Monthly archives: August, 2007

Is Iraq Our Forgotten War?

Once again I am forced to ask, have we all grown comfortably numb?  Are we content to wait until the next presidential election to hope for any kind of change?  Do we really think a change in administration in the White House will make a difference, whether the victor be Republican or Democrat?

The Democrats are already preparing us for a let-down should they be victorious in ’08.  The New York Times reports:

Even as they call for an end to the war and pledge to bring the troops home, the Democratic presidential candidates are setting out positions that could leave the United States engaged in Iraq for years.

Why?  Their answers are all over the place.

John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, would keep troops in the region to intervene in an Iraqi genocide and be prepared for military action if violence spills into other countries. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York would leave residual forces to fight terrorism and to stabilize the Kurdish region in the north. And Senator Barack Obama of Illinois would leave a military presence of as-yet unspecified size in Iraq to provide security for American personnel, fight terrorism and train Iraqis.

An American presence would be wonderful, were it not for the fact that we’re still dying.  3,689 American soldiers dead as of this writing.   $451.45 Billion spent.  National Debt, right now, $8.97 Trillion.


Garrison Keillor on Bridge Collapse

Garrison Keillor turns his pen to the Minneapolis bridge collapse.  Along with his disdain for Minnesota government and they apparently abysmal attention paid to infrastructure in the past, he as this observation in today’s on the belated political response:

The way to get money to fix a bridge is for it to collapse and kill people, and so Congress promptly awarded Minnesota $250 million for the fallen I-35W. The usual suspects held press conferences to express shock and concern, pledge support, etc. The governor called for a time of healing and he proclaimed confidence in his commissioner of transportation, a large ebullient woman in a bright red blouse. There were prayer services. The Current Occupant came to view the wreckage and to express, in that intense and aimless way of his, his hopes for a better life for us. And then, having raised our hopes, he did not resign from office after all.

The state of Illinois, currently embroiled in a ridiculous budget battle with Governor Blagojevitch, a man more concerned about his last haircut and always-being-right than true dialog with his legislature, has over 1,100 bridges considered to be at risk.  Keillor’s anger at Minnesota and the Feds for lack of foresight could just as well be turned on Illinois, or so many other states.  The politicians’ response is often too little, too late.  Again from Keillor:

Unless the bridges get blown up by helpful terrorists, making us eligible for Halliburton to come in and rebuild them, I don’t imagine that much will happen. There will be an investigation and someday, when we are much older, we will learn that the bridge collapsed due to a unique set of circumstances that could not have been predicted by anybody. Nobody had sex with that woman. Everybody was doing a heckuva job.

Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing

From the Washington Post:

The Pentagon has lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to a new government report, raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq.

The author of the report from the Government Accountability Office says U.S. military officials do not know what happened to 30 percent of the weapons the United States distributed to Iraqi forces from 2004 through early this year as part of an effort to train and equip the troops. The highest previous estimate of unaccounted-for weapons was 14,000, in a report issued last year by the inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

Very disturbing.

Iraqi political crisis grows – And We’re No Boy Scouts

I remember a few things from the Boy Scouts.  Leave a place better than you found it.

Yes, I remember.

And we’re so off in Iraq.  So much damage.  So much lost.  So much al Qaeda.  And, funny thing is, al Qaeda was not there in anywhere near the numbers before we arrived.

And now, their wonderful government is collapsing in upon itself:

BAGHDAD – Iraq’s political crisis worsened Monday as five more ministers announced a boycott of Cabinet meetings — leaving the embattled prime minister’s unity government with no members affiliated with Sunni political factions.


The new cracks in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki‘s government appeared even as U.S. military officials sounded cautious notes of progress on security, citing strides against insurgents linked to al-Qaida in Iraq but also new threats from Iranian-backed Shiite militias.

From the Associated Press.

Does anyone in Washington have a clue as to how we’re going to get out of Iraq, after leaving it worse than we found it?

I See White People

Oy.  Republicans.  White, one and all.  Even those who are not so white.

It’s true.

Take a look at the Cook County, IL, Republican Party Executive Board:

What a group.   I’m sure it’s a coincidence that all of their People of Color were not elected to office this year.  Must have had other things to do.

