Saturday, April 21, 2007

Looking for a lost war...

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, from San Francisco, had a little sit down with our petulant prince, George W. Bush, and Harry told Georgie that the Iraq war was lost.

Now the whole histrionic chorus of right-wingnut gas bags are all hyperventilating about how Senator Reid, saying out loud what everyone already knows, is both treasonous and undermining the 'morale' of the troops.

I'm not going to bother to discount this pile of road apples because you either know it for what it is and acknowledge it, or you go back to the kool-aid bowl and draw yourself another draft.

Instead I'm going to break ranks with the 'liberals' and say that the Senator and the Representative were wrong. America has a mighty military machine and it's damn near unbeatable (although GWB and his cronies are doing everything in their power to defeat, destroy, and dismember America's military might, purely for personal profit, but that's another tale).

Let's look at Senator Harry Reid's claim for a minute...
...but before we get all breathless with our little lace panties all bunched up like Bill O'Reilly's, we need to look up two simple, everyday words on
WAR and PEACE have many nuances but we just need to cover the basic definitions:

1. A conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations.
2. A state or period of armed hostility or active military operations.
3. Aggressive business conflict.
4. Armed fighting.
[Origin: bef. 1150; (n.) ME, late OE werre < ONF < Gmc; c. OHG werra strife; (v.) ME, late OE werrien (transit.) to make war upon, deriv. of the n.; cf. OF guerrer, ONF werreier; akin to war]

1. An agreement or treaty between warring or antagonistic nations, groups, etc., to end hostilities and abstain from further fighting or antagonism.
2. A state of mutual harmony between people or groups.
3. The normal freedom from civil commotion and violence of a community; public order and security.
4. A state of tranquility or serenity.
[Origin: 1125–75; ME pes < OF, var. of pais < L pax (s. pāc-); akin to pact]

Before we make any grand pronouncements about whether or now we won or lost the WAR, there's another important question we must answer. Who are we at WAR with?
al Qaeda?
Saddam Hussein?
The Iraqi people?

If we are at WAR with al Qaeda, then the WAR is still going strong but we're going to lose it because we're fighting in the wrong place. Either we should be blowing up and bombing Pakistan, where Osama bin Ladin, the nominal head of al Qaeda is living; or we should be blowing up and bombing Saudi Arabia, where bin Ladin came from, where most of al Qaeda's followers and leaders came from (as well as 11 of the 19 hijackers responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001), and where all of al Qaeda's funding still comes from.

We can't win a war against al Qaeda in Iraq, because that's not al Qaeda's homeland. We might as well bombing Mexico for all the good it's going to do, not that I'm suggesting that!

So what are the other possibilities?
If we are at WAR with Saddam Hussein, we won.
He's dead.
His kids are dead, too.
Most of his family is dead.
We did that!
Whoopie! We won the WAR!!!
War is over, man. Let's get the troops and go home now.

But maybe it wasn't al Qaeda or Sadaam we were at WAR with. Is there any chance we are at WAR with the Iraqi people? It sure looks like it 'cause they're doing most of the dying. But if that's the case then someone in the White House has got a whole lot of 'splaining to do, 'cause the Iraq people didn't do anything to us. Besides, we've been told a million times or two that we're liberating Iraq! If liberating Iraq means winning the war, we won. Iraq has been liberated. The WAR is over, let's get the troops home, now. If we're at WAR with the Iraqi people, heaven forbid, then we should just bomb Iraq further back into the stone age, quickly, rather than slowly as we're currently doing. It's not right. It's not moral. It's wrong on every level but, WAR is HELL and they are the enemy.

On the other hand, anyone who is not comatose (or listening to Fox media) can clearly see that it was not ever the WAR that we lost, but the PEACE.
We lost the PEACE.
But the peace can best be won by ending the WAR.
In either and any case, it's time for the American people to do the right thing -- for the troops, for the Iraqi, for our standing in the world, and for very our souls.
It's time to bring the troops home, war won or not.

P.S., Ms Maureen Dowd, the dyed and blow-dried up old prune, needs to get herself a new photograph that shows her as she really is, That dowdy old hag hasn't looked young in at least 15 years ...and she has the temerity to mewl about John Edwards' vanity!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

One hundred to one

Today, April 19th, is the 12th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

On this day in 1995, Timothy McVeigh, a decorated Gulf War I vet took the lives of 168 Americans of all ages. Mr McVeigh was a hero of that first and awful war. It's widely believed Mr McVeigh had help, lots of it, but only he was executed for that horrible act of violence.

On Monday this week, a mad man, a young and disturbed college student, took the lives of thirty-three Americans at a school in Virginia.

