Thursday, June 30, 2005
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Because he wishes he were elected, I suppose.
Let's see what ole Bean-Boy has to say....
Our mission in Iraq is harder because the administration ignored the advice of others, went in largely alone, underestimated the likelihood and power of the insurgency, sent in too few troops to secure the country, destroyed the Iraqi army through de-Baathification, failed to secure ammunition dumps, refused to recognize the urgency of training Iraqi security forces and did no postwar planning. A little humility would go a long way - coupled with a strategy to succeed.
Too few troops is at best debatable, and it's already been debated. There were problems if you sent too few, problems if you sent too many. There's no such thing as a perfect plan. We went in largely "alone" with the help of a bunch of nations -- just not from a few of the more historically promeinent and currently socialist EuroWeenie countries because going in was the right thing to do, and not going in just because others won't wouldn't have been right. Did the Administration miscalculate some things? Yup. Did its critics get some things right before the war? Sure. I also fail to see where the Administration didn't recognize the urgency of training Iraqi security forces. No, we sure didn't bring pre-fab ones in, (well not many anyway), but I think everyone up to the top recognized that right away. What I'm hearing is "well, if we were in power it would've been done faster. Because we have a Plan®. And that Plan® has a Strategy to Succeed®. Fast. Read our website, on which we re-iterate over and over repeatedly that we have a Plan®. We don't tell you what it is, but by the Great Secular anti-Deity, we have one. Really. We're going to keep saying it until you believe us."
So what should the president say tonight? The first thing he should do is tell the truth to the American people. Happy talk about the insurgency being in "the last throes" leads to frustrated expectations at home. It also encourages reluctant, sidelined nations that know better to turn their backs on their common interest in keeping Iraq from becoming a failed state.
Yes, and defeatist talk will send the insurgency... er terrorists ... running back to their homes, petrified at our fear, uncertainty, and lack of conviction. It won't embolden them at all. Any sign of fear and waning resolve on our part is a victory for them. And what makes you think it is not the truth, anyway? Probably the fact that it would be politically inconvenient for your ilk. I've been hearing reports every day on NPR about "escalating violence" and "the ever escallating insurgency" since Saddam fell. With the exponential factor, Iraq should be molten by now, and yet it is not. "Continuing" apparently means "Escallating". If you haven't been paying attention in the Middle East for the last 60 years, "continuing" is not very hard.
We're doing our part: our huge military presence stands between the Iraqi people and chaos, and our special forces protect Iraqi leaders. The Iraqis must now do theirs.
I'm sorry, I'm really getting confused now. We didn't send enough troops, but we should start planning to pull them out, even though our "huge" military presence is all that stands between the Iraqi people and chaos. No wonder you lost the election. Take a position, flip-flop boy. Pick one. Any one. Just stick with one so we know where you stand.
As my dad used to say, "patience, child." I know you all have the attention-span of the average Teletubie, but sometimes things don't cook up like instant noodles. You know, like ending poverty with government subsidies. It's worked so well for the past 60 years.
He also needs to put the training of Iraqi troops on a true six-month wartime footing and ensure that the Iraqi government has the budget needed to deploy them. The administration and the Iraqi government must stop using the requirement that troops be trained in-country as an excuse for refusing offers made by Egypt, Jordan, France and Germany to do more.
Um... what's a "True Six Month Wartime Footing"? Is there some textbook I missed? Or is this a new trademarked phrase you'd like to register? Of course, the minute we set a time limit for their training, you'll complain that we [Bush] hasn't prepared them enough. Because you're not really interested in what should be done, you're interested highlighting any problems with what Bush is doing. Have you ever considered the possibility that there might be valid reasons for training in Iraq, and that possibly that the paltry, lukewarm offers made frankly wouldn't be worth the trouble?
If Iraqis adopt a constitution and hold elections as planned, support for the insurgency should fall and Iraqi security forces should be able to take on more responsibility. It will also set the stage for American forces to begin to come home.
I thought the Administraton didn't have a plan. That sounds like a good one to me.
Iraq, of course, badly needs a unified national army, but until it has one - something that our generals now say could take two more years - it should make use of its tribal, religious and ethnic militias like the Kurdish pesh merga and the Shiite Badr Brigade to provide protection and help with reconstruction. Instead of single-mindedly focusing on training a national army, the administration should prod the Iraqi government to fill the current security gap by integrating these militias into a National Guard-type force that can provide security in their own areas.
Oh, now THERE'S a good idea. Sounds like a recipe for a civil war to me. And how is "integrating militias into a National Guard-type force" different than training a national army -- besides the fact that these militias are often from different tribes or sects who hate each other and have somewhat of a sense of national dis-unity?