Or, perhaps the family maids and chauffeurs don’t get much of a vote in the GOP.

Today is Hiroshima Day

True Majority Action

I received an email from our friends at True Majority Action, our friends who bring us Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Today is Hiroshima Day. In remembrance, True Majority Action is calling our attention to a disturbing fact:

Today is Hiroshima Day, the 62nd anniversary of the first atomic bomb attack in history.

We’ve come up with a 90-second video that shows the truth in a simple way you’ll never forget. (click here to watch it).

Hiroshima Day is a time to remember the dead, but let’s also work toward a saner, safer future. Please send the E-card to as many people as you can. You’ll be commemorating the day while at the same time spreading crucial information needed to stop the craziness.

No more Hiroshimas,

Ben Kroetz
TrueMajorityACTION Field Director

For more information about America’s nuclear arsenal and other unnecessary Pentagon weapons, please click here

I thought we had scaled back our nuclear arsenal significantly from the 70s.  Evidently not that much.

George Bush And The Nine Trillionth Dollar

George Bush and the Nine Millionth Dollar

It’s almost here. Can you feel the excitement? People are already starting to line up at the Pentagon, White House, U.S. Treasury Department, U.S. Capitol Building, and countless other key locations around Washington, D.C., for the midnight release of the U.S. Government’s George Bush and the Nine Trillionth Dollar by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury Department.

That’s right, literary fans, the excitement is building around the globe. President Bush, under the guidance of Vice President Dick Cheney (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Questioned) and Director Paulson, has already issued instructions on a strict embargo on the book until midnight on a date in the very near future but yet to be announced. Citizens will be given last minute instructions on where to queue up for copies of the book, which will sell for $45 retail. Advance-order copies are available from and Borders Books for $50. Reached by phone by Larry King, Vice President Cheney justified the extra $5.00 for those who order early by saying, “If you order late, the terrorists win.” Color-coded wrist bands will be available at select locations throughout the D.C. area for $100 each so lines are orderly as the members of the public line up for their midnight copies.

We’re almost there! According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the current debt to the penny is $8,945,504,468,375.99. Less than $35 billion to go!

“We’re very excited,” said Director Paulson, “This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event. We never expect to hit $9 Trillion again!” This all but answers the questions billions are wondering, “Will the debt ever come down?” and, “Will there be a sequel to this book?” Paulson could hardly contain his enthusiasm for the most famous series of books the U.S. Treasury Department has ever produced, “We anticipate publishing volume both 10 and 11 in the next few years, as long as we can keep a Republican in the White House. Help us reach our goal!”

Many are hoping for some answers to long-standing questions in the new volume:

  • Who will live?
  • Who will die?
  • As the needs of U.S. citizens grow and debt increases, who will the United States borrow from next?
  • Who will the United States pass the debt to when Japan and China finally call their loans?

“The debt is the money the federal government borrows from other countries and it’s own citizens,” President Bush explained. “It’s money that we borrow.”

Thousands emailed the president after this statement, thanking him for explaining the national debt at last.

The White House and the Treasury Department announced that millions have already placed advance orders for George Bush and the Nine Trillionth Dollar using credit cards, of course.

(Graphic: Turning Left)

Obama Would Fight Pakistan

I’ve let this sink in for a few days.  And I don’t get it.  Obama’s foreign policy seems like it’s all over the place.  From the Washington Post:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama issued a pointed warning yesterday to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, saying that as president he would be prepared to order U.S. troops into that country unilaterally if it failed to act on its own against Islamic extremists.

In his most comprehensive statement on terrorism, the senator from Illinois said that the Iraq war has left the United States less safe than it was before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and that if elected he would seek to withdraw U.S. troops and shift the country’s military focus to threats in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“When I am president, we will wage the war that has to be won,” he told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center in the District. He added, “The first step must be to get off the wrong battlefield in Iraq and take the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

I don’t understand at all the logic in threatening Pakistan.  Musharraf is not to be taken lightly.  No world leader is.  However, Musharraf is a smart politician, with more experience than Barack Obama.  I am confounded by Barack’s approach.  Invade Pakistan?  When we cannot afford Iraq?

I don’t get it at all.