" have been distributed to primary and secondary schools. School enrollments are increasing. And there are also 145 new primary healthcare centers currently under construction. The official figures show 78 water treatment projects underway, nearly half of them completed, and water utility operators are regularly trained in two-week courses.

On the negative side, however, State Department figures show overall electricity production is barely above pre-war levels. Iraqis still have power only 12 hours daily on average.

Iraqis are almost universally unhappy about that. Fully 96 percent of urban Iraqis said they were dissatisfied when asked about "the availability of electricity in your neighborhood." That poll was conducted in February for the U.S. military, and results are reported in Brookings' "Iraq Index." The same poll also showed that 20 percent of Iraqi city-dwellers still report being without water to their homes.

Conclusions or Facts?

The President repeatedly stated his upbeat conclusions as though they were facts. For example, he said of "the terrorists:"

Bush: They failed to break our coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies. They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war.

In fact, there have been withdrawals by allies. Spain pulled out its 1,300 soldiers in April, and Honduras brought home its 370 troops at the same time. The Philippines withdrew its 51 troops last summer to save the life of a Filipino hostage held captive for eight months in Iraq. Ukraine has already begun a phased pullout of its 1,650-person contingent, which the Defense Ministry intends to complete by the end of the year. Both the Netherlands and Italy have announced plans to withdraw their troops, and the Bulgarian parliament recently granted approval to bring home its 450 soldiers. Poland, supplying the third-largest contingent in the coalition after Italy's departure, has backed off a plan for full withdrawal of troops due to the success of Iraqi elections and talks with Condoleezza Rice, but the Polish Press Agency announced in June that the next troop rotation will have 200 fewer soldiers.

Bush is of course entitled to argue that these withdrawals don't constitute a "mass" withdrawal, but an argument isn't equivalent to a fact.

The same goes for Bush's statement there's no "civil war" going on. In fact, some believe that what's commonly called the "insurgency" already is a "civil war" or something very close to it. For example, in an April 30 piece, the Times of London quotes Colonel Salem Zajay, a police commander in Southern Baghdad, as saying, "The war is not between the Iraqis and the Americans. It is between the Shia and the Sunni." Again, Bush is entitled to state his opinion to the contrary, but stating a thing doesn't make it so.

Terrorism

Similarly, Bush equated Iraqi insurgents with terrorists who would attack the US if they could.

Bush: There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. . . . Our mission in Iraq is clear. We are hunting down the terrorists .

Despite a few public claims to the contrary, however, no solid evidence has surfaced linking Iraq to attacks on the United States, and Bush offered none in his speech. The 9/11 Commission issued a staff report more than a year ago saying "so far we have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States." It said Osama bin Laden made a request in 1994 to establish training camps in Iraq, but "but Iraq apparently never responded." That was before bin Laden was ejected from Sudan and moved his operation to Afghanistan.

Bush laid stress on the "foreign" or non-Iraqi elements in the insurgency as evidence that fighting in Iraq might prevent future attacks on the US:

Bush: I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country. And tonight I will explain the reasons why.

Some of the violence you see in Iraq is being carried out by ruthless killers who are converging on Iraq to fight the advance of peace and freedom. Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and other nations.

But Bush didn't mention that the large majority of insurgents are Iraqis, not foreigners. The overall strength of the insurgency has been estimated at about 16,000 persons. The number of foreign fighters in Iraq is only about 1,000, according to estimates reported by the Brookings Institution. The exact number is of course impossible to know. However, over the course of one week during the major battle for Fallujah in November of 2004, a Marine official said that only about 2% of those detained were foreigners. To be sure, Brookings notes that "U.S. military believe foreign fighters are responsible for the majority of suicide bombings in Iraq," with perhaps as many as 70 percent of bombers coming from Saudi Arabia alone. It is anyone's guess how many of those Saudi suicide bombers might have attempted attacks on US soil, but a look at the map shows that a Saudi jihadist can drive across the border to Baghdad much more easily than getting nearly halfway around the world to to the US.