Hamstrung by its earlier lack of planning and overly optimistic predictions for rebuilding Iraq, the administration has failed to devote equal attention to working with the Iraqi government on the economic and political fronts. Consequently, reconstruction is lagging even in the relatively secure Shiite south and Kurdish north. If Iraqis, particularly Sunnis who fear being disenfranchised, see electricity flowing, jobs being created, roads and sewers being rebuilt and a democratic government being formed, the allure of the insurgency will decrease.
Of course, if we had been working with them more visibly (as if we haven't been working with them) you'd accuse Bush of meddling too much with Iraqi affairs. Give us a break. On top of that, a huge part of the reason for the roads, sewers, and electricity problem is precicely because the insurgency targets these things to keep them disrupted -- its only chance of succeeding. But John-boy doesn't mention that.
Um.. the Sunnis opted out of the political process, remember? And still the new government and the US bends over backwards to include them to stem their Disenfranchisement®. But many Sunnis, like Kerry, cannot be convinced that America can ever do right.... except for Kerry who thinks HE could if he were in power. But the Sunnis would not be any warmer to America because Kerry was President. America is America, to them The Great Satan®.
Iraq's Sunni neighbors, who complain they are left out, could do more to help. Even short-term improvements, like providing electricity and supplying diesel fuel - an offer that the Saudis have made but have yet to fulfill - will go a long way. But we need to give these nations a strategic plan for regional security, acknowledging their fears of an Iran-dominated crescent and their concerns about our fitful mediation between Israel and the Palestinians in return for their help in rebuilding Iraq, protecting its borders, and bringing its Sunnis into the political process.
The next months are critical to Iraq's future and our security. If Mr. Bush fails to take these steps, we will stumble along, our troops at greater risk, casualties rising, costs rising, the patience of the American people wearing thin, and the specter of quagmire staring us in the face. Our troops deserve better: they deserve leadership equal to their sacrifice.
What a two-faced punk. Our [war criminal] troops deserve better. With that trademark drumbeat language (stumble along, our troops at greater risk, costs rising, the patience of the American People wearing thin, and the specter of quagmire staring us in the face) it sounds more like a campaign speech than constructive criticism. Oh, that's right, that's what it is!!!!!
He even got Quagmire® in there to boot. Can't leave THAT one out... except, according to him and his followers, haven't we been in a Quagmire® since like the 4th day of the invasion? Sounds to me like he's saying we're not in a Quagmire® yet, just almost. Unless our Democratic War Hero® ... er... criminal... er... Hero.... er... criminal.... steps in to save the day.
Friday, June 24, 2005
The government can now come and force you to sell your home for pretty much any reason as long as it is deemed to be "in the public interest".
So if the government wants more tax money (obviously, in the "public" interest) it can now force you to sell your house to Wal-Mart who will in turn pay higher taxes on the property. Yes, the government now actually has incentive to force you out of your home. Holy crap. It's going down the toilet even faster than I thought it was.
Um... in our "checks and balances" system -- who is supposed to "check" the Supreme Court? Because... it needs a full-body check right now.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Later, downtown I was approached by people with clipboards asking me if I would like to sign a petition to bring the troops home.
"Um.... no, thank you."
He said thanks and have a nice evening. At least he wasn't rude.
The place was crawling with activists.
At any rate, later I thought I should have told him....
"What, and let the rest of the world rant on about how we went in and made a mess and left before it was cleaned up and stablized?"
That's one of the biggest gripes I heard from my non-American aquaintances long before the war.
No, folks, no matter what you think about whether or not we should have gone in, it would be highly irresponsible to pull out now.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
And why the indignant outrage of the Leftists and the Islamists (who seem to be frighteningly too often on the same page) on the retracted and unsubstantiated alleged Koran flushing incident? Because they are both more than eager to believe stories like that.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Do I think, first of all, that it's cool to stack prisoners up naked or desecrate Korans? No, not really.
Although ... try this experiment in a room full of Anti-American Liberals (otherwise known as Idiotarians™) (and the ™ is also ™ by Rottie, I believe, but it's good so I'm going to shamelessly borrow).
Ask how many of them would be offended by the desecration of Christian bibles. At best, you'll get relatively emotionless murmurs of "well, no, you can't do that either", but what you'll likely hear instead and expressed much more passionately is a litany of Christian "sins" throughout history that would justify such an act. Which gives an insight into the real agenda of these folks.
No mention of sins in the name of Islam, though. That would be disrespectful to The Peacful Religion™.
It would be Divisive™.
Now -- lets review once again the differences between a prison for breakers of the law and a prison for war prisoners... which starts with why and how people got there in the first place.
