Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
What's funny is that there is literally nothing a conservative can say that will make him radioactive to other conservatives. This is just par for Nugent's course.
According to these statistics, the surge has made some difference in Baghdad at bringing down the death toll, right? But at what cost? What about the rest of the country, where death rates are double? Do we just send in more troops that we don't have? Pull out troops from Korea and send them into Iraq?
This year's U.S. troop buildup has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels, but the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago.
Some of the recent bloodshed appears the result of militant fighters drifting into parts of northern Iraq, where they have fled after U.S.-led offensives. Baghdad, however, still accounts for slightly more than half of all war-related killings - the same percentage as a year ago, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press....
- Iraq is suffering about double the number of war-related deaths throughout the country compared with last year - an average daily toll of 33 in 2006, and 62 so far this year.
- Nearly 1,000 more people have been killed in violence across Iraq in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2006. So far this year, about 14,800 people have died in war-related attacks and sectarian murders. AP reporting accounted for 13,811 deaths in 2006. The United Nations and other sources placed the 2006 toll far higher.
- Baghdad has gone from representing 76 percent of all civilian and police war-related deaths in Iraq in January to 52 percent in July, bringing it back to the same spot it was roughly a year ago.
- According to the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization, the number of displaced Iraqis has more than doubled since the start of the year, from 447,337 on Jan. 1 to 1.14 million on July 31.
What do we do to keep the Army and Marines from flying apart at the seams to sustain this occupation?
Aren't these questions that someone should have asked before we invaded the joint? What will the consequences be for those that should have asked and didn't, leaving us in this current mess?
Saturday, August 25, 2007
With me so far? Good.
Now that the surge has accomplished approximately none of its goals (at least as they were told to us when Congress approved it), the Bush administration is desperately looking for someone to blame, and they keep changing the definition of success in this war:
Before the surge started:
Surge is not a term I’ve ever used. But the point is you’re trying to add strength to the forces in Iraq so that they’re going to be successful in taking out sectarian violence and also al Qaeda violence, so that you have the conditions under which people can pursue the important business of political reconciliation and economic development.After the surge:
And just like that, creating a viable political environment is no longer a goal of the surge. It probably didn't help that the Iraqi Parliament took August off for vacation.
QUESTION: Is it still administration policy that the U.S. commitment in Iraq is not open-ended?
JOHNDROE: I think the president has made it clear that he would eventually like to see the United States in a different configuration in Iraq. There’s no doubt about that. The surge was designed, as we have said repeatedly, to help bring security to Iraq.
Which brings us to Nouri Al-Maliki. One day the President tells him that he's on thin ice, the next day, he's a guy with a tough job to do. The message is delivered. We brought you into this world, and we can take you out.
And this is where it becomes obvious how screwed up things have become.
One of the top Republican lobbying firms in Washington was paid $300,000 to hype Ayad Allawi as the next Savior of All Iraq. So he gets to write an op-editorial in the Washington Post talking about the failures of the current Iraqi government (which are real), without revealing he has paid American lobbyists to set all of this up for him. His representatives from that firm go on national teevee talking up the failures of the Iraqi government without revealing they are being paid to do so.
Do you get that? In this war for Democracy, we're now fighting to recycle the same old deck of leaders, over and over, until one of them waves their Magic Iraq Wand and fixes everything. We had to send more troops to save Iraq. And once we're there, we can't get them out, because then the other troops might be less safe. We're staying there just to save ourselves so we can stay there.
And just in case you missed the point, this week President Bush compared Iraq to Vietnam, saying that Americans had better learn the lesson of what happens when you end an occupation early. He even compared himself to the bumbling character of Alden Pyle in the Quiet American. This character is the literary embodiment of American imperialistic arrogance, the written example of what happens when people who don't know jack about the world start wars in places they've never been.
Hey, did ya hear that joke? What's the difference between Vietnam and Iraq? George Bush had a plan to get out of Vietnam.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Ahh, America's Mayor. Here is playing up to the worst imaginable racial stereotypes of 'African lions', whom we all know are just shiftless bums, mooching off our tax dollars as they soak up welfare payments. He sure is dignified, that mayor. And don't forget to check out the new ad from Gays for Giuliani:
I love the youtubez. But somehow, I doubt Rudy loves it as much as I do. In fact, I rather bet he doesn't like it.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Coincidence!!?? I think, probably, yes these are two coincidences.
Times like these are tough on all kinds of families. One thing that has made this tough time much more bearable than it might have been is that I've gotten to know my great-aunt's son and his wife. They are two remarkable people who picked up roots when she needed them, moved across the country and resettled with her, filling out her last days with kindness, care, and companionship. Befriending them has been a great personal reward, as my family is small and dispersed across the country.
Also at this time, one of my closest family friends (who has also served as a grandparent to me) is in the hospital facing several serious maladies. She's advanced in age, with some complicating factors that will make recovery a very tough road.
What has made this time more bearable is that the occasion of her illness has actually brought her family back together. One of her children had been estranged from the family, and has been in regular communication with them to be with them as best he can. Seeing them reconnect has been joyous to me, because I know personally the cost the estrangement has borne on the family.
I don't know why I type this except to say that I feel lucky to have these problems as my problems. It's a good problem that you may have loving people in your life who will, at some point, leave. It's a good problem to have to go through these dramas, as they provide a chance to connect with people you never knew (or did know, but grew away from) and find out how to serve them in their time of crisis, and how they can help you survive yours.
These are problems, but they can be rich ones to have.
Monday, August 13, 2007
This should go well. Nothing to fear here. All the hilarity of the 2nd crusade mixed with Bio-Dome.
KARL ROVE IS GONE!
No matter what else happens this week, today my week is glorious. Few have done as much harm to America in such little time as Karl Rove. He is to the death of Democracy what the Bubonic Plague was to the death of real people. Never one to pass up the opportunity to politicize any tragedy or human drama, I can only hope that he enjoys retirement. Because I'll sure as shit enjoy the fact that he's retired.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
See, it's nice that he gave his professional life to his country. It just doesn't make him any less faggy. And if there's one area where the Bible is clear, it's that you must ostracize and marginalize further people who are already marginalized and hated in society.
So this church has totally nailed that whole "WWJD?" business. Their kingdom awaits, no doubt.
So my hat goes off to men and women of the food service industry. Good luck in your fight, and may you be invisible no longer.
That's what passes for serious thought. 'But self,' I told myself, 'Self, don't worry, no one would take such a ridiculous argument seriously. I just hope he's not some liberal, or we'll all get tarred with that brush.'
Au contraire, mon frer. Said columnist found a most welcome home on Fox News. See for yourself:
Well, thank God he didn't say something outlandish, like you know, our sitting President is a war criminal whose impeachment would reestablish the rule of law in our troubled land. That would be beyond the pale.
Update: Atrios does that whole "I'll say it better than you can" thing.
So if a massive terrorist attack happened, it wouldn't be a vindication of what they've been doing, it would be proof that they failed to do what George Bush claims is his most important job.
All of these calls for "unity" and prayers that thousands of people die so that people "wake up" have nothing to do with anyone preventing the Bush administration from doing what they want. They're simply expressing a deep anger that the dirty fucking hippies don't agree with everything they say. Ultimately, they're angry that their pet war isn't going well and angry that the dirty fucking hippies don't rely on quite as many adult undergarments as they do.
But if some sort of terrorist attack happens, it's their people who will have failed to stop it. Despite our best efforts, we haven't managed to impact Bush administration policy on this stuff at all.