Osama bin Laden

Bush quoted a recent tape-recorded message by bin Laden as evidence that the Iraq conflict is "a central front in the war on terror":

Bush: Hear the words of Osama bin Laden: "This Third World War is raging" in Iraq..."The whole world is watching this war." He says it will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation."

However, Bush passed over the fact that the relationship between bin Laden and the Iraqi insurgents - to the extent one existed at all before - grew much closer after the US invaded Iraq. Insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi did not announce his formal allegiance with bin Laden until October, 2004. It was only then that Zarqawi changed the name of his group from "Unification and Holy War Group" to "al Qaeda in Iraq."

In summary, we found nothing false in what Bush said, only that his facts were few and selective.

--by Brooks Jackson & Jennifer L. Ernst

Researched by Matthew Barge, Kevin Collins & Jordan Grossman

Hat tip to Angel, who sent me the link via email.

Posted by David A at 12:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 1641 Words
June 30, 2005
Yeah but the faithful were watching....

"President Bush's 8 p.m. update on the war in Iraq averaged just 19.13 million total viewers on the big four broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, according to Nielsen overnights.... That's down 41 percent from the 32.75 million who watched Bush on the Big Four during a primetime press conference in April, though that speech took place on the first night of May sweeps, when television viewership overall was higher."

News America Now!

Posted by David A at 02:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 75 Words
I saw this on Rob's Blog tonight....

And thought it worth repeating. Sorry for running the whole thing Rob, but it moved me. Please trackback to Rob's piece and give this post some love. I for one am sick of People like Michelle Malking accussing us on the Left of hating our troops.

Support the Troops!
blog-03100020.photo00.jpg


Let the men and women of the United States Armed Forces know you care, that you support them, and that regardless of how you feel about the war you are behind them.

Our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen need to know that America is behind them. No matter what happens in terms of policy and politics here at home, never forget what was done to the troops in Vietnam, who came home from a horrible war only to be the focus of the anger and anti-war sentiments of their own countrymen.

The troops don't make the decisions for war...they carry them out.

And they are the real heroes of America.

Heroes like the late Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in Iraq.

Heroes like Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, the first woman since WWII to receive the Silver Star, our third highest award for heroism.

Heroes like Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class John D. House, USN, who was killed in a helicopter crash with his detachment of 30 Marines from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, in January. Petty Officer House left behind a son he never met, born while he was in Iraq.

And for all the others who serve with honor in the harsh conditions of war.

Posted by David A at 01:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 266 Words
June 29, 2005
Poll on Iraq

The Commissar has an interesting poll from yesterday on Iraq.

The Washington Post released a poll today, before the President's speech, on American support for the war in Iraq.

The WaPo's article highlights certain results: "Survey Finds Most Support Staying in Iraq / Public Skeptical About Gains Against Insurgents"

In looking at the raw data in the pdf file, I see a remarkably stable level of support for the war, since late 2003.

Since October, 2003, a solid 58% have favored keeping forces in Iraq, with continued casualties made explicit

He goes on to make an observation at the end...

Between the WaPo poll and upon reflection of the Left's proclivity for "shouting themselves in the foot," I feel better about American support for the war than I have in a long time. And I saw Bush's speech, and I didn't think it did much one way or the other. The stable good sense of the American people and the idiocy of the moonbats are Bush's greatest assets.

I would add one thing to what he had to say. "The naivete of the Wingnuts." This needs to be factored in...

In my opinion the support for finishing the war is a given. Americans sense of fairplay will not allow for us to leave that country a bombed out mess. But from my perspective that is not the story. The real story is not if we will finish what we started. I believe we will. The real story for me is will Americans continue to believe our reasons for being there in the first place. And that... Is the story that is gaining legs... Despite the attempts to change the subject.

Posted by David A at 12:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 283 Words
 
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