In a prison for law breakers, we have (1) people who we have probable cause to believe have broken a civil law awiting trial for a constitutionally brief period, or (2) people actually serving sentences after being convicted of breaking a civil law.
In a war prison, we have people who were fighting us in some arena of battle in a war. They are typically held without charge (because we're not talking about people who are there for breaking our civil laws) until the end of the conflict that battle was being fought in.
There is a bit of a difference between these prisoners, and say, German or Japanese prisoners during WWII. Most Germans and Japanese combatants wore the uniforms of their particular service and were easily identifiable as combatants. (that link to the much more eloquent Bill Whittle's essays on the subject)
How many German POWs did we give a fair trial to and send back home when they were found guilty of nothing but fighting for the other side? ????!!!
To hear the Left talk (now even through AmLeftsty International), we rounded up a bunch of innocent Afghan citizens illegally and shuttled them off to a Cuban Gulag for indefinite interment without charging them with some civil offense.
But that's not it at all. Instead of killing these folks on the battlefield in a war -- which nobody would have complained about -- we kept them alive and in what amounts to a POW camp.
By all rights, they should be dead.
Does it justify torture? No. Not in and of itself. Does anything justify torture? I'll leave that as a grey area, since I do live in the Real Real World where you might need to get information from someone to save the lives of hundreds or thousands or millions...
But, except for a few highly publicized incidents, by and large we're treating these people pretty well for folks we could have killed. 68,000 prisoners, most of whom have been set free. 325 investigations into alleged abuse. 100 confirmed cases of some sort of wrong-doing). Perfect record? No. Who has one? Gulag? Take the tinfoil off your head and join the real world.
These are not jaywalkers or speed-limit violators. These are people who joined an army that has vowed to kill YOU if at all possible, and they won't discriminate between Kerry voters and Bush voters. Hell, they'll even kill you if you're Islamic if it suits their cause.
But let's let them all go. That way, when one of them turns up as a suicide bomber on a subway in New York, all the Lefties can point at the Bush administration and say "we had him and Bush let him go". Because as we should all know by now, everything bad is Bush's fault.
The US isn't perfect. Nobody is. But this constant assault on it is painting a hugely distorted view of what's going on. How 'bout a little balance?
Well, what he'll be doing is a lot more involved than training Iraqi soldiers and police, it seems. As a matter of fact, he seems to be part of the CAG, or Civilian Affairs Group. He'll be learning some of the language, and his job will be basically working with Iraqi civilians to re-build, re-construct -- in other words... just excactly the kind of target the terrorists like the best.
This speaks volumes about our enemy. What should be the safest job for us is, in fact, the most dangerous. These people want Iraq to fail and fall in to their hands so badly that they use -- as their primary tactic -- the killing of civilians -- to keep chaos and disorder in place. The hope is that people will become frustrated with the fact that the new government can't keep the peace and either vote the terrorists in or simply let the terrorists take over.
Any group of a few thousand loosely organized people in any country who are willing to stoop to this dispicable level of -- ahem, "engagement" -- can, over time, cause the same amount of chaos being caused in Iraq by these villians. People don't seem to understand that.
The gleeful Bush/America bashers like to point to each little bombing and say, "look, it has failed" -- which is all the freaking terrorists want. All they have to do is kill a few people a day in some sort of dramatic fashion (explosion, beheading....) and it will run every day as a top news story. This is easy for people who have brainwashed people to blow themselves up in the name of Islam. The daily news stories magnify their puny successes -- and over time this myopic view will cause public sentiment to shift away from getting rid of them or further marginalizing them, and in the end have us turning the reins right over to these folks. If you think Jerry Fallwell et al are bad, stop and consider this.... how many dreaded Christian-Righters have you heard about kidnapping aid workers and cutting their heads off -- filming it for the world to see? Think about that next time you want to draw some sort of moral equivalence between Al Queda and the American Religious Right. I'm not a part of it, but get real!
Do Iraqis have to do things our way? No. But get serious. There are several thousand black-hearted evil people over there that want to run Iraq THEIR way -- and given a choice, I think the other 20 million+ Iraqis would take our way over theirs. And we're not even insisting on that.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Michael Collins, [is St. Clair County, Illinois] Precinct 26's longtime Democratic committeeman and a former East St. Louis City Council member.
In February 2001, a jury convicted Collins on four state felony charges of illegally registering voters nearly six years earlier. A judge later sentenced him to 18 months of probation and community service. The felony convictions, however, didn't stop Precinct 26 voters from re-electing Collins as their Democratic committeeman in 2002.
Now his first cousin Leander Brooks has been arraigned on 4 counts of voter fraud.
The Democrats are obviously the Party of the [Dead] People.