The mainstream media has been blathering about it non-stop for days now. He didn't have any help, except for the fellow who sold him the guns and ammunition, and in the end, he took his own life.

On that same Monday another milestone was marked, not widely noted, not in the press, not by the President of the United States.
On Monday, April 16, the number of America soldiers killed in Gulf War II hit 3,300.

One hundred to one. That's quite a tally. You'd think there would be a little noise about the ever growing death toll, about reaching another horrific milestone, but you'd be wrong.

Of course, the death count doesn't include the merely catastrophically injured.

It's estimated that there are eight horribly injured soldiers for every dead soldier. That adds up to approximately 25,000 ruined lives.

The number of innocent Iraqi civilians killed so far is estimated to be between 62,086 and 655,000. Many, many, many more have been injured

There can be no explanations.

No one can explain why those thirty-three young and promising students died in Virginia on Monday. It's not possible to explain random acts of insanity.

Timothy McVeigh explained the deaths of his 168 victims in Oklahoma City They were collateral damage in an undeclared war for America's heart and soul, he said. Of course, he was completely insane.

George Bush, the pretender to the throne we cast-off over 200 years ago, frequently tries to explain why so many of our young and promising American soldiers have died.
It's for our freedoms, he says.
Or it's to protect us from the terrorist.
...or to keep the war over there instead of over here.
...or whatever. The explanations change regularly but remain meaningless and dishonest.

And of the Iraqi dead? No one tries to explain why so many innocent Iraqi citizens have died. No one can say why so many innocent Iraqi must be so horribly injured.

In fact, no one in a position of authority in the country responsible even bothers to keep count. That's official: "We don’t do body counts” -- General Tommy Franks, US Central Command

It's not possible to explain random acts of insanity.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The horror, the horror

...from my pal, Judd Williams
The dateline is April Fools Day, but it sounds so much like this administration it's hard not to take it seriously.

Doug Mills/ The New York Times

JACKSONVILLE, North Carolina. April 1
Vice President Cheney delivered a speech early Sunday morning before a formation of soldiers at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The speech was not publicized and the prepared remarks were intended to boost troop morale. The comments were fairly unremarkable except for one short comment near the end of the speech in which Mr. Cheney suggested that the Bush Administration may seek to challenge the 22nd amendment in the 2008 presidential election in an effort to ensure that the war in Iraq is successful.

Mr. Cheney again cited the war in Iraq as a key component in the effort to combat terrorism, saying "The war in Iraq is such a crucial part of the greater war on terror that we currently have our legal advisors looking into the possibility that the 22nd Amendment may not apply in 2008."

Because the speech was not publicized and was held on a secure military base, very few journalists were present, and none were able to ask questions about what the Vice President's comments might mean. Repeated efforts to contact the Vice President's Office to clarify the comment were unsuccessful.

The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution prohibits U.S. Presidents from running for a third term, stating "

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice...". The 22nd Amendment was passed in 1951 after President Franklin Roosevelt broke a tradition that dated back to George Washington, in which Presidents voluntarily refused to run for a third term.

Political pundits and Constitutional experts are split on what the Vice President's comments could mean. Some see the comments as an effort to extend the Administration's "war powers" due to the fact that the country is at war. They argue that there is a tenuous case to be made that the 22nd Amendment doesn't apply during war time since the Congress waited until after WW II to introduce such an Amendment. Others say that the mere fact that the country had just ended the war in 1951, when the Amendment was passed, suggests that the Congress would have put such an exception into the language of the Amendment if they had intended it not apply during times of war.

Others say that the Bush Administration will argue that the 2000 race was not actually decided by an election and that the Bush administration has technically only been "elected" once since the Supreme Court's Decision in Bush v. Gore effectively nullified the popular vote. Anonymous sources inside the White House have corrborated that this may indeed be the Administration's plan.

Arguing that it was not actually elected would be a very interesting approach for the administration to say the least, but most experts agree that it is certainly possible given the Bush administration's history of creative interpretation of the law with regard to such cases as:

• the assertion that The Geneva Conventions do not apply to U.S. detainees captured on the battlefield,
• suggestions that the legal definition of "torture" only includes activities that cause death or organ failure,
• the argument that U.S. Citizens do not have a right to "due process" if declared "enemy combatants", which was recently rejected by the Supreme Court,
• Attorney General Albert Gonzales's testimony before Congress that the Constitution doesn't guarantee U.S. Citizens a right to Habeas Corpus,
• The Administration's claim that the FISA law does not apply to their warrantless wire taps of Americans.

Critics of the Administration argue that these cases are all the proof needed to believe that The Bush Administration would try to argue that its own victory in 2000 demonstrates that it could run for a third term in 